How to sync an iPhone with two (or more) Computers

(Or, How to sync an iPhone with one computer and manually manage music and videos on another).

Note: This tutorial allows you to add music/videos/podcasts from multiple machines. If you just want to sync PIM (Contacts/Calenders etc) on one machine and media on another there’s a simpler way.  On the computer you want to sync contacts/calendar with select only these items and perform a sync. Now, on the second machine enable Music/Photos/Etc and perform a second sync. You will be warned the media library will be deleted, but as there’s no media this is fine :)

Because I do most of my music listening at work and my Calendar/Address book are kept in Outlook I have my iPhone setup to sync with my office PC.  When I’m at home however I find I also want to put music/podcasts/videos on my iPhone for the weekend or trips.

Normally it’s only possible to sync media on an iPhone with one computer. If you try to use a second computer you get the warning below that "the iPhone XXX is synced with another iTunes library. Do you want to erase this iPhone and sync with this iTunes library"?


However, I’ve found an easy fix for this. In the instructions below I’ll show how to modify any iTunes Library so it can also be synced with your iPhone. You can then either manually manage your iPhone on a second computer, or sync different data on different machines (E.g. Music at home, Contacts/Calendar at work).

The instructions below use the example of modifying the iTunes library on my home Mac to work with my existing iPhone/PC setup. If your existing library is on a Mac, or both machines are of the same type, then the steps are identical.


  • On the PC you can find your iTunes folder in your "My Music" (XP) or "Music" (Vista) directory. On the Mac it is in your Music directory.
  • For the editing part, I recommend UltraEdit on the PC and a combination of TextExit / HexEdit on the Mac. Any hex editor will do, and you only need to edit files on the second machine.
  • After completing these steps you will be able to sync your iPhone with both computers, either by normal syncing or choosing one machine to manually manage your music and videos. Unless you also keep your music libraries in sync, I recommend you do not attempt to normal sync the same types of data on both machines.

Backup Your Library

On the machine you want to sync with, backup "iTunes Music Library.xml" and "iTunes Music Library" (Tunes Music Library.itl on PC) to a safe location. These are the files you will be modifying.

1) Find your iTunes Library ID

On the machine your iPhone currently syncs with, open "iTunes Music Library.xml" with a text editor and find the entry between the <string></string> tags, after "Library Persistent ID". In the example below this is 8B6C633F7DACB74B. Copy this entry exactly to a piece of paper, email, temporary file etc. You can then close this file.


2) Change your Library ID

iTunes stores your library information in two places. An XML file and a binary file. You now need to change the ID in both so they match your other library.

Make sure iTunes is not running.

On the machine you want to sync with open "iTunes Music Library.xml" in a text editor. Again, find the entry between the <string></string> tags after "Library Persistent ID" and copy this entry exactly. This time you can use the clipboard if you wish.

When you have a copy, replace this entry with the one you copied in part 1. Make sure you do not change anything else, and the length of the entry is 16 characters/digits. Save this file and close it.


In the Hex Editor, open "iTunes Music Library" (Tunes Music Library.itl on PC).

Select "Find and Replace" from the Edit menu. Make sure "Hex" matching is selected (not ASCII). In "Find" enter the ID you took a note of in Part 1. In Replace, enter the ID you copied at the start of Part 2. Choose Replace All, there should be one match.

Save this file and close it.



Start iTunes on the machine you wish to sync with and plug in your iPhone. When you select "Manually manage music and videos" you will no longer be prompted to erase your data, nor will the files on your iPhone be grayed out.

Additional Notes

Previously I’ve found that intentionally corrupting the binary "iTunes Library" file (e.g. replacing it with a text file) would cause iTunes to regenerate it using the XML data. This no longer appears to work for me in iTunes 7.6.1 and the "repaired" file only contains a few songs. This may be because I keep my music on an external drive but I cannot say for sure. Either way, patching the binary file does not take long and removes any chance of later problems.


  • mystery
    April 1, 2008 - 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Well Done! worked exactly as described.

    • mnu
      July 20, 2011 - 4:29 pm | Permalink

      y don’t you guys just copy “itunes music library.xml” from your computer into the new computer or laptop you want to sync with. replace it and enjoyeee. ….

      • nooooo
        July 27, 2011 - 4:01 am | Permalink

        you need to copy both the xml file and the itl file, worked for me :)

        • March 27, 2013 - 7:00 am | Permalink

          But that won’t sync both machines. It will replace the files on the second machine with those on the first, won’t it?

        • May 28, 2013 - 8:12 am | Permalink

          ok, when i plug my iphone into my work computer (not synced with) it doesn’t show anything related to music. It only shows pictures. any ideas? i cannot change anything on my iphone…manually manage music or whatever the one person said to try. aarrgghhh

  • Byran
    April 11, 2008 - 5:06 pm | Permalink

    You sir, are a genius. Freakin’ FINALLY!! I have been looking for a way to put music on my iPhone by using my MacBook Air ever since I got the damned thing.

    Here’s the thing- I wanted music I downloaded using my Air to be on my MacBook Pro, but not vice versa b/c my Pro holds the 30+Gigs of music. I finally found a way to get new music from my Air onto the Pro with the ratings intact- msg me if you want details. I’ve been looking for your solution to the iPhone thing forever.


  • Stef
    April 12, 2008 - 7:32 pm | Permalink

    You’re a genius! Been looking to do this since weeks! Thanks a lot!!

  • Deimos
    April 15, 2008 - 11:23 am | Permalink

    El Perfecto !!!

    Thanks a million. It worked like a charm.

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  • Drew
    May 13, 2008 - 7:47 am | Permalink

    Caution. This didn’t work for me. iMac and older Ti book.

    • mnu
      July 20, 2011 - 4:30 pm | Permalink

      just copy “itunes music library.xml” from your computer into the new computer or laptop you want to sync with. replace it and enjoyeee. ….

      • JT
        August 16, 2011 - 4:00 pm | Permalink

        Does copying the itl and xml files from an older imac with an older version of itunes make a difference? I have a Powermac iMac with OSX Tiger and iTunes 7 or 8 I think. Will this still work if I am using a new Intel iMac with OSX Lion and iTunes 10?

  • Byron
    May 31, 2008 - 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Woop, it worked, (desktop pc and a mac now manually managing music.)

  • Ichi
    June 1, 2008 - 9:33 am | Permalink


  • Batman
    June 8, 2008 - 6:04 pm | Permalink

    You Sir Are a Freakin GENIUS !! …. You made it simple.
    Thank You , Thank You !!! sooo much. Just GENIUS !!

  • June 9, 2008 - 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Awsome. Thanks for the tip!

  • DRE
    June 23, 2008 - 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Where does Tunes Music Library.itl located on PC?

  • vok
    July 9, 2008 - 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Thank You , Sir

  • July 13, 2008 - 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Awesome, I’ve been looking for how to do this, thanks!

  • Sherwin
    July 14, 2008 - 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the tip. Just want to get some clarification, Under the Summary-tab for each iTunes library (i.e. PC and Mac), we just need to have “manually manage music and videos” turned on only correct? (“Automatically sync when the iPhone is connected” depends on the user of course?)

  • Sherwin
    July 14, 2008 - 11:35 pm | Permalink

    RE: iTunes 7.7 (Auto-sync is off on both)

    I recently tried this. On the Mac: I have INFO/PHOTOS/Apps syncing. On the PC: MUSIC + PODCASTS.

    After syncing in from the Mac, and plugging the iPhone on the PC, Apps is turned on–if I turn it off it’ll delete whatever is in the iPhone. So I just left it on for both. Doesn’t seem to have any problem from what I can tell.

    Meanwhile, after syncing the MUSIC + PODCASTS on the PC, I then plugged it in to the Mac. The MUSIC + PODCASTS syncing seems to be enabled. Clicking them off would delete the contents; as well as turning on “Manually manage music and videos” on the Mac’s Summary > Option section.

    Anyone else experiencing this? TIA

    PS. How about more screens?

    • mnu
      July 20, 2011 - 4:35 pm | Permalink

      just copy “itunes music library.xml” from your computer into the new computer or laptop you want to sync with. replace it and enjoyeee. ….

      note:file is in music library/itunes/itunes music library.

      :make sure put it in the same path on other computer or Laptop.


  • Gerber
    July 15, 2008 - 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Exelent guide, worked fine with an iphone 3G

  • July 15, 2008 - 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Wow, thanks for this!

    I’ve been searching for a way to get this to work since purchasing my new iphone 3g!

    I love you!

  • Sherwin
    July 15, 2008 - 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Just want to update that I got this to work… but just no what I was thinking of doing in the first place =)

    … which was to just different data from different iTunes. Basically just need to pick MUSIC/Ringtones as sync, Photos on another, etc. Thanks again.

  • knutmo
    July 16, 2008 - 3:26 am | Permalink

    works great!! thanks

  • Alaiya
    July 16, 2008 - 11:58 am | Permalink

    Where is the Hex Editor located?

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  • joey
    July 18, 2008 - 9:10 am | Permalink

    It seems to work successfully when following the instructions, I can move songs from my work PC to my iphone 3g, however if I attempt to play any song or track through itunes from my iphone, it crashes itunes. Anyone else having this problem?

  • Alaiya
    July 18, 2008 - 10:30 am | Permalink


    Can you help me out?

    Where is the Hex editor located?

    Is that something that you download to your computer?

  • Andrew
    July 18, 2008 - 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Mac Hex Editor:

    Windows Hex Editor:

  • donl
    July 18, 2008 - 5:09 pm | Permalink

    I am not able to find the Library Persistent ID in my .itl file.

    I have an iphone 3G with iTunes at home and at the office. I’m running windows XP SP3 at home and at the office.

    1. I copied the Library Persistent ID from my .xml file on my home PC.

    2a. I came into the office and replaced the Library Persistent ID on my office PC’s “iTunes Music Library.xml” with the ID from my home machine.

    2b. I opened the “iTunes Library.itl” file from my office machine in XVi32.exe (a hex editor) and searched for the Library Persistent ID string (using the original string that was on my office PC) and it is not being found in the .itl file and therefore cannot be replaced.

    Any ideas what I may be doing wrong or has something changed to prevent this in iTunes 7.7? Any suggestions what to try? Should I try having iTunes regenerate the itl file from the modified XML file only?


    Don L.

  • donl
    July 18, 2008 - 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Update. I just tried UltraEdit and it was able to make the change. It looks like the 16 characters in the XML and .ITL file are actually 8 characters on the right hand side in UltraEdit where XVI was treating them as 16 individual hex characters. Hopefully that makes sense.

    So I made the change on my office PC and when I did a manual sync to my iphone it moved all the songs from my office PC’s itunes and overwrote the iphone. None of the songs on my iPhone moved over to the PC. Will try again at home tonight an see what happens.

  • Jonny
    July 19, 2008 - 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Excellent step-by-step! Worked perfectly. The Hex Editor directions were slightly different, but nothing major. Great job :)

  • July 19, 2008 - 11:41 pm | Permalink

    yah i have a question:

    1. I synced my music and videos with my pc and i just currently bought a macbook, if i do this can i create a backup image/ synch it with my iphone and update without losing the data on my current iphone?

    thanks and hoping for a quick reply

  • donl
    July 21, 2008 - 10:07 am | Permalink

    Update – Went home over the weekend and my iTtunes at home completely overwrote the iPhone. Back at the office today and in iTtunes on my work PC went to Edit-Preferences and the Syncing tab. I checked “Disable automatic syncing for all iPhones and iPods”. I connected my iphone and selected my iPhone. On the summary tab I unchecked “automatically sync when this iPhone is connected” and checked “Sync only checked songs and videos” and “Manually manage music and videos”.

    Then I clicked on Music under my iPhone and indeed I can check and uncheck indivual tunes. I went back to the summary tab and clicked the sync button. It moved my music and applications from my iphone to my itunes. Cool!!

    However, when I go to the music tab and check “Sync music” I still get the warning, “Are you sure you want to sync musc? All existing content…” So, I still cannot move music from my work iTunes to my iPhone. Any thoughts?

    BTW, I also moved all the files out of my “Previous iTunes Libraries” folder in case that was causing a problem. But that does not help either.


  • July 21, 2008 - 10:20 am | Permalink

    Hi Don,

    When you check “sync music” it will disable the “manually manage” setting and replace your manually manged songs with the contents from iTunes. That is what the warning refers to.

    Also an unfortunate “feature” of iTunes/iPods/iPhone is that the manual-management setting is stored on the iPhone/iPod and NOT in iTunes.

    This means you cannot have “automatic” management at home, and “manual” management at work. You either need to;

    a) Have both iTunes set to Manual Management

    b) Have both iTunes set to automatic management and use something like FolderShare to sync your libraries

    I use option a) and keep a playlist of all the tracks at home I sync to my iPhone. This lets me just drag the playlist across whenever I add new songs to it.

  • Dave
    July 21, 2008 - 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Hey, thanks for that amazing tip.

    I just want to let you know that thanks to you, me and my friend took it a step further by putting it into a program!

    It was written in C++, but it only works as of now on a PC (XP/Vista).

    Here’s the app:

  • Dave
    July 21, 2008 - 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Uh, it seams that the link didn’t appear on the post, here it is:

  • donl
    July 21, 2008 - 6:27 pm | Permalink


    Thanks for the clarification. Then it looks like everything is working as advertised!

  • modz619
    July 22, 2008 - 11:33 am | Permalink

    Can you nake a mac version for this


  • Dave
    July 22, 2008 - 12:38 pm | Permalink


    Unfortunately, I’m not able to make it for the mac yet, mainly because I don’t have a mac. But, if someone would like to program it for the mac, that would be great.

  • Angus
    July 23, 2008 - 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Why can you not simply replace the “iTunes Music Library” and “iTunes Music Library.xml” files with the ones from the first computer?

  • Dave
    July 23, 2008 - 7:18 pm | Permalink


    I believe you can. But then you tun into replacing the library contents of computer two, with the library of the first computer. Since those files contain the library information, and maybe also the iTunes store information. Then you’ll have to re-import your music to the library and reconfigure iTunes to the way you want it.

    Of course you may want to still do that if 1) the second iTunes was just installed, so there won’t be anything to lose and 2) you don’t care :-)

    Also, this way (by just replacing the ID), if you were at your friends house and want to copy some music to your iPhone, you won’t destroy his iTunes. You can even backup the two files beforehand and after adding the music to your iPhone, replace the files with the backup. This way, if he has an iPhone too, he will still be able to sync to his iTunes as before, and no harm done.

    I hope this sufficiently answeres your question.

  • Russell
    July 24, 2008 - 5:23 pm | Permalink


    I’ve been wanting to do this for the longest time since I had an iPhone and this worked a treat. Now I can manually manage my music/podcasts/audio books from multiple computers.

    Thank you!


  • lk
    July 25, 2008 - 8:56 am | Permalink

    Worked perfectly! Thanks SOOO much!

  • Madhu Vijayan
    July 28, 2008 - 6:56 pm | Permalink

    You are a GOD among mortals!

  • Prokrastes
    July 29, 2008 - 8:37 am | Permalink

    Thanks a lot! Now I can finally wrangle my music files both on my Mac and on my old clunkerbox and have both of ’em dump music on my iPhone.

    As it should be …

  • iderobina
    July 29, 2008 - 5:15 pm | Permalink

    works perfect… the find and replace menu is not on edit for the pc its on search….

  • zizzi
    July 30, 2008 - 2:00 am | Permalink

    Feedback from Italy, it work good for me… and it’s better than swaplibrary (especially because doesn’t need jailbreak and it work with many libraries)… now I have just to translate this post to save all italian peoples from Apple’s limits 😉

    Thank you for sharing this great trick!

  • August 3, 2008 - 1:51 am | Permalink

    I never thought its gonna be as easy as 1-2-3-Go!!!

    Andrew, many thanks for makin it effortless!

    Just a small (may be futile) correction. In windows, the .itl file is named as iTunes Library instead of Tunes Music Library.itl as mentioned in the post.

    Great job man!

    Thanks again,

  • kostas
    August 4, 2008 - 7:26 am | Permalink

    Hi … GREAT JOB information well given and result secure excelent Thanks a lot

  • Roger
    August 5, 2008 - 2:23 am | Permalink

    Worked *great* for me with my iMac and my Sony Laptop. Thanks a lot for the good article.

  • Amaka
    August 6, 2008 - 1:01 am | Permalink

    THANK YOU A MILLION for the detailed instructions…i tried it and it worked for me and i was able to sync music from my 2 PC’s onto my Iphone.

    I did have a little trouble at first during the editing section. Your instructions said to “enter the ID you took a note of in Part 1 under the “Find” section and …In Replace, enter the ID you copied at the start of Part 2.”

    This did not work for me but eventually did when i reversed it; i put the ID from Part 1 under ‘Replace” and then the ID from part II under “Find”.

    Was this a minor mistake or did i read the instructions wrong?

    All in all, you def. made my day!! BRAVO

  • JL0
    August 6, 2008 - 5:19 pm | Permalink


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  • Ivet
    August 7, 2008 - 1:26 am | Permalink

    hey i read through your directions. but i was wondering if you could be alittle more specific i.e. how to find the text editor ..and just how to find all these things on a windows computer …
    thank you for ur time-ivet

  • Woody
    August 8, 2008 - 9:58 am | Permalink

    Dude you rock. Works perfectly! I can’t believe how much Apple is locking down these iPhones. Not being able to pull music from multiple machine is complete Bull$h!t

  • Jonas
    August 10, 2008 - 6:13 am | Permalink

    Fanatastic 😀

  • espressoJ
    August 12, 2008 - 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Hi, thanks for topic.

    I need some help as to how to handle my situation:
    1.I got my iphone, set it up to a brand new Itunes Library.
    2. Computer died. Replaced parts and rebuilt the machine. No backup of iTunes, but have all my music.
    3. INstalled a new Itunes to the newly rebuild pc and “authorized computer” in iTunes.

    So, I guess it sees this new library as a second library. When in fact the first library is long gone, never to be recovered.

    When I sync, I get the same message you are seeing “Iphone is synced with another computer”, erase or cancel.

    Your excellent article refers to grabbing the id of the first iTunes, which I can’t get.

    Should I just “erase”? What about my apps I purchased on the iPhone, but are not synced to ITunes? hmmm.

    Any ideas would be great! Thanks so much.

  • Bala
    August 14, 2008 - 2:58 am | Permalink


    I am using Iphone with my PC, which is having the XP OS, but i am unable to do the above process, Pl can u help me. And even i want to take the back up of my movies and songs from i phone to my PC


  • MF
    August 14, 2008 - 6:54 am | Permalink

    I have been looking for this solution for a while now. Prior to version 2.0, you could just copy the Library file and after a few burps it would generally work; but then you often had to reimport that machine’s whole library, a time-consuming procedure to say the least.

    This worked perfectly. Many thanks!

    One question (if anybody knows): how does this (or does it) impact the iTunes store account? The whole “You can only have 5 machines…” deal. Does this then count as only a single machine/library to iTunes store? Just curious, I’m not really in need of more computers, just wanted to be able to add music from my work machine and home machine without re-synching every single time.

  • Soc
    August 16, 2008 - 10:04 pm | Permalink

    I hope future itunes updates doesn’t break this workaround…

  • BillM
    August 17, 2008 - 10:34 am | Permalink

    The hex editor couldn’t locate the string…not sure what I did wrong…

  • August 18, 2008 - 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for this – what an awesome tip!

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  • accy
    August 20, 2008 - 3:01 pm | Permalink

    > The hex editor couldn’t locate the string…not sure
    > what I did wrong…

    same here. no luck. :(

  • August 21, 2008 - 1:00 am | Permalink


  • Alex
    August 22, 2008 - 9:40 pm | Permalink

    worked perfectly :)
    now if only I could figure out a real way to consolidate my library over my network (movies / tv shows) then I’d be set !

  • August 25, 2008 - 5:45 pm | Permalink

    An excellent and very informative website! Thank you for your superb help. I had 1 problem printing from your site. I could only print the first page. What am I doing wrong?

  • Dennis Brininger
    August 25, 2008 - 10:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m having a problem edting the iTunes Library.itl file. I downloaded UltraEdit and opened the .itl file. When I selected find replace, all I know is the ascii 16 digit number. So it did not find this to replace it. Do I have to figure out the hex equivalent of the 16 digit key?

  • jono
    August 27, 2008 - 5:31 am | Permalink

    hi, itunes seems to change the script back to the old version. and wont sync my music but will do exchange and photo’s.

    i synced to first computer it was on auto.

    what can i do?

  • john
    August 28, 2008 - 9:44 am | Permalink

    Origianlly, the iPhone would allow me to manage contacts from work, and music from home (ie, this is how my iPhone worked out of the box).

    I wanted to be able to copy the music I PAID FOR from my home computer to work and vice versa… afterall I have the same iTunes Store account on both computers and “authorized” both computers.

    After applying the articles patch… I plugged in my iPhone and it stated “you have purchased songs on your iPhone that are not in your iTunes library… do you want to copy the purchased songs to your iTunes library (if you don’t the songs will be erased from you iPhone.”

    Not much of a choice… so I clicked yes… it then transferred all of my purchased music to my work computer… and then erased my imported (non-purchased) CD’s that I have loaded into itunes. Now, both the iPhone and work computer only have purchased music on it… and the non-purchased music has been erased.

    I haven’t been home yet… but what’s next when I plug this into home?

    Is it going to try and erase my music at home?

    Why can’t I just drag and drop music from my home and work computers if they have both been authorized?

  • September 1, 2008 - 7:14 am | Permalink

    Fantastic trick! Works great. Nice detective work.

  • Richard Conrad
    September 2, 2008 - 2:27 am | Permalink

    I thought Apple was supposed to be for Dummies, not stand in your way to stop you from doing stuff that’s dead easy on every other device.

    Jobs needs a swift kick in the nuts. He’s now officially a bigger dick than Bill Gates.

  • September 2, 2008 - 2:59 am | Permalink

    One note: in the post-app store world, if you install a bunch of apps and try this trick, iTunes will dutifully “sync” your apps, which will probably delete some (or, in my case, all). The workaround — use the App Store installer on the iPhone to reinstall the apps. That way the apps don’t “belong” to the computer, they “belong” to the iPhone, and they’ll sync happily.

  • wolf
    September 7, 2008 - 6:13 pm | Permalink

    great tip – thanks. unfortunately I can’t get it to work. I think it’s because I can not find the binary “iTunes Music Library”. I only find the “iTunes Music Library.xml” file. but editing that in Hexedit does not work (“find” does not find anything when set to Hex) – I made sure I searched for the correct string. Please tell me what I am missing.

    I’m on a MacPro 10.5.3; iTunes 7.7.1; iPhone 3G

    many thanks


  • Robert Lundquist
    September 9, 2008 - 1:42 am | Permalink

    Just works – exactly what I was looking for! :-)

  • geometron
    September 11, 2008 - 10:49 pm | Permalink

    it didn’t seem to work for me, but then again, i found this article just after i upgraded to itunes 8. anyone else experiencing problems using this hack with the latest (“genius”) itunes?

  • Ken G
    September 12, 2008 - 11:57 am | Permalink

    I had this working prior iTunes 8. it looks as if the upgrade broke the workaround.

    The Persistent ID is the same in both files, on both computers.

