Get help with iTunes Wi-Fi syncing

With iTunes, you can sync content between your iOS device and your computer over Wi-Fi. Try these steps if you can't view your iOS device in iTunes over your Wi-Fi network or if you see issues with Wi-Fi sync performance.

Check the system requirements for Wi-Fi syncing

Wi-Fi syncing requires the following:

  • An iOS device using iOS 5 or later on the same Wi-Fi network as your computer
  • A computer using iTunes 10.5 or later and one of these operating systems:
    • Mac OS X v10.6.8 Snow Leopard or later
    • Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8
  • The latest updates for your iOS device, iTunes, and operating system:
    • To update an iOS device, follow these steps.
    • To update iTunes and OS X, choose the Apple menu () > Software Update. Install any updates for iTunes or OS X.
    • To update Windows, see Microsoft's Windows Update page.

Turn on Wi-Fi syncing

To sync content to your iOS device over Wi-Fi, turn on the option in iTunes:

  1. Connect your iOS device to your computer using the Apple USB cable.
  2. Locate your connected device.
  3. Click the Summary tab.
  4. Scroll to the Options section and select Sync with this [iOS device] over Wi-Fi.
  5. Click Apply.

Quit and reopen iTunes and restart your iOS device

Quit and reopen iTunes on your computer. Then, restart your iOS device.

Restart your network router

Restart your home network router using the manufacturer's instructions. You may need to disconnect the power cord for 30 seconds or more.

During this time, Internet services (like a VoIP-based phone) won't work, and you may need to reset additional network devices.

Check your network connection

  • Make sure that your Wi-Fi network has an active Internet connection.
  • Make sure that you connect your iOS devices and computer to the same network over Wi-Fi.
  • Check for network configuration changes that may interfere with syncing:
    • VPN configurations
    • Extending the Wi-Fi network through multiple wireless access points or routers
    • Guest networks or other security configurations that limit access between devices
    • Routers that configure different networks for different frequencies such as 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz
    • Connecting the computer over Ethernet

Check for network interference

If you see performance issues when you sync over Wi-Fi, something may be causing wireless interference:

  • Microwave ovens
  • Cordless phones
  • Physical barriers (such as metal walls) or distance between your computer, wireless base station, and iOS device

Try the following to reduce network interference with these steps:

  1. Move your iOS device and computer closer to the Wi-Fi router or base station.
  2. Check for sources of potential interference.
  3. Remove your iOS device from any case, stand, or attachment.
  4. Open Safari and try to load a web page.

Check your configuration

  • Wake up your computer and open iTunes. If your computer is asleep or iTunes isn't open, the device may not sync.
  • Update your router. If you're using an AirPort or AirPort Time Capsule, you can learn more about firmware updates. If you're using a router from another manufacturer, contact the manufacturer to ask about available updates.
  • Test your device on a different network. If the device works on another network, the issue may be your router or network configuration. Contact your router manufacturer or Internet service provider for additional troubleshooting.

Test for port availability

iTunes uses TCP ports 123 and 3689 as well as UDP ports 123 and 5353. If iTunes can’t communicate on port 3689, iTunes will not be able to sync over Wi-Fi. You can test port 3689 using telnet or Network Utility.

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