What to do if your iPhone 11 won’t sync with iTunes

iTunes plays a vital role when dealing with major iOS problems. Aside from letting you add new content, iTunes is also a primary tool being used to repair complex iOS errors and restore an iOS device back to a working state whenever a major issue arises. Nonetheless, having a totally problem-free iTunes experience is not always a guarantee. In fact, many people have encountered various problems when trying to use iTunes with an iOS device. Among the common issues faced by many iPhone owners is on syncing errors. In case you would face the same problem wherein you cannot get your new iPhone 11 to sync with iTunes, I’ve mapped out some basic procedures and potential solutions you can use. Read on to find out why your iPhone won’t sync with iTunes and how to fix it.

cannot sync iPhone 11 with itunes - syncing error

Possible causes

Identifying the root cause of the problem is imperative to finding quick solutions. Thus, I’ve listed the common reasons as to why an iPhone wouldn’t be able to sync with iTunes as it should. And these are as follows:

  • Something’s wrong with the iPhone settings. There might be some settings on your iPhone that aren’t properly configured and thereby results in syncing issues. Among the settings you should consider modifying are contents and privacy restrictions on your iPhone.
  • iPhone system is glitching. Software-related issues transpiring on the iPhone may also cause syncing errors. Minor software glitches are often times to blame.
  • System conflicts. This is when iTunes doesn’t meet the minimum system requirements and therefore appears to be incompatible with the current software version of your iPhone. You will likely to end up having the same problem if you haven’t yet updated your iPhone software to the latest version.
  • Computer-related issues. Driver issues, security settings, and random software errors on the computer system can also be the main reason as to why iTunes won’t sync with your iOS device.
  • Server downtime. Apple services like iTunes rely on the main server. Thus, if something goes wrong with the Apple server, relevant services are also temporarily inaccessible. You can view the current status of iTunes through Apple support’s service status page.

For iTunes problems attributed to server downtime, there’s not much can be done on your end but to wait until Apple’s software engineers addressed them.

Troubleshooting an iPhone that failed to sync with iTunes

Before you start ruling out software-related factors that might have prevented your iPhone from syncing with iTunes or vice versa, check and ensure the physical connection. Make sure that the USB cable or Lightning cable you are using has no sort of damage and that it’s functional. Do the same with the USB port(s) that the cable is plugged into. You can try switching to other USB ports on the computer to see if that makes some positive outcome. Or try using an alternative USB cable or Lightning cable, if you have one.

Once you’ve ruled out a faulty connection but still can’t get your iPhone to sync with iTunes, you can go ahead and start eliminating software-related factors with these subsequent solutions.

First solution: Restart your iPhone (soft reset).

To get rid of random firmware flaws that might have hindered your iPhone from syncing with iTunes the way it should, perform a soft reset. Aside from dumping junk files and other caches, a soft reset also refreshes all system functions and clears out any existing software flaws without affecting any saved information. Hence, it’s the first possible solution I suggest. Just follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either of the Volume button at the side of your phone for a few seconds.
  2. When the Slide to Power Off appears on your screen, release both buttons.
  3. Drag the power off slider to the right to turn off the phone.
  4. Wait for about 30 seconds then press and hold the Side/Power button until you see the Apple logo.

After your iPhone reboots, reconnect it to the computer and then see if it’s already able to sync with iTunes.

Second solution: Disable restrictions on your iPhone 11.

Services like App Store and iTunes may also not work if they’re restricted on your iPhone. This is usually the case if restrictions are enabled on your iPhone 11. To clear this out, follow these steps to check and manage restriction settings on your iOS device:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select Screen Time.
  3. Scroll to Privacy & Content Restrictions then tap the switch next to it to disable the feature. Doing so will lift any restrictions for iOS apps and services on your iPhone 11.

After making necessary adjustments to your iPhone’s restriction settings, reconnect it to the computer and see if it’s already syncing with iTunes.

Third solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone 11.

Settings that are messed up or not properly configured on your iPhone can also be the underlying cause. To rule this out, try to reset all settings on your iPhone 11 to erase all current system configuration and customized options. There’s no need to back up files beforehand since this reset doesn’t affect any saved information on your phone’s internal memory. Just follow these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings.
  5. Enter your passcode if prompted to continue.
  6. Then tap Reset all settings again to confirm that you want to reset your iPhone’s system settings to defaults.

When the reset is finished, your iPhone reboots automatically and then restores the default system preferences. To use necessary features like those that are disabled by default, you’ll have to re-enable them first.

Fourth solution: Update your iPhone software to the latest iOS version available.

Software updates released by Apple periodically may also contain the required solution, especially if major iOS flaws are the underlying cause. If your phone doesn’t have any problem connecting to the Internet and is sufficient charged, go ahead and check for any software update with these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap Software Update.

If an update is available, read and review the details then follow the given instructions to download and install the update file when ready.

Be sure to reboot your iPhone after updating to make sure that all new system changes are properly implemented.


If none of that helps, then it’s time to do some basic troubleshooting on your computer system. The problem may not be with your iPhone but rather on the computer you are using. In this case, you can try performing basic troubleshooting methods to eliminate the usual culprits.

You can start by quitting iTunes and restarting the computer. This should help if the problem is due to the iTunes app that’s crashing or the computer system glitching.

Also ensure that you are using the latest version of iTunes software to evade from any sort of system conflicts.

Making adjustments to your computer’s security settings like temporarily disabling any security tools such as antivirus software and firewall can also help.

If you’re using iTunes on a Windows computer, driver management is also recommended. A software driver refers to a software that’s programmed to provide an interface to control and manage a specific hardware or external device. For a Windows computer to recognize your iPhone, it must have the Apple driver installed. If this driver has been corrupted, then that’s when you need to update or reinstall it.

For more detailed procedures on how to configure iTunes, security settings, and drivers on a Windows computer, you can contact Microsoft Support and ask further assistance.

Is your iPhone 11 still not syncing with iTunes?

If nothing else works and you still couldn’t get your iPhone to sync with iTunes, then you better escalate the problem to Apple Support. There might be some temporary issues like server downtime affecting iTunes and other Apple services.

You can also resort to using third-party software as an alternative solution while iTunes is still not working.

ALSO READ: How to fix App Store not working on iPhone 11