  • Chris
    September 12, 2008 - 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Rats! I had it working before the iTunes update, but now in iTunes 8.0, when I drag a song from my iphone onto my desktop computer iTunes, nothing happens. The song icon can be dragged around, but it just won’t let itself be dropped onto my desktop iTunes. Dang!

  • Suddha
    September 12, 2008 - 10:05 pm | Permalink

    will the method mentioned in the last lines of the above article also work for Applications tab? I.e. Office PC – Applications tab enabled
    Home PC – all other tabs

  • September 14, 2008 - 12:42 pm | Permalink

    works great!

    thanks a lot

    saluti dall’italia


  • Shane
    September 17, 2008 - 6:26 am | Permalink

    Brilliant! Thanks so much, now I can listen to my iPhone at work like my past iPods.

  • Jay
    September 19, 2008 - 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Well iPhone 3G users and post App-store users..

    Don’t do it this way. I did everything exactly as described, and lost some of my Apps. I immediately disconnected the cable and luckily only 2 apps were gone. Now I have to go back to my main computer and hopefully it will acknowledge those apps are missing, even though they’re in iTunes and paid for.

    Also, for iTunes7.7+ PC users, the itl file is not iTunes Music Library.itl, it is just iTunes Library.itl

    Am I doing something wrong?

  • Josh
    September 19, 2008 - 7:06 pm | Permalink

    So what’s the consensus here? This no longer works with iTunes 8? Bummer, I was really eager to be able to drag-and-drop music from my laptop as well as my desktop onto my iPhone 3G. :(

  • Dozz
    September 19, 2008 - 9:23 pm | Permalink

    In the Hex Editor, open “iTunes Music Library” (Tunes Music Library.itl on PC).

    Select “Find and Replace” from the Edit menu. Make sure “Hex” matching is selected (not ASCII). In “Find” enter the ID you took a note of in Part 1. In Replace, enter the ID you copied at the start of Part 2. Choose Replace All, there should be one match.

    i cant find this :( PC user!

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  • north
    September 23, 2008 - 6:18 am | Permalink

    it works for itunes 8. at least it works on a fresh install of 8. i haven’t tried it on 7 upgrading to 8 or just 7 either.

  • accy
    September 23, 2008 - 11:00 am | Permalink

    i don’t know what happened, but after installing itunes 8 i was able to find the hex key using
    ultraedit (pc), and everything is roses now! suhweet!

    accy says:
    2008/08/20, 15:01

    > The hex editor couldn’t locate the string…not sure
    > what I did wrong…

    same here. no luck. :(

  • Stcuk!
    September 27, 2008 - 10:13 am | Permalink

    Hi everyone,

    I have a cracked iphone with 800 songs put on it.
    I want to download the 800 tunes to my pc.

    THANK YOU for any help u can give.

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  • September 30, 2008 - 9:06 am | Permalink

    my question is related to this theme (sync an iPhone to 2 diff PC’s). I use Outlook at work for contact/calendars and iTunes at home for music. I am unable to use the wireless sync (ActiveSync) due to IT’s reluctance tosupport it at work), so what are my options? Load iTunes onto the work PC and then merge Outlook into that?

  • Matt
    September 30, 2008 - 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I had the same problem as everyone else, using a Hex editor (I tried 3 diff. ones) I couldn’t find the old hex key in the .itl file. This used to work, but I just installed a fresh copy of iTunes 8 on a new machine. But fear not! Apple didn’t break this hack. They actually made it easier!!!! You now only need to update the key in the XML file! No more Hex editing needed! It works perfectly, just as before!! Apple is the BEST!

  • Leon
    October 2, 2008 - 5:41 pm | Permalink

    It don’t qute work the way I want it. I like to sync my music using my home PC, and all the rest includeing apps, podcast etc… using my office PC. This method keeps the selection synced; If I choose not to select “sync music”, the same apply to both home and office PC…

    Instead, I install the apps SwapTunes that keeps two copies of my library. It is not perfect but it get the job done.

  • ibrahim delil
    October 7, 2008 - 4:32 pm | Permalink

    well this may also work on my motorola v3i (which uses itunes as the mp3 player) ^_^ thanks for the tip!

  • luca
    October 8, 2008 - 12:35 am | Permalink

    i think new release of Itunes 8.01 prevents this operation…

  • Matt
    October 8, 2008 - 2:09 pm | Permalink

    That sucks! Can anyone else confirm? It works on

  • Yehuda
    October 10, 2008 - 5:53 am | Permalink

    my mac was stolen and i am looking to sync my iphone with a new PC but i cannot have the original itune ID

    how can i do?

    thank you

  • herb
    October 12, 2008 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    Excellent work. Thanks!

  • Hal
    October 13, 2008 - 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I was just wondering… I would like to organize all my media to 1 small external hard drive. I have an iMac at home and I take my Macbook pro to work. I know that you can point iphoto and itunes to libraries on another drive. If I pointed both itunes to this one drive, would I even need to modify the itunes library files, since both computers would essentially access one drive and ultimately the same library files?

  • October 14, 2008 - 5:06 pm | Permalink

    WOuld strongly suggest you backup your iphone prior to this. I have a PC at work with my outlook calendar and contacts. I have a laptop PC with my music. I would like to sync both seperately. Tried this hack, but it did not work with itunes 8.01 (fresh install). I only selected music to sync with (all else no sync) but it still told me i was synced with another library and it wanted to erase my iphone.

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  • October 17, 2008 - 7:19 am | Permalink

    I’ve been doing this for a while now. Synching my calendar with my work PC and all the other stuff from my home PC. All you need to do is connect the iPhone and ignore the cleaning step. Just uncheck all sync. items except the calendar on the work PC. (and uncheck it on your home PC). Now it’s synching without any problems. Music etc comes from the home PC and calendar from work PC (which is also synched with my Google Calendar thanks to Google Calendar Sync (synchs your google calendar with Outlook)

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  • Gerry Brown
    October 17, 2008 - 8:06 am | Permalink

    WARNING: If the hacked system is authorized for the iTunes STore, you will lose the info. Make sure to de-authorize before doing the hack or you will be wasting one of the precious five authorizations allowed.

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  • Marcus Welby
    October 17, 2008 - 9:10 am | Permalink

    Or, don’t do any of this. Go to machine A, plug in and turn off automatic sync. Then make sure every sync option in all the tabs are off. The only turn on address book and calendar sync. Then, go to machine B, also, don’t turn on automatic sync. Then click on photos, video, music sync. And now you are synching your iPhone/iPod to multiple computers.

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  • ad6am
    October 17, 2008 - 11:30 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the article — it sounds great!
    **One question: Can I use this to give NetShare to a friend who missed the opportunity to buy it?**
    In other words, can I copy all my iPhone’s apps to his iPhone, then reverse the hack to deauthorize his iPhone from my AppStore account? (Will his logging into his own AppStore account then wipeout the copied NetShare?)

  • ad6am
    October 17, 2008 - 11:33 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the article — it sounds great!
    **One question: Can I use this to give NetShare to a friend who missed the opportunity to buy it?**
    In other words, can I copy all my iPhone’s apps to his iPhone, then reverse the hack to deauthorize his iPhone from my AppStore account? (Will his logging into his own AppStore account then wipeout the copied NetShare?)
    You may have answered this in your answer to Angus [comment #35} but it’s not quite clear.
    Much gratitude…

  • Steve
    October 17, 2008 - 11:34 am | Permalink

    In my opinion this is one of the BEST hacks for the iPhone 3G I have seen yet. I take my iPhone to and from work and I use it to listen to the music I have on it. With this hack I can now play direct from my iPhone at work through iTunes! Thanks!

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  • October 17, 2008 - 11:50 am | Permalink

    Thanks for an awesome trick. Just wrote a post on mine sharing his with my readers.

  • bruce
    October 17, 2008 - 1:07 pm | Permalink

    nice work. could you help w a problem. i have videos downloaded off internet onto usb then into itunes. i can watch them on my macbook pro but am unable to transfer them onto my ipod or iphone. ideas?? thanks in advance.

  • Theevis
    October 17, 2008 - 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Absolute genius!! Thanks for the post….it was a huge help.

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  • October 17, 2008 - 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Great post, but what about wanting to sync PIM data with two computers with teh iPhone being the intermediary? I used to use my WinMo to do with but the iPhone won’t do it. Will this work for that, as well?

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  • October 17, 2008 - 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Why can’t I get it to work?
    I selected “manually manage music and videos” and when I hit the sync button nothing syncs up. It only sync when I select the “Sync Music” button. When I do that it erase all the music files.

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  • dave Lindsay
    October 18, 2008 - 6:23 am | Permalink

    Easier way around this is to copy the Tunes Music Library.itl and iTunes Music Library.xm files from one PC to the other. Tried this and it works fine

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  • roro
    October 18, 2008 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    good news !!!!! year !!!!

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  • October 20, 2008 - 5:48 pm | Permalink

    ohoho…thaks for this.
    work great!!!

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  • Dudedxb
    October 21, 2008 - 2:59 am | Permalink

    Hi, I know it’s stupid of me I forgot to copy (2nd paragraph from number 2)

    “On the machine you want to sync with open “iTunes Music Library.xml” in a text editor. Again, find the entry between the tags after “Library Persistent ID” and copy this entry exactly.”

    What will I do? Please help.

  • October 21, 2008 - 3:29 am | Permalink

    I can’t quite get this to work with iTunes 8.01 either.

    I no longer get the message that asks if I want to erase the iPhone and sync.

    However, when I have one Mac set to sync music and another set to sync video, the music-only sync wipes all the video and the video-only sync wipes all the music.

    It seems as if I can sync data and media separately, but I thought that was possible even without doing this trick– I guess not?

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  • October 21, 2008 - 10:50 pm | Permalink


    Based on your instructions – I have created an application.

    Would you be interested in testing it.

    Please send me an email – or leave a comment on my blog website.

    Thank you.

  • fjompa
    October 22, 2008 - 12:03 am | Permalink

    The find and replace instructions in the guide (for the hex edit part) should be the other way around. You should of course “find” the string from the 2nd computer and “replace” with the main computer.

  • October 22, 2008 - 12:58 am | Permalink

    Hi Andrew, this is really a great trick. I have published a post on our site this trick and have given you the credit for inventing this workaround. Great job!

  • Simon
    October 22, 2008 - 2:04 am | Permalink


    Doesn’t seem to work with iTunes 8.


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  • adi
    October 22, 2008 - 10:12 am | Permalink

    I Have synced my iphone to a new machine, however when i launch iPod the application hangs and the have to reboot the phone…

    Need some help plz…

  • Mike
    October 22, 2008 - 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Thank you! It always bugged me that this was not enabled by default. I can now sync with my home machine and copy some music over at work. Well done sir!

  • Rick Jamison
    October 23, 2008 - 4:22 am | Permalink

    Thanks for telling how to sync to 2 or more computers, I use your instructions and now I’m able
    to sync to both computers.

    Thanks again,

    Rick Jamison

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  • MexNoob
    October 23, 2008 - 7:52 am | Permalink

    Thank you I have been looking for this for a long time 😀

  • tahir m
    October 24, 2008 - 3:50 am | Permalink

    After the anger in realising that this could not be done on the iphone i came across your site and eureka! it worked!

    thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, !

    and thanks for the simple explanation for the non-techies.

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  • Duy
    October 25, 2008 - 6:57 pm | Permalink

    When I do this, it keeps deleting my applications on the 3G iphone when connected to new computer I sync to. This does not happen when I change from auto to manual management on computer originally synced to. Did I do something wrong?

  • Duy
    October 25, 2008 - 7:24 pm | Permalink

    also, everytime I start itunes, it replaces the ID I saved with the original; it still does it even if I set the file as read only; how did other people get this to work?!

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  • October 27, 2008 - 9:02 am | Permalink

    I got the XML files changed and could not find the Hex Editor, finally got that downloaded and OH CRAP I don’t have the old 16 digit number to find and replace, I only have the 16 digit from my MacBook that I am already syncing to… How can I now find the old 16 digit hex on the file I already changed and saved??? I hope it is not screwed forever, please HELP! I can’t wait to get this to work….

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  • dolly
    October 28, 2008 - 6:18 am | Permalink

    this is way too comlex fr me.. i dont get it..
    pluss the computer that my iphone was already syncd with has been formated.. how can i add songs to my iphone from another computer without deleting my old songs????

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  • Harshal
    October 29, 2008 - 5:08 am | Permalink

    i have sunced apps on my primary windows pc and i want to sync photos,rtones,music,videos etc on the secondary windows pc!

    i have followed all the steps and replaced the persistent ID key!

    it is not mentioned anwhere that this method works with apps.

    plz help me, awaiting reply!

    thank you!

  • harshal
    October 29, 2008 - 5:10 am | Permalink

    Will this method work for apps on primary pc n other media on secondary pc?

  • mike
    October 29, 2008 - 7:27 am | Permalink

    I did all the steps to sync 2 macs together (work and home laptop with the laptop as the main user). It wont work. the new machine is running leopard and the 2nd machine is running tiger. Could that be the problem?

  • Brad
    October 29, 2008 - 7:33 am | Permalink


  • Jason
    October 29, 2008 - 11:56 am | Permalink

    Anyone have any luck with 8.0.1.x ?

    It doesn’t appear to work for me though I’ve followed the steps.

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  • Sean
    October 29, 2008 - 8:23 pm | Permalink

    This works great! (using iTunes 8.01 (12), from PC to OS 10.5.5)

  • wallonthefly
    October 30, 2008 - 3:49 pm | Permalink

    If you only knew how happy I was to find this solution. Worked like a charm. Thanks a million.

    I am currently running iTunes 8.0 and I am avoiding the update for fear of losing the ability to sync…Can anyone confirm that it is safe to do this?


  • R
    October 30, 2008 - 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant!

    Itunes is finally useful!

  • October 31, 2008 - 2:54 am | Permalink

    This doesn’t work for me, or will work once for a very limited time and then stop working and erase my iPhone music, and revert the computers iTunes id back to it’s pre-amended state.

    iPhone 2.1 and iTunes 8.01 (11)

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  • SK
    October 31, 2008 - 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Didnt work for me
    all my music got deleted
    o well.

  • laura
    November 1, 2008 - 5:55 pm | Permalink

    ive followed all the steps and replaced the file in hex editor successfully, however now when i try to open itunes im getting an error saying:

    ‘The iTunes Library.itl file is locked, on a locked disk, or you do not have permission to write for this file’.

    please help :(
    thanks, laura

  • chris
    November 1, 2008 - 8:10 pm | Permalink

    It worked after Mac Downgrade to 8.0 via (

    Donor:XP iTunes 8.0.1
    Recipient: Mac 10.5.4 iTunes 8.0, synced then updated to 8.0.1 and it still works.
    iPhone: 1st Gen

    Google: “Uninstall iTunes in OSX” sent me to (thanks dalliance13)but this might be better: for getting rid of iTunes. Also I’m “Back to Mac” with MacBook Pro. 7.5.5, 7.6.1, 8.1 now OSX 10.5.4

  • November 3, 2008 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    It worked like a charm. I can sync info with the Mac at work, and all my music with the PC at home.

    Thank you!

  • Dietrich
    November 3, 2008 - 10:30 am | Permalink

    This didn’t work at all.

    I have a MacBookPro that I use for primary syncing. And an older iMac for my music.

    I wanted to accomplish:
    – Sync with my MBP for photos and apps
    – I use MobileMe to sync for calendar, contacts, bookmarks
    – Sync with iMac for ringtones and music

    I followed the instructions and replaced the iTunes library and iTunes library.xml files on my iMac successfully.

    I am running OS X 10.5.5 on both machines and also the latest version of iTunes on both machines 8.0.1 (11).

    But when I want to sync my music from my iMac all my Apps get deleted.


  • chris
    November 3, 2008 - 11:48 am | Permalink

    @Dietrich, See my comment 4 up. Will not work with 8.0.1 you must downgrade to 8.0 (or lower) then upgrade. I would Deauthorize before you uninstall iTunes as well.

  • November 3, 2008 - 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Can you edit the info without hex?

  • Mark
    November 4, 2008 - 12:35 am | Permalink

    I’ve tried with iPhone 2.1 and iTunes as well as iTunes 7.9.??

    The problem seems to be iPhone 2.1 which has blocked the hack. All I want to do is download podcasts at work so Apple FIX THIS IN 2.2 OR LET SOMEONE WRITE A PODCAST APP

  • November 4, 2008 - 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Awesome! This was exactly what I needed. Thank you!

  • November 4, 2008 - 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much! Worked great, now I can copy songs/movies from my laptop and desktop both to my iphone. So helpful, thanks again.

  • Jason
    November 5, 2008 - 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Sadly it did not work for me. Perhaps this trick doesn’t work with iTunes version 8.0.1.

  • Daniel
    November 6, 2008 - 3:42 am | Permalink

    Haven’t tried this yet but isn’t there something wrong with the steps you describe? You say:

    “In “Find” enter the ID you took a note of in Part 1. In Replace, enter the ID you copied at the start of Part 2.”

    But then you’re screenshots show it the other way round. I assume the text is wrong and the screenshot right though as it would make more sense to replace everything with the first ID… can anyone confirm this??

  • Jayne
    November 6, 2008 - 3:53 am | Permalink

    Hi Andrew
    My pc recently crashed and had to have new hard drive. Will I be able to use the same principles to change the itunes library id on the itunes on new hard drive to my previous id so that I can sync my iphone without loosing everything

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  • jvan
    November 7, 2008 - 11:53 pm | Permalink

    Bummer i wished that would have worked. I need a new fix for the latest version of itunes 8.0.1. I’m a brand new user to itunes and i was shocked that you couldn’t sync two computers.

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  • Tim
    November 10, 2008 - 12:38 pm | Permalink

    I cannot get this to work with my iphone… what could i be doing wrong? when i hit ‘replace all’ my mac just dings.. when i hit ‘replace’ it will make a change, but when i go to open itunes i get a message saying it was created with a newer version of itunes and will move my itunes library to a file called ‘itunes library – damaged’ ….frustrated as this seems easy enough to accomplish…

  • Matty
    November 12, 2008 - 3:37 am | Permalink

    Does anybody know how can I fully sync my iPhone with my Mac at home and sync only my calender with my PC at work?

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  • DW
    November 13, 2008 - 9:59 am | Permalink

    This looks like a great idea. I’m wondering if this works with Ipod Touch 2G and latest Itunes?

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  • Jay
    November 15, 2008 - 2:09 pm | Permalink

    This was awesome!!!

  • Dozz
    November 16, 2008 - 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much!! its work on my office and home PC now! wow :)

  • Teela
    November 16, 2008 - 9:17 pm | Permalink

    this was easy enough but does not work with the latest version of itunes…any updates?

  • Martin
    November 17, 2008 - 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Okay let me help you guy’s out, this hack is awesome, but directions are a bit confusing/misleading and flawed.

    It’s quite easy, I have done this for a while on different computers , but it took me a while to get it the first time!

    First off, for anyone who jumled up the numbers and still couldn’t get this fix to work, uninstall then reinstall iTunes, the original XML and binary files will appear !

    Now, this is simple. The computer you previously sync with, write down the 16 digit entry.

    Go to your Mac/PC now, search for the iTunes Library.XML text file, replace the current 16 digit number with this copied 16 digit number from the original computer you sync with. (Don’t forget to copy the original 16 digit number from the computer you want to drag and drop with as you will need it in the second step, have both written down which will be better)

    Now this next step will be the LAST STEP. In the directions it says change the 2 files numbers before even mentioning the hex edit. Wrong, the 2nd step after changing the first XML library file, now you go straight to the binary file which will be double the size of the XML, and have an itunes symbol on it that will link you straight to itunes if you double click it. Right click the binary/itunes library file and open with the text editor. Now go to find and replace, enter the 2nd computers number that you will want to drag and drop with, then the first syncing computers 16 digit number in the replace with box. Hit replace all button once and you will see the text change on the left if you notice it, it works but it wont tell you. Close the find and replace window and now SAVE that file.

    Open itunes, Manually Manage Music box will automatically be checked with your iphone/ipod plugged in.

    Hope this helped and isn’t too confusing, it’s so simple.

    This works on Max or PC with newest 8.0.1 iTunes!

    Enjoy :)

  • S
    November 18, 2008 - 1:11 am | Permalink


  • Kyle
    November 18, 2008 - 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Just got this to work with itunes 8.01 on leopard osx.
    Make sure you are opening the correct file with hex edit!
    I was opening the wrong one for a while and it wasn’t working…
    then I figured it out and presto!

  • namastee
    November 18, 2008 - 2:12 pm | Permalink

    In the Hex Editor, open “iTunes Music Library”

    Select “Find and Replace” from the Edit menu. Make sure “Hex” matching is selected (not ASCII). In “Find” enter the ID you took a note of in Part 1. In Replace, enter the ID you copied at the start of Part 2. Choose Replace All, there should be one match.

    Because it did not work out in the right direction for me please let me ask you a question: The text above is this to edit the itunes library for part one or for part two?

    Thanks for your help.

  • Belinda
    November 19, 2008 - 3:39 am | Permalink



    I have completed the first part successfully, but can’t find the string in the 2nd part, with the HEX section. I’ve also downloaded the Ultredit program, but that can’t find it…

    Please help, l’m am looking forward to syncing all my music to my iPhone just like l could with my iPod…

    Thanks so much,


  • Belinda
    November 19, 2008 - 3:44 am | Permalink

    disregard that previous statement, l read the reply above my post and it mentioned data above when you open the HEX editor…and guess what l found when l looked up there !!!

    Music is syncing now from my home computer…l am punching the air !!! Thanks all…

  • namastee
    November 19, 2008 - 7:12 am | Permalink

    Hello all,

    I re-installed itunes. They are both version itunes 8.01 (12) and followed exectly the document of Andrew, but unfortunitly it doesn’t work. What can I do?
    I work with (major comp.)imac and (minor comp.) macbook air. and try ro sync with iphone 3G 2.1


  • espo
    November 19, 2008 - 8:37 pm | Permalink

    my phone wont allow me to sync i just purchased a new song and i cant do any syncing at all HELP!!!!!!!!

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  • MIN
    November 23, 2008 - 6:53 am | Permalink

    Fuck it! I lost all my stuff.

  • Kurt
    November 24, 2008 - 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Thanks! Works like a charm!

  • Alan
    November 25, 2008 - 1:57 am | Permalink

    Hi, i have one question about this. i have an iphone and my syster has one too, if i do this in her computer and mine, would there be problems?

  • fryheit
    November 26, 2008 - 5:33 am | Permalink

    my man!

    November 26, 2008 - 7:46 am | Permalink

    Thanks!!! work perfect.

  • Alan
    November 26, 2008 - 12:54 pm | Permalink

    I followed your directions and now cannot open iTunes. It gives me the message that my library was opened with a newer version of iTunes and cannot be opened.

  • Cecilia
    November 28, 2008 - 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, fantastic! Greatings from Sweden!

  • Mats
    November 29, 2008 - 11:32 am | Permalink

    It seems not to work with the apps!

    iTunes wants to remove my apps från the iPhone.

  • Molly Wood
    December 2, 2008 - 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Hey, Andrew —

    This is an amazing tip, and I am hoping to turn it into an Insiders Secret video for CNET TV. I’d like to give you full credit, so I wanted to find out what you’d prefer — your name? Your blog URL? Thank you in advance, and thanks for such a great tip! Email me for more info!

