How To Transfer Everything From Your iPhone To iTunes On A New Computer

If you've acquired a new computer, migrating your iTunes library is easy — unless you've somehow lost it. Luckily, you can retrieve everything from your iPhone without too much of a hassle. Here's how to do it.

Recently, I had an issue with iTunes and ended up deleting my entire library. I still had all my music and apps on my iPhone, but iTunes has no method for syncing back in the other direction. After a bit of searching, I found it was pretty easy to restore everything back to the way it was — I just needed to do a little extra work. Here's what the process entails.

Transfer Your Music and Videos with Sharepod

It's pretty easy to restore songs you've bought from iTunes, but anything you've ripped or downloaded yourself is stuck on your iPhone. So, you'll need a little help to get those other music and videos back into your library. Windows users should check out SharePod, which will transfer music, videos, playlists, voice memos, and even ringtones back to iTunes. Mac users will need Senuti, which is $US18.99 if you want to transfer more than 1000 songs (though the old, free version may still work). For more information on how to use these programs check out our detailed guide to copying music from iOS to your computer.

Once all your music, videos and playlists are back on your computer, you can re-sync everything to your iPhone like so:

  1. Plug your iPhone into your computer. Click on it in the iTunes sidebar and go to the "Music" tab. Check the "Sync Music" box and it will re-sync all or your music and playlists.
  2. Repeat this process with your videos, if you have any.

When you're done, your iPhone will be linked to your new computer, but you'll have all your music back in sync between both.

Transfer Your Apps with iTunes

Now that you've got your music back, the other thing iTunes is missing is your apps. The problem is if you try to sync it, iTunes tells you that "All existing apps and their data on the iPhone will be replaced with apps from this iTunes library." Here's how to sync your iPhone with the new computer, while making sure you keep all your apps and their data intact.

  1. Plug your iPhone into your computer. Right-click on it in the left sidebar and choose "Transfer Purchases" from the dropdown menu. This will not only transfer purchased music, but any and all apps you've downloaded from the App Store as well.
  2. Let the apps sync from your iPhone back to iTunes.
  3. When it's done, click on your iPhone in the sidebar, go to the "Apps" tab in the main pane, and check the "Sync Apps" box. It'll warn you that it's going to replace the apps on your iPhone, but don't worry — it actually won't change much. All your documents and data will stay intact.

The one downside is that, when it's finished syncing, all of your apps will have been rearranged on the home screen. But, after putting them back in the correct order and folders, your iPhone should be exactly the same as it was before, with all your apps and their data in the right place, and it should sync normally with your new copy of iTunes.

That's it! The process can seem a little confusing at first, and it would be really nice if iTunes did this all for you, but sadly it's still ignoring this very important feature. Hopefully, with these instructions, you should be able to get all your information back into iTunes without losing any data off your phone. Next time, make sure you have a good backup of your computer — that way, you can just restore your old iTunes library in its entirety so everything syncs back smoothly!


    Oh good, I've gone through a solar agony guite a few times with my iPhone. I thought it was just me. This is one broken system. What happened to "it just works"? It couldn't have been made much harder if apple tried.

      WTH is a "solar agony guite"?

      Solar: Of, relating to, or determined by the sun: "solar radiation"
      Agony: Extreme physical or mental suffering
      Guite: Name of a major family-group among the Zomi(s), also known as Chins in Myanmar (Burma) and Paite in India.

      So you've experienced an "extreme physical or mental suffering, relating to, or determined by the Sun, whilst amongst a bunch of people in Burma?

      Even if you meant to type QUITE instead of GUITE, "solar agony" still only makes sense if you're referring to extreme sunburn...

      Perhaps you meant "singular agony"? (Which would still be questionable as you can't really experience a singular event multiple times.)

        I don't know what's better; how awesome 'solar agony guite' sounds as a phrase, or how awesome your takedown of it is.

        You've both made my arvo.

        PS He may have meant an obsolete meaning of 'solar' - A loft or upper chamber forming the private accommodation of the head of the household in a medieval hall; a garret room.

          Haha... I'm glad I could improve someone's day.. :)

    I have always used iRip and iExplorer. They both do pretty well too!

      It has been a long time since the last update of SharePod, it no longer work for iDevice with iOS7.9+. For music transfer, you have to use other apps instead nowadays. Tunesgo is a nice app to transfer music from itunes to android and backup up between iPhone and computer.

      Last edited 15/12/15 2:48 pm

    What about things like photos and and notes? When I reconnect to the computer will it erase all this data?

    I've always used TouchCopy, as it lets me transfer literally everything off my iPhone - music, video, photos, apps, SMS, notes, contacts and calendars.

    Well, I used to back up everything with iTransfer.
    Here's a guide about "how to transfer iPhone to new computer".

    You can use Coolmuster iPhone iPad iPod to PC Transfer software to sync iphone data to computer.Such as contacts,music,photos,sms,vidoes,notes,bookmarks ...

    Users can't directly transfer music from iPhone to iTunes because iTunes is a one-way syncing mode, you can only transfer data from iTunes to your iPhone. but if you need to transfer music from iPhone to iTunes, maybe this link wold be helpful:

    Last edited 04/12/15 11:17 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. Seems SharePod becomes a paid program now! It was free years ago.

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