How to Sync Your iPhone Without iTunes (And Erasing All Your Data)

The iPhone is a wonderful smartphone, but it’s got one huge, ugly, glaring flaw – an Achilles’ Heel, if you will.

Yep, I’m talking about iTunes.

No small of amount of irate hair-pulling has been inspired by this piece of software. Same goes for brain aneurysms and smashed keyboards. And all these destructive outbursts of frustration result from the difficulty involved with one – seemingly simple – task: syncing content to your iPhone.

iPhones are only allowed to be synced to one iTunes library at a time. The reasons for Apple placing this restriction on their phones make sense, I guess – they probably don’t want people being able to plug their phone into a friend’s computer to grab their entire music and movie library.

Nope, you’re gonna have to pick up a $5 flash drive from Wal-Mart if you want to do that! Try and hurdle that roadblock, criminal scum…

itunes

This (used to) annoy me to no end.

Still, the restriction is ridiculous, and it’s plagued me to no end ever since I got my first iPhone.

The fact is that there are plenty of legitimate cases where you’d want to be able to sync your iPhone with multiple computers. These include:

  1. You owning more than one computer – “Oh honey, he’s teasing you. Nobody has two television sets.”
  2. Downloading data to a new phone from iCloud, only to realize that iTunes wants to delete it all

There are probably more as well. The first reason really is a pain: My Macbook Air doesn’t have much drive space, so I don’t want to keep my entire media library on it. Still, there are times when I’m traveling and would like to use it to sync something to my phone.

But Apple doesn’t want that. And Apple gets what Apple wants. Yes master, of course I’ll line up on day one to get a new Mac Pro…

Whelp, that means we’re boned, right? Fortunately, no.

Enter iTools

Today I’ll show you a free program called iTools that allows you to add content to your iOS device, sans iTunes.

itools

The iTools interface.

I’ve found iTools to be quite powerful, actually. Here are a few things you can do with it:

  • Manage your applications, and even update them
  • Add and remove media of all types
  • Browse the file system of your iPhone, just like you can with a regular computer
  • Mirror the screen of your iOS device to your computer and record videos – though it’s choppy, and Reflector does it much better
  • Browse and manage your phone’s photo library

Overall, iTools is wonderful. Even though it won’t make toast or help me build an iPhone app, I’m in love with it.

Using it brings me back to the days when cell phones were just for calls, and all my media was loaded onto my Creative Zen Vision M – which acted exactly like a normal drive and would let me use Windows Explorer to edit its contents.

Sigh, what a wonderful device that was…

Anyway, let’s get to the business of using iTools. While there’s a lot you can do with it, I’m just going to show you how to put music onto your iPhone.

Don’t blink, because this is fast and dead easy.

  1. First, download iTools for your computer. There’s both a Mac and a PC version available. I’ve used both and they work well.
  2. Open iTools. There’s no installation on Windows – just run the program and it’ll open up. On Mac, drag it to your Applications folder first.
  3. Connect your iOS device to your computer.
  4. Click the Media tab on the left menu.
  5. Select the type of media you want to add on the right menu – in this case, Music.
  6. Drag an album in via Finder or Windows Explorer.

That’s it! Voilà, the music’s on your phone. Album art and all!

iPhone Music

“Gee Tom, your hands are looking pretty feminine…”

Oh, and if you’d like to get the awesome Majora’s Mask tribute album you see in the screenshot, here it is.

—————–

Thomas Frank is the geek behind College Info Geek. After paying off $14K in student loans before graduating, landing jobs and internships, starting a successful business, and travelling the globe, he's now on a mission to help you build a remarkable college experience as well. Get the Newsletter | Twitter | Instagram

Hey there! Please note that some links in the article may be referral links, meaning that if you buy something through them, I'll earn a commission (at no extra cost to you). This helps to support CIG, but please don't buy anything unless you truly believe it'll benefit you! You can learn more here. Thank you :)

Want to Earn Better Grades?

Did you find this article useful?

Over 150,000 awesome students are learning how to dominate their classes, get more done, and land the jobs they want - and you should too.

Join in, and I'll also send you a free copy of my book on earning better grades!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

10 Comments:
  1. I also hate to use iTunes because every sync will eraser the files of device. So i device to find out a alternative program, FonePaw iOS Transfer is my choice to sync iPhone files.

    • It should! I have an iPhone 5 and it works perfectly for me. However, I haven’t seen any sort of support being offered for this app, so I think we’re pretty much on our own if there are problems.

  2. man this is working nice on ma iphone 5 awesome dude thank for your help 🙂 like to visit on your website .

  3. Just a heads up, the day you posted this, we used iTools to extract an app to retrieve a local storage database from an app to troubleshoot a user issue. Thanks, you saved us time and cash, right in the knick of time too.

  4. I’m so glad I read this. Going to be getting an iPhone 5 soon and iTools will be so helpful. I don’t use iTunes at all, can’t be bothered to pay a buck for a single song (Spotify ftw) so now I could even uninstall from my PC completely (though I probably won’t…).

    • I’m also a huge Spotify fan; I listen to such a ridiculously wide array of music that their service is a godsend for me. I still use iTunes to buy the albums of my favorite bands, but even then it’s just to support them – I still usually listen to them on Spotify.

// Read This Next

42 College Tips I Learned Freshman Year

Want more? Join over 150,000 students and grab my free book on earning better grades  →