Prevent iTunes 10 from syncing iPhone

12.01.10 |  Category: iPhone and iTunes, Without iTunes |  Author:
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How to prevent iTunes 10 from syncing iPhone

Many readers encounter problems with iTunes 10 asking to synchronize / delete iPhone library when linked to another computer

This tutorial shows How to prevent iTunes 10 from trying to sync / erase iPhone on a different computer

When you sync your iPhone to a computer and have checked the "Manually manage music and videos" option on that computer, you cannot activate this option for other computers ( since iTunes 10.x )

Then, you need to clone the Library Persistend ID for OSX and iTunes 10 as follows:

On the second computer ( where you cannot activate the "Manually manage music and videos" option ):

  • Close iTunes
  • Locate your iTunes Music folder ( usually My Documents/My Music/iTunes, if not, find the path in iTunes->Edit->Preferences->Advanced )
  • Open "iTunes Music Library.xml" (do not confound with "iTunes Library.xml" ) in a text editor such as Notepad ( to access Notepad, type Windows key + R and type notepad or click Start->Programs->Accessories )
  • Replace the key under "Library Persistent ID" with the value from the same file of your first computer
  • Also replace the path to your Music folder one line above if different from the first computer ( typically when switching from XP to 7 )
  • Save
  • Open "iTunes Library.itl" in Notepad
  • Corrupt it by deleting a few lines and typing some dummy text
  • Save
  • Open iTunes

iTunes now recognizes the corrupt file and rebuilds your Library with the new persistent ID from the .xml file. After that, you will be able to enable the "Manually manage music and videos" option without being prompted to Erase and Sync your data

Notes & possible issues

iTunes Library.itl is located in the following locations

  • Windows XP: \Documents and Settings\[your username]\My Documents\My Music\
  • Windows Vista: \Users\[your username]\Music\
  • Windows 7: \Users\[your username]\My Music\
  • Mac OS X: /Users/[your username]/Music
iPhone Expert

Mike Johnson

Founder and Editor of has a sincere desire to provide readers with honest and useful solutions for their iPhone
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17 Responses to Prevent iTunes 10 from syncing iPhone

  1. Darrin Suzuki says:

    YOU ARE A FREAKING GENIUS!!!! Thank you SO MUCH.. iPhone 4 and iTunes 10 successfully sync’d


  2. Gurjap says:

    OMG man i luv u (no homo) ur alife saver

  3. iphone says:

    i have the same problem but my first laptop was reformatted and so i cant find the “Library Persistent ID”

  4. Neerjq says:

    Not so worried about music. How can I keep my data on e.g. GoodReader (PDF files) and other edited data-files with new sync to new computer. Losing vital data now would be disastrous.

  5. Sanjana says:

    OMG!! God bless you……:D

  6. sach says:

    what if i replaced the itunes in the same laptop after rebooting? i dont know the number

  7. Sathish says:

    Awesome.. it worked for me…

    Earlier i tried with hexedit of the “iTunes Library.itl ” which didnt work for me..

    thx a lot..

  8. John D says:

    Dude! I LOVE you. It worked! This is the only resource I could find online that actually offers a make-sense solution for the lack of being able to sync with your old itunes. My PC just crashed so I was out of luck, and this worked! Thanks man 🙂

  9. Raver says:

    Few additional steps that may be required if iTunes is freshly installed on second computer:

    1. First copy the whole iTunes folder from first computer.
    2. Corrupt .itl file mentioned above.
    3. Launch iTunes.
    4. Close iTunes and then follow the steps mentioned above.

  10. Ashley says:

    just like someone above me, i don’t know the name of the file from the original computer,
    is there any way to do it without the name of that file???
    pleaaase heeelp!

  11. Austin says:

    Just wanted to thank you so much for helping me.. You seriously made so many things easier in my life 😀 Now I don’t have to switch over 50 gigs to my laptop ! Thanks again !

  12. Rj says:

    i got all the applications installed on my phone from an i-store. but now when i want to sync some music from my computer, it says all the applications will be lost… is there any way to put the music without deleting the applications?

  13. Amy says:

    This didn’t work for me. I tried it twice. Itunes just keeps fixing the script that’s wrong and still won’t allow my phone to manually sync without deleting its contents.

  14. Amy says:

    I can’t find my iTunes Library.itl can someone help?

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