Fix iTunes refraining from syncing the iPhone

Posted by: gdelmatto  :  Category: Bits and Bytes, Hardware, HowTo's, OS X

Out of a sudden iTunes struck me with this error: The iPhone “…” could not be synced because the sync session failed to start

I did web research, but did not really find a proper solution to this.
Well, there were a few which either did some funny things on Windows (I run a Mac ….), or recommended to restore the iPhone from a previous backup, removing just one app, installing just one new app through the iTunes store, and, well, some other curious and strange things.

After all, I thought to give the restore thing a try, however that changed nothing. Same message came up. So I disabled WLAN sync as to not interfere with the iPhone being hooked up by the cable already — again to no avail.

So I decided to look into the iTunes internals. There I found a primising folder within the Application Library folder called SyncServices. It was not that big, around 6 megs. But inside there where clear traces of synchronisation stuff.

My solution to the above error was then to quit iTunes, remove the SyncServices folders completely. And voila, iTunes would just start syncing my iPhone as if nothing bad had ever happened.

2 Responses to “Fix iTunes refraining from syncing the iPhone”

  1. Miles Wolbe Says:

    Did you encounter any unpleasantness later? Apple seems to strongly discourage deleting the SyncServices folder:

    Mac OS X: Do not remove or modify the SyncServices folder

    They recommend resetting it instead:

    Mac OS X: Resetting the SyncServices folder

    10.8: /System/Library/Frameworks/SyncServices.framework/Versions/A/Resources/ full

    10.7 & 10.6: Use “Reset Sync Services” option from Sync menu bar icon.

  2. admin Says:

    Well, no. It fixed my problem, and that was about it.

    The point os, that the reset sync services you pointed out, didn’t work for me.
    I should have had mentioned that more clearly in my writeup.

    I needed a fix for something that abviously broke so terribly, that none of the recommended approaches would rule it out.

    In general, however, I must admit that you’re absolutely right. Always try the official solutions first. But sometimes they just don’t work 😉