I would like to stop syncing my iPad with my MBP & start syncing it with my iMac instead; when one connects an iOS device with a machine other than the one they previously synced with they get a message saying that they should erase & sync their device. Is there a way to sync my device to my iMac without erasing all my data first; PS. the MCP & the iMac share the same library.

  • If it's exactly the same library being loaded from the same drive your iPad should see it as the same machine, is it being run off an external drive? Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 13:08
  • it's being run on a networked external drive Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 13:19
  • It shouldn't cause a conflict then, if it still is just double check on each machine it's not trying to load another iTunes library file from username -> Music -> iTunes Commented Sep 20, 2011 at 15:01
  • Perhaps authorizing the iMac would have helped...?
    – C. B.
    Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 2:40
  • they're both authorized >.< Commented Sep 21, 2011 at 11:22

2 Answers 2


I tried many different approaches but none of them worked, had to erase & sync


If the two libraries are really the same, throw away the iOS backups and iTunes folder on the "new" mac and just move the two folders from the old mac to the new one when iTunes isn't running.

If they're not the same, use Home Sharing or whatever other method makes sense to get things corrected or transfer purchases through iOS. You can export the library to XML to get playlists, ratings, play counts and such over. Artwork can get lost if you just move the files and not the whole database structure.

What primarily matters is the iTunes backups and settings stored in the database, not whether the music or media files are shared or identical - as long as the songs to be synced are equivalent.

  • The macs share a library (it is stored on an external HD accessible to the both) & home sharing is on; still no luck >.< Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 7:23
  • Do the share everything like the iTunes library.xml and database files or just share the media storage with independent playlists and ratings, etc....
    – bmike
    Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 13:09
  • the media; they do not share the iTunes library.xml even though they're on home sharing Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 13:49
  • So, to avoid the erase, you have to move the non-shared parts. Whatever settings the receiver had will be lost and you will have cloned the first library - still having the media shared as before.
    – bmike
    Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 13:53

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