Set Up Wireless Syncing in iTunes 10.5 & iOS 5 for iPhone, iPad, & iPod

Wireless syncing requires iOS 5 and iTunes 10.5 or later, be sure you have both installed before attempting to enable syncing through wi-fi or else the option won’t be visible. One of the biggest changes iOS 5 brings for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users is Wi-Fi Sync. Instead, you need only to be on the same Wi-Fi network for iTunes to see your device and sync it. Here's how it works.


One of the very new ‘PC Free’ features of iOS 5 is Wi-Fi sync – wireless sync between your iPad or iPhone and your PC.

This will allow you to keep photos and videos, music, and apps in sync without having to connect your iPad to your PC via the sync /charge cable.

Once this feature is enabled, every time you connect your iPad to a power source it will automatically sync and and backup any new content purchased on the iPad to iTunes. You can also manually force a sync by going to Settings > General > iTunes Wi-Fi Sync and tapping ‘Sync Now’.

From iTunes 10.5+
  • Connect the iOS device to the computer
  • Open iTunes and click on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch from the left side of the window
  • Click on the “Summary” tab in iTunes
  • Scroll down and click the checkbox next to “Sync with this iPhone over Wi-Fi” 


You can also double-check that this is working by disconnecting the iPhone or iPad and then choosing the “Sync” option from iTunes on the Mac or PC, you’ll see the familiar sync screen on your device.

Disconnect your device and the next time you plug it into a wall outlet, iTunes will initiate a sync over your Wi-Fi network. Do note that iTunes will need to be running when you plug in your iOS handset.

Alternatively, you can sync an iOS device from your PC or Mac without the device plugged in. If you have installed new apps since your last sync, you'll see a Sync button in the lower-right corner of your devices Summary page in iTunes.

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