I have an iPhone 4 loaded with data (apps, contact, and photos) iOS 4.x (not using iCloud), This phone was synced with my iMac and worked fine... Suddenly, my hard drive crashes. All my data was on a server, so no need to backup the mac, just buy a ned hard drive and reinstall all the apps.

Now the problem, my old iPhone synced with the old (now dead) Mac does not want to sync with the new iMac. It needs to update to iOS 5 and it wants to delete all my apps because it's synced with another Mac....

How can I sync my old iPhone and all his apps with my new iMac and no apps without losing it all?


Attach your phone to any Mac that you want to use as your new machine. It can be the same machine with a new hard drive, or a completely new Mac altogether. When prompted to sync, cancel, so that you don't lose the data on your phone.

Now, click File -> Transfer Purchases. You will be prompted to "authorize" your Mac. Log in and then you should be able to transfer your music and apps.

If you want to save your contacts to your computer, look through the "Info" tab to have iTunes overwrite the contacts on your Mac with those on your phone. There are settings for that there.

You can also use Music Rescue (shareware) to pull off your music.

  • Most of the steps was simple, but when it come to the file -> transfert purchases, it dont ask for any password, or syn any apps to iTunes. Contact and calendar is fine in sync, but the apps still empty in iTunes, and full on iPhone and the syn option is just doing nothing at all (last 1-2 sec, then finish without doing anything).... what up ? – menardmam Jul 26 '12 at 19:24
  • Check under "Advanced" in iTunes, look for "Authorize Computer". – Moshe Jul 26 '12 at 19:34
  • iTunes 10.6.3 on mac os x 10.6.8 : NO Authorize Computer under advanced. Authorize Computer is under STORE, and does not do anything to syns iphone... no luck – menardmam Jul 27 '12 at 18:37
  • Once you've authorized, transfer purchases. You can also use an app like iExplorer and try to retrieve binaries like that. – Moshe Jul 28 '12 at 18:32

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