I Can't Sync an iPad

by Andrew Tennyson

In order to transfer content onto an iPad from your computer, you need to sync the devices using iTunes. If you’re having trouble syncing your iPad with your computer, perform a few basic troubleshooting procedures to diagnose and fix the problem.

Basic Troubleshooting

Before proceeding with more complicated solutions, disconnect your iPad from the computer and restart both devices. While the devices are restarting, inspect your USB or Lightning cable for damage or debris. If you have another cable of the same type, try using it instead. Once the computer and iPad have both restarted, reconnect your iPad to your computer using the iPad’s USB cable and launch iTunes on the computer if it does not launch automatically. Select your iPad on the list of devices in iTunes and attempt to sync it again.

Update iTunes

Updating to the latest version of iTunes will often solve synchronization problems. To update iTunes on a Windows 8 computer, launch iTunes, click “Help” on the main menu and select “Check For Updates.” To update iTunes on a Mac running OS X Yosemite, launch the program, click “iTunes” on the main menu along the top of your screen and select “Check for Updates.”

Check Sync Settings

Before you can sync content, you need to enable each type of content you want to sync. Click the tab in iTunes corresponding to the type of content you want to sync. If you want to sync music, for example, click the “Music” tab. Make sure there is a check mark in the “Sync Music” check box. If this box is not checked, the iPad won’t sync music. The same applies to all other content types.

Trusting a Mac

If you’re using a Mac and this is the first time you’ve connected your iPad to it, you need to set up the devices so they trust each another. Connect the USB or Lightning cable to the computer, swipe to unlock the iPad, enter your pass code and tap “Trust” to confirm that the iPad should trust the Mac.

Check the Apple Mobile Device USB Drivers

Apple Mobile Device USB drivers are necessary for your iPad to sync with your computer. To check the status of your drivers, swipe your mouse to the top-right corner of your screen and enter “devmgmt.msc” in the Search charm. Click “Device Manager” and then expand the “Universal Serial Bus Controllers” section. Right-click “Apple Mobile Device USB Driver” and click “Enable.” If the driver is already enabled, click “Update Driver Software” to install the newest available version of the drivers.

Restoring the IPad’s Firmware

If all other procedures fail to solve the sync problem, consider restoring your iPad’s firmware. Be aware, however, that doing so deletes all applications, files and user data from the device. Only use this solution as a last resort, and make sure you back up anything you want to save before proceeding. When you’re ready, open the Settings app on the iPad, tap “General,” select “Reset” and then tap “Erase all content and settings.” After the iPad reboots, you are prompted to set it up again as if it were new.

About the Author

Andrew Tennyson has been writing about culture, technology, health and a variety of other subjects since 2003. He has been published in The Gazette, DTR and ZCom. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and a Master of Fine Arts in writing.

Photo Credits

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