Sync Your iPhone, iPad or iPod Without iTunes In Catalina

The iTunes app is gone. So how do you sync your iPhone, iPad or iPod? If you are still using a cable or Wi-Fi to sync your devices and not iCloud, you can still do it in macOS Catalina. That functionality has simply mostly moved to the Finder. You can sync music, movies, photos, books and other things this way. Ringtones is tricky, but you can still put custom ringtones on your iPhone. Even older iPods are supported by Catalina.

Comments: 49 Responses to “Sync Your iPhone, iPad or iPod Without iTunes In Catalina”

    Barry Young
    2 weeks ago

    Sorry Gary but on my version of Catalina, this does not work. If I want to see my iPhone6 or my iPod Air I have to go through Music or Photo’s to have them show up. The FINDER does NOT show them in the list as you described.

    2 weeks ago

    Barry: What version of iOS are you using on those devices? Are you sure you have expanded “Locations” in the Finder sidebar?

    joe juliano
    2 weeks ago

    This video on syncing iOS to new macOS is moving too fast through things that are not unfamiliar but unfamiliar a the same time. I am hoping the Guide to macOS Catalina moves a bit slower to give me time to digest your excellent knowledge.

    David Mackay
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks Gary – one question, in iTunes we had preferences and under this there was the Advanced button where, among other things you could change the path to the iTunes Media folder.

    This is quite useful to me because I only have a 500GB drive on my iMac, so I keep all data on external drives (especially my music & photo files) – how do we locate this in Catalina, or make changes if necessary

    Thanks

    David

    2 weeks ago

    joe: I don’t cover iOS syncing in that course since it isn’t strictly macOS-related (requires an iOS device). You can always pause the video here to take it more slowly. I always let me enthusiasm show through on these videos.

    2 weeks ago

    David: That path option is the same and is in the Music and TV apps, but not the Books app.

    Eric McMillan
    2 weeks ago

    I am like others Gary. Running Catalina on my MacBook Pro – 2013 with iOS 13.1.2 on my iPhone 6s. I cannot access my phone via Finder for love nor money. I have tried all I know. However I can bring it up via the Music app as shown first in your video. Is there a way I can make a link or am I stuck with this because on my dated hardware?
    Thanks – Eric

    2 weeks ago

    Eric: If you are running the OSes then hardware is not the issue. Are you connected via a cable? Does anything show up under Locations at all in the Finder sidebar?

    Eric McMillan
    2 weeks ago

    I connect via usb. The only thing in Locations is MacBookPro and Network..

    2 weeks ago

    Eric: How about in Finder, Preferences, Sidebar. Perhaps you have CDs, DVDs and iOS Devices unchecked?

    Cheryl Flaming
    2 weeks ago

    Gary, I too cannot see my iPhone XS on the sidebar. I am on the latest Catalina and IOS 13.1.2 is there something else I need to do to get it to show up in the Finder Sidebar? I have rebooted both the computer (MacBook Pro 13-inch, 2018) and my iPhone to no avail. Suggestions?

    2 weeks ago

    Cheryl: Do you see them elsewhere, though? Such as in the Music app? If so, did you check Finder, Preferences, Sidebar to see if you have CDs, DVDs and iOS Devices unchecked?

    Eric McMillan
    2 weeks ago

    Yes they were unchecked in Preferences Gary. Now checked and all working as it is supposed to. I never stop learning about my ‘puter even if we both have a few years up. Thank you very much.

    Craig Miller
    2 weeks ago

    This update is missing features that I used all the time
    *The sync information when syncing iOS devices now in Finder, e.g number of files syncing, title etc.
    *The Column Browser view is sadly missed in both apps.
    Also, TV app is showing “music” related metadata (artist/album) in the “Devices” screen, NOT tv/movie metadata (Ep name/ID etc). Maybe this is fixed later?

