My smart playlists created in iTunes are not syncing to my iPhone. I have resolved to copying the songs that are in the smart playlist to a regular playlist to get the playlist onto the iPhone. Why is it that smart playlists won't sync?

  • Update: This is now working. Automagically. Not sure when it changed but saw this was working now.
    – REDGAR
    Commented Jun 17, 2012 at 19:17

4 Answers 4


I had the same problem, try:

  1. right click the playlist
  2. click 'duplicate'
  3. delete the old playlist
  4. then re-sync your iPhone/iPod or whatever

This worked out fine for me, i then just renamed the playlist taking '1' off the end (you'll know what i mean) - hope this helps!


I had the same problem with songs duplicating on my iPhone from smart lists. I fixed it by going into the smart list criteria and un-checking the box titled "Live Updating". then I updated the lists on my phone - all the duplicates were removed.


I had the same problem the other day. Turns out iTunes lost the path between the playlists and my music folder location on my computer. If you go to the iTunes "Library" box on the left, select "Music" then go to the main screen and look at all of your songs in the "Songs" format. Scroll down through and if any of them show exclamation points to the left of the song's name, that means the path has been lost. If you try to play the song, a window will pop up telling you iTunes cannot find the song. It should ask you to search for the path. When you select "Yes", a search window will pop up. Just navigate to the current folder where your music is on your computer. Once you select the path, it should ask if you want to complete this task for all your songs. Select "yes" or "ok" (I can't remember which one exactly). This fixed my problem immediately. Good Luck.


Smart playlists are nothing more than a folder which searches your entire iTunes library. For example, say you have a smart playlist for pop songs: the playlist shows you only the songs for that search term.

The smart playlist isn't a playlist, it's just a search folder. There is nothing in it—it's completely empty. So, you cannot sync a search token to your iPhone.

  • 1
    Hmm, before icloud my smart playsists sync fine?
    – REDGAR
    Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 20:38
  • @REDGAR Hm, very strange... I've never been able to sync smart playlists, from when I started using iOS with iOS 3 all the way through iOS 5.
    – Tuesday
    Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 1:52

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