Use the Finder to sync your iPhone, iPad or iPod with your computer

Starting with macOS Catalina, syncing with the Finder is similar to syncing with iTunes. Find out how to sync your content to your device.

Before you use the Finder to sync content to your iOS or iPadOS device, consider using iCloud, Apple Music or similar services to keep content on your Mac or PC in the cloud. This way, you can access your music, photos and more on your devices when you aren't near your computer. Find out more about using Apple Music or iCloud Photos instead of the Finder.

If you use iCloud or other services such as Apple Music to keep your content up to date across all of your devices, some syncing features through the Finder may be turned off.

What can you sync with the Finder?

  • Albums, songs, playlists, films, TV shows, podcasts, books and audiobooks.
  • Photos and videos.
  • Contacts and calendars.

Sync or remove content using the Finder

  1. Open a Finder window and connect your device to your computer using a USB cable. If you connect your device to your computer with a USB cable and your computer doesn't recognise your iPhone, iPad or iPod, find out what to do.
  2. Your device will appear in the sidebar of the Finder window. Click the device to select it.
  3. If prompted, trust your device.
  4. Select the type of content that you want to sync or remove. To turn syncing on for a content type, select the tick box next to Sync. 
  5. Select the tick box next to each item that you want to sync.
  6. Click the Apply button in the bottom right-hand corner of the window. If the syncing process doesn't start automatically, click the Sync button.

* You can only sync your device with one Apple Music or Apple TV library at a time. If you see a message stating that your device is synced with another Apple Music or Apple TV library, this means your device has previously been connected to another computer. If you click "Erase and Sync" in that message, all content of the selected type on your device will be erased and replaced with content from this computer.

Sync your content using Wi-Fi

After you've set up syncing with the Finder using USB, you can set up the Finder to sync to your device with Wi-Fi instead of a USB cable.

  1. Connect your device to your computer with a USB cable, then open a Finder window and select your device. 
  2. Select "Show this [device] when on Wi-Fi". 
  3. Click Apply.

When the computer and the device are on the same Wi-Fi network, the device will appear in the Finder. The device will sync automatically whenever it's plugged in to power.

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