    Mark
    2 weeks ago

    Hey hello! I manage music manually from my Macboon air to my iPhone 11… I wanna know how can I select and delete many of the songs I have in my phone…. cause I can’t do it through my Mac Music App… how can I do it??! Thanks

    2 weeks ago

    Mark: You do it through the Music app. In the Music app select the iPhone from Devices on the left. Then you should see a list of songs that were manually put on it. Then select and delete any song you see in the list. Note this only works if you have selected “Manually manage music, movies, and TV shows” in the General settings for this device in the Finder.

    Mark
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks Gary! I actually have selected “Manually manage music, movies, and TV shows” but if I select my device from the left list I can see the all songs inside my iPhone but I can’t manage or delete. I can select any song but I’m trying to open the window to select and I can’t… thanks!!!

    2 weeks ago

    Mark: Not sure what you mean by “I can select any song but I’m trying to open the window to select and I can’t.” If you can select the song, then just press the Delete key to delete that song.

    Mark
    2 weeks ago

    Sorry for my English… I mean I can see the list of the songs inside my iPhone, but if I am trying to select one or two songs I can do it but when I try to make click on the right button to select delete there’s no answer… and above window the title delete is on gray colour

    2 weeks ago

    Mark: Oh, I thought you were talking about deleting songs from your iPhone using the Music app on your Mac. That’s where you add them, so that’s where you have to delete them.

    Nicholas Manno
    2 weeks ago

    Hey Gary, I have installed Catalina and I have checked all the boxes you mentioned above. My iPhone X does not show in Finder/Locations on my MBPro 2019. I am using a j5Create Tbolt adapter’s USB port to connect my phone to my MBP. Help…please.

    2 weeks ago

    Nicholas: Hard for me to guess what could be wrong. So you don’t see it in either Music or the Finder? Then I would suspect the cable.

    Mark
    1 week ago

    Yeah I am talking to delete some songs from my iPhone using MacBook music App. When I go to left side and select device iPhone, I can see the list of songs inside de device but I can’t manage… I don’t know what to do, cause the only way to delete songs now is using iPhone settings or Music app in the iPhone

    Joachim Slikker
    1 week ago

    So, if I want to add one new song to my iphone, I MUST have a copy off all the songs already synced to my iPhone on my Mac HDD to be able to add that new song. Or else all the song NOT on my local Mac HDD will be removed from my iPhone when i sync, now that is just insane…

    Jeff
    1 week ago

    Hi Gary, I’m doing everything OK with syncing via cable to my Mac. All software updated. One question, how do I import new photo’s on my phone or iPad to my Mac?

    Eric Barnes
    1 week ago

    Gary, does this transformation from iTunes to Music App carry over all existing settings that we previously made in iTunes? Or should I screen shot ever setting I not only made in iTunes but also everything I can think of in Mojave’s settings too? I absolutely hate the fact the some settings either don’t get carried over or are just plain reset when we upgrade. It takes me forever to get settings back to the way I had things. Never happens w/incremental upgrades, but does w/new OS. Stinks!

    1 week ago

    Mark: Did you try to select a song then press the Delete key on your keyboard. That works for me as long as I have it set to “Manage manually…”

    1 week ago

    Joachim: That is kinda true the first time if you are switching from a regular sync to a manual sync. It starts you fresh and you need to put the songs you want on your device. But after that you can add and remove songs one-by-one if you like.

    1 week ago

    Jeff: Nothing has changed there. You can import in the Photos app, in Image Capture, or using iCloud Photos Library. It is the same as it was before Catalina.

    1 week ago

    Eric: It brings over settings, but I’m not sure how complete it is. In general, if a setting affects the same things in both version of macOS, then it should carry over. But if something has changed about how that item works between the two systems, then you may get the default settings since the old setting doesn’t translate to the new functionality.

    Christopher Carr
    1 week ago

    Hi, Gary! Do you know is there a way to edit playlists for an iPod? I just connected my iPod to Music and all I see is the list of songs, but no playlists. Thank you!

    1 week ago

    Christopher: I would imagine you need to sync using the non-Manual settings, then select the playlists you wish to sync. But as I don’t use an iPod on a regular basis, I haven’t tried it.

