I've upgraded my workplace with a new Macbook, but I've run into several problems. One of these problems is iPhone synchronization.

Previously, I synchronized my iPhone with a PC notebook. Now I want to sync it with my new Mac, but I don't want to lose all my app data or re-upload all the music, videos, etc.

Is there any possibility for me to sync with my Mac and not reinstall apps and re-upload music? I know I can use an iPhone file manager (my iPhone is jailbroken) to search all the saves and then reinstall all the apps and then transfer the saves back to phone, but it'll take too much time. Is there a more elegant way to do it?


2 Answers 2


You can move your iTunes library from your PC to your Mac. As long as the persistent id is the same it won't erase the iPhone.

You could also just edit the Mac iTunes library to have the same persistent id your PC library did.


  • 3
    I've heard about this method. I've reproduced all the steps several time - my persistent ID on Mac is the same as on PC, but, unfortunately, iTunes still asks for erasing data.
    – knuku
    Feb 1, 2011 at 19:29
  • 2
    Step Nine is important: You can now launch iTunes and connect your iPhone to the new computer for syncing. Select your iPhone from the list of devices on the left. Notice if now select Manually manage music and videos from the Summary Tab you will no longer be prompted to erase your data, nor will the files on your iPhone be grayed out.
    – zevlag
    Feb 1, 2011 at 21:02
  • 2
    Finally, I've managed to cope with this problem. I've restarted and everything works fine. Thanks a lot!
    – knuku
    Feb 2, 2011 at 6:28

Recently dealt with this problem with my parents upgrading from an iPad 2 to an iPad 3.

The iPad 2 was synced to one laptop, the iPad 3 was destined for another. We synced the iPad 3 to a backup of the iPad 2 and then went to plug it into the new laptop. (NOTE: the new laptop had all files from the old library synced via home share first.) iTunes asked whether to leave it alone or erase the iPad and sync. After playing around and much googling we went ahead and tried hitting erase and sync. When you do this, if the two iTunes libraries have the same iTunes account, it will actually make a full backup of the iOS device BEFORE it "erases and syncs."

Once it was done, all files were there, even each app's files and settings. (Such as PDFs saved in good reader).

This may not have been the case back in 2008 when http://www.iclarified.com/entry/index.php?enid=2137 was posted. But it seems Apple has caught on, and they just need to reword the message box so they don't scare users into thinking they'll lose everything.

  • Please try to adapt each answer to the specific question - posting the same answer in multiple places generally isn't helpful - especially on questions that have already been answered for over a year.
    – bmike
    Mar 18, 2012 at 18:39
  • I had noticed a lot of people on many forums asking the same question and the consensus is the manual transfer of data and tricking iOS devices or actually erasing. However, with iCloud and Home Share the transfer between computers isn't as much a problem, and the "erase and sync" message is misleading. Mar 18, 2012 at 19:03
  • You have a good point - just know the system flags identical answers and others may edit things since site search usually gets people to the answer they need based on keywords and duplicated content isn't often needed here. Both are appropriate and good answers - thanks for stepping up with good information!
    – bmike
    Mar 18, 2012 at 19:28

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