    –Molly Wood

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  • patrad
    December 3, 2008 - 11:05 am | Permalink

    worked for me. . . I have iTunes on a PC I wanted to sync with. . . on the PC I already was syncing with.

    perfect except that when I sync’d to the new library it blanked my collection on the iPhone. i then re-sync’d with my original and then I could go back and forth.

    i used UltraEdit to edit on both PCs. I already had it installed on both as I use it for other programming needs.

    EXACTLY what I was looking for thanks!!!

  • Joel
    December 5, 2008 - 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Just wanted to add another thanks! Another iPhone 3G user here, and VERY happy to have this work!

    Also, misc info:
    -iTunes v8.0.1.11 (the modified one)
    -Phone just purchased last week.
    -I use a PC for both computers (work & home).
    -I used Hxd ( for the Hex editor.

    Hope this helps others!

  • December 7, 2008 - 9:58 am | Permalink

    Hi there,

    WHat can you do if you dont have the original Mac / PC that the phone synched with? I have my sisters iphone so cannot access her Mac in order to obtain the original part of the itunes XML document. ANy suggestions?


  • MARK
    December 8, 2008 - 11:12 am | Permalink

    i just wanna ask why everytime i click my itunes they all say that the itunes library itl. file is locked on a locked dick or u do not have permission for this file!!! why? and if i removed my itunes on the pc and install again and again they not working what should i do pls help me guys! thank u! because i want to have songs and videos to my iphone please help!

  • MACannie
    December 9, 2008 - 8:19 am | Permalink

    Works perfectly with my 2 macs and my iPhone!
    Just what I’ve been looking for.
    Have a Happy Christmas, greetings from Germany.

  • Mojito
    December 9, 2008 - 1:20 pm | Permalink

    I tried everything you described (easy enough) however nothing happened. I did notice that there are multiple instances where tags appear with a 16-digit code. They are, of course, all different. What am I doing wrong?

    Also, I am trying to synch my iPhone on the same computer; just different HDs with iTunes. I upgraded from Tiger to Leopard.

  • Miami-Systems
    December 9, 2008 - 11:16 pm | Permalink

    I only want to sync my iphone with another computer because my old computer crashed and i cannot get the string line you mention in section 1. what do i do then

    Please help

  • December 11, 2008 - 4:22 am | Permalink

    Fantastic! Worked perfectly. Just what I needed.

  • Jimbo C.
    December 12, 2008 - 3:08 am | Permalink

    what sn absolute dream come true. You are a freakin’ genius!!!! I will tell everyone i know sbout this wonderful fix. It really works if you follow it step by step!

    Cant barely believe my eyes

    Jimbo C.

  • Aaron
    December 14, 2008 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    Searching for the Persistent ID code in the Hex Editor did not work until I separated every two characters with a space. I think Hex text is always pairs of characters. In your example I would have to change
    to be
    “8B 6C 63 3F 7D AC B7 4B”
    There may be something I don’t understand.

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  • Bob Pardo
    December 15, 2008 - 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Does this method of synching iphones with two computers still work?

    I noticed that the term “Persistent ID” occurs thousands of times in my library.




  • Justin Schuurbiers
    December 15, 2008 - 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Wauw! Finally it can be done! You’re my hero! It’s really great how U solved it.

    Happy Christmas from the Netherlands!

  • hettingr
    December 16, 2008 - 1:23 am | Permalink

    TO LAURA and Mark

    laura says:
    2008/11/01, 17:55
    ive followed all the steps and replaced the file in hex editor successfully, however now when i try to open itunes im getting an error saying:

    ‘The iTunes Library.itl file is locked, on a locked disk, or you do not have permission to write for this file’.

    The reason the Library is locked may be that you still have it in the Hex editor. After saving the edited file, close the Hex editor, which will release it for use.

  • hettingr
    December 16, 2008 - 1:26 am | Permalink

    I did this (successfully, I think), but I was hoping to be able to sync selections from either computer iTunes music to my phone.

    Am I wrong, or does this only let you use one or the other?

    Is there a way to select music from both libraries to be on the iPHone?

  • Paul
    December 17, 2008 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    Is there a way to get it to work with Iphone 3g and latest Itunes version in MAC and PC

    Also is my understanding correct when I say that if I normally use the PC with my Iphone (have Music, apps, etc) and my 2nd will be Mac I can copy the existing contest of the iphone to the Mac? and be able to use both for Sync and be able to have the same stuff in both PC and Mac?

  • Craigus
    December 17, 2008 - 4:14 pm | Permalink


    Excellent work-a-round!!

    With people like you who cares that Apple try to lock and control everything!

    Peace and power to the people!!


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  • Anonymous
    December 18, 2008 - 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Yea, this cool but the quest is, is this full proof. Wait until the next update of ITunes and you never know if this can be trusted “next time” after you update. Be careful people trusting this.

  • cmkillian
    December 18, 2008 - 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I’ve tried going through these steps many times trying to get this to work. It seems very simple. I copied the ID from my home pc, pasted it into the xml on my work pc. Did the search and replace using Ultra Edit for the *.itl, but every time after I open iTunes and connect my iPhone 3g and select manually manage music and videos, when I go to click on the music on my iPhone, I get the message saying that this iPhone is synced to another pc…..

    I have even verified that the iTunes Library.itl and iTunes Music Library.xml still have the ID that came from my home computer. Is there someplace else that iTunes reads this informaiton from? How is everybody else getting this to work? Does it matter that I don’t have any songs in my work pc iTunes library? I only want to be able to plug my phone in and play songs off my phone through iTunes. I’m using

  • Anthony
    December 19, 2008 - 12:37 am | Permalink

    This is awesome! Andrew, you ROCK!!

  • mikkel
    December 19, 2008 - 1:13 am | Permalink

    hey..i have my iphone synced with a computer at home, but i am currently travelling.. is there any way i can get new music on my iphone without deleting my current music library?

  • Jack Frost
    December 19, 2008 - 9:41 am | Permalink



  • Thanasis
    December 20, 2008 - 4:00 pm | Permalink



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  • Ellimist
    December 23, 2008 - 9:25 am | Permalink

    Confirmed to work on iTunes 8.0.2 and iPhone 3G.

    Many thanks!

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  • Ivan
    December 26, 2008 - 10:52 am | Permalink

    Can you do this if you have an iPod syncing with home computer, an iPhone syncing with office computer. Then, you want to manually add music/videos to the iPhone from your home computer. Will the iPod work after that?

  • Scott Adelman
    December 27, 2008 - 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the post and the questions. I think that I have completed it correctly but still have a question. When I try to sync music from my ipod to my computer I am not able to. But it seems that songs purchased on my computer through iTunes Store can be uploaded to my ipod from either machine. Is this correct? That even with a “successful” hack you will not be able to take songs from the ipod (initially installed from Computer 1) and transfer them to Computer 2? Or am I doing something wrong? Thanks.

  • Cooper
    December 28, 2008 - 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much.
    It worked.

  • Eugene
    December 28, 2008 - 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Hi…I think I may have missed something. I replaced the ‘library persistent id’ in my home itunes library xml file with my work’s ‘library persistent id’, then saved the file. I then used AXE (advanced hex editor), a third party hex editor to modify the hex file to now point to the new library persitetnt id i copied from work. I think I may have missed something because nothing changed. I am still unable to sync my ipod touch with my home computer without erasing all i already have on it.

  • Eugene
    December 28, 2008 - 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Wow…it works. Disregard my last post…I’m a developer (not a media developer though) but this is pure genius…i just had to pay closer attention to your steps…I have unlimited sync capabilities at home and work now. This is awesome..thanks a lot.

  • John
    December 28, 2008 - 11:45 pm | Permalink

    My iphone has existing applications and i also have downloaded applications for my iphone at my PC. I just want to add the downloaded applications to my iphone but seems like if i sync my iphone, all my existing applications will be deleted.

    Appreciate if can help. Thanks

  • John
    December 28, 2008 - 11:50 pm | Permalink

    By the way, am using Iphone 3G and i-tunes 8. Await your comments

    Thank you

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  • Bernadette Chasteen
    December 30, 2008 - 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I’m new to iPhone and just figured out I couldn’t put music purchased at work along with music I purchased at home onto the phone, after I made a number of purchases!

    Where’s that at?

    This works great.

    Thanks a bunch for sharing!

  • Jon
    December 31, 2008 - 9:11 pm | Permalink

    is there anyway to regenerate the .xml code, cause i kinda screwed up =/

  • stine
    December 31, 2008 - 11:27 pm | Permalink

    it works well. thanks for the help!! =D

  • lloyd salmon
    December 31, 2008 - 11:36 pm | Permalink

    syncing, pictures to your iphone. why is this so hard to do. i think i can answer my own question. go to itune .com pay money. $.99 download one song. money money money. u would think that when time expire they will take the dam money with them.

  • salvador
    January 1, 2009 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    My Itunes doesn´t do nothing.
    I did it all forms to connect my Ipod with my Mac.
    Do you Help m?

  • alex
    January 1, 2009 - 10:41 am | Permalink

    it doesnt work :/

    when i open the .itl file in notepad its all loads of random symbols and letters and i searched for Library Persistent but it wasnt there??

  • mbuschman
    January 1, 2009 - 11:03 am | Permalink

    I have done this a ton of times and can’t get it to work. I followed all the steps to a T. My home computer (#2) still wants to delete my existing library and replace it. Anything else I can try?

  • Scott Adelman
    January 1, 2009 - 11:48 am | Permalink

    I think the problem is that the hack will allow only one way sync with two computers. So you can purchase music on two computers and download it to the ipod. You cannot completely sync the ipod with two computers. There is still no way to copy music from an ipod to a comuter without using third party software. Am I correct here?

  • Mbuschman
    January 1, 2009 - 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Thanks. My issue though is that I have different music on the two computers and want to add all from both to my new itouch. I don’t care about copying back to the computers as the software will allow.

    January 1, 2009 - 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Andrew, my work computer crashed and was replaced by a new one before I was able to copy the key IDs. I have a new mac that I want to do all my syncing. How do I do this on my new mac. Thanks.

  • G-Man
    January 1, 2009 - 9:00 pm | Permalink

    I can’t find either of the two files referred to in the article, using Mac 10.5.6 w/ Itunes 8.0.2 on both machines. Searched the computer for anything with “library” in the name and can’t find anything that seems appropriate. Anyone help me here and let me know where I can find these files?

  • mbuschman
    January 1, 2009 - 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Got it! Theer were a couple of random iTunes related programs that were starting up with my computer, even without iTunes running. Once I went through task manager and ended these processes, this routine finally worked. Thanks for the post!

  • Mike
    January 3, 2009 - 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Used your guide for syncing an iPod/iPhone with more than one machine and it worked great. My first time to use a text editor or hex editor. A little scary at first but it went petty smooth once I located and downloaded the editors. Pretty cool. Thanks for the info.

  • pp
    January 5, 2009 - 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Great, Awesome, Fantastic – worked first time.

    Good Work.


  • David
    January 6, 2009 - 9:58 pm | Permalink

    When I try to find and replace the ID I get a message saying that the file is read only and cannot be changed. I am trying going from a Powerbook G4 to a Macbook Pro. Is there a way around this?

  • aris ortiz
    January 7, 2009 - 1:30 am | Permalink

    what should i open hexedit with?

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  • HRHS
    January 7, 2009 - 9:19 pm | Permalink

    awesome work!

  • Steve
    January 8, 2009 - 4:04 pm | Permalink


    Do a find (CTRL-F in Firefox) for hexedit in the thread on this webpage and you will find a comment with the url for the hexedit application.

  • January 10, 2009 - 2:25 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the clear step-by-step on how to accomplish this basic functionality that’s missing from the iPhone. I’m sure it’ll be added in a future rev and touted as a ‘feature.’

    A couple of points here:

    1. On the current version of iTunes (Mac OS X 10.5.5), the binary file is called ‘iTunes Library’.

    2. In the current version of hexedit, the ‘find and replace’ is under the ‘find menu’ instead of ‘edit’.

    3. When you click ‘find and replace all’ I didn’t see any counting of the times the old value was replaced with the new value. I clicked it a few times, then saved the file. When I restarted iTunes, it rebuilt the ‘iTunes Library’ file from the xml file.

    Guess what? It also let me play the music on my iPhone on the second computer. Hooray!!!


  • kontxi
    January 12, 2009 - 5:13 am | Permalink


  • Luiz
    January 13, 2009 - 6:03 pm | Permalink


    WHAT CAN I DO, WHAT ITS THE NAME OF THE An XML file and a binary file O HOW CAN I OPEN IT??



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  • Angie
    January 15, 2009 - 11:56 am | Permalink

    You freaking rock!! I was going crazy about this. Thanks!!

  • Sniteper
    January 15, 2009 - 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Great article. It worked as promised. Thank you very much.
    For all noobs, like me, I tried syncing music from the second computer to my iphone and all my info still got erased. I found out that all I had to do was drag the music I had on my second computer to the iphone icon instead of sync in manually. I hope this how it supposed to work.

  • Yemi
    January 15, 2009 - 10:41 pm | Permalink

    This did not work for me. Not sure if I am doing something wrong. I have firmware 2.2 and I am on WIndows Vista 32 and 64 bit…

    Any suggestions…The Ultra Edit did not show me the same screen shots you posted as it did not have the HEx option to check. Only ASCII..

    let me know if you have any additional tips…

  • Nate
    January 15, 2009 - 10:41 pm | Permalink

    works like a charm. thanks to Martin for clearing up some confusion

  • Yemi
    January 15, 2009 - 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Please ignore me…this works like clock work orange….YOU ROCK!!! Thank you!!!

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  • Jczpt
    January 17, 2009 - 11:08 am | Permalink

    Hi I’ve been tring and when I use the Hex editor it wont find the text string, I’m using Itunes ver 8 and PC
    Would like to use my iphone at work and home

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  • John Ransom
    January 17, 2009 - 11:26 pm | Permalink

    I get the same message discussed here. To paraphrase, roughly:

    “this iPhone is synced with another iTunes library and so syncing now will just wipe clean all your puerile music. It will be nothinged out of existence. You will be ‘syncing’ yourself into blankness. So by all means, click the ‘Sync’ button, you pathetic geek wannabe.”

    Like I said, a paraphrase — not only of the actual words of the warning, but of the spirit of contemptuous arrogance bubbling just below the surface of them.

    My problem is not so much that I have one computer with iTunes at work and another iTunes at home and want to sync on both.

    Instead, what happened to me is that my computer at home completely crashed and I had to reinstall XP and so lost everything including, of course, iTunes and my music library.

    My iPhone itself was not affected by this PC crash. It has lots of music on it from when it used to sync with my precrash Desktop. If I can’t fully sync what’s on my iPhone with my Windows XP Desktop, I would like at least to add music to the iPhone.

    When I connect my iPhone to the computer at home, iTunes recognizes it just fine. I bought a couple of CDs today — Journey, Boston, the usual — and imported them into my iTunes library. (Remember, I had to reinstall iTunes software after the big computer crash.) Importing the CDs went fine — there they are in my Desktop iTunes library. But then I tried to drag the newly added music files over to the iPhone icon and nothing doing. Red circle with slash through it.

    Left hand side column of iTunes I can see my iPhone icon. I click on it, and I am shown the Summary page. I click on the Music tab, third tab to the right of the Summary tab. I figure I’ll try the old trick on this Music tab, gleaned from hours of skulking about blogs and tech sites. You start by clicking “Sync music” (at the Music tab of your iPhone), then clicking “Selected playlists,” then checking one of the listed “playlist” folders I would have earlier filled with my recently added CD tracks. Next, you click “Sync” (lower right-hand side on “Music” tab page). The result is supposed to be a successful transfer of the new music to my iPhone as a “playlist.”

    Had this worked, I would again have found a work around permitting me to add music to a mobile music device using iTunes software from Apple, itself so cleverly designed as to make such syncing operations near-impossible, as if one were playing a particularly vexing version of Myst. They really should come out with a ‘Myst’ rendering of iTunes. Cheats on sale for .99; really good cheats — the ones that actually make it possible to transfer music from iTunes to an iPhone — well, they would have to be made available at the ‘album only’ price, of course.

    But every time I try this (that is, the series of clicks on the ‘Music’ tab of my iPhone, in iTunes described above), I am warned that if I try this maneuver, “this iPhone, the Desktop linked to it, along with all your childhood memories — stored digitally in a computer, as hard copies in some shoebox, or even just in the minds of you and your loved ones — will be wipe-deleted using a special irretrievability algorithm that, had it been perfected in time by Adolf Hitler’s mathematicians, would have materially affected the outcome of the Second World War.”

    In response I have, so far at least, hit ‘cancel’ rather than proceed. You really have to hand it to Apple — they know how to write warning messages.

  • Spider
    January 18, 2009 - 9:33 am | Permalink

    I have changed the iTunes music folder to a different one as opposed to the Default (My music/iTunes/…) on my work PC. However my home PC is default set by the iTunes installation. Does this make any difference. I tried chainging the Library code in the xml and hex on my home pc to reflect my office pc, but the hack does not work. I have iPhone 3G(2.2) and latest Itunes 8.0.2.

  • Jamminboy
    January 21, 2009 - 6:58 pm | Permalink

    My problem is that I can’t get iTunes on my laptop to even recognize my iPod Touch. I have the most recent version of iTunes and my iPod is up to date. I did your work-a-round and iTunes on my laptop recognized my iPod and started to sync. But then it stopped in the middle of the sync and my iPod was no longer in the devices. All I want to do is sync my calendar and contacts in Outlook 2003 Professional on my Toshiba Satellite A65-S126 Laptop to my iPod Touch and sync music, photos, apps, etc. from my desktop.

    iTunes on my desktop works perfectly. It recognizes my iPod and will sync anything and everything. But I can’t get iTunes on my laptop to even recognize it. Soooo, is there anyway to point iTunes on my desktop to my Outlook calendar and contacts on my laptop via my home network? iTunes obviously accesses some file in Outlook to know what info to pull into my iPod. Can’t I just point it to the same file but in another location i.e. my laptop on my network?? I don’t have any programming experience and would need something step by like you provided in this work-a-round.

    Thanks for any help!!

  • rye
    January 22, 2009 - 1:28 am | Permalink

    does this wor4k for the 1st gen iphone?

  • Frans Utt
    January 22, 2009 - 4:51 am | Permalink

    Worked perfectly!!! On Iphone 2.2 and 1 mac and 1 pc :) I’m sooooooo happy

  • manny
    January 22, 2009 - 2:30 pm | Permalink

    (on pc) i’ve been doing everthing excactly as described but after replacing the president id and saved it ,i can not run itunes. any idea what im doing wrong. i’d apreciate it. thanx

  • Sumit
    January 22, 2009 - 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for your post, can you please tell me if I can add music to my Iphone without deleting already existing library, as per my knowledge, I can add music to my Iphone only by replacing old library.


  • Jay
    January 22, 2009 - 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Dude i don’t understand. I’m not a computer genius so can someone please please help me. I’m trying to do this on a macbook but can’t. My email is if you shoot me an email or reply on this I’ll give you my aim or something and hopefully you can help.

  • Pat
    January 23, 2009 - 12:16 am | Permalink

    This is by far the easiest way i have found to do this

    Thank you!

  • mody
    January 23, 2009 - 7:20 am | Permalink

    this is in cause i had synced library ID in first place , but what if i lost my hard drive with all itunes library iD and music and my iphone is ok and i can’t get into it unless i come with my lost library ID .

    let’s say i lost every thing but i have my iphone loaded with lots of music , video , ringtone . how i can sync with new itunes without losing my stuff

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  • January 24, 2009 - 6:37 am | Permalink

    Tried today with 2 accounts in win Vista64 and windows XP with itunes Worked excellent. Now I can use my little netbook and synch wherever I want (my girlfriend, too), GREAT. Thanks for this nice article!

  • Jay
    January 24, 2009 - 11:28 am | Permalink

    Hey guys. This whole thing is pointless if you have 2.2 software for the itouch or the iphone that’s up to date with the new itouch. All you have to do is turn off auto sync with everything and you can have up to 5 libraries it says so don’t go through this crap.

  • peter
    January 25, 2009 - 1:57 am | Permalink

    I cannot locate said .xml & .itl files on either windows vista or XL machines…

  • Sourabh
    January 26, 2009 - 11:09 am | Permalink

    salute to the master mind

  • faysan
    January 27, 2009 - 2:40 pm | Permalink

    My main iMac G5 died, so had no way of transferring new music/movies to iPhone 3G. Method described here works a treat. Managed to retrieve ID from Time Capsule backup of “iTunes Library” file only (.xml file missing) and copied it to MacBook. Thanks for the knowledge.

  • ryan1
    January 28, 2009 - 1:58 am | Permalink

    andrew my second computer is running xp, and Im working with Ultraedit. and evertime i try to do the “find and replace” its always says cant not find… i dont understand whats going on???

  • Jose Luis
    January 28, 2009 - 6:41 am | Permalink

    Doesn’t work for me… iPhone 2.2 and iTunes 8.0.2 :(

  • Harry Stark
    January 28, 2009 - 10:05 am | Permalink

    Hi there. Thanks for your help. I’d like to use my iphone to update both my contacts on my work PC and my contacts on my macbook at home. ?Will using the option to “merge data” double my entries, or will it intelligently determine which records have changed and update only those records? I’ve been afraid to try this, as I have about 1000 entries and don’t want to remove 1000 entries if they are duplicated.


  • January 28, 2009 - 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Works great!!I just had problems with HexEdit because I forgot to close iTunes, but right now I got my iPhone’s music playing in my MacBook Pro

  • hedgehog
    February 2, 2009 - 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Does this also work for ipod Touch? Thanks

  • tsh
    February 3, 2009 - 12:21 pm | Permalink

    I moved and carried my email contacts with me on my iphone. I thought I could sync with a new computer and down load them. This does not seem to work, it wants to (as you described above) erase my iphone date.
    Can you help?

  • zachary
    February 3, 2009 - 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Can you help me out?

    Where is the Hex editor located?

    Is that something that you download to your computer?

  • Rey Ortega
    February 3, 2009 - 10:43 pm | Permalink

    There are no words to describe the level of genius and generosity you’ve shown to the iPhone community. You sir are a gentleman and a scholar.

    p.s. FREAKIN’ AWESOME!!!!!!!


  • Loc
    February 4, 2009 - 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant, it works perfectly. Thanks

  • February 4, 2009 - 2:32 pm | Permalink

    This is awesome, big thanks!

  • Andy
    February 4, 2009 - 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Does not work with iTunes 8. Is there a work around?

  • Christian
    February 4, 2009 - 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Thank you!! Worked perfect!

  • Davidh
    February 5, 2009 - 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Did not work for me with itunes 8.0.2 on a pc. Wasted a lot of time.

  • stowns
    February 7, 2009 - 12:28 pm | Permalink

    thank god…

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  • James
    February 9, 2009 - 1:06 am | Permalink

    I have tried but I can’t seem to get it to work. I can edit the .xml file ok and replace the hex string no problem. I downloaded a hex editor, but when I open the .itl file and search for the hex to replace it says not found? Which hex editor is the best to use. I really need to get this working as my XP instalation has gone belly up!!!


