iOS 5: How to Use Wi-Fi Sync with iTunes

For those using the new iTunes 10.5 and running iOS 5 on their iPad or iPhone, you can pull off one of the most requested new features – syncing your device without tethering to a computer. Wi-Fi sync will keep your device backed up over your home or office Wi-Fi network.

First, a few requirements. You have to be running iTunes 10.5 on the computer – Windows or Mac. I would advise that your Mac should probably be running the latest version of OS X to make it go more smoothly. The iOS device must be updated with iOS 5 – not an easy task on day one, based on our own staff’s experience and apparently our readers too.

Finally, have both the computer running iTunes 10.5 and the iOS device on the same network.

Here’s how to set up WiFi Sync for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch on iOS 5:

  1. Fire up iTunes on the computer with which you want to sync.
  2. Connect the device to the computer with your USB to Dock cable and perform at least one sync. This has to be done before you can wirelessly sync.
  3. In iTunes go to the Summary page of your device and under Options at the bottom check Sync with this [device] over Wi-Fi (device will say either iPad, iPhone or iPod)
  4. On your iOS device open Settings
  5. Tap on General
  6. Tap on iTunes Wi-Fi Sync
  7. Choose the computer you want to sync with
  8. Plug the device into a power source. Some have said this was a requirement, but I am able to sync without it plugged in.
  9. Tap the Sync button

iTunes Wi-Fi sync settings

You are now ready to sync without connecting your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch to your computer.

Now, if you want to sync you can go into the Settings of your iOS device and choose General and then iTunes Wi-Fi Sync. Tap on Sync Now and it will start.

I was really excited about this feature and am really glad to have it. It seems to work well, although I’ve experienced a few glitches in the few times I’ve tried to make it work. You won’t want to do a major sync, with lots of content this way, the process can move slowly.