Transferring your iPhone or iPad to a new Mac

23 Feb 2012
iPhone 4S

We reveal how to move your iOS device to a new Mac without losing your data

Most modern peripherals work fine with a Mac - all main printer brands have up-to-date Mac drivers, for example.

But when you add a Mac to a home network, you may find that syncing an existing iPhone or iPad to it without wiping everything is difficult. But there is a way...

Backup

Backup

First, plug the iOS device into the PC you normally sync with. Load up iTunes, wait for it to be recognised in the bar on the left of the window, right-click and select Backup. Make sure you also Transfer Purchases to keep any apps or media you’ve bought directly on the device itself. When you’re happy it’s backed up, disconnect the device.

Moving over

Moving over

Your backup now needs to be moved to the Mac, along with your music. Using a local network or external hard disk, copy everything in your iTunes folder to your Mac. For apps and other settings, locate your backup and copy the whole folder across. The precise source and destination folder paths are above.

No syncing

No syncing

Without connecting your device to the destination Mac just yet, fire up iTunes on it, go to Edit | Preferences | Devices and tick the box to Prevent iPods, iPhones and iPads from syncing automatically. Only then should you plug in the device, and authorise it when iTunes makes that request.

Restore from backup

Restore from backup

Right-click on your device in the left menu and select Transfer Purchases. Then finally right-click and select “Restore from Backup”. Provided you put all your files in the right place earlier, the sync should run and your files should remain intact. If there are any problems, you still have the backup on your old computer.

iPhone 4S

iPhone 4S

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Tutorials