How to Sync an iPhone With Media Center

by Andrew Mikael

Windows Media Center, a built-in component of several versions of Windows, provides a home theater-style interface for managing media. An iPhone can store music, video, podcasts and other media files compatible with the Windows Media Center software. While the iPhone cannot synchronize directly with Windows Media Center, the program can still import iPhone media after it synchronizes with another program. You will need a third-party program to make the initial synchronization. To sync media from Windows Media Center to the iPhone, you can use Apple' officially supported iTunes software.

iPhone Library to Windows Media Center


Download a third-party iPhone transfer program. While Apple's iTunes can sync media from a computer, it cannot reverse the process to sync from an iPhone. Programs such as CopyTrans, Media Widget and Xilisoft iPhone Transfer all have free-trial versions available for download.


Connect the iPhone to the computer using the included USB charging cable. If you have iTunes installed, it will automatically start. Close iTunes and start the transfer program.


Save the iPhone's media to a new folder on the hard drive. If you create multiple folders for different artists or media types, keep them all in one directory for ease of transfer to Windows Media Center.


Open Windows Media Center and highlight the "Tasks" menu. Open the "Settings" option on the far left. Select "Library Setup."


Click the "Add a folder to watch" button and click "Next." Select "Add a folder on this computer" and click "Next" again. Navigate to the directory you saved the iPhone's media to and click the corresponding checkbox. Click "Next," then "Finish."


Return to the Windows Media Center music, video or image library to access the iPhone's media. As long as you sync the iPhone to same folder, Windows Media Center will recognize any new media each time it opens.

Windows Media Center Library to iPhone


Download iTunes from the Apple website. ITunes is free software, and runs on any version of Windows that includes Windows Media Center. Run the installer to place the software on the system's hard drive.


Open iTunes and click the "File" menu. Select "Add folder to library." Navigate to the Windows Media Center folders on the hard drive and select them. Hold the "Ctl" key to select multiple items. By default, Windows Media Center stores media in the "Music," "Pictures," and "Videos" folders located in the current user's folder. Click "Open" to add the files.


Connect the iPhone to the computer using the included USB cable and wait for iTunes to recognize the device. If the iPhone is set to sync automatically, wait for the transfer to finish. If the iPhone is set to sync manually, drag the new media files from the iTunes library to the iPhone's icon in the left frame. ITunes may need to convert some files to the compatible format before the transfer.


Repeat the process when you add new music to Windows Media Center, and reconnect the iPhone to transfer the new content.

About the Author

Andrew Mikael began writing in 2010. His articles appear on various websites, where he specializes in media and related technology. Mikael has a Bachelor of Arts in film from Montana State University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Chris Hondros/Getty Images News/Getty Images