  • RickN
    February 9, 2009 - 7:18 am | Permalink

    There is NO “iTunes Music Library.xml” file. Please help. iTunes Windows Vista Ult. iPhone 3G. Please email me at dvst8ion@gmail if you can help. Thank you in advance.

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  • February 10, 2009 - 3:24 am | Permalink

    This is simply amazing, and works like a charm 😀

  • sean
    February 13, 2009 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    machine at home: PPC g5, leopard, itunes 8.0
    machine at work: intel, tiger, itunes 8.02

    iphone 2.2

  • John
    February 14, 2009 - 12:49 am | Permalink

    I did what was instructed with my new iphone 3g and it still didnt work. Does this not work for an iphone.

  • greg
    February 14, 2009 - 10:26 am | Permalink

    when i get to the find replace and enter the numbers and hit replace all nothing happens and i get a ding sound

  • BEN
    February 15, 2009 - 5:58 am | Permalink


  • Pabbss
    February 17, 2009 - 3:50 am | Permalink

    At last! I was weeks away from getting rid of my iphone.. MAD with frustration at not being able to move music from my work or home computer. Ive lost count at the amount of feedback I’ve left screaming at apple. Is it really that hard?!! Seemingly no… Worked perfectly!

    I had a little trouble finding a hex editor which didn’t unexpectedly quit.. stumbled on this one which did the job..

    Thanks so much!

  • Christian
    February 17, 2009 - 1:59 pm | Permalink

    I just purchased a new macbook. Took my setting from my pc and it worked. Thank you!

  • Kai
    February 18, 2009 - 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Confirmed working on iPhone software v2.2.1 and iTunes v8.0.2.20

    Thanks for the great tutorial!

  • February 18, 2009 - 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this. So nice to be able to listen to music on my computer at work through the iPhone!

  • Daniel
    February 19, 2009 - 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Worked! Thx alot.

    Set my iPhone 3G to manual just incase some of my music was foobared! Lastest version of iTunes

  • mike
    February 23, 2009 - 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Hi Andrew,

    Well I got to the point of changing the Persistent ID then I saved, opened the file again to do the find/replace, put in the numbers exactly and hit replace all, and it said SEARCH STRING ” ” NOT FOUND
    Please Help Me,

  • transpar3nt
    February 23, 2009 - 4:26 pm | Permalink

    After some confusion I finally got it working. For anyone who couldn’t find the files on Windows, the 2 files in question are located in your Music (My Music for XP) folder, under iTunes.

    In windows you have to download a Hex editor for the .itl file, I found a good, non-install, freeware one at

    When you’re using that program, to do the search, select the Hex part. YOU MUST TYPE IN THE CHARACTERS MANUALLY. This is important because if you just paste it in, it’ll say “invalid…”. When you type it in manually it separates every 2 numbers like it should for this hex. Once it finds the string it will just select the first 2 characters, that’s okay. At this point, just click Edit->Overwrite String. Now just MANUALLY ENTER the correct library string from the instructions. Hit OK, then go to File->Save.

    Then CLOSE THE EDITOR or iTunes will freak out when it runs. Now just run iTunes and it should work! (this is assuming you followed the instructions for modifying the .xml file too).


  • Janna
    February 23, 2009 - 9:02 pm | Permalink

    I owe you a big thank you.. THANK YOU!!!

  • Gav
    February 23, 2009 - 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Works great! (And this has been driving me mad for ages!!).

    One thing – I had to edit a file called iTunes Library Extras.itdb to get this to work as there didn’t seem to be any file called “iTunes Music Library” with that file type on my mac.


  • hippophagy
    February 24, 2009 - 6:14 pm | Permalink

    This works on a mac. Make sure you don’t leave the file open in the text editor or the hexeditor otherwise itunes will throw an error. Yes I was dumb enough to do that my first time through.

  • Pam
    February 24, 2009 - 6:35 pm | Permalink

    I was so happy to find this! I have a second-gen iPod Touch and iTunes, and it worked great.

  • samimnot
    February 24, 2009 - 10:01 pm | Permalink

    I’m running iTunes 8 and trying to sync with 3G ipod version 2.2.1, followed all the directions (plus also changed the “Itunes Library Extras” file – and….
    doesn’t work – no change.

    I’ve checked the files and verified that the ‘new’ number is saved not the ‘old’ number – but it still doesn’t work.

    Anyone have any suggestions? (I tried rebooting both ipod and imac)


  • mike
    February 25, 2009 - 6:52 pm | Permalink

    I am having the same problem as SAMIMNOT

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  • Will
    February 28, 2009 - 9:18 am | Permalink

    Cheers~ Still works! Thanks everyone!

  • neeru sarin
    March 1, 2009 - 9:28 pm | Permalink

    I could not find the “iTunes Music Library” but I did find iTunes Library, so, I still proceeded with your directions. When I got to the find and replace part, I got a message from HexEdit stating “This window’s file is read-only,meaning you can’t make or save…….” so now I am stuck and can’t make the required change. Please advise.

  • March 3, 2009 - 12:31 am | Permalink

    hey i have both pc and i seem to have trouble finding the binary file, kuz i found the xml but i need help finding the other

  • Olov Sandberg
    March 4, 2009 - 4:32 am | Permalink

    I love you.

  • Daniel
    March 5, 2009 - 6:08 am | Permalink

    I did this step by step but its not working for me. I am still getting the prompt to erase and sync when I check manually manage music. I have 2 PC’s (one XP and one Vista). Any ideas?

  • Kylerrr
    March 5, 2009 - 2:22 pm | Permalink

    There isn’t even an itunes music library.xml file on my computer…wtf? Where would I even find it? This doesn’t make any sense…

  • jAM
    March 5, 2009 - 8:03 pm | Permalink

    It works great on my 2 macs! Thx!

    For your info, the “iTunes Music Library.xml” file might be hidden. Open iTunes and it will reveal itself. Open it in textedit before closing iTunes.

    For the 2nd step, on my mac its called “iTunes Library”

  • Mike
    March 7, 2009 - 9:06 am | Permalink


  • March 7, 2009 - 1:30 pm | Permalink

    I have used this technique in the past and it worked. However, I was just looking back over this to remember how it was done. Im a little confused with some of the steps. I understand to copy the 16 digit code in the .xml file from the itunes I am currently syncing with. Then I understand to open this file on the 2nd computer I wish to sync with and copy that code as well, then replace it with the one from my original pc. The next step I get confused on. Once I open the .itl file on my 2nd pc I wish to sync with, You state:

    “Select “Find and Replace” from the Edit menu. Make sure “Hex” matching is selected (not ASCII). In “Find” enter the ID you took a note of in Part 1. In Replace, enter the ID you copied at the start of Part 2. Choose Replace All, there should be one match”

    However, in the image you provide for reference you have placed the codes in the opposite places. The images shows the first code that was takin note of in step one listed under Replace and the one copied at the beginning of part 2 is listed in the Find bracket??

    Am I confused or what?


  • Tailless
    March 8, 2009 - 3:46 am | Permalink

    Thanks, works great with ITunes
    For those confused with the iTunes Library.itl part on a PC right click the iTunes Library.itl and open with UltraEdit you will

    “Find”(the 2nd PCs code that you just changed in the iTunes Music Library.xml) and you will

    “Replace”(with the code from the 1st PC that you normally sync with)

    then hit the “replace” button and hit ok, then save and open Itunes. You must select the same option to “Sync” or “Manage” that is selected on the 1st PC(I personally prefer Manage)and then transfer the music from the 2nd PC. GL

  • Kevin
    March 9, 2009 - 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much! I had to wipe my entire drive, and this was one thing I hadn’t thought of ahead of time.

  • John
    March 10, 2009 - 2:14 am | Permalink

    Many thanks for this. I had a few problems at first but it works fine now.
    itunes and iphone 3g version 2.2.1

    The biggest problem I had is that there were three different copies of itunes libraries on my old computer from previous computers that had just been transferred over onto newer models.

  • Samuel
    March 11, 2009 - 7:43 am | Permalink

    This doesn’t work for me. I switched computers recently and I’m trying to sync my iphone to my new computer but every single time i change the code it still appear the same…

  • Tim
    March 11, 2009 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    3/11/2009 11:52 EDT
    Running iTunes 8.02.20 and iPhone 2.2.1
    iTunes accounts are the same on both PC’s.

    I’ve checked, double checked, triple checked and after file manipulation the two files both have the Persistant ID of the first PC that is my main sync machine.

    When I start iTunes and try to sync it keeps saying it wants to delete everything on my iPhone3G.

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  • anirban
    March 13, 2009 - 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I think you meant to say opposite to what you wrote.

    In “Find” enter the ID you took a note of in Part 1. In Replace, enter the ID you copied at the start of Part 2.

  • Jason
    March 14, 2009 - 12:12 am | Permalink

    This does not work. I have tried it for two days now. I am running Vista 64 does that make a difference?

  • Jennifer Riley
    March 16, 2009 - 8:54 am | Permalink

    I had all my info on my home computer and it crashed. Is there any way that I can sync it on another comper w/o loosing any of this info or hurting it? Sorry rookie here =)

  • Abhishek
    March 16, 2009 - 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Just tried this on Windows XP running jailbroken iPhone 2.2.1 and ITunes 8.1. Worked like a charm. Used UltraEdit as Hex Editor. took all of 5 mins :)

  • Nate
    March 17, 2009 - 7:46 am | Permalink

    I can NOT get this to work no matter what I do. Is there some kind of an extra trick to get this technique to work with two windows computers?

  • March 19, 2009 - 1:36 am | Permalink

    Hi there, this works across my 2 macs at home, but I also need to do my mac at work which doubles up as the file storage system/server.

    Does anyone know if doing this will affect my itunes library as a lot of people pull songs directly from my HD across a network?


  • Reaper8
    March 19, 2009 - 4:52 am | Permalink

    Thank you very much. You’ve done society a great service.

  • jay
    March 19, 2009 - 1:44 pm | Permalink

    hey guys,

    i have a macbook as my main computer and a windows desktop for my home computer.i want to sync the music on my desktop without losing my music from my macbook library. is there a way to do that?

    just incase that doesnt make sense let me explain again ..
    my desktop has 4000 songs and my macbook only has 500. i want to keep it that way to keep my mac running fast. so basically i want to be able to keep music from both without having to erase one.. i want my iphone to be able to access both libraries. any help would be much appreciated


  • se
    March 19, 2009 - 4:05 pm | Permalink

    what if you dont have your other computer ? …

  • Johnny Bonora
    March 19, 2009 - 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Hello Dear
    I would like to find out if its possible to sync my iPhone with computer “A), which is broken with anohter computer “B”), The problem is that since my iPhone only recognizes computer “A”, and Computer “B” is new it my iPhone. How can I sync my songs in compuer “B”, and keep my song that are in my iphone, without deleting them.
    I kindly appreciate for your help.

  • sox
    March 21, 2009 - 1:05 pm | Permalink

    it works for me with the music, but now the applications that were saved on my office laptop, now are not sincronized neither in laptop nor in home computer.

    I am getting a message “Some of the application in your itunes library, including “wordpower”, were not installed on the iphone “xxx’s phone” beacuse you are not authorized for them on this computer”.

    Any idea, I would not like now to loose those applications without backup.

    Can I reset and go back to at least sincronized in the office laptop, without the music?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.



  • Favre
    March 22, 2009 - 9:50 am | Permalink

    Juste formidable !

    Quelle chance d’avoir trouvé ton blog ! Merci !

  • Dave
    March 22, 2009 - 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Hey Andrew, me and my friend developed a small app that does the whole job for you on a PC.

    There’s a option to grab the current ID, then save it somewhere. Then on the next computer there’s on option to automatically replace the ID code on the XML and ITL files (no need for a hex editor!)

    You can post the link on your main article if you like.

  • gernsteine
    March 23, 2009 - 3:08 am | Permalink

    Thank you, thank you, thank you !

  • Will JV
    March 23, 2009 - 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Just wanted to take a quick second to thank the writer of this extremely useful tutorial and very well needed by everyone who has music files in different computers.
    The time put into this software mod is very appreciated on my end!

    Will V

  • jamezjr
    March 24, 2009 - 2:43 am | Permalink

    I’ve seen many ask “what if my original computer s hard drive crashed?” but have seen no answers. This is my situation also and where im stuck, can you someone help me with this question? Thanks.

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  • Felipe
    March 26, 2009 - 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic discovery Andrew! Well done, many thanks

    I found it so useful that I made this little utility to automate all that. Hope that someone finds it useful too.


  • BRian
    March 27, 2009 - 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Every time I have tried this i keep getting a message from the HEX editor saying… ” This window’s file is read-only, meaning you can’t make or save changes to the existing file! To save changes select ‘save as…’ from the file menu” I made sure the itunes library file was unlocked to read and write to everyone but i still am not able to swap out the old id for the new one using the hex editor. Can anyone help with this??? Thanks

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  • seb
    March 28, 2009 - 4:19 am | Permalink

    excuse me i forgot to note the line i change in the itunes music library.xml what can i do to find it????please help me
    thank you a lot

  • March 28, 2009 - 5:41 pm | Permalink

    I just did this and it worked perfectly. My main computer is a G4 tower and my work PC is a Dell Core2 with XP. The only hiccup I had was forgetting to copy my old ID number from the XML file boefore I pasted the new one in. I deleted my library file, re-imported the music files to iTunes(luckily there weren’t too many) and went through the steps verbatim.

    I used a free Hex editor called “Free Hex Editor Neo” which seemed like overkill for what I needed. It didn’t have a field I could paste the whole hex value into in the find dialog, so I manually typed it in, found the offending line, and manually typed in the new library ID.

    I fired up iTunes and everything worked like a charm. I dragged all my music over and it copied like it should.

    Thanks man!

  • seb
    March 30, 2009 - 7:53 am | Permalink

    please i need some help
    excuse me for my english I am french
    Where can i find the number i erase in the itunes music library xml
    because now i can’t find the number in hex edit to find and replace

    thank you

  • Oscar
    April 1, 2009 - 5:41 am | Permalink

    I finally figured out how to do it after about a half hour. The first few steps are very easy, but not having ANY sort of experience working with hex data, I was having a hard time using ultra edit to do the final step. I then did a manual search for “.itl” and the first result was the file that needed to be opened. I guess it was hidden. once I opened that, I followed the rest of the directions and it worked like a charm.

  • Matthew
    April 1, 2009 - 6:16 am | Permalink

    I tried that iTunes DB Cloner utility posted above by Felipe and it worked like a charm for me. So far it is the easiest I have found.

    It sounds silly but it checks if iTunes is already running and asks you to close it so files can be modified.

  • Nicki
    April 1, 2009 - 10:27 am | Permalink

    Is there any way to find the library persistant id I am replacing? I forgot to write it down before I changed it.

  • mozbius
    April 1, 2009 - 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Doesn’t work here with iPhone 3G 2.21 and iTunes 8.
    The whole process is quite simple and straight forward.
    Perhaps things have changed? For example there’s no such file as “Tunes Music Library.itl” in iTunes PC. There’s only “iTunes Library.itl”. And even then. Once “iTunes Library.itl” and “iTunes Music Library.xml” are modified, iTunes will still warn you about erasing :
    -Installed Apps

    Both files to be modified have been double checked.

    I’m sorry but this doesn’t appear to work anymore.

  • Hank
    April 4, 2009 - 11:25 am | Permalink

    Worked for me. Two Macs both with iTunes 8.1 (50) on OS X 10.5.6. I also removed the “iTunes Library Extras.itdb” and “iTunes Library Genius.itdb” files. And I removed the Folder “Previous iTunes Libraries” (you’ll have if you’ve upgraded from previous iTunes).

    (IMPORTANT!!) I removed these files after I made the changes above but before I started iTunes. It might be a good idea to back them up incase something goes wrong 😉

    I first tried without removing these files/folder mentioned above and it did not work. Error message complained that the Library was from a newer version of iTunes? Anyways,iTunes recreated the two files, the folder is not needed.

    Just to clarify, some of you seem confused that you will be able to Sync with both computers? This wont work unless you have identical iTunes Music Libraries. This method will allow you to sync Apps, Calendars etc from 1 computer but add music and movies from 2 computers. Music and Movies will have to be manually managed or else they’ll be overwritten/deleted, with each sync. Easiest method, do not hit the “Sync” button on the second computer which is found when you select the device under iTunes. Rather to move music and movies onto the ipod/iphone, just drag them. Hope this helps.

    Thanks very much for the how to. It was exactly what I was looking for. I can now add songs to my iPhone from two different music libraries.

  • Adam
    April 5, 2009 - 12:16 pm | Permalink

    According to Apple you can use an iPhone with iTunes on multiple computers in ‘manual manage’ mode;

    In practice this doesn’t work so I will try your method, thanks.

  • TBone
    April 6, 2009 - 5:45 am | Permalink

    Are Ringtones able to managed from two computers?

    How do I drag songs into iTunes and get them on the iPhone without pressing Sync?

  • Bernd
    April 6, 2009 - 8:30 am | Permalink

    It works perfect! Thank you very much!

  • Hank
    April 6, 2009 - 9:32 am | Permalink

    Yes ringtones can be managed manually from the two computers in the same manner as music and movies. Simply find the songs/movies/ringtones you want in iTunes and drag it over to the iphone/ipod under devices (all within iTunes).

    Before you do that, on the summary tab ensure that “Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected” and “Sync only checked songs and videos” are unchecked. And ensure “Manually manage music and videos” is checked. That should do it.

    Thanks again Andrew.

  • Simms
    April 6, 2009 - 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Ha ha…WOW!!
    works like a charm, you sir are a genius, 10/10!! I used Free Hex Editor Neo but still had trouble locating the hex values in my .itl file, then I came across Felipe’s tool which does it all automatically in the background, marvelous! I have iTunes 8.0.5 and I will not be upgrading that in along time! much respect, i was starting to lose my mid with this problem.

    Anyone having issues with hex files, search for Felipe in the postings and download his utility, another 10/10.

  • Joe
    April 10, 2009 - 7:38 pm | Permalink

    I almost got it, except for I did not make a copy of part one the new computer, I now cannot replace it in the .itl “find and replace” hex part of he process. Is there anything I can do to recover the orignal xml no.

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  • Gunter Wagner
    April 11, 2009 - 6:18 am | Permalink

    After trying for days to find a solution to transfer music to my 2G iPhone from 2 computers (or even backup Applications to both computers), I finally stumbled over your instructions.
    It works perfectly, exactly what I wanted!

    Thanks a million for providing the solution!

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  • bo
    April 14, 2009 - 10:14 am | Permalink

    “…In “Find” enter the ID you took a note of in Part 1. In Replace, enter the ID you copied at the start of Part 2. Choose Rep…”

    Dude, you have this written backwards, even though your picture/diagram states it correctly. Your description should say…

    “…In “Find” enter the ID you copied at the start of Part 2. In Replace, enter the ID you took a note of in Part 1. Choose Rep…”

    I think all the people who have done it and commented just looked at the picture/diagram without actually reading word for word.

    …Just thought you’d like to know…

    Thanx for the iPhone fix…

  • C
    April 15, 2009 - 10:01 pm | Permalink

    HELP! I deleted my persistent library ID before copying it (then subsequently saved and closed the file)…can I retrieve it somehow?

  • April 16, 2009 - 9:23 am | Permalink

    I tried this with 2.2.1 on 3G and itunes 8.1 and it doesn’t work.

    I matched the key’s up exactly via copy/paste, and followed the steps 100%, but it still warns me that my library will be overwritten.

    Itunes also erased all the programs on my phone w/out asking. It asked if i would like to ‘back up’ my programs, which i chose yes. If i didn’t, it said it would remove all programs (which it did anyway!).

    It appears this hack no longer works

  • lewis
    April 17, 2009 - 2:04 am | Permalink

    anyone getting this working with latest itunes and iPhone?

    when I follow all of the designated steps EXACTLY I get:

    “The file “iTunes Library” cannot be read because it was created by a newer version of iTunes.”

    anyone else have this problem/a solution at all?

  • Dado
    April 17, 2009 - 10:10 am | Permalink



    Andrew Grant 1000 x 0 Steve Jobs

  • Hank
    April 17, 2009 - 12:21 pm | Permalink

    See my previous post above. It worked fine for me.

  • Jaraad
    April 17, 2009 - 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Awesome it Worked!! I thought I was gonna be out of luck…my computer that was linked to my iPhone completely crashed and I didnt have all my music and iPhone data backed up. However I did know my computer was having issues so I did a quick backup of data files like the iTunes folder. It did me some good because I was able to do this!! I was wondering though,couldn’t I just copy over the original .xml and .itl, or would that have caused errors?

  • Sankar Mukhopadhyay
    April 19, 2009 - 2:00 pm | Permalink

    This works perfectly. Your instructions were clear and to the point.

    However, Apps cannot be synchronized. Because, manaual sync is grayed out. Other people also asked this question.

    Is there a way to do this?



  • Mimmy
    April 19, 2009 - 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, it works just great. For the guys out there who think it doesn’t work, you must be doing something wrong. Currently I have Itunes 8.1.1 installed in my Powerbook and my Iphone 3g is working perfectly. I would like to add one suggestion though, please do not confuse Itunes Music Library.xml with Itunes Library (LIB) when using HexEdit
    ( made that mistake and I took me a while to figure it out. But Hell yes, this works I’m so thankful. Keep up with the good work. You rock Andrew!!!!

  • Nessim Bassan
    April 20, 2009 - 10:57 am | Permalink

    Your method is excellent. Buy in my case I gave away my pc to another fellow workperson and I now cannot get the library id. I bought a new computer and I cannot sync withour erasing.
    Is there a way to get it from de iphone itself?

  • Jaraad
    April 20, 2009 - 3:17 pm | Permalink


    The Library ID has to be stored on the phone, which is what causes the problem in the first place. However to access the possible location of the ID (unknown to me, try a google search) can only be attained by “jailbreaking” or hacking your phone to allow the Root folders to be viewed

  • Ghory
    April 21, 2009 - 9:57 am | Permalink

    Hmmm… my old hard drive crashed and I have no wayof copying the library id from there. do youknow i can sync myiphone to my new hard drive?

  • Andres
    April 21, 2009 - 3:04 pm | Permalink

    u sr r a jeniass lol. just kidding u r the man tx alot.

  • lewis
    April 23, 2009 - 8:14 am | Permalink

    just to let peeps know – if they had the same problem as me, if you remove the files as Hank says in post 10 it seems to work!

    ta Hank

  • Gabriella
    April 24, 2009 - 1:55 am | Permalink

    Thanks so much! It worked first time with my old iMac at home and a new iMac in the office and iTunes 8.1.1 on both computers.

  • Mike
    April 24, 2009 - 4:58 am | Permalink

    WARNING… this does not work in Windows with iTunes and iPhone 3G OS version 2.2.1. Lost everything on the iPhone (several times) even without syncing just by plugging it in. It appears the new version of iTunes will actively delete all assoc. content to the option (Music, Ringtones, etc.) as soon as you turn the option off BEFORE one actually sync’s. All I wanted to do was sync my calander from my work computer and the leave the rest of the media sync’d from my home PC. Pure frustration.

