There are several GB of data on my iPad which I do not need to have on my MacBook Pro. I want to sync my iPad with iTunes on my Mac except for...

  • iOS apps
  • iBooks

But whenever I try to sync, I am prompted to first transfer all the purchases to iTunes - otherwise the apps will be removed from my iPad.

Can I avoid this dilemma? I thought that iCloud saves what apps/iBooks I use on my iPad.

  • Maybe this warning is just a bug in iTunes? I tried the following: synced my iPhone, turned off the sync apps option for my iPhone and then removed one app from iTunes. I then tried to sync my iPhone again and got the warning about purchases on my iPhone that are not in iTunes, also saying they would be removed from my iPhone if I choose not to transfer them. I chose the option not to transfer. Despite the warning, the app is still on my iPhone but not in my iTunes library.
    – Rinzwind
    Apr 23, 2012 at 20:33
  • Update: I tried this on another app, despite my choosing the option not to transfer to iTunes, it was transferred to iTunes (the first app I tried it on is still only on my iPhone though). Seems like there is definitely some kind of bug here ...
    – Rinzwind
    Apr 23, 2012 at 20:44
  • @Rinzwind I've done done this once. 1) Disabled sync 2) Removed Apps from iTunes in OS X 3) Synced. It resulted in me loosing all my apps..... :(
    – gentmatt
    Apr 24, 2012 at 12:54
  • Ouch. :s This transfer/don't transfer dialog when turning off app syncing really doesn't seem to work as intended at all. I hope Apple fixes it in the next iTunes version.
    – Rinzwind
    Apr 25, 2012 at 18:45

1 Answer 1


The reason why it's asking you to transfer purchases is because your Mac doesn't have the apps (and the data associated with said apps (e.g.: game data, documents, etc).) on file on the computer. When it's transferred, it can successfully back it up without losing your data.

As far as I can tell, there is no way around it; you are going to have transfer the files. After that, go to the "Apps" tab on your iPad section of iTunes and uncheck it. This should stop syncing your apps. Do the same with the "Books" section.

As for the question of whether or not your apps and books are on iCloud, they are. Every song, album, music video, TV show, app, or book that you have downloaded is associated with your Apple ID and can be re-downloaded for no extra charge.

I hope that this solves your issue.

  • I've noticed that I can remove all books in iTunes after deselecting the sync option. I can continue to sync without the books being removed off my iPad in the process. However, the same is not true for apps.
    – gentmatt
    Apr 21, 2012 at 19:03

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .