How to Sync the iPhone 4 to iTunes

by Mary Jo Megginson

The method of moving content back and forth between your iPhone 4 and your computer is known as syncing. Using iTunes to sync your iPhone can be useful for creating back-up copies of your iPhone's content, including music, contacts, applications and videos. The first time you sync your iPhone with iTunes you will be asked to set the preferences for future synchronizations, but once these preferences are set, your iPhone will automatically sync every time you connect it to your computer.

Connect your iPhone to your computer using the USB cable that came with it. iTunes should automatically open.

Select your iPhone under "Devices" on the left hand side of the iTunes window.

Click each of the tabs that appear on your iTunes screen, including "Apps," "Music," "Books" and "Photos." Under each tab, click the buttons to select what types of content you want to sync.

Click "Apply" once you are finished setting your syncing preferences.

Click to select the type of sync you want to perform. You will be asked whether you want to merge the data, replace the data on your iPhone or replace the data on your computer. If you choose one of the replacement options, the sync will overwrite all of the selected content on either your computer or iPhone.


  • check Make sure you have the most recent version of iTunes on your computer before syncing your iPhone. To check if there have been any iTunes updates, open iTunes on your computer, click on the Help menu on a PC or the iTunes menu on a Mac, and select "Check for Updates."
  • check To transfer content you have purchased from the iTunes store from your iPhone to your computer, you must first authorize your computer in iTunes. Under the Store menu, select "Authorize Computer." Enter your Apple ID when requested, then click "Authorize."


  • close Avoid losing important information on your iPhone by syncing it with iTunes at least once a week.

About the Author

Mary Jo Megginson has been writing since 1992 in academic and professional settings. Her experience ranges from writing policy documents and text panels for museums to technical writing for a major software company. She holds a Master of Arts in anthropology from McMaster University and a Master of Museum Studies from the University of Toronto.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images