  • Fuzens
    April 24, 2009 - 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Great job. Works perfectly. thanks

  • tom
    April 28, 2009 - 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much. This really helped :)

  • Gaz
    April 30, 2009 - 5:51 am | Permalink

    Yet ANOTHER reason not to buy a stupid iPhone. Friggen apple.

  • Kenneth Lehrman
    May 2, 2009 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    Thanks This worked Great!

  • waway
    May 2, 2009 - 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Thanks a lot!!! Just what I need. Solves my problem. Great job!

  • TK
    May 5, 2009 - 8:57 am | Permalink

    hi, i am trying to copy and past the 16 characters into the Hex Editor, open “iTunes Music Library” (Tunes Music Library.itl on PC)by i can see the following that you stated. Can you advice.

    Please advice…
    There no – Select “Find and Replace” from the Edit menu.

    I can find the “Hex” matching is selected (not ASCII)in the system.

    Can you advice.

  • sebastian
    May 5, 2009 - 9:12 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the info, my IT bods have set this up, but and I must apologise for not having read all 339 replies to this thread, when I try and sync apps or get apps on the 2nd machine (set up and authorised) it deletes all the current apps on the iPhone. The music appears to be safe, but all the apps go. How do you (can you) stop this from occuring?
    I appreciate your time in this matter.


    May 8, 2009 - 10:55 am | Permalink

    Works perfect! thanks a lot!! for those who dont have Ultra Edit, just down load the 45 days trial version. Follow the steps and enjoy your music!!

  • thanxx
    May 9, 2009 - 3:23 am | Permalink

    it worked!! thanxx and God bless!!

  • ching
    May 9, 2009 - 10:47 pm | Permalink

    hi there, when i get to the ‘find and replace’ part, i keep getting “___ string not found!’. what is the problem? thanks so much im practically IT illiterate haha:)

  • Hobblestone
    May 11, 2009 - 4:49 pm | Permalink

    I’m getting the ‘string not found’ as well. I’m using the latest version of UltraEdit and iTunes. Anyone?

  • TK
    May 11, 2009 - 7:54 pm | Permalink

    hi, i am trying to copy and past the 16 characters into the Hex Editor, open “iTunes Music Library” (Tunes Music Library.itl on PC)by i can see the following that you stated. Can you advice.

    Please advice…
    There no – Select “Find and Replace” from the Edit menu.

    I can’t find the “Hex” matching is selected (not ASCII)in the system.

    Please help.,.

  • Aaron
    May 12, 2009 - 10:26 am | Permalink

    I actually used this but not for syncing with two computers…

    For some reason my iTunes went haywire on me and I had to reinstall it and import all my songs again. When I tried to later sync my phone I couldn’t because it said it was already synced with another computer which was really just my previous library on this computer.

    Instead of finding my original library ID from the original computer, I went into the “Previous Libraries” folder and opened my iTunes Library in UltraEdit and copied the original and then replaced it in the other 2 files of the current library, and it worked! For some reason though, I’m missing a bunch of my album artwork, but I can handle that.

  • ching
    May 14, 2009 - 7:54 am | Permalink

    hi TK, i just resolved my problem!

    Make sure that not only your itunes is not running, your iphone is not plugged in as well. that may have been the cause of our problem!

    I did the reverse of what was instructed in the last part. Instead of entering the ID taken note of in Part 1 under the “Find” field and that copied at the start of Part 2 in the “Replace” field as stated, i entered the new ID (the comp u wanna sync with)in the “Find” field and the original ID in the “Replace” field.

    You can then plug in your iphone and select Manually Mangage and try dragging your music from the new comp into your phone!

  • ching
    May 14, 2009 - 8:03 am | Permalink

    oh actually my previous post was for hobblestone..

    for tk, you are using ultraedit as well right? if so, click on the “Replace Text” icon. It’s under the “Help” tab, after 3 binoculars icons! Dont think you have to worry about the Hex selection, just make sure you dont check any of the boxes:)

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  • Marlene
    May 18, 2009 - 4:17 pm | Permalink

    this is confusing- but I’ll try it:( Will this work on a computer that isn’t a mac, and will it erase any songs from my itunes and will it mess up my computer? I want to sync the apps from my sister’s iphone onto my ipod touch, and I want to synce the snogs from my itunes on my computer to her ipod. Will this work?

  • Trevor
    May 20, 2009 - 11:41 am | Permalink

    When I saved from the HexEdit (after changing the 16 digit ID) the iTunes Music Library.xml and iTunes Library file had the “~” after it. I tried opening iTunes and said it was locked and could not be opened. The HexEdit created a new file when I saved the changes, so therefore I tried to delete the old file but this did not change anything. I also tried looking at the info for each file and it was not locked. I don’t know what to try now.

  • Mike
    May 21, 2009 - 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Im having the same problem with the computer where I used to have my iphone synce on, but what makes it more complicated my brother switched iTunes off of the c-drive onto his d-drive which both of them are located on the same computer and I cant find the itunes information that would allow me to find the original 16 digit code that I need to copy and paste with…Are there any suggestions at this point?

  • jiimy
    May 23, 2009 - 9:25 am | Permalink

    Will this work if I wanted to download a iphone app from my itunes to my girlfriends iphone. I don’t own a iphone but am developing an database using fmtouch and would like to see it run other than on my simulator, to see what is actually working and what isn’t on a real iphone.. :)

  • May 24, 2009 - 5:45 am | Permalink

    WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP!!! You Rock!!

    I reinstalled windows and thus iTunes and until now have had a blocked iphone with regard to putting music on it…. why oh why seeing as apple allow you to authorise computers do they not associate those with the phones and allow you to re-authorise a phone with a library???
    I didn’t find the key by searching because the hex editor was a little rubbish that i used (not the recommended, but the string i needed to find was in the first few lines anyway.

    Cheers a bunch

  • Rotard
    May 27, 2009 - 4:14 am | Permalink

    When i go to replace, prompted “Sears string ‘….’ not found!”

    Help Please?

  • Rotard
    May 27, 2009 - 5:48 am | Permalink

    Andrew Grant + Felipe = MAGIC

    Thanks Guys, works a Wonder!

  • May 27, 2009 - 9:43 am | Permalink

    Okay – beginner here. Where do I find the file ‘iTunes Music Library.xml’ ? I downloaded secrets and set Finder to show hidden files, but when i search HD nothing matches. Where is this file?

  • May 27, 2009 - 10:38 am | Permalink

    Never mind! Found it in Music/iTunes – thought it would be more complicated.

  • Mario
    May 27, 2009 - 12:05 pm | Permalink

    What if i dont have the computer that i orgiganilly had it on

  • Sam
    May 28, 2009 - 4:16 pm | Permalink

    when i bought my iphone i activated it on my boyfriends computer. now that its synced to his, i can not sync it to my new macbook. I did everything step by step and its still doing the same exact thing. i have a lot of apps and music on my iphone and dont want to be forced to erase everything :(

    why isnt it working for mee!!?

  • Kristy
    May 28, 2009 - 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Hi, was going really well but forgot to write down the string that was on my 2nd itunes library, i replaced it without noting it and saved!

    Is there any way I can find out what this is so I can fix in binary form!!

    Would love to solve this problem!

  • May 29, 2009 - 1:48 am | Permalink

    Can I sync the iphone and ipod to the same music library file on multiple computers as well?

  • Fi
    May 29, 2009 - 7:19 am | Permalink

    Brilliant work!! Now iphone is just as easy to dump music on anywhere as other mp3 players out there. phew!

  • ronny
    May 30, 2009 - 11:04 pm | Permalink

    you still lose all your apps from your iphone
    is there any way to stop that

  • Rza111
    May 31, 2009 - 5:10 pm | Permalink

    I followed all the directions, and at first it erased all my apps and music of my first computer, and replaced it with the music of my second computer. This was disappointing, but I tried again after re synced with my original library. This time I clicked the option to manually manage and I hit apply. It seemed like it was going to delete my stuff again so I canceled it by sliding my iphone. For some reason this then let me drag and drop my music to my iphone. So it worked! I then tried my shuffle and it worked great as well. Hope this helps.

  • June 5, 2009 - 3:31 pm | Permalink


    If you have no access to the computer that your iPhone is currently paired with (i.e. It’s been formatted, no longer have access to it, etc), and are really interested in keeping your iPhone media library, here is a brief howto on reading the Persistent ID directly from your device.
    Hope it is of some help to someone.


  • tania
    June 6, 2009 - 7:17 am | Permalink

    Thanks so much. Been looking for this for ages. Worked like a charm!

  • Scot
    June 6, 2009 - 5:59 pm | Permalink

    This is great, thanks a lot for publishing this, it will help me a ton when I’m traveling.
    For the people that find themselves having trouble: make sure that you look for the most recent version of your iTunes Library.itl and iTunes Music Library.xml files. I found out my computer had a couple versions from other backups, versions, etc. and that iTunes wasn’t actually using them. It may not be stored in the default location. If your second computer still wants to format your iPhone, you probably don’t have the right ID. Do a search on your computer for each of the files, if you find you have more than one, use the most recently-edited one. Hope it helps someone, I spent most of the day being frustrated with it!

  • howard
    June 6, 2009 - 10:11 pm | Permalink

    wow… what a great tutorial on hacking. Thanks for this, I cant wait to try it on my machine at work. This is exactly what I needed!

    June 8, 2009 - 12:36 am | Permalink

    I’m runing the latest Itunes and I’m trying to sync my Iphone 2g. or regular. I’m using an Imac and an Ibook I tried all the steps one by one. however when I plug in my iphone on the ibook (where I changed the codes in) it still gives me the message about erasing everything. so I’m frustrated and It doesn’t seem to work. I need help. Is there some I’m using wrong? btw I used HexEdit to find the code. please help me! :-(

  • Demetre
    June 8, 2009 - 6:42 am | Permalink

    Worked like a charm !!!!

    I now sync between my PC Laptop and MacBook Air with no problems !!!


  • eddy
    June 9, 2009 - 6:14 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the tip. Work perfectly as described. Now my Iphone can use Itunes from all my computers.

  • OldManLink
    June 10, 2009 - 1:30 am | Permalink

    Reading through the responses, I see that donl (at 2008/07/21, 10:07) said that he managed to “move my music and applications from my iphone to my itunes”.

    So is this a way to get round the limitation that music can only be copied in the direction from computer to iPhone? If so, then it’s exactly what I need!

  • Garth
    June 10, 2009 - 5:52 am | Permalink

    This seems like a really good idea but doesn’t seem to work on iTunes 8 – the itl file has a slightly different name and although I think I’ve followed the instructions slavishly iTunes demands that the Music and Podcasts be synced or they will be deleted from the phone (sort of the opposite problem…)

    Any thoughts or observations?

  • Trent
    June 10, 2009 - 11:45 am | Permalink

    This is the second time I have looked for a solution to this issue… second time I have found the Answer! Just wanted to say Thanks! ….again!

  • Spikey BOy
    June 10, 2009 - 11:48 am | Permalink

    totally worked for me – you legend!

  • Garth
    June 10, 2009 - 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Ok Ok still having problems – every time I try to sync my calendar on the work computer to the iPhone it wipes all of my Apps. Obviously if you’re all having a bettr time of it than me I’m doing something wrong – what is the secret?


  • jay
    June 10, 2009 - 5:09 pm | Permalink

    this didnt work

  • June 13, 2009 - 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Worked like a champ with iPhone 3G 8 GB, using iTunes v8.

    Countless hours of searching now have come to an end. THANKS!

  • alex
    June 15, 2009 - 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I have the same problem like Garth!
    Does anyone know the solution for this “prob”?

    thx alex

  • June 16, 2009 - 5:12 am | Permalink

    I have changed the files on both the xml file and the other one but it still comes up with the same message.i am running version 8.

    Is there anywhere else I need to change the numbers. I have checked details 3x and all seems fine.


  • June 16, 2009 - 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Excellent. Had to rebuild my Mac and the music all imported, but I did not want to lose my apps. Thank you for this tip!

  • Peppa
    June 17, 2009 - 5:59 pm | Permalink

    I’ve followed the instructions for iPhone3 with iTunes and I get a warning that my applications will be deleted… How do i combat this? Can i somehow backup my applications on my phone? or is there any way to get the second computer to sync with the apps as well as music etc…?

  • kb
    June 18, 2009 - 1:06 pm | Permalink

    I usually am pretty bad at commenting, but this was such a fantastic discovery that it definitely warrants it. Thank you so much, it was painless and worked as directed!

  • DJA
    June 18, 2009 - 1:46 pm | Permalink

    i think i messed up
    i have a desktop and laptop the laptop is new as is the new itunes i just downloaded. i wish only to back up my iphone on the laptop. i followed your directions (almost). i found the files on my desktop. i typed in the desktop file (Library Persistent ID) then i went to the next step with the hex editor. (i think i was supposed to save the number/letter combo i typed over with my desktop information) thus when i opened the hex editor to find the string….duh.. i didnt have it. is there a way to recover from this?
    thx in advance

    June 21, 2009 - 10:33 am | Permalink


    June 21, 2009 - 10:33 am | Permalink


  • Marty S.
    June 23, 2009 - 6:31 am | Permalink

    I followed these instruction to get my iphone 3G to sync with my new macbook pro from the original windows machine I’ve been sync’ing with. while the music on the iphone 3G is now accessible and I can sync with it, my macbook is no longer authorized with the itunes store, I can neither authorize or deauthorize the macbook, I get an error that says “the required directory was not found or has a permissions error”. I can’t play any protected music, nor upload purchased song from the iphone to the macbook.

    is there something tying the library ID to the machine Id that will make the technique describe above no longer work?

  • chRIS
    June 25, 2009 - 2:09 am | Permalink

    This worked great…thanks so much…for anyone that says it doesn’t work. make sure you find the .itl file and change the number there not the .xml file

    Do a search for all files and type *.itl
    this is the file you want to change in hexeditor

  • Spikey BOy
    June 25, 2009 - 2:46 am | Permalink

    A wee update in case it’s useful. Just have the new iPhone 3GS and upgrading it from previous 3G. i used this fix on the older 3G phone and it worked as directed above. When I replaced with the 3GS I noticed that the music files are now greyed out on the second computer. I wondered if some of the new version 3 software had unfixed this fix – and I have not researched this at length yet – but basically I was able to overcome this by just checking the standard “sync music” box in the sync settings and choosing a group of playlists i wanted on the new iPhone. This overcame the problem enough for me – for now anyway. Something does appear to have changed around here!

  • daniel
    June 25, 2009 - 10:26 am | Permalink

    I am running a 2G iphone with the 3.0 OS on it and iTunes 8.2 (23) for an Apple Powerbook G4 running OS X 10.5.7. I have to say that the first time I tried it I was still getting the error message. The problem was that when I used HexEdit_220 and I did the Find and Replace I didn’t hit “Find Next”, i merely hit replace. So it didn’t replace anything. The second time I tried this fix, I did hit next until it found the old ID in the HEX code, then I hit replace. THIS IS AWESOME.

    However I am still getting an error for Picture syncing. This computer has tons of pictures on it from my dad. I took over this computer from him. I created my own admin user. Everything else but the pictures is synced now with my iPhone, my WINXP machine, and now this Powerbook G4.

    So if anyone can tell me why everything works for syncing EXCEPT the pictures that would be great.

  • Steve
    June 26, 2009 - 2:12 am | Permalink

    BRILLIANT!!! thank you for the tutorial. i had to create a new itunes Library on my work computer as it kept coming up with an error saying cannot open due to a newer version or something. i’m running 3GS with 3.0 and itunes is 8.2. thanks again

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  • Jan
    June 27, 2009 - 10:39 pm | Permalink

    I may have a dumb question. First of all, all of the above worked like a charm! But I think im finally running into troubles. After having updated to Os 3.0, My iphone wont receive any incoming calls, the person who’s calling gets to hear a message that my phone is turned off, even though I have full signal strength. After I do a complete restor, it works fine again. After re syncing however, it again does the above-mentioned problem. Any idea if syncing with 2 mac’s is the cause?

    Any insight is greatly appreciated,


  • Michael
    June 28, 2009 - 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Quick question – what if there are several OTHER legacy iPods that have ALREADY been synced to the SECONDARY computer. Is changing that computer’s library’s ID going to screw up syncing the other iPods to their original ‘home’ computer? My iPhone is synced to my PwrbkPro, but my kid’s iPods work with our older Mac Mini, but there are more songs on the older Mini I’d like on my iPhone too – see my question? Thanks so much!!

  • mark
    June 29, 2009 - 3:16 am | Permalink

    Working perfectly for me on 3g iphone OS 3.0, main machine = work PC, secondary, macbook.

    No issues with calls as suggested by a previous comment.

    Thanks for the step by step. It’s amazing apple don’t make this possible out of the box. But I still love my iphone!

  • Bhav
    June 29, 2009 - 10:52 am | Permalink

    Cheers mate!! Works, no problem. Using iTunes 8.2 with iphone OS 3!

  • Abe
    June 29, 2009 - 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Anyone out there developing a Mac version of Felipe’s awesome utility?? or something simliar to it?

  • Jbon
    June 30, 2009 - 5:07 am | Permalink

    Works great, thanks

    For the Apps sync, it seems that it works very well by simply
    copying all .ipa files from Music/Itunes/Mobile Applications you have on the machine you use to pick up your apps to the other machine.

    it will therefore not ask to delete the apps while syncing on the other machine.


  • Noob Itunes
    June 30, 2009 - 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Thanks it works with v 8.2 also.

    I have two PCs, one Vista and one XP. I made sure that I didn’t write anything down, but copies the IDs instead. I saved the first computer’s ID to a text file in notebook, then I emailed a copy of the ID to myself. I opened the email on the second computer and copied it to the XTL file after saving the 2nd computer’s ID to a text file in notebook. I then used the file to copy the second ID when find and searching for the HEX.

    I’m sure I would have screwed something up if I hadn’t just copied and pasted.

    Thanks so much.

  • June 30, 2009 - 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Ahhh! THank you! WOrked on OS 3.0 iPhone with iTunes on Vista.

  • daniel
    June 30, 2009 - 9:03 pm | Permalink

    I am curious if I am doing something wrong??? I know exactly how to perform the steps but what i am curious about is if this works with an existing itunes library because I am trying to keep the contacts, calendar, notes, music, and photos synced between my Win XP machine and my Powerbook G4. Am I suppose to have all those boxes checked before I change the persistent id of the library I want to sync to? For example, I have the 2G iPhone running 3.0 synced with WinXP (all items mentioned), then when I change the id on the Mac, and try to sync it, it says that the phone is synced with another itunes library and it’ll erase eveything on iphone, huh???? I can sync it all but the music and photoes because I have music and photos on the phone that aren’t on the mac yet but ical, contacts and notes is ok to overwrite on the phone with whats on the computer. Any help would be appreciated. Sorry so long………

  • July 3, 2009 - 7:44 am | Permalink

    this is excellent! and easy to follow.

    however i have one small snag – i now can’t modify any meta data for any of the tracks in my library? i.e track name, album artwork etc

    any help very gratefully received!!
    thanks for you help so far :)

  • July 3, 2009 - 7:55 am | Permalink


    i have pinpointed this is an issue with the harddrive i have all my music on NOT to do with this trick.

    i therefore give *****
    a thousand thank yous – excellent

  • Wdido
    July 4, 2009 - 5:19 am | Permalink

    waw million tks mate

  • Bart
    July 4, 2009 - 8:00 am | Permalink


    This is a great process if we have BOTH the ‘computer to move iTunes Library FROM’ and the ‘computer to move the iTunes Library TO’.

    What can I do if I my pc crashed, and I had to re-format all my progams – including my os? In this case I do not have the data to copy ‘FROM my itunes library’ over to the new one.

    Is there anything that can be done in this case?

    Mate, if you could me I would be most grateful. I am stuck with Windows 7 and have just re-installed all my programs… alas my beloved iPhone is stuck between a rock and hard place.

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated,


  • evensteven
    July 6, 2009 - 1:14 am | Permalink

    Yep, I lost all my apps.

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  • Very Thankful
    July 6, 2009 - 5:22 am | Permalink

    Just wanted to say massive thankyou – worked like a charm!!! (with itunes 8.2 iphone 3g os3.0)

    Cheers :)

  • wayne
    July 6, 2009 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    Fantastic! Thanks for sharing this.

  • Brett
    July 6, 2009 - 12:19 pm | Permalink

    I can get the 2nd computer’s iTunes setup correctly. I want to just sync with my 2nd computer for my work calendar.

    The problem is that iTunes keeps trying to sync applications, and since I have no apps on my 2nd computer, it erases all of the apps off of the phone.

    If I try to uncheck the sync apps block, it warns me that doing so will cause it to erase all of may apps.

    So, how do you sync with to computers without erasing apps?

  • Jitu
    July 6, 2009 - 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Yes, I lost all my apps, too. Now reinstalling from original computer. Think I’ll leave well enough alone.

  • Garth
    July 6, 2009 - 3:43 pm | Permalink

    To the two people that found as I did that the apps get deleted every time you sync:

    I first reported this problem a while ago and have never found a solution but I can tell you that the problem appears when you both sync and use this workaround.

    You don’t need this hack to have your address/calendar on one computer and media on another – itubes abd the iphone cope well with this – I do it all the time and if this is all you want then reverse out of this back and follow the instructions in itunes. Note however that I got unpredictable results when syncing the address/calendar to two machines so I don’t do that any more (I think they want to sell you MobileMe so they’ve planted a bug, or is that too cynical).

    This hack I think works best if you have an iphone paired with a computer and want to “throw” media across from a second computer – but don’t sync with a computer that you’ve changed the identity on or you lose your apps every time a coconut.

    Happy to be advised if I have any of this wrong…

  • mojo
    July 6, 2009 - 9:33 pm | Permalink

    To those of you that are having problems with loosing apps:

    Uncheck the boxes “Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected” and also “Sync applications” under the applications tab.

    When you click the sync applications button iTunes will say that it’s going to wipe all your apps. Continue and click apply in the bottom right. Wait for the *setting* to apply (about 1-2 seconds), but cancel the sync before iTunes starts wiping all your apps.

    I did this and now I am able to manage my music using both my desktop and laptop without iTunes wiping my apps.

    Good luck!

  • mojo
    July 6, 2009 - 9:36 pm | Permalink


    Addendum: You can re-click the box “Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected” after doing my aforementioned step. iTunes will say that it’s going to wipe your apps, but it doesn’t.

  • Jitu
    July 7, 2009 - 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Instead of hacking the files, I simply copied my entire iTunes folder from the current computer to the second one. Now my iPhone syncs with both computers and I didn’t have to hex anything. Thanks anyway.

  • Dan
    July 9, 2009 - 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Cracked it!

    Now can update in both places. you sir are a ledgend!!

  • Dawn
    July 9, 2009 - 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Thanks a million Mojo, your application worked great!!! Once again thanks!!!!!!!

  • Kayla
    July 13, 2009 - 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Hello, this doesn’t seem to work for me. I can’t seem to find the code pattern in Tunes Music Library.itl using the ultra edit program as well as other kind of hex edit programs. I’ve even downgrade the itune 8.2 to older versions like 8.0.1. I’ve completed the previous steps successfully. I’ve used this method before and it worked. And now it doesn’t. Can someone help me please?


