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In iTunes there is a checkbox to "manually manage music and videos". However when I tried clicking it, there's a popup saying that I can only do so after erasing all data on the phone:

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How do I "manually manage" the phone without it erasing off its data?

After trying bmike's answer below, the popup message still appears. Currently my "Tones" and "Books" are ticked (synced). If I try to unsync them, there's this message:

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What do you mean by "manually manage"? The iPhone was synced with another iTunes, as the error message says you can sync with one iTunes library only. – Matteo Nov 15 '11 at 15:57
@Matteo well I simply want to "manually manage" it like a USB drive, that's all. My com is new, the other iTunes library is gone.. – Pacerier Nov 15 '11 at 16:13
You will be able to "manually manage" it only with a jailbroken iPhone. – Matteo Nov 15 '11 at 16:28
@Matteo I do have a jailbroken phone, someone was talking about using PwnPlayer but the website seems to be taken down: . Are you aware of any other solutions? – Pacerier Nov 15 '11 at 16:46
Do edit in to the question any restrictions. Not having your prior question adds some steps into the correct answer. (i.e. - there are different steps and limitations if you want to routinely sync between two libraries as opposed to getting the content off the existing device and then making the new iTunes the master). Once that is done, you can switch between total manual management or automatic management. This dialog comes when you start down the automatic management and want to switch to manual. An erase is needed as an intermediate step using unmodified iTunes software. – bmike Nov 15 '11 at 17:15

3 Answers 3

The solution is a two part solution.

If you routinely want to sync one device with two libraries, the easiest manner is to disable all automatic syncing on the first iTunes library before you bring the iOS device to the second computer.

You can always wait for the "erase" warning and cancel the sync. (which is the point you have in your screenshot). At that point, go into the current device settings and turn off automatic sync for all of the categories that cause the warning dialog to appear. Keep in mind, that music, ringtones, and other settings can all get the warning to pop up, so your work may not be done by simply un-checking music. The settings on the computer you get the warning are in conflict with the settings from the previous computer so you have to reconcile that before the manual sync can start.

Once you have figured out all the "silos" that matter to you, you can easily take one device to multiple computers for backup but only certain computers for syncing. Using one computer to sync the data (contacts and calendar) and another for the media is a use case that Apple fully supports in iTunes. Once you set things up, you should not expect to have issues with a one device and many computers situation.

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+1, good suggestions for multiple iTunes syncs. – JW8 Nov 15 '11 at 17:39
@bmike heys sorry I got stuck at your instructions. When you say "go into the current device settings and turn off automatic sync for all of the categories that cause the warning dialog to appear" I couldn't turn off sync for those categories, because attempting to do so gives me the popup dialog as well.. (refer to the edited question for more details) – Pacerier Nov 16 '11 at 14:51

Take a look at the answer to this Apple.SE question - it appears to have the answer to your question. You can try to transfer your purchases to the new iTunes account, since you mention that your other iTunes library is gone. Apps and ebooks should be transferable, but you may want to back up your music collection (if any) and handle that separately.

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The other question is close and helps with some background for the current question, but this one can be fine left to just address music and not the general sync case. – bmike Nov 15 '11 at 17:11

I have found the solution for it.

  1. First of all download iExplorer on your Mac(Totally free software available)
  2. Install it- You can click on "Continue With Demo"(so no need to purchase full version of it).
  3. Now, connect your iPhone/iPod/iPad, iExplorer will detect it.
  4. Now open Media folder, and you will see all your music files and data, now export it to any folder(please make new folder) whichever you like. It will start copying it to that folder - So your backup is ready now. (the names of all files are not as you are expecting).
  5. Now, You are ready with your backup, so you can Erase and Sync your itunes, and can copy this backup again to your itunes without any risk.

Note: Sometimes, in step 4, Apple detects that you are backing it up, so it will delete everything in your folder on mac as well as from your iDevice. If this thing happens to you, then there is another workaround to solve it. In that case, open terminal on your mac and write this command in it, find ./ -name *.mp3 this will find all mp3 files on your mac(change mp3 to other file format whichever you want). Now, here you will find that files hidden in folder where you taken backup or in trash. Once you find that location, then right click on finder-> go to Folder -> paste that link over there, and you will be moved to some hidden folders, copy that files to somewhere else.

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Can't test this over here.. Is there no iExplorer for Windows? – Pacerier Oct 23 at 7:11
dont know exactly about windows. – MDThakkar Oct 26 at 5:00

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