How to Recover Media from an iPhone/iPad/iPod and Sync to a New Computer

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What do you do when you computer crashes and you lose all your data?  Or, maybe you no longer have access to the computer with the iTunes installation.  I recently recovered my computer from a hard drive failure where I lost a ton of files. I had most of my movies and important things in backups, but all my music and books were on my iPhone and iPad.  iTunes will only allow you to recover media that was purchased through the iTunes store.  With a simple program, I was able to deal with a warning like the image below and copy all of the other files from my iPhone and iPad to my computer and then back into a fresh installation of iTunes.


The process involves transferring purchases to iTunes, copying files from the device, then using iTunes to erase and re-sync the device. The steps are fairly simple and can be found after the break.

  1. First start by connecting the device to your computer and opening itTunes
  2. Find the device in the left pane, right click it, and select Transfer Purchases. (In iTunes 11 you will need to look in the file menu for devices and then transfer purchases)
  3. Next, authorize the computer for items purchased from the iTunes store. (this can be found in the file menu under store)
  4. While still in iTunes, backup the device

This is the part where we will copy the files from the device before we erase it.

  1. Download and install i-FunBox (a simple and free file manager for ios devices
  2. Use i-FunBox to read and copy and files you want to keep from your device to a location on your computer.
  3. Next use iTunes to restore the device from the backup you took in an earlier step.
  4. Once complete, go into iTunes and sync the device. This is where you will erase the device and sync with the new iTunes library.
  5. Now that your device is connected to the new iTunes library, you can move the files you copied back into iTunes and sync them again back to your device.

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Matt Gonzalez

Currently working as the IT Director for Vitech Corporation, a leading Systems Engineering solutions provider.  

I train at Gold's Gym 6 days a week with emphasis on the core lifts. (deadlifts, squats, and presses)