Can someone clarify what these different synch settings in iTunes (v11) actually mean:

What is the difference between "sync only checked songs and videos" in the "Summary" tab of the iPhone and "Sync Music -> "Selected playlists artists, albums, and genres" in the "Music" tab of the iPhone?

I dont see any changes in sync behavior when I check or uncheck "sync only checked songs and videos".

Also what does "Manually manage music and videos" actually mean?

2 Answers 2


Sync only checked songs and videos

When you open the list view, the leftmost column is of check marks. You can use these to tell iTunes what to sync/not sync on a per song basis.

Selected playlists, artists, albums and genres

When you open the summary for your iDevice, there is a Music tab. You can select what songs to sync on a per playlist/artist/album/genre basis.

Manually manage music and videos

This means that iTunes will not sync all songs indiscriminately. You have to manually drag songs to the device to sync them. You can also drag albums and playlists.

  • This is odd, I currently have "Selected playlists, artists, albums and genres" turned on and when I now also turn on "Manually manage music and videos", the blue bar (the amount of music data on my iPhone) does not change. When I thereafter uncheck (turn off) "Manually manage music and videos" the blue bar shrinks to zero. I would have expected that it first should shrink to zero (because I have not manually added any music yet) and then in show grow back to its original size (because now, the songs selected by "Selected playlists, artists, albums and genres" is applied.
    – bitbonk
    Dec 5, 2012 at 18:52
  • Turning on Manually… does not remove any songs. It’s all manual; you can remove and add songs at will. I can’t say anything about the blue bar shrinking to zero. What happens when you sync after this?
    – duci9y
    Dec 6, 2012 at 8:42

When you manually manage, you have to drag songs, selections and groups and playlists in to and out of the list of songs on an iPod/iOS device.

You can also sync entire playlists so manual management isn't exclusive.

If all of your songs are checked in iTunes (or the subset of songs that are to be syncronized are all checked) then the no change in behavior is to be expected.

This is all documented in the built in help as well as online:

Make sure you avoid this bizzare excuse for an article in your search for a tutorial and understanding. It's not clear if it's a stub that needs to be there since iTunes links to it or they are saving space until it gets re-written for iTunes 11 or some future release.


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