  • July 14, 2009 - 10:49 am | Permalink

    No matter what I do, computer 2 keeps replacing my music from computer 1. Apps sync ok between both computers though.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  • Eva
    July 14, 2009 - 5:06 pm | Permalink

    What if you do not have access to the other pc?

  • welshbaloney
    July 14, 2009 - 5:49 pm | Permalink

    This didn’t work for me on iTunes 8.2 (OSX 10.5.7). First there is no “iTunes Music Library”. There is “iTunes Library”, “iTunes Extras”, and “iTunes Genius”.

    I edited all 3 in HexEdit and couldn’t find the Hex string from the article.


  • That AceKidd
    July 14, 2009 - 11:51 pm | Permalink

    I’m running iTunes 8.2 and an iphone 3gS and This worked like butter! Thanks man for saving me the money i was going to spend on an external hard drive… TWO THUMBS UP!

  • Jen
    July 15, 2009 - 5:59 am | Permalink

    Wow, thankyou so much.. took me about 15 minutes but got there in the end!
    Fantastic, such a result!

    Thanks again :)

  • jenny
    July 15, 2009 - 6:31 am | Permalink

    A quick question re syncing to a new computer – does this also transfer contacts, mail, calendar, etc?

  • Nick H.
    July 15, 2009 - 12:25 pm | Permalink

    im using windows xp, and can’t seem to find “Tunes Music Library.itl”. PLEASE SOMEONE HELP ME!

  • Charles
    July 16, 2009 - 9:56 am | Permalink

    Genial !
    You win beer or a glass of french wine ! (Avalaible in Paris.)

  • Mari
    July 17, 2009 - 9:03 am | Permalink

    Thanks a lot! It worked great. 😀

  • Jorge
    July 20, 2009 - 7:06 pm | Permalink

    What if the PC where I first synced my iPhone already crashed. How can I now sync my iPhone, with the existing data I want to keep, with my new MAC?

  • Gen
    July 21, 2009 - 3:26 am | Permalink

    Anyone got this working on Mac OS X with iTunes 8.2.1 (6) ? I mean, syncing music from 2 computer?

    There seems no real clear answer!

    Any help will be great :)

  • Rebecca Pieper
    July 22, 2009 - 10:32 am | Permalink

    This is great! But do you have any ideas for going the other way? I want to put the music that’s already on my iphone (loaded from my laptop) onto my new desktop. All hardware and software is relatively new and all up to date. I’d really appreciate any help!

  • July 22, 2009 - 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Gen says:
    2009/07/21, 03:26
    Anyone got this working on Mac OS X with iTunes 8.2.1 (6) ? I mean, syncing music from 2 computer?
    There seems no real clear answer!
    Any help will be great :)

    YES, nervously I continued to search for what the heck the iTunes db file type is called for OS X.

    My primary computer/iTunes Library has been a macbook, but drive space is becoming an issue.

    my office workstation is a mac pro.

    I followed the step-by-step perfectly…however, mac (OS X) doesn’t have “iTunes Libraray.itl”.

    to clarify:
    my macbook currently has all my music.
    my mac pro has a fresh install of iTunes (no music yet)
    my goal is to migrate all of my music to the mac pro, but be able to sync my iPhone with the macbook and mac pro.
    **final goal is to finish setting up “mojo” so I can remotely pull down any music from my mac pro (over the net) to my macbook…should I be out of town.

    note: in my situation, I’m describing it as I did it…mabook is original, mac pro is the 2nd computer

    1. search for the ID on macbook, write it down
    2. search for the current ID on mac pro, write it down.
    3. backup .xml and the db on the macbook and mac pro
    4. follow the original step-by-step instructions

    5. on the mac pro (2nd mac) when you get to the step to edit iTunes Library.itl (for a Windows PC)…instead you locate and edit file “iTunes Library” (same folder as iTunes Music Library.xml”.

    on my mac pro, I used “HexEdit” (FREE, just search google) to open the “iTunes Library” file (the db)…open a search, set to HEX, enter the ID of mac pro to “find”, below that enter the ID of the macbook to “replace”.
    click replace
    close, save

    open iTunes on the mac pro, connect my iPhone, it sees it instantly…and it’s already set to manage manually (my normal setting)!

    good luck and thanks to Andrew :)


  • shaun
    July 24, 2009 - 5:55 am | Permalink

    Awesome, love it. You have made my life better. Thank you.

  • julian
    July 24, 2009 - 6:08 pm | Permalink

    ok heres my problem since my iphone was a present from my parents i dont know the itunes ID of the other computer the iphone is synced with is there any other way …cuz i want to manually sync it but every time i replug it the music turns gray the the box unchecks itself >.< iphones are so confusing ):

  • GernBlandman
    July 25, 2009 - 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Dude, you saved my life! I was absolutely enraged that Apple wanted me to ass-rape my iPhone and force me to wipe everything out just so that I could sync my iPhone G3 with my new MacBook Pro (I’ve just upgraded from an old G4 which is where I had been syncing the iPhone) running OSX 10.5.7 and iTunes 8.2.1. After a bit of googling I found your page and read your instructions and followed them to the latter and WHAMMO, everything worked. I was able to sync the iPhone with iTunes and even able to backup my iPhone applications just as I’d been doing on the old G4 PowerBook. Woo hoo! You rock! In fact, I’m thinking of writing a little Objective-C application that implements your instructions as I see from previous posts here that a PC developer has done this for WIndows already. Once I write it, I’ll post a link to it here. Very nice. I’m very happy. Thanks again for the great info!!

  • July 28, 2009 - 12:35 am | Permalink

    Great work solved a huge problem for me!

  • ursina
    July 28, 2009 - 10:52 am | Permalink

    I tried this with an iPhone 3GS, iTunes, one Library on a Mac, the other on a PC…And it worked like a charm, thank you very much!!

  • destro
    July 28, 2009 - 5:20 pm | Permalink

    I have actually created a small tool (PC only) that does all the work for you

    feel free to download it here:

  • July 28, 2009 - 9:33 pm | Permalink

    This is a great hack and worked perfectly. I just want to point out that the last step in the directions is reversed. It says to use the number from Part 1 to place in the find box, and replace it with the number from part 2. By doing that you would be trying to find the number from the pc you originally sync with on the additional pc, it wont be there. What you want to find is the number you found and copied to the clipboard in step 2, and replace it with the number you copied and saved in step 1.

  • moneyslinger
    July 31, 2009 - 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Just tried using 10.5.7 and itunes 8.2.1. Didn’t work…then i saw that everytime I saved the updated “iTunes Library” file using the hex editor, a new file was auto generated (by the OS) called “iTunes Library~” in the same folder containing the original ID…??? Anyone else???

  • Dukephoenix
    August 4, 2009 - 2:34 am | Permalink

    YOU ARE MY HERO! Thanks.

    Works as described. Can’t believe this isn’t a standard feature.

  • Jonas
    August 5, 2009 - 6:20 am | Permalink

    I have tried this several times and cannot get it to work. My original settings I was syncing Contacts at work and Music/Videos/Photos at home. I followed the guide and have gone over it twice. Still now success. If automatic syncing is enabled it simply erases everything on the phone. If manual management is used it gives the warning. The two systems are running XP with iPhone 3G (3.0 OS) and iTunes
    Any suggestions???? Very frustrating

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  • Cephas
    August 6, 2009 - 12:13 am | Permalink

    Doesn’t seem to work on the iPhone 3GS running OS3. :-(

  • astro2
    August 6, 2009 - 12:54 am | Permalink

    this hack is USELESS

    jailbreak your iphone and download ‘swaptunes’ off cydia

    SUPER EASY, none of this itunes hack rubbish

  • astro2
    August 6, 2009 - 2:24 am | Permalink

    i take it back swaptunes is not as good as i thought it would be

    all it does is remove your itunes off your iphone temporarily (i.e swap it for a blank template) so you can sync freshly

    but it sux to do it that way

    grants instructions are on the news shown on youtube

  • Christopher Deane
    August 7, 2009 - 5:55 am | Permalink

    Hope this works. Saw somebody had trouble with mac recreating the library file. Sounded like apple protecting critical files. Can’t believe I have to go through this though. Sometimes apple astound me in their awkwardness. I like their stuff but…. You just want to go and get them to justify things like this…… AAAAAAHHHHHHHH. On a non shouty note, many thanks.

  • Christopher Deane
    August 7, 2009 - 5:58 am | Permalink

    The temptation when I get my new macbook is to go to the apple store in Regent Street and show them it trying to delete all my iphone music library and keep arguing louder and louder til they get no sales for an entire day. One of the police they send to remove me will probably have a mac and will probably join me in the protest.

  • Christopher Deane
    August 7, 2009 - 6:04 am | Permalink

    Somebody should set up a shop outside the iphone store which gives advice like this about how to get round stupid apple limitations and advising people to jailbreak if it is their interests. Sorry will rant on their website and you can delete this when I remember the password I used on their system. …… funny aside couldn’t register with apple uk discussions with a uk phone number so had to put in a US one. Had to use the US apple helpline number didn’t I. Made me smile for a few minutes.

  • mike thorne
    August 8, 2009 - 4:24 pm | Permalink

    carried out this procedure and it seems to work for apps, contacts and purchsed music, however when i try and sync my photos and music it keeps saying sync will delete music on iphone and replace it with library which is empty except for purchased music.

  • Nes
    August 10, 2009 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    it doesnt seem to work for the new itunes is it?? cause ive been trying to find the pattern in HEx but it doesnt seem to find the code..? am i doing somthing wrong??

  • Hman
    August 10, 2009 - 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Does this still work with the lastest iPone? iPhone 3Gs? I followed the docs but I still get the warning prompt. Thanks.

  • MacLad
    August 10, 2009 - 3:03 pm | Permalink

    This hack DOES work on latest mac operating system and iphone OS3 (and I presume Windows). As Ozzie said in a previous reply the ‘last step needs to be reversed’. The ID in part two goes in the find box and ID part one goes in the replace with box. Press replace all and you will be able to safe the change.

  • Bonnie
    August 10, 2009 - 11:35 pm | Permalink


    First of all thank you for this information. I have been unable to find it in other places. But I am a little confused as my situation is a bit different so I am wondering if you would kindly give instructions.

    Basically I just use my music at home but I use Outlook’s calendar, contacts and notes on BOTH work and home. (I have PCs running Windows XP on both).

    How can I synch Outlook on both without deleting the music? Would I do regular full synching at home and then at work just check off Contacts, Calendar and Notes in the info section of itunes but nothing else? Are there any commands I need to do anywhere else in my computer?



  • August 11, 2009 - 2:44 pm | Permalink


    Thanks a ton it worked great the first time, but for music only. I get the same message(erase all on the iphone) for Photos, Movies, and TV shows after I changed the string. Is there a similar process or did I forget something. Obviously I would like to sync all data on the phone with both computers (and I didn’t even try contacts or calendars yet). thanks again.

  • Julian
    August 12, 2009 - 2:58 pm | Permalink

    I just bought an imac for my wife and want to apply your operations but when I use hexedit the imac open a read only file such as I can not save the replacement I did… Please can you help me?

  • LenteFolie
    August 16, 2009 - 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Thanks! This works great, but I tried to use the HEX editor xvi32 first which didn’t work for me. With Ultra edit no problem.

  • Calven Wong
    August 17, 2009 - 1:30 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing. U da MAN!

  • Chris
    August 17, 2009 - 11:43 am | Permalink

    Updated both files as mentioned, but when synching on 2nd itunes im still being promted about erasing content. any ideas?

  • A. Mishra
    August 19, 2009 - 8:11 pm | Permalink

    I used Time Machine to restore computer several months back and I don’t have the same iTunes anymore. Is there any way to get the persistent code from the iPhone and copy it over to my newly restored mac?

  • klue
    August 20, 2009 - 6:10 pm | Permalink

    (PC – iTunes

    The .itl file now seems to be called “itunes Library.itl” and I cannot for the life of me find the ID string from the XML file from the same PC…

    I even edited the XML file, putting in the ID from the PC in step 1, deleted the .itl file from PC2, and iTunes recreated it, but still it says my iPhone is synced with a different library…


  • Nick L.
    August 20, 2009 - 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Worked flawlessly for me. I used XVi32 with out any difficulties. No music was erased and no apps were deleted.

    Thank you, sir.

  • klue
    August 20, 2009 - 7:47 pm | Permalink

    What am I doing wrong?

    The file is called iTunes Library.itl, is it not?

    It’s in : My DocumentsMy MusiciTunes which is the same location the .xml file is in, yea?

    I look for the ID code from the XML in this location, but cannot find it using UltraEdit…

  • klue
    August 20, 2009 - 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Crisis averted – i got it working :)

  • Steve
    August 24, 2009 - 10:14 am | Permalink

    I can’t get this working. I’ve changed both the xml and itl on my second pc with the id from the first and I still get the warning about being synced to another itunes. Iphone 3gs, os 3.0.1, itunes Any suggestions?

  • Dan T.
    August 24, 2009 - 10:42 pm | Permalink

    I’ve got a legit question: I don’t sync my iPhone… i manage it manually. I use it mainly on my PC (XP). I don’t want to sync it with my PC, nor do I want to sync it with my MacBook Pro that i just bought… can i manually manage it on both? I don’t want to mess anything up before I actually follow your instructions above because it seems to be only for people who sync their iPhones on at least one computer…

  • Alexis Walker
    August 26, 2009 - 4:41 pm | Permalink

    THANK YOU!! This worked for me.

    HOWEVER — I think you might have inadvertently misstated which persistent ID to find and which to replace in the.itl file.

    You wrote: In “Find” enter the ID you took a note of in Part 1 . In Replace, enter the ID you copied at the start of Part 2. Choose Replace All, there should be one match.

    In “Find,” I think you need to enter the ID you took note of in Part 2; in “replace,” the ID you copied in part 1.

    Might be the reason it’s not working for some people??

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  • ArghBee
    August 27, 2009 - 5:59 pm | Permalink

    I did exactly what you said. When I go to the ‘music’ tab on the second computer (with the newly replaced ID), it says “Are you sure you want to sync music? All existing content on the iPhone “” will be removed and replaced with the song and playlists from your iTunes library”.

    I obviously do not want anything removed.

    I’ve double checked that I have the right ID inserted but cannot work out why it is still asking me this.

    Help pls?!

  • August 27, 2009 - 9:37 pm | Permalink

    YES! Great instructions…great results! Thanks, A.G.

    Just a word of caution to those reading the comments before taking action:

    MAKE SURE you have BOTH “Library Persistent ID” #’s written down before you begin. I made the mistake of not copying the original (the one I was replacing) & had to “dig” and “guess” in Hexedit. It was scary.

  • Bruce Nordaby
    August 30, 2009 - 1:58 pm | Permalink

    If the itunes library that is in my phone currently is not mine, it is one from a freinds library and I follow your instructions on modifying on my home computer so that I can add my library back onto my phone as well, will this in anyway mess up anything with my friends itunes library, or can I use a family members library id to modify my library id , without losing the itunes library that I synced from my friends library?

  • August 31, 2009 - 1:08 pm | Permalink

    My problem is that my computer was stolen, and I just got a new mac. So i don’t have the original persisent ID code, but I want to sync my iphone with my new computer and not lose any of the music I have on my iphone. I want the music on my iphone on my new computer.

    How can I do this?

  • delavette
    September 1, 2009 - 11:40 am | Permalink

    Worked Great for me. Thanks!
    make sure not to get in too much of a rush and follow the directions EXACTLY- I copied a songs persistent id the first time instead of the Library Persistent ID #.
    If you are careful it should be a snap.

    Great work!

  • Cathy
    September 4, 2009 - 11:47 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant! There were two errors in the procedure, both obvious if you’re thinking about what you’re doing. The files that need to be patched are called iTunes Music Library.xml and **iTunes Library** (not iTunes Music Library) and as several others pointed out, in the last step you want to find the ID# of the library you’re patching and replace it with the ID# of the library your iPod currently syncs with. I successfully patched my iTunes library files on my new MacBook Pro running Leopard and iTunes 8 with the ID # of the library on my old computer running iTunes 7 under Panther. Thanks so much!

  • shishir verma
    September 9, 2009 - 1:42 pm | Permalink

    You are a lifesaver :). Thank You.

  • Nathan
    September 10, 2009 - 3:06 am | Permalink

    wowwwww:D:D:D Beautiful:) A million thanks, finaly:)!!

  • ABrown
    September 10, 2009 - 9:18 am | Permalink

    Need Help… followed steps and get error message that 71 apps will be deleted. Am I missing a step?

  • Steve
    September 10, 2009 - 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Worked perfectly! What a lame limitation of iTunes and the iPhone.

    The other thing that I want is to be able to take music from work, put it on my player and copy it to my iTunes library at home. Sometimes I rip CDs at home and sometimes I rip them at work. Trust your customers, Apple!

  • solo
    September 12, 2009 - 1:42 am | Permalink

    thanks you work greats

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  • September 15, 2009 - 1:09 am | Permalink

    These steps are no longer nesescary with iTunes 9. Multiple computer sync work out of the box. You can even sync different parts of the content with different computers… :)


  • arik
    September 16, 2009 - 2:51 am | Permalink

    I followed the instructions, everything seemed to be working well and the 2nd computer was synced with data. however trying to sync again music and ringtones with the original computer didnt succeed. itunes sends messege that “the required disk cannot be found”. if I don’t mark ringtones and music, everything syncs well.

    Does anybody know any solution ?

  • September 16, 2009 - 11:03 am | Permalink

    You are genius.

  • Alex
    September 17, 2009 - 11:28 am | Permalink

    I’m having troubles finding/replacing the ID in the hex editor. I’m using the UltraEdit but it won’t find the origional ID so i can’t replace it with the new one. Am i missing something? i got it changed in the .xml file but can’t find it in the .itl file.


  • Mat
    September 18, 2009 - 2:24 am | Permalink

    Same here Alex..

    No chance to find the id with the HEX editor in iTunes Library.itl

    iTunes Version is 9.0, possibly the file format changed?

  • CharlieD
    September 18, 2009 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    Outstanding! I just did this using iTunes 9.0 and it worked perfectly. Thanks for the insight to unlocking this capability.

  • mick
    September 19, 2009 - 5:22 am | Permalink

    HELP! i have an ipod, iTouch and now an iPhone. iPhone is the one i’m having difficulty managing. The iPhone was set up at the office computer (XP), and now i’m tryng to sync with home pc (XP). i was able to add music by creating a backup copy of my library (hold Shift while opening iTunes, then followed some steps). But now i’m trying to add video and photos, but i get the message that my current photos will be erased. I changed the IDs on both the XML and the .itl file, but still getting the message…suggestions?

  • Polytronics
    September 20, 2009 - 4:31 am | Permalink

    I’m on OSX 10.6.1 with itunes 9. A few month ago I changed itunes xml file to be able to synchronize my iphone with more computers.
    The problem is that to be have Home Sharing working, I need separate ID’s (right?), so I tried to revert the xml file without any result.

    Hex Fiend just doesn’t find it any more. So I can’t ues the home sharing possibilities…
    Does somebody has a solution fro this? Would be appreciated.


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  • Marji Sinclair
    September 23, 2009 - 3:01 pm | Permalink

    One more heartfelt “Thank you!”

  • Nenad Pavljasevic
    September 25, 2009 - 12:41 pm | Permalink


    I also can’t tranfer music to my iphone. It was posible before but my laptop crashed and now after a new installation it isn’t possible to transfer and to change the library id because i don’t know the id from the “first” itunes… I hope that you can help me!

    Thank you i advance.

  • andie6931
    September 27, 2009 - 6:04 am | Permalink

    latest Post 484 is the same with me,
    can I find the Itunes ID on my 3GS also ?

    would be a big help.

    Thanx in advance !!!

  • steve
    September 28, 2009 - 11:24 am | Permalink

    What about applicaions? The sync with computer #2 forces the applications to be deleted…

  • paraphonic-505
    September 29, 2009 - 1:10 am | Permalink

    works great! was a little nerve racking, but i have no problems syncing on both computers now. however, on my “second” mac after saving the hex edit file it created, in my itunes folder, another “itunes music library” followed by the symbol “~”

    (to be clearer, in my itunes folder i have:
    itunes music library
    itunes music library~

    should the old one be deleted? or the new one? i’m just curious as to what the symbol “~” may mean, and if it could give problems in the future when it may be hard to find the original codes, etc. etc.

    great hack though! as a music producer, having one computer for the studio and another on the road, this is a god send!

    many thanks!

  • lilangel
    September 30, 2009 - 8:29 pm | Permalink

    hey so, do u no a way on ddownloading info from iphone to laptop witout using back disc? cuz my comp harddrive got whipd from a rlly bad viruse and now i just want to add more music on my laptop ect

  • ViggoV
    October 4, 2009 - 6:29 am | Permalink

    Thanks man… Works great… Exept i can’t transfer music from iPhone to the second computer:(

  • perritaz
    October 8, 2009 - 4:01 am | Permalink

    thanks a lot. it worked for me, from windows vista to snow leopard, using itunes 9.0.1 and iphone 3gs with os 3.1.

    although itunes said me that all apps will be deleted, it was not the case. in fact itunes first saved purchased (free too) applications and keep them on my iphone.

    however, i lost all my songs because i was not managing songs/movies manually. now it is the case, so i will be able to copy (not sync) my songs from my first computer and copy the movies from my second computer.

  • Joel
    October 9, 2009 - 8:43 am | Permalink

    hey man thanks for this tutorial, i got my ipod touch 3G running 3.1.1 syncing with both my laptop and home computer (both running vista) and itunes 9.. but not exactly the way u said.

    i did all the steps and tried to sync but kept having that “itunes is gunna erase all yr songs” error. So i got fed up and went to copy “iTunes Music Library.xml”, “iTunes Library.itl”, “iTunes Library Extras.itl”, “iTunes Library Genius.itl” and that hidden “sentinel” file from the host computer to my laptop’s itunes folder.

    i started itunes and saw all my music in the library but with little exclamation marks on the left of em. All this music was not in my laptop but in the ipod. I then tried to sync and got THE SAME erase songs warning msg, but i thought f it and just went to sync.. and it worked!!

    Hope this helps anyone in the same situation as me.. Mebbie that warning msg is false? In any case..


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  • Ashraf
    October 14, 2009 - 1:33 am | Permalink

    Dear Andrew,

    Thank you for this comprehensive explanation on how to solve this annoying problem. I recently purchased the iPhone 3 GS and did in fact apply what you explained above. Unfortunately, it still did not work. I have double checked everything but, alas, no success. The only change that occured was that the machine (PC2) that i wanted to sync with has erased all the playlists. When I connected the iPhone, still, the iphone playlists were inactive and I could not drag & drop anything from the 2nd PC . Your feedback will be appreciated.

  • Ashraf
    October 14, 2009 - 1:38 am | Permalink

    forgot to mention that I am working with VISTA and my iphone has the latest update + itunes v9.

  • pat rad
    October 14, 2009 - 8:52 pm | Permalink

    bingo. works again for me. iphone 3gs 3.1.2 with itunes on windows 7. all i want to do is pipe the tunes on my iphone through my work laptop while traveling. shame on apple for making it so tough!!!

