I have a 64 GB ipod touch with about:

  • 20 GB of music on my external hard drive
  • 20 GB of photos on my external hard drive
  • About 50 apps

It now seems to take over 40 minutes for my ipod-touch to do a full sync regardless if there is anything new or not (pics, etc) to sync

  1. How can i find out what is taking so long? Is there anyway to view a log file or something to highlight if a specific app or something else is driving this slowness

  2. I see things going on (like copying Genius results, etc). Is there a way to control the sync process and turn any of these features off) to try to make it faster.

Also, itunes.exe basically runs at 95%+ CPU during the sync process.

  • Are either of the external drives accessed over the network? That kills the sync speed, particularly over a WiFi sync. Oct 24, 2011 at 2:00
  • @Hand-E-Food - no, they are directly linked to my machine
    – leora
    Oct 24, 2011 at 19:23
  • The biggest apple article on speeding up backup times mentions removing your camera roll, but it doesnt look like you have one probably... if none of that works id try support.apple.com/ht4137 Oct 27, 2011 at 5:34
  • @leora Wild guess but did you tried different USB ports?
    – iskra
    Nov 1, 2011 at 13:29
  • Have you confirmed that you're not transcoding to AAC on sync? (That's an option available on the device page in iTunes and it severely undercut performance on all my machines.)
    – user33027
    Oct 17, 2012 at 13:24

2 Answers 2


From everything I've read, photos do seem to be the biggest factor in long sync times.

Exhibit A: This blog post suggests to not sync photos:

If I have photos unchecked, everything syncs and it's fast (7 seconds).

You can give that a shot to see if your sync time improves (as a troubleshooting measure)

Exhibit B: Apple Support suggests that importing the camera roll can improve sync times

Worst case, as @hobs mentions, you can restore your device as a new device from a backup (see this Apple Support page for details).


Try Process Explorer http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653 and turn on the Columns for Performance > I/O History and see if you can visually see which process is doing a heavy I/O load (or none at all) in addition to the CPU troubleshooting you're already observing.

Also do you have iTunes 10.5 already? It significantly improved performance on Windows finally.

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