    Andy Ewbank
    1 week ago

    So with iTunes I could manually pick podcasts individually from a feed and drag-and-drop them into my iPod Nano. That ability seems to be gone now with the Podcasts app. I don’t want to do a global sync that deletes everything already on my device, just remove the played podcasts and add new ones episode by episode. Is that ability gone now?

    1 week ago

    Andy: Looks like the ability to manually manage podcast episodes with old iPod devices is gone. You’ll have to use the regular sync now.

    Ray
    1 week ago

    So I have a classic Ipod (160GB) and when I connect to my Mac, I cannot see my four playlists inside my Ipod, neither in Music or Finder. I understand you commented to Christopher Carr about this, but not sure if you have figured this out since yesterday or not. Thanks.

    1 week ago

    Ray: I think you are just going to have to switch to the regular sync, not the manual sync, to use these older iPods with Catalina.

    Mark
    1 week ago

    Gary: thank you so much! Problem erased! Hahahahaha thank you for your patience!

    Charles
    1 week ago

    I can’t think of a practical use for the Files functionality in Catalina’s new Finder/iPhone setup. Does this add something useful that I am overlooking?

    1 week ago

    Charles: Well, I use it to grab massive 4K video files from a 4K camera app that I use. These files are usually a few gigs in size and transferring via any other method is slower. It allows you to manage documents used by some apps, and for some apps it is the only way to transfer between the phone and Mac.

    Emma
    6 days ago

    Hi Gary! Everything works for me, except… that I can’t sync some tunes that I created with the RINGTONES app. I can see the app in the apps list, then I can open the app and see the tunes list, but there’s no way to sync them. They don’t appear in my cell after I click on the “synchronize” button… I you guys have an idea! Thanks for sharing Gary!

    5 days ago

    Emma: Who makes this app? Have you contacted them to ask?

    C Wright
    3 days ago

    This latest Catalina IOS is a disaster for syncing iPhoto to an iPad. Apple need to sort it urgently because it is totally unacceptable in its present form. Several others seem to have a similar issue. Most annoying.

    Evan Burroughs
    1 day ago

    I cannot sync either my old iPod nano or iPod Classic in the Catalina era Music app. “Loading” goes on forever and nothing else. Using Finder, the same results, a spinning wheel. Are these music players now throwaway obsolete according to post-Jobs-era Apple?

    21 hours ago

    Evan: I can sync my 5th and 6th generation iPad nano, so what you are experiencing isn’t obsolescence, but a issue perhaps with your devices, cable or Mac.

    Rick
    16 hours ago

    I have an iPod classic that won’t sync with Catelina. It keeps saying the audiobooks aren’t authorized for my Mac yet I had them on that device with no trouble from audible for over a year now. I’ve deleted and renowned those and also re authorized my iMac but the iPad classic keeps refusing to accept the majority of my audiobooks. I can play those audiobooks just fine from the books app on my iMac.

    Tomas
    7 hours ago

    I have an iPod Classic 7th Gen without songs, totally empty. When I connect it to my MacBook Pro with Catalina, I see it in Finder, but I cannot relate any action because the screen that allows me to synchronize or restore the iPod never appears. What’s going on?

    6 hours ago

    Tomas: Try things. Try restarting both devices. Use a different cable. Avoid any adapters/hubs. If it still doesn’t work, Genius Bar.

    Chinedu Obinwa
    5 hours ago

    Hi Gary, the issue i have is that the after putting my passcode on my phone to ‘trust’ my mac, it syncs for forever. If i leave the phone there for another year it continues thus. Sometimes it disappears entirely from the sidebar. I just want my playlist on my macbook air on my phone, thats all.

    thanks

    4 hours ago

    Chinedu: See my message to Tomas above yours.

Leave a New Comment Related to "Sync Your iPhone, iPad or iPod Without iTunes In Catalina"

:
:
:
0/500 (500 character limit -- please state your comment succinctly and do not try to get around this limit by posting two comments)