  • October 15, 2009 - 8:28 am | Permalink

    I’ve been googling left and right, this is awesome, the only thing is that on my computer I usually sync my itunes with is now fucked up… so I wanted to sync to my old laptop, temporally until I get a new laptop, so I can’t do a backup on my fucked up laptop..cuz I don’t wanna loose everything, is there another way to get around that?

  • Mortti
    October 15, 2009 - 9:13 pm | Permalink

    I am not as savvy as the rest of you when it comes to computers but I am slowly learning. I downloaded the HEd Editor that you had a link to but I cannot figure out how to open Hex Editor so I can open the library file. The software I downloaded has soo many files so I am not sure which one to open.

    Please help me.


  • eva
    October 16, 2009 - 8:06 am | Permalink

    Hey! Thanks for your useful tip, as I saw it worked for so many people.
    Unfortunately, although I did exactly all the steps it doesn’t work to my mac. :( Any help what to do? I have a PC at my workplace and a mac at home, I took the ID from the PC and I replaced the ID of mac with it as you advised but nothing.

  • Steve
    October 17, 2009 - 11:44 pm | Permalink

    This works OK but keeps on erasing all applications when syncing to my works computer. Since this PC is behind a firewall i can not access itunes store to download the same apps. I have tried to uncheck the “Sync Applications” but this just removes the apps anyway. When i connect the iphone back to the main itunes library it installs the apps back. Any ideas?

  • October 19, 2009 - 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Works perfect on my new iPhone 3gs. I have no idea why Apple disables this. Thanks!

  • Steve V
    October 19, 2009 - 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Just did this with my new iPod Nano 5G.

    I want my main computer to sync automatically and my other computer to manually sync but each time I plug it into either computer it makes me remove all music on the iPod and replace it with the music on the current computer I plug it into.

    Does not work! :(

  • Dave
    October 22, 2009 - 12:47 pm | Permalink

    This process didn’t work for me and I went through it 3 times. I’m using an iPhone 3GS and the newest version of iTunes. Has anything changed in the phones software or in iTunes since this was originally posted? Do you have suggestions on next step(s)? Thanks!

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  • Tom
    October 26, 2009 - 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Thanks but unfortunatly didnt work for me =( big shame

  • Maggie_B
    October 26, 2009 - 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for making this process so easy!!!

  • Alu
    October 28, 2009 - 6:20 am | Permalink

    Too bad, this didn’t work for me. ):

  • October 28, 2009 - 7:49 am | Permalink

    Still working for me on the latest version
    many thanks

  • Twitch
    October 29, 2009 - 6:26 am | Permalink

    This used to work for me but I can’t get it to work anymore. Shame now that I have to format my iphone.

  • Herm
    October 29, 2009 - 7:56 am | Permalink

    Worked great for me. iPhone OS 3.1.2, iTunes 9.0.1.
    I used HxD hex editor for free from Just make sure you replace with hex and not text.

  • Pablo
    October 31, 2009 - 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Excellent fix, works perfectly. Thanks for doing the leg work for us simpletons.

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  • shamanana
    November 4, 2009 - 6:15 am | Permalink

    I have a question: would this also work in case you have a second iTunes library on an external hard drive? Which of course is connected to the same computer.
    Because trying to connect to that external iTunes library gives me the same option of deleting all data from the first… Both libraries were created and managed by Libra.
    Or is there another solution for that?

    At the moment I am “simply” importing albums from the external hard drive, copying them to iPhone and then deleting them… but that is way too much hassle. And I have tons of stuff there…

  • Anni Rodriguez
    November 4, 2009 - 11:28 am | Permalink

    I backed up my computer off site because it was acting like it was going to crash. I ended up having to take it back to factory specs and now have an iPhone full of music that isn’t recognized by the new iTunes I downloaded. I bought a new album before I realized the iTunes did not pick up the previous iTunes music in the upload.

    How can I safely get the music in my iPhone into iTunes without losing it?

    The answer you posted here makes me think I can use this or something similar since I am getting a warning that I will lose all the palylists on my phone if I sync. Can you help?

  • Andrew
    November 4, 2009 - 11:29 am | Permalink

    DO NOT DO THIS!!! – I don’t know how out of date this is, but I just tried it on my iPhone 3GS running 3.1.2 and iTunes and, not only did the music on my phone NOT sync to iTunes, but it erased all my music AND apps from my phone. This hack pretty much just stops iTunes from telling you it’s going to delete everything on your phone, but it does so anyway. I hope this helps someone else before they do this.

  • November 5, 2009 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    You can move the music to iphone on more than 1 computer but you cant sync with more than 1.

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  • manjari
    November 9, 2009 - 1:01 am | Permalink

    THANK YOU! You’re my hero. My iPhone was stuck with the iTunes on my husband’s computer. What the heck was Apple thinking, that you can only sync your phone with one iTunes?? Like people never buy a new computer … or use a work computer … or whatever! Okay, that’s a tangent. What I mean to say is that this worked awesome (on a PC, used Hexedit) and I wanted to say thanks. Thanks!

  • timofej
    November 9, 2009 - 7:19 am | Permalink

    I’ve followed the instructions but still get message:

    “Are you sure you want synchronize podcasts? All existing podcasts on iPhone XXXX will be replaced by podcasts from iTune Library”

    You refer to slightly different warning message in the article. I didn’t get “your” message even before I replaced the Library ID numbers. I only get message as above. May be your trick is not supposed to fix the message I get?

    Is it another way?

  • timofej
    November 9, 2009 - 7:35 am | Permalink

    Ah, I’ve just read answer #28 by Andrew and I think I get it now how it works…

  • Boon
    November 10, 2009 - 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Does not work on iPhone 3GS and iTunes

    It will WIPE OUT ALL your iPhone apps if you left the “Sync Application” on, and will WIPE OUT ALL music on your iPhone unless you select to “Manually manage music and videos”.

    Even if you manage the music and videos manually, I cannot figure out how to copy them into the PC using iTunes.

  • timofej
    November 11, 2009 - 12:48 am | Permalink


    You cannot copy the material _to_ PC. Only _from_.

    After you did all the above you do the following:

    1. Check off auto sync
    2. Check Manual sync
    3. DO NOT CHECK SYNCHRONIZING of your music, films or podcasts! This will cancel manual sync.
    4. Drag and drop media from your computer to your iPhone.

  • Kim
    November 11, 2009 - 5:13 am | Permalink


    My laptop hard drive died and was replaced. iTunes thinks it’s a new computer and won’t let me upload my library from my iPod to my laptop. Is there any way to do this?


  • Boon
    November 11, 2009 - 11:54 am | Permalink

    @timofej, thanks for the info.

    In both my PCs (not in the same network area), music and podcasts are downloaded separately. I thought that iPhone can help me to keep both PCs in sync.

    I suppose I can still drag & drop media from one to another based on date added. Not ideal, but will make do for now. :(

  • November 12, 2009 - 1:40 am | Permalink


    I’ve developed a proof of concept C code, that does your iPhone syncing with multiple iTunes/Macs.

    Fell free to download it from:

    happy sharing!

  • tony
    November 14, 2009 - 6:29 am | Permalink

    Hey, thanks for the insight. I was not successful with your instructions b/c you did not specifiy what to use if you have Window XP PC. It’s like you talked mainly about the MAC. I was stuck in the 3rd step b/c i never have Ultra or Hex edit in my computer. So I don’t know what version to install and stuff. Can you advise me from here. I use window XP PC Thanks

  • Diego Zuluaga
    November 15, 2009 - 7:31 pm | Permalink

    It worked like a charm! Thanks!

  • November 18, 2009 - 9:22 pm | Permalink

    to the author… Your my hero! Luvin this stuff, just luving it.

  • Marcos
    November 19, 2009 - 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Great tutorial thanks!

  • B Cumberdale
    November 20, 2009 - 11:21 am | Permalink

    I’ve tried this hack about four times now and the hex editing part never works out. How ever, I just copied the XML file and “iTunes Library” file off my iMac and pasted it to my PC. After adding the extension “.itl” on the “iTunes Library” file, i could sync with both computers.

    iPhone 2G 3.1.2
    iMac OS X 10.6
    PC Windows XP SP3

    November 21, 2009 - 7:03 am | Permalink

    You are a star – thank you

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  • November 23, 2009 - 5:38 am | Permalink

    This did it! Not a very difficult hack, really. THANK YOU so much.

  • Guido
    November 24, 2009 - 6:35 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately this doesn’t work with the latest iTunes. I cannot find the ID in the .itl library.

  • Paul
    November 25, 2009 - 7:27 am | Permalink

    Just wanted to post that this hack WORKS!
    I’m on a PC, using the latest itunes with a 3GS phone. I can now copy and edit songs, ringtones, etc.. Thanks ALOT for sharing this trick!

    November 25, 2009 - 7:22 pm | Permalink

    I did the step 2 partially because I am not able to find the second file (the binary one),and because I have already paste the new ID I will not be able to find and replace it. Stupid me!! What I can do to find the old ID?

  • Per Lundgren
    November 26, 2009 - 2:06 am | Permalink

    Thanks for VERY helpful information. I’m almost done, but i’m not sure wich HEX-editor to use. What do you recommend?

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  • November 26, 2009 - 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Thank you even if its seems somehow difficult to be done..

  • KF
    November 28, 2009 - 7:46 am | Permalink

    Just for everyones info…. the only hex editor that will see the string correctly is ultraedit. I tried every free hex editor that I could find, and none of the worked. I used the ultraedit trial and I was able to find the string right away.

    Thanks for this info, I needed it.

  • jason
    November 28, 2009 - 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic! This worked great. Exactly what I have been looking for. Thank you for figuring this out an posting it online.

  • myw00tness
    December 3, 2009 - 1:22 am | Permalink

    Whoever you are that wrote this post…I love you

  • December 3, 2009 - 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Works a treat =)

    December 6, 2009 - 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant. Thanks for posting this solution

  • rich
    December 7, 2009 - 7:47 am | Permalink

    Just tried this now (7th December, 2009) with a new iPhone 3GS. Works perfectly! Thanks very much for the help!

  • Graeme
    December 7, 2009 - 11:57 am | Permalink

    Thanks for a great hack, works fine with music but cat drag anbd drop my ringtones and when I tick the ‘sync ringtone’ box in the ringtone tab, it warns that if I do so, all music will be deleted!
    This is from the ‘original’ paired computer – my laptop – and when I dis the hack on my desktop (which has the music on it) I got all te music but it deleted the ringtone!
    It seems I can share music but not ringtones – I’ll live with it!

  • theo
    December 9, 2009 - 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for solving such an outrageous irritation. I actually bought a Nano so I could transfer songs from more than one machine- wish I saw your fix first!
    I downloaded UltraEdit & successfully edited the .xml file, but I can’t find/replace the string in the .itl file. When I search for the exising string, it is not found. I’m sure I’m doing something dumb- any suggestions are appreciated. What format should it be opened in?

  • Alisa Collard
    December 9, 2009 - 10:14 pm | Permalink

    I got through all the steps will I got to the HexEdit. When I opened the HexEdit there was not an option to Find and Replace. Only Find. So if anyone knows how to remedy this situation to finish this process let me know.

  • December 10, 2009 - 6:00 am | Permalink

    You (as a few people already mentionned) are a genius. Thank you!

  • nesli
    December 11, 2009 - 3:14 am | Permalink

    what you post is a very helpful information but the hexedit link is not working I mean link itself is working but not the software. somehow it says it doesn;t support this envrmnt. and i tried the other free hexeditors unfortunately they are not offering “find and replace” option under their Edit menu.
    Any suggestion??

  • Ronnie D.
    December 11, 2009 - 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Thanks So much!!!!

  • Don O'Ketty
    December 14, 2009 - 4:11 am | Permalink

    Worked perfectly, this is on a brand new iPhone 3GS with 3.1.2.

    I used WinVI to edit the file, in HEX mode. Remember to turn off “Insert” and just overtype the hex characters and save.

    Took 2 mins. In fact, took me longer to post this message saying how easy it was.

  • Rufio
    December 14, 2009 - 11:54 pm | Permalink

    I was just wondering if this hack is possible if computer 1 = PC and computer 2 = Mac? Does it matter that it’s not a PC to PC or a Mac to Mac?


  • angad
    December 15, 2009 - 2:30 pm | Permalink

    it worked fine for music and n video but not working for APPlication please help me

  • Dave
    December 16, 2009 - 5:27 pm | Permalink

    I find this set of instructions hard to follow.
    I am running Windows 2003 I cannot find the files you refer to. Please help.

  • Richard
    December 16, 2009 - 5:54 pm | Permalink

    There are different tools that makes this process death easy. I would try to the iTunesDBCloner posted somewhere in this page.

  • December 17, 2009 - 5:37 pm | Permalink

    I have followed these steps perfectly and still I can’t manually manage my iphone. What do I do???

  • Matt
    December 18, 2009 - 12:49 am | Permalink

    This does not work.

  • December 21, 2009 - 11:51 am | Permalink

    Thank you for putting this on your site. Your article is very enjoyable. What is your favorite movie? I really enjoyed Sin, if you haven’t seen it yet you should. I think you would like it. Thanks again for a very educational site! Visit my site if you’d like to read more. Regards!

  • Martin
    December 22, 2009 - 7:05 am | Permalink

    Terrific piece of work on all levels. Worked the first time. One machine running Vista, the other XP Pro. Used HxD hex editor. Thanks again

  • Ted Cooper
    December 22, 2009 - 9:32 am | Permalink

    Will this work if my main imac is running snow leopard and my second older imac is running Tiger?????

  • RP
    December 23, 2009 - 10:06 am | Permalink

    can’t find the files. pc’s with xpsp3, itunes 9x. ran full system searches. can’d find referenced files.

  • Lori
    December 24, 2009 - 12:52 am | Permalink

    I’m a new user and this was very helpful–thanks. I have another question to which you may (hopefully) have the answer. We have two computers, and I normally use one of them to download iPhone apps. I live in Europe with an expensive data plan, and our wireless is currently down, so rather than download directly to the phone itself, I’ve been synching to the computer to save myself unnecessary data charges. All was fine until I used our second computer to download another application. Both computers are tied to the same iTunes account, but when I started to synch the new application from the second computer, it became clear I was going to lose all the other applications from Computer One.

    The orphaned application was €20 (it’s a French-English dictionary) and I don’t want to pay for it twice, nor do I want to overwrite everything else (including a few other expensive dictionaries).

    Any suggestions as to how to merge the two, particularly that I’ve used the same iTunes account for everything? I have to say I was a bit surprised that iTunes seemed more interested in what was on my computer than what was in my iTunes account.

  • Hank
    December 24, 2009 - 12:44 pm | Permalink

    you should be able to re-download any purchased or free program at no charge. You will have to select it as if you are going to purchase it but it will come up with a message saying you have already purchased it, would you like to re download/install.
    Hope this helps.

  • Bill K
    December 25, 2009 - 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Worked like a charm! i would recommend HexEDit instead of UltraEdit – i’m in no way a smart man and UE confused the heck out of me.

    Thanks again.

  • December 27, 2009 - 5:32 am | Permalink

    Thanks very much for this clear explanation which saved my having to remove and put back all the music on my iPhone. For some reason, after having moved my iTunes library, my phone thought it was on another computer. Luckily I had a backup of the file with that magic number in it…

    Just a couple of comments. On a Mac, you’ll need HexEdit for OS X. Sounds stupid, but I downloaded what seemed to be the right program (it included lots of fles and folders), and it didn’t work. If you’re on a Mac, search foe HexEdit on

    Secondly, the ‘replace all’ option didn’t work for me, whereas, ‘replace’ did. Just in case…

  • Morgan
    December 27, 2009 - 7:41 am | Permalink

    I’m running Vista and XP. On the XP I cannot find the iTunes Music Library.itl where is it???

  • Francisco
    December 27, 2009 - 11:51 pm | Permalink

    Mil gracias, me funcionó de maravilla!

  • RW
    December 29, 2009 - 11:25 am | Permalink

    Still get the iPhone synched with another library error. Music still greyed out… :(
    3G, iTunes

  • Yakspeed
    December 29, 2009 - 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I have just carried out this procedure using wordpad for the .xml file and HxD hex editor for the .itl file on Itunes running on Windows XP.

    tried several other free hex editors but none of them found the correct hex string until i tried HxD – worked first time then!

    Thanks to everyone who put their information on here as I was starting to lose my temper with this little problem!!!

  • Rick
    December 30, 2009 - 11:59 am | Permalink

    I have an iPhone and just bought a new laptop. My old one, that my iPhone was synced with, crashed. I just want to keep all my music, videos and apps on my iPhone. Can’t you load them from your iPhone to your new laptop, so you can keep them. I just want to add new music & video without erasing my old ones.

  • January 1, 2010 - 9:46 am | Permalink

    Thank you for this. Reinstalled my machine and realized I couldn’t sync without erasing what’s on my iPhone. Now I can keep the things on my IPhone! HaluEYAH!

  • HG
    January 2, 2010 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    I’d like to add my own “Thank you” to the chorus. This is a wonderful tutorial.
    If I may, I would like to recommend Hex Fiend as a Mac hex editor. I downloaded Hex Editor but (unfortunately) am not familiar with compiling (been years since I have done so) and gave up quickly. Hex Fiend doesn’t require it, and did the trick:

    Also I have iTunes 9.0.2 and it worked well, with one hiccup, which was:
    1. Although it’s not a surprise, I had to authorize the “new” iTunes (i.e. the iTunes which had not originally been associated with the iPhone)
    2. This meant that almost all of my iPod Apps decided they needed to be uninstalled – I think it was prompted by the fact that iPod synced automatically (silly me!) _before_ I could Authorize iTunes
    3. I had to – at the end of that sync process – go back and sync the iPhone with the original iTunes computer and re-sync all of my applications to the iPhone (and painstakingly put them back in the order I had previously put them in)
    4. Just to test it, I re-synced the iPhone (i.e. reattached it) to the “new” iTunes and also added a song, and it worked fine. (phew) no more deleting of my apps.

    But yeah, now I’ve got 2 of my precious 5 authorizations in use. Ah well!

  • MetalRush
    January 4, 2010 - 6:26 am | Permalink

    I was struggling with this ‘fix’ as well but I think I found a few answers.

    My setup: 2 windows systems (1 running XP, 1 running Windows 7 64-bit). iPhone 3G (Hijacked and unlocked, but I guess it also works for non-hijacked iPhones), running version 3.0.1
    iTunes version
    Note: since I am only interested in syncing my apps, I did not check if this ‘fix’ also works for music, videos, etc.

    What you need: iTunes version identical on both systems, logged on with same (your!) account.
    Backup your iPhone on your initial system (the one you used to setup your iPhone and iTunes – this is computer 1. The second one you want to sunc with is computer 2).
    I used UltraEdit32 to change my files. You can use another HEX-editor if you like (do NOT use Notepad or similar TEXT editors).

    Make copies of the XML and ITL files!! These are your escape in case this is not working for you!

    I followed the instructions above, but could not find the same ID-code in the *.ITL file on my computer 2. I did find it in the XML file but this was not sufficient… This is also a problem a few others found as well.
    Also: if I changed my XML-file, after starting iTunes again, it changed it back to the previous ID-code.
    This is what I did: Disconnected my iPhone on computer 2, I opened the XML and ITL file with UltraEdit32, I started iTunes, played a radio station (from that moment on the ID-code changed back to his original code = wrong code).
    Closed iTunes again but kept the files open (UltraEdit can ask if it can update the files, since they changed. You can OK that).
    From that moment on, I could find the same ID-code in my XML and in my ITL file.
    I changed them both with the ID-code from my computer 1. Saved both files.

    Now here comes an important one; if you do not want to loose your applications, already installed on your iPhone: CANCEL the sync immediately after you connect your iPhone (often automatically turned on).
    Now BACKUP you iPhone via iTunes (right mouse-click in iTunes, on your iPhone).
    Next TRANSFER PURCHASES in iTunes (also under the right mouseclick). This is why iTunes on both computers need to be exactly the same and logged on with the same account!. Your apps from your iPhone are transferred to your computer 2.

    From now on you can sync your apps on both computers.

    I hope this info can help out others.
    Please remember: altering your computer or iPhone is on your own risk. I cannot take any responsibility whatsoever.

    Have a great 2010 !!

  • Latoya
    January 5, 2010 - 9:36 am | Permalink

    How would I sync my iphone to a new pc if I do not have my old pc that I originally synced with.

  • Latoya
    January 5, 2010 - 9:36 am | Permalink

    How would I sync my iphone to a new pc if I do not have my old pc that I originally synced with?

  • Derek
    January 5, 2010 - 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Quite possibly the most useful tip on the internet.

  • Patrick
    January 6, 2010 - 12:56 am | Permalink

    OK… I followed the instructions and did not have a problem getting the library IDs in sync. My primary computer is my Mac and my secondary computer is a PC (WinXP). Both are setup with manual sync. So, I do not have any instantaneous syncing to disable. However, I sync all objects on the Mac (Music, Videos, Applications, Ringtones, etc.). And, when I take the phone to the PC, it also shows that I am syncing all objects there, too. And, when I uncheck Applications, Music, etc, I get a notice that it will remove all my objects. Upon testing it, sure enough, all my apps were gone on the iPhone. I had to resync on the Mac to get them back. Also, I have a wireless sync method for PIM data. That is not an issue.

    So, the question I have is how do you tell the Mac to sync all the objects and tell the PC to sync nothing.

    Eventually, I will disable to wireless sync of the contacts and sync the contacts via the PC (Outlook).

    Any insight into how I can disable the sync on the PC while leaving it on the Mac would be most helpful.


  • Derek
    January 6, 2010 - 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Patrick – if you are getting the message about it removing all the object you haven’t done it properly.
    I would check:
    1) Itunes is not running when you make the changes on the secondery machine
    2) You saved the .itl file after changing it.

    My primary itunes is running on Vista and secondary is OSX 10.6

  • Josh
    January 7, 2010 - 4:30 pm | Permalink

    the Hex editor can not find the value of the string that the second computer had before I changed it. I even reinstalled iTunes to make sure I didn’t copy it wrong.

  • The Happy One :-)
    January 8, 2010 - 10:15 am | Permalink

    Worked flawlessly with iTunes and my iPhone 3G while migrating to a new PC. Thanks a lot!

  • LoveIT!
    January 9, 2010 - 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Worked perfectly on the latest version of iTunes!

  • PS
    January 9, 2010 - 5:39 pm | Permalink

    It worked great. Thanks a lot.
    One issue:
    My old laptop is gone and when I’m syncing my iPhone with the new one after following about steps, new iTunes let me trasfer applications but how do I trasfer my iPhone music/ringtones on to the new iTunes library ?

    Any suggestions?

  • AlexRmF
    January 12, 2010 - 7:19 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this great guide man.
    I haven’t tried it out yet, but sure looks like it’s easy to do and will try it tonight.
    One interesting fact is that my iPod works both on my MAC and my work PC without doing any tweaking, but the iPhone doesn’t like that for some reason.

  • Alex
    January 13, 2010 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    Really I have to say this too well done. Even though I had to replace the files a couple of times, that is because I just forgot the original number, it worked like a charm. Thanks very much!!!

  • eric
    January 17, 2010 - 1:27 pm | Permalink

    thanks dudee! you are a genius!

