If you see error -54 when you sync with iTunes

If your content doesn't sync, consolidate your iTunes Library files and check for issues with third-party security software.

When you try to sync your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iTunes, you might see an alert message that says:

"The iPhone [device name] cannot be synced. An unknown error occurred (-54)."

This can happen if a file on your computer or iOS device is locked. Click OK to continue the sync.

If your content doesn't sync, here's what to do:

If you still see the issue, try the steps below.

Consolidate the media files in your iTunes library

The media files in your iTunes library might be stored in several locations. Try consolidating your files into the iTunes Media folder.

 

Check for issues with third-party security software

Some third-party software, including security software, can interfere with the sync process between your computer and your device. Change your security software's setup and see if it fixes the issue.

 

Sync a small amount of content

Sync only a small amount of content at a time. Add more content until you see the error again. By doing this, you'll identify the content that causes the issue.

 

Delete and re-download content

If the issue happens with content from the iTunes Store, delete and then re-download the content. Or, download the content directly to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

 

Delete and re-import content

If the content isn't from the iTunes Store, delete and then re-import it from the original source.

 

Remove PDF files from the sync process

This issue might happen when you try to transfer iTunes purchases from your iOS device to your computer. This might also happen when you try to sync with Apple Books, because it uses the same process. If so, there might be a problem with a PDF file saved to the Books app on your iOS device.

To fix the issue, use the Share option in the Books app on your device to email the PDF to yourself. This saves a copy of the PDF in your email account and shares it with the email address you choose, which can be accessed from your computer. Then, remove the PDF file from your device.

 

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