How to Sync iPhone Over Wi-Fi

sync iPhone over Wi-Fi
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The iPhone makes it easy to do almost anything wirelessly, including syncing your iPhone to your computer. The standard way to sync devices is using the USB cable that comes with your iPhone. But did you know with just one setting change, you can sync your iPhone over Wi-Fi to your computer? Here's what you need to know to make it happen. 

What You'll Need

To use Wi-Fi syncing for your iPhone, you'll need the following:

  • An iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 5 or higher
  • iTunes 10.6 or higher running on your computer
  • Your iPhone and computer connected to the same Wi-Fi network

Syncing iPhone Over Wi-Fi: First Time Set Up

Believe it or not, to sync your iPhone wirelessly you need to use a wire—at least one more time. That's because you need to change a setting in iTunes in order to enable wireless syncing. Do this once and you can go wireless every time afterwards.

  1. Begin by plugging your iPhone or iPod touch into your computer via USB in the normal way that you'd sync your device
  2. In iTunes, go to the iPhone management screen. You may need to click on the iPhone icon in the top left corner, just beneath the playback controls 
  3. When you're on this screen, look for the Option box towards the bottom of the screen. In that box, check Sync with this iPhone over Wi-Fi
  4. Click the Apply button in the bottom right corner to save that change
  1. Eject your iPhone by clicking the the up-facing arrow next to the device icon in the left-hand column of iTunes. Then unplug your iPhone from your computer.

How to Sync Your iPhone Over Wi-Fi

With that setting changed and your iPhone no longer connected to your computer, you're ready to sync over Wi-Fi.

 As I mentioned, you'll never need to change that setting on this computer again. From now on, just follow these steps to sync:

  1. If you're not sure, confirm that your computer and iPhone are connected to the same Wi-Fi network (for instance, you can't be on Wi-Fi at work and sync with your computer at home)
  2. Next, tap the Settings app on your iPhone
  3. Tap General
  4. Scroll down, then tap iTunes Wi-Fi Sync
  5. The iTunes Wi-Fi Sync screen lists the computers you can sync your iPhone with, when it was last synced, and a Sync Now button. Tap Sync Now
  6. The button changes to read Cancel Sync. Below it, a status message updating you on the progress of the sync appears. A Message displays when the sync is complete. You're done!

Tips for Syncing iPhone Over Wi-Fi

  1. Syncing your iPhone wirelessly is slower than doing it via USB. So, if you have a ton of content to sync, you may want to use the traditional method.
  2. You don't have to manually sync. When your iPhone is connected to a power source and is on the same Wi-Fi network as your computer, it syncs automatically.
  3. Using Wi-Fi sync, you can sync your phone or iPod touch to more than one computer—as long as those computers are authorized with the same Apple ID.
  1. You can't change your sync settings on your iPhone or iPod touch. That can only be done in iTunes.

Syncing iPhone with iCloud

There is another kind of wireless syncing. You don't have to sync with a computer or iTunes at all. If you'd rather, you can sync all of your iPhone's data to iCloud. Some people prefer this option. For others that don't have computers at all, it's the only choice. 

Read this article to lean more about how to back up your iPhone to iCloud.

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