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How to Sync Your iPhone with a New Mac or PC

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Depending how long it has been since you synced your iPhone, you might need to sync up to a new computer to get the new iOS 5 software update.

If you have your old computer, the process is a bit easier because you can transfer your music files over with an external hard drive.

If the only copy of your music files is on your iPhone or iPad, you will need to use a special tool to manually move them over to your new computer.

This guide is also helpful if you are switching from a Mac to a PC and want to change which computer your iPhone will wirelessly sync with.

You can manually move some of your files and information to a new Mac or PC, but the easiest way to start using your iPhone or iPad with a new computer is to get an app like iExplorer or PhoneView.

Be sure that you use one of these tools and follow the steps outlined below before you sync with iTunes on your new computer.

iPhone to New Mac

If you have a Mac, or are switching to a mac, PhoneView is your best bet. This app is $19.99 with a free 7-day demo to let you try things out.

Phoneview how to

With this app, you can copy all of your important files from your iPhone to your new Mac. PhoneView backs up the following items to your Mac;

  • SMS and iMessages
  • Photos
  • Phone Voicemail
  • Call History
  • Third Party Data
  • Full Contact List
  • Mobile Safari Bookmarks
  • Copy Movies and Photos to Your New Computer
There’s no need to jailbreak your iPhone to make this work. After you use this tool to move items to your new computer, you should be able to use it to send them back.

iPhone to New PC

iPhone to new computer

On the Windows Side, iExplorer is a great option. When you plug in your iPhone, iPhone Explorer will give you access to many of your important files such as;

  • Photos
  • Music
  • Video
  • SMS and Address Book With Jailbreak
  • Third Party App Data
  • And more

Backup Contacts on iPhone

If you just want to backup your contacts from your iPhone, and restore them to a new iPhone, you can use iDrive Lite, a free iPhone app.

Additional Steps

In addition to using these tools, you need to make sure that you have the information backed up.

You can follow the directions in this video to transfer the apps and other purchased from your iPhone to your new computer.

While you can download your apps again for free, you need to make sure you have your app data backed up. Your app data is where you have your actual data — like all of your Angry Bird scores and levels.

Josh Smith is Editor of GottaBeMobile and Notebooks.com. He's always looking for ways to help you get the most of your gear and loves to talk about tech on radio and TV. Josh uses an iOS and Android devices as well as Mac and Windows Computers. Josh Smith on Google+ Email: [email protected]

3 Comments

  1. Erika Elliott

    02/11/2012 at 8:42 am

    hi Josh,

    My Apple laptop “”died”  last week……  I have two older versions of a Power Mac G4  -  Mac OSX version 10.4 with tower.  They belonged to my neighbour.    His name is still comes up on screen although I have put in my name in accounts.  I can’t seem to load Itunes?  Or load music etcer tera from my Iphone.   He has Itune logo on his dock but its wiped.  How do I load my music?  

    Also what software updates can I load maximum version?  Up to 10.5?
    Many thanks for your help.

    Erika Elliott

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