  • lakshmi
    January 18, 2010 - 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Thanks a lot!!!!! Much appreciated.

  • ssorgs
    January 19, 2010 - 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Worked perfectly! Thanks! UltraEdit is great but costs, tried PSPad and has about same functionality as UE.

    Needed to do this after I rebuilt my XP laptop — fortunately I had backed up my docs & settings.

  • Nick
    January 21, 2010 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    To those who have lost their apps trying to SYNC. Reading through the post and one other site I managed to work my iPhine with my work computer (2nd PC).
    To point out that syncing with the second computer will allow you to transfer music from a second PC to your iPhone. If you wish to have your apps and music that you have purchased on your 2nd PC/MAC simply right-click on the iphone icon in the source column of itunes and choose “transfer purchases”. I am doing this as we speak…

    In order not to loose your apps (I am quoting a previous reply), you have to untick “SYNC APPS”. Click apply and immediately cancel the sync process by slide to cancel on your iPhone screen. You should do the same for photos. Then if you choose the option to manually manage you music and videos, when you click apply you should hopefully sync without loosing your apps.

    One last thing, I tried the step by step in this page and have to say that it works with the above mentioned. If however you don’t want to mess with the files you can do what I have done. Copy your 3 itunes library and 1 itunes music files from PC1 to PC2.

    Hope that helps some of you.

  • mamaguevo
    January 22, 2010 - 10:35 am | Permalink

    Donde me bajo el hex editor????

  • Rayzor
    January 26, 2010 - 6:36 pm | Permalink

    worked like a charm, tyvvm

  • Rayzor
    January 26, 2010 - 6:41 pm | Permalink
  • bbb
    January 27, 2010 - 9:16 pm | Permalink

    i dont seem to get the last part.
    Select “Find and Replace” from the Edit menu. Make sure “Hex” matching is selected (not ASCII). In “Find” enter the ID you took a note of in Part 1. In Replace, enter the ID you copied at the start of Part 2. Choose Replace All, there should be one match.

    Save this file and close it.

    PS:I use a PC, windows 7

  • bbb
    January 27, 2010 - 9:27 pm | Permalink

    i dont get the last part
    Select “Find and Replace” from the Edit menu. Make sure “Hex” matching is selected (not ASCII). In “Find” enter the ID you took a note of in Part 1. In Replace, enter the ID you copied at the start of Part 2. Choose Replace All, there should be one match.

    Save this file and close it.

    im using a windows, cant find the itunes music library.itl

  • adam
    January 28, 2010 - 8:49 pm | Permalink

    ur bad maneee. gud work.. thanx maneee

  • kevnjeni
    January 29, 2010 - 8:58 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing – it seems to work great – is there a way to transfer the video and music onto the new computer?? THANKS

  • Reto
    January 31, 2010 - 1:58 am | Permalink

    Great!! Thanks a lot for your work!



  • February 3, 2010 - 7:20 am | Permalink

    Thanks, it works just great.

  • Chris
    February 3, 2010 - 9:07 am | Permalink

    I had the same problem where my Apps were deleted when I sync with the new computer. Here is how I fixed it.

    The first thing iTunes does when you sync is backup your library.itl file that is on the iPhone/iPod. So go into the iTunes folder and find the folder named “Previous iTunes Libraries and open it. Rename all the file in there from “.itl” to “.itlbu”. This will prevent iTunes from using one of these files when you sync and force iTunes to create a new backup file using the library that is on your current device.

    Second, make sure all your apps are in the “Mobile Applications” folder in the iTunes folder. In my case I had two “Mobile Applications” folders that did not have the same apps in them. So iTunes would pick one folder and erase any apps that were not in that particular folder from my iPhone.

    Lastly, when you sync you will still be prompted that all existing content on the device will be replaced, but this is not the case. In my case, I was prompted that all data was going to be replaced, but that did not happen. I can now sync with two computers without losing any data on my iPhone. I hope this helps.

  • leslie
    February 3, 2010 - 7:53 pm | Permalink

    I followed the directions exactly and it’s not working! any help would be appreciated cuz I’m going crazy! thanks!

  • confused
    February 4, 2010 - 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Does this still work for anyone? I tried it with itunes on Windows 7. It first asks me to sync applications and warns that if I choose “Do not Sync” all existing apps on the phone will be lost.

    When I first opened itunes after the install, it also asked me to authorize the computer to listen to purchased stuff. How did it know?

  • Ferd
    February 4, 2010 - 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Hey Andrew. It is amazing reading this and the huge responses to this site.

    We are now using iTunes 9.0.3. Will this still work?

  • Ferd
    February 5, 2010 - 2:07 am | Permalink

    Hey Andrew this works like charm! On iTunes 9!

    Although your work is all over the Internet. Good for the guys who quoted you as The Genius who made this happen!

    So like they said, works like a charm! The secret ingredient is to have the latest hex editor to avoid error!

    Good job, Andrew! Thank you!

  • rich
    February 7, 2010 - 8:55 am | Permalink

    cannot locate I Tunes Music Library.xml on my imac could it be named something else?

    February 7, 2010 - 1:56 pm | Permalink

    hey DRE
    its just called iTunes Library if your opening in ultraedit…right above the first one you open with a txt editor…
    any one have any questions just send it to…i understand this kind of stuff pretty well.

  • Ari
    February 14, 2010 - 10:01 am | Permalink

    Thanks a lot! It worked for me cross-platform on Mac (original) and PC (New)!

  • rich
    February 14, 2010 - 1:55 pm | Permalink

    sill cannot locate the library on my imac desktop, found it with no problem on the laptop, could it have a different name?

  • Lindsay
    February 16, 2010 - 2:27 am | Permalink

    Does this work on subsequent versions of iTunes. I have Version 9, and it doesn’t seem to work…?

  • ivan
    February 16, 2010 - 7:59 pm | Permalink

    I have a problem. need help..I do not have the other computer where my iphone was sync..I want to transport my music to the Itune on another computer but it tells me that I am sync with another..I do not have the other computer anymore..what do I do?

    thank you

  • Vycanthus
    February 17, 2010 - 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Ok…here’s a toughie for ya. I got my phone off ebay; it’s unlocked and jailbroken. When I added media it was with a 3rd party program. I was scared to use iTunes at first.
    Well, it gives me the sync error and I’m afraid my apps (which are library items I assume)would disappear and thus lock me out of my own phone.
    Long story short, I don’t have the original sync information. How do I avoid turning my phone into a brick? What will the “Delete and sync” do?

    ANY help would be VERY appreciated!

  • ivan solis
    February 18, 2010 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    Hello, and thank you..

    The problem I have is that I do not have the other was I can not do this..I just have one computer that gives the message erase sync..
    help please..ivan

  • cliff
    February 20, 2010 - 9:30 pm | Permalink

    What if I cant’t access the computer i originally synced with? How can i get everything from my phone to itunes?

  • Phil
    February 21, 2010 - 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Hi man, thanks a lot for these explanations! They all worked perfectly for me! ^^

    But now, I’d like to stop synchronizing my Iphone on my PC (1st computer I did sync it with), but switch my main sync on my macbook.
    Is this anyhow possible without reinit everything on the iphone (I’d like to keep my contacts and SMS)?
    Thanks for your help!

  • A different Matt
    February 22, 2010 - 5:23 am | Permalink

    There’s now an easier option to all this hex edit and synching thing, if your a bit of a layman like me there’s now an app called air share which you can get from the app store, think there’s a free one and a paid for one, once you’re in the app it creates a “my documents” folder and we all know what they’re good for!

    I can now connect, update, synch contacts etc but leave the music alone, just build yourself a library of music folders in there and it all plays in q/time. Only problem is you lose the functionality of the ipod.
    On the plus side you can play an album and lock the phone still, which is all i really use my phone for when listening to music.

  • coolbreeze
    February 22, 2010 - 2:56 pm | Permalink

    another way to share is to use home sharing in itunes, no need to mess with the numbers

  • steve
    February 23, 2010 - 1:49 pm | Permalink

    the best way to transfer music from another computer is to create a playlist called “autofil” (the name doesnt matter) then put the music on it that you want. Plug in your phone and click on the iphone music tab. Then at the bottom it says “autofil with” and you chose your playlist that you created. then hit autofill and it will transfer the music onto it.

  • L Ward
    February 23, 2010 - 11:12 pm | Permalink

    My old computer was destroyed so I obviously can’t change settings on it. Can I sync my iPhone with my new computer without erasing everything???

  • ivan
    February 24, 2010 - 9:49 am | Permalink

    My problem is how to sync to my computer. it tells me that I am sync with another but I am not..I rebooted and after that it gave me the do I fix this problem..need to install all my music on my I tune but it wont let Itune library is empty lost my music.

  • John Seabury
    February 24, 2010 - 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Thank you!
    I was very frustrated by the fact that I could pay for music on both of my computers but not be able to have it all on my phone at the same time. Your solution worked perfectly!
    I really appreciate it.
    John Seabury

  • Neil
    February 25, 2010 - 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Worked perfectly –

    iPhone 3GS
    iMac OS X 10.5.8 (syncing computer) — iTunes 9.0.2
    MacBook OS X 10.5.8 (manually managed computer) — iTunes 9.0.3

    Thank you!

  • thewolfe
    February 27, 2010 - 4:15 pm | Permalink

    I purchased an iPod touch and started using it while on the road with my laptop.

    I was using a PalmPilot and transferred all of that information (contacts, notes, tasks and calendar) to Outlook.

    I then synced my iPod touch through iTunes adding music plus my Outlook stuff. Worked great.

    Then when I got home using my home computer, which I do 90% of the time, I discovered that I can’t sync with iTunes.

    I’m told that I can only sync my iPod touch using one computer.

    I know I can drag music from iTunes but my main concern is syncing my calendar etc.

    Any ideas?

  • shawn
    February 28, 2010 - 7:01 am | Permalink

    thanks for the info worked great first try could not be any simpler

  • chrystle
    February 28, 2010 - 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Wehave a very old computer i now sync my iphone with. I have attempted several times to sync with new laptop and it deletes all info, can you help wi this?

  • CDE
    March 3, 2010 - 1:45 am | Permalink

    Works brilliantly on itunes v9, thanks very much!

  • Martinko
    March 3, 2010 - 1:01 pm | Permalink

    This is an app for Mac that does everything automaticaly:

    tested! NICE

  • March 4, 2010 - 1:13 am | Permalink

    Here is an app for Mac OSX that does this automatically.
    Download at official page:
    its Donateware


  • March 4, 2010 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the help! Works very well. =)

  • prasad
    March 6, 2010 - 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Great!, it worked on iphone 3GS with Windows Vista OS having iTunes 9.x software.

  • Marc Banks
    March 8, 2010 - 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Question, I have a 3G unlocked and jailbroken 16GB Iphone. The person who jailbroke my Iphone installed a lot of good applications. However, I have also purchased many apps from the App Store using my own Itunes account. My Iphone is now sync to the person who installed all the 3rd party apps.

    Can I still download my Apple Apps to my Iphone without erasing the 3rd party apps and if so, will they all work together on my Iphone. Please help.

  • Alex
    March 8, 2010 - 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, this worked!!!!!

  • Craig
    March 8, 2010 - 11:14 pm | Permalink

    My computer was stolen. How can I get my Iphone files/apps onto a new computer?

  • raffaello
    March 12, 2010 - 7:54 pm | Permalink

    What can i say, bravo and god bless u, solved my prob.
    Thank you so much

  • Perry
    March 14, 2010 - 10:31 am | Permalink

    Thanks for nothing. I synced and ALL my music and apps are gone. I am angry as hell.

  • Kissing Bandit
    March 14, 2010 - 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Two years later, but I have to say, emphatically, thank you. Why Apple decided to limit the number of libraries which the phone can use is beyond me, but your solution worked like a charm and now I can manage my music with both of my computers. w00t!!

  • Mark
    March 15, 2010 - 10:52 am | Permalink

    I forgot to take a note of the ID on the machine I’m trying to change. I have hexedit but don’t know where to paste my id!!



  • Thomas Boc
    March 15, 2010 - 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Thanks but what if I don’t have my other computer,
    actually I’m travelling and let my PC at home !
    would I be able to do part 1 with my iPhone and iFile for example, I mean how to find my “iTunes Library ID” on the iPhone ? or “iTunes Music Library.xml”


  • Bob S
    March 16, 2010 - 4:28 pm | Permalink

    I did this as I have a new small laptop and didn’t what the music on it. The fix seemed to work as I did not get the message we are trying to avoid. The problem I am having is that When I try to sync, it wants to delete all of my downloaded applications and data. If I uncheck the Sync box in the applications tab, it says the same things? What did I did wrong?

    3GS iT 3.1.3


  • March 17, 2010 - 7:52 am | Permalink

    Great guide, works like a charm! Had some problem with HEX-editing the second file but after I switch program it found the string and it could be replaced!

    Even though everything was done right all of my apps got deleted but that was just because I had forgot to authorize iTunes to that computer… but meh, it was nice cleaning up the phone a bit ;P

    iPhone 3GS 3.1.3 + iTunes

  • Bob S
    March 17, 2010 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    Rats! I authorized the new laptop, but I still get the same messages when I try to sync or un-check the applications sync box “Are you sure you want to remove 91 applications, including “12mail”, from the iPhone “mine”? This will delete these applications and their data from the iPhone”

    Any other thoughts? Thx.

  • Mr.J
    March 19, 2010 - 5:24 am | Permalink

    I forgot to create a back up file of the.xml file and I changed it. is there any possible way i can recover the old itunes .xml file or create a new non-modified .xml file?

  • March 25, 2010 - 12:04 pm | Permalink

    two words Thank you !

  • squirrelonfire
    March 27, 2010 - 10:56 pm | Permalink

    It works. Thanks!

  • Useful
    March 31, 2010 - 2:44 am | Permalink

    Sadly Andrew, it didn’t work for me, although I followed your clear instructions absolutely to the letter.

    When I connected my iPhone to my Laptop (my second PC), iTunes first wanted to wipe all the Music in my iPhone, then my Applications, then it wouldn’t let me tick the options I wanted to Sync under Info … so unfortunately I had to give up.

  • iphoone
    April 1, 2010 - 3:49 am | Permalink

    Sorry , did not work for me either, maybe my latest itunes 9.1 is the reason…
    I also tried the “iSyncMoreLibs” software but unfortunately with no luck.
    It seems like Apple has closed the possibility for now…

  • Kevin
    April 1, 2010 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    (you will lose your music and apps)

  • April 3, 2010 - 6:49 pm | Permalink

    doesn’t seem to be working on the latest version of itunes? v9.1 or am I just doing it wrong?

  • Bob S
    April 5, 2010 - 6:19 am | Permalink

    Sorry I have not updated. The challenge with the description above, which is the critical stuff Apple doesn’t tell you, is it is missing the stuff Apple does tell you! After you have done the above, you 1st have to “Authorize” the 2nd PC, this is in the Advanced toolbar area of iTunes. The next thing is you have to transfer everything. Once iTunes on the 2nd PC sees your phone, right click on it and select the “Transfer Purchases” option. Real intuitive… Set manually manage music on both and it should work fine. You will still get hate messages but should be fine. As always BACKUP everything until you have the process solid. PS. I despise iTunes. It is amazing that the best phone requires the worst software.

  • Tim
    April 6, 2010 - 9:46 am | Permalink

    I tried this with the latest iTunes (9.1), and no, it doesn’t prompt me to erase my phone, it just erases it without prompting. How frustrating!

  • Gnana
    April 9, 2010 - 3:37 am | Permalink


    Does it work for iTunes 9 ? I had tried it today. I cannot find the in the .itl file.


  • Ray Bequette
    April 9, 2010 - 10:08 am | Permalink

    I have a bit different problem in that most here seem to be only concerned with music and videos. My problem is a sync between my Calendar and Contacts from one computer to update the Calendar and Contacts on the second computer. Both are using Outlook 07.

  • Serene
    April 10, 2010 - 10:57 pm | Permalink

    hi, i tried the above in the latest itunes (up to date) and when i plugged in my itunes, it prompted “SyncServer has stopped working”, is there any problem? And that “iTunes is unable to provide any data from SyncServer”

    and initially all “sync XX” is unticked, when i want to tick “sync music”, it prompted that all data will be removed?

  • Adam Jenkins
    April 12, 2010 - 4:21 pm | Permalink

    This method may not work for syncing an iPhone with two computers when you’re using iTunes 9.1, but it DOES work for allowing an iPhone synced to iTunes on Computer A to play through iTunes on Computer B (which is oddly not allowed normally … you have to play your iPhone music through your iPhone’s tiny little speaker even if it’s plugged into Computer B).

    Andrew, thanks for this outstanding method. I think you have an error in your instructions? My understanding is that you want the Library Persistent ID from Computer A (where your iPhone started out being synced to) to get copied into two files on Computer B (where you now want your iPhone to also be synced to): the iTunes Music Library.xml file with a text editor, and the iTunes Library file with a hex editor.

    You’re only using the existing ID on Computer B to just find the right location for the hex editor, correct? So I think your instructions under the Hex editor portion are backwards – instead of *** In “Find” enter the ID you took a note of in Part 1. In Replace, enter the ID you copied at the start of Part 2. *** it should actually read *** In “Find” enter the ID you copied at the start of Part 2. In Replace, enter the ID you took a note of in Part 1. ***

    Otherwise I think the instructions were putting the correct ID into Computer B’s iTunes Music Library.xml file, but not B’s iTunes Library.


  • SeanD
    April 13, 2010 - 8:45 am | Permalink


    Copy the 4 library files from My DocumentsMy MusiciTunes onto a memory stick.

    Then copy them onto the new machine at the same location My DocumentsMy MusiciTunes

    Job Done!

  • raphael
    April 13, 2010 - 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Hey guy, great explanation.
    But I formated my harddisk before getting the iTunes ID.
    Any suggestion?

  • JeffM
    April 15, 2010 - 5:03 am | Permalink

    IT WORKED!!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    Got my new iPhone last week and was completely bummed about not being able to access my tunes at work. I did what ‘SeanD’ suggested about the complete file transfer, but only with the .xml and the .itl files. I’m running iTunes – for anyone who thinks it won’t work with iTunes 9.

  • Sean
    April 16, 2010 - 5:31 am | Permalink

    awesome…this is genius ….pure genius

  • hal
    April 16, 2010 - 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for this – but one comment: after the third screen capture, shouldn’t the text read “In the Hex Editor, open “iTunes Library” – on the Mac, the XML file has the word “Music” in its title, while the binary file does not…

  • Christoph
    April 16, 2010 - 1:31 pm | Permalink


    is there a way to just get a couple of albums from my friends itunes music library without deleting whats already on my iphone? Sitting scratching our heads!

  • hal
    April 16, 2010 - 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Christoph, get Senutti.

  • April 18, 2010 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    Hi, Mr. Thanks for your help. I was looking for an explanation and yours it great. No problem, it works very good !

  • Gaby
    April 23, 2010 - 7:19 am | Permalink

    I am trying this but can only find the xml Library – no .itl file???

  • Gaby
    April 23, 2010 - 7:34 am | Permalink

    Me again. Read through the comments and found Shaun D’s instructions much easier! I’m not as good at this as most others so thanks! :-)

  • Elizabeth
    April 27, 2010 - 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Hi Andrew

    Do you have an update on this for iTunes v9? I am so annoyed with iTunes/iPhone right now that I would just chuck it out if I had the cash to buy a new phone.

    And besides I really need to get stuff off my phone but I can’t while I am not allowed to sync with a second computer (because I plugged it in to the second computer I can’t sync with the first computer anymore either).

    Why would this hack not work anymore, any idea how to get around Apple’s hack work around?

  • chris
    April 29, 2010 - 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I tried this but was unsuccessful. One issue I ran into was that on the Mac, the iTunes Music Library file has no extension. Copying that file directly from a PC obviously brings over the .itl extension, and renaming the file to remove the .itl changes the filetype on the Mac afaik. Is there a work-around for this?

  • Ratish
    May 7, 2010 - 11:57 am | Permalink

    OMG…. Your’e awesome bro… Hats off !!!
    Also for people who dont have this stuff working, uninstall iPhone and do a search for iTunes in your second computer your’e trying to sync and delete all of it. Then got to and search for iPhone 9.0, download and then religiously follow whatever you have in this article.

    Most important: Got to iTunes–> Edit –> Preferences and uncheck all auto update.
    Then click on your device in iTunes and on the main page, scroll down and check the box “Manual Sync”

    Thanks again buddy… Your’e the best !!!

  • thewolfe
    May 9, 2010 - 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Will this work with the latest iPods?

  • thewolfe
    May 9, 2010 - 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, I meant iTouch.

  • Belu
    May 9, 2010 - 7:29 pm | Permalink

    I have an iphone 2g and when I try to sync any new song on the sencond pc, itunes freezes. Any guesses?

  • maccabi
    May 11, 2010 - 2:20 am | Permalink

    it’s a great post but I have two remarks
    1. it’s clearer to say that when replacing the Itune library, in the find you should paste the code of the new computer and in the replace the code of the original otherwise it say’s “can’t find string” … or something.
    2. when syncing for the first time on the new computer it deleted all the files on my Ipode, maybe I should have looked more at the instruction windows that poped up when syncing.

  • Nick
    May 18, 2010 - 7:55 am | Permalink

    I accidentally forgot to write down the code when i changed my library key on my new computer, is there anyway i can get it back? because without it i cant finish this process.

  • May 20, 2010 - 6:09 pm | Permalink

    AMAZING!!! Thanks for posting this info!

  • sam
    May 22, 2010 - 8:02 am | Permalink

    i was wondering if you have a solution similar to this but not exactly
    i synced my iphone before i cleared my hard drive because a virus invaded my computer
    so i cant use this solution to make it able to sync with more then one library
    do i have to erase and sync???

  • Zeljko Mikic
    May 23, 2010 - 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Yes, this is cool, but. First time you connect and syncronize iPhone on Computer 2 it erases all of your apps withouut even asking you. This is because apps sync is enabled by default and existing apps do not exist on computer 2. You cannot turn sync for apps because it will delete all apps on the phone, same problem. Nice try. Any resolutions?

  • May 24, 2010 - 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Hey – I couldn’t get Hex Editor for TextMate to work, but found this:

    Eric Dahl

  • Zeljko Mikic
    May 24, 2010 - 1:57 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know how does it work for you but in my case sync options are somehow stored in iPhone. First I turn on music sync on computer 1, ok, connect it to computer 2, well hell there is music sync disabled. Ok, I turn it on, sync all music I whant and yea it is there on the iPhone. After that when you connect it to computer 1 all the music is gone, music sync is somehow turned on so I asume that sync configuration is stored on the iPhone and it is not possible to have diferent options on diferent computers. Please correct me if I am wrong.

  • Zeljko Mikic
    May 24, 2010 - 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Correction, first I turn off music sync on computer 1 (first sentence)

  • May 24, 2010 - 2:55 pm | Permalink

    The setting indeed follows the device. I read through several of these posts to verify that is what I was seeing. I just set both my machines to ‘manually manage music’ and all is fine. Says that somewhere else here too.

  • May 25, 2010 - 11:47 am | Permalink

    Hi, I’m running into a few problems. I want to sync my iPhone on both my p.c. (windows 7) at work and my new macbook pro at home. first, