So there is a mystery story with synchronization over wi-fi.

I've been synchronizing over wi-fi my macbook and iPhone for about 3 months. But some day it happened to stop working. iTunes doesn't see iPhone over wi-fi anymore. Checkbox is checked. Also, handoff stopped working(any app).

I've discovered that if I connect to another wi-fi network my phone is shown and able to synchronize over wi-fi(returning to main router changes things back).

Both devices are connected to the same network (it's the only one I have nearby) and bluetooth is on both on mac and phone.

I've tried:

  • reset network and location settings
  • full reset phone and backup then
  • restoring wi-fi router
  • switching off and on wi-fi and bluetooth
  • loggin out and in Apple ID, iTunes etc.
  • unchecking/checking handoff and iTunes wi-fi sync
  • delete wi-fi network

Nothing has worked for me. The only clue I have - it's something with wi-fi, though I don't change anything there and restored to default.

  • The key here is that Wi-Fi sync works on another "router." This pretty much eliminates your iPad as the culprit. Can you go into more detail about the router/network where you're experiencing the issue?
    – Allan
    Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 18:56
  • It's a casual tp-link router. From default settings it differs only by WAN, WI-FI and MAC clone settings, because I don't need to set up more. I didn't set up any firewall. Moreover, it worked fine within 2 moths and then it broke. I didn't touch any setting.
    – Sergey
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 11:23
  • Try a different router.
    – Allan
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 11:30
  • Actually there is one more interesting thing. If I forget network it becomes absent on both devices. Then I log in on my iPhone and when I try to log in on my mac it asks me on my cellphone if I would like to share password with laptop. Therefore, they are aware of each other beside.
    – Sergey
    Commented Feb 24, 2018 at 10:01
  • That's expected behavior
    – Allan
    Commented Feb 24, 2018 at 10:04

2 Answers 2


I checked the Apple forums and several people say they fixed it by plugging iPhone into MB, it asked if to trust the device on the MB and the iPhone. When trust on both is selected, it synced on the cable and now wifi sync is back to normal. May be this workaround will do the thing?

Also do you think Firewall can be an issue?

Or Apple Mobile Device Helper process could be the bump, you can just force quit that process through Activity monitor

  • No it doesn't work. As I said I can sync in other wifi network. Without any extra deed. Mac has only built-in firewall and it allows needed things and it works in other network. So it seems pretty strange. It depend on network.
    – Sergey
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 12:28
  • Since it was the same network layout for several months & supposedly nothing changed, and not much is left to do with iPhone troubleshooting. You could start narrowing it down to your Mac, no? They do talk a lot about loading Mac in Safe mode and checking sync there, did you already go through this troubleshooting? Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 15:18
  • Just tried. Changed nothing. The interesting thing is that if I share wi-fi network from someone's mobile my devices are able to see each other and synchronize.
    – Sergey
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 18:55

This problem occurred to me after updating to macOS 10.13 & iOS 14.

What worked for me was following the instructions here https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT210612 , allowing one successful backup to the local machine, then closing and re-opening iTunes.

Devices that had been synced over USB but had not been backed up did not appear when connected over wi-fi only

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