The Ultimate iPhone User Guide: How to sync and transfer media

What’s that you’ve gotten yourself a shiny new iPhone? Our comprehensive guide to getting the most out of your iPhone will have you up and running in no time.

Transferring stuff to your iPhone

If you use iTunes on your desktop computer for playing music already transferring that music to your iPhone is fairly straightforward. You can choose to sync all of your music videos and photos automatically – a good option if you don’t have a large collection of media and want any new content to automatically be transferred to your iPhone every time you sync it. The other option is setting it as a manual sync which lets you pick and choose what music and movies you transfer to your iPhone. With your iPhone connected to your computer click on its name in the left panel then scroll to the Options section on the main window. If you want to do a manual sync check the ‘Manually manage music and videos’ option. You can then drag and drop music and movies onto the name of your iPhone in the left-hand pane to transfer them over.

To set up automatic syncing for music tap the Music tab at the top of the window and check the ‘Sync Music option’. Note: any music you already have loaded on your iPhone will be erased once you select this option but it shouldn’t be an issue if all of that music is still on the computer you’re using anyway. To sync Movies TV Shows and Photos check the ‘Sync’ options for those sections respectively. There are options to narrow down the content that’s synced for each content type so you don’t use up all of your iPhone’s storage and you can keep an eye on how much storage is left on your iPhone as well as see a breakdown of how much storage each type of content is taking up by using the capacity gauge at the bottom of the screen.

If your iPhone is running iOS 5 and you have a wireless network setup you can sync your iPhone with the desktop iTunes without physically connecting it to your computer. To set this up connect your iPhone to your computer (the one and only time you’ll need to do this) click its name in the left-hand pane of iTunes select the ‘Summary’ link at the top of the window then scroll down to the options. Check the ‘Sync with this iPhone over Wi-Fi’ option. With that option selected the name of your iPhone will appear in the left-hand pane of iTunes even when it’s not  physically connected (so long as it’s within range of your wireless network and your iPhone has Wi-Fi switched on) and you can transfer and sync content to it as normal. Your iPhone will automatically sync with your desktop PC whenever it’s connected to a power source but you can manually trigger a sync from your iPhone (by going to Settings > General > iTunes Wi-Fi Sync and tapping ‘Sync Now’) or from your desktop PC (by selecting the name of your iPhone in the left-hand pane and clicking the ‘Sync’ button in the bottom right corner of the window).

Need to know more? Check out the rest of our Ultimate iPhone User Guide right here.