I have followed advice from this website to sync my iPhone on multiple computers, but it is determined to erase my applications. I have about 50 apps on my iPhone.

If you try to untick "Sync Applications" on the Apps tab iTunes says "Are you sure you do not want to sync applications? All existing applications and their data on the iPhone will be removed."

However if I don't tick sync apps (bearing in mind my laptop is new) my computer tries to remove all the apps, because it doesn't "own" any applications.

Is there any way I can sync without deleting all my apps?

  • Why are you syncing to multiple computers? You might try to find some other way to accomplish your goals, without fighting with iTunes all the time.
    – Michael Kohne
    Aug 6 '10 at 20:46
  • I haven't tried myself but this looks like a solution at same time as it's a similar thread: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/2528/…
    – cregox
    Jan 5 '11 at 14:15

It is really annoying, isn't it.

One thing that works reasonably well is for you to right click on your device in iTunes after connecting it (but before syncing it) and select "Transfer my purchases". That will copy your apps to the local copy of iTunes, so if it syncs it won't wipe things out. Not for apps at least. Music and video is a whole other headache.

  • 1
    Perfect JohnFX. "Transfer my purchases" copied all my paid applications & books then all I needed to do was then tick "Manually manage music and Videos" and I could manually copy Music and videos by dragging them into the iPhone. NICE!
    – digiguru
    Aug 6 '10 at 22:19
  • 1
    Thanks to this I managed to sync apps with two computers - but what about this music headache? Why does Apple insist that I can only sync my music with one library? I just bought some music on my office PC and now can't sync it to my device cos it will erase everything already there. Pain.
    – Graeme
    Jan 19 '11 at 10:17
  • Apple is really dumb sometimes
    – Pacerier
    Nov 15 '11 at 16:47
  • With the iMessage fiasco and the iCloud-sync fiasco and the data fiasco, I'd guess we have to conclude that Apple is more than just "really dumb sometimes".
    – Pacerier
    Oct 23 '15 at 8:08

The easiest way to do this is to copy your old iTunes folder (usually located in Music/iTunes or My Music/iTunes) - depending on which version of which operating system you are sing and replace your new iTunes folder which will be in the same location on your new laptop with the older one.

That usually solves my problems.

  • 1
    I believe this won't work for apps, only for music, you can not copy apps between accounts like that, even for purchased music I am not sure if you are allowed to do this.
    – Ali
    Jan 31 '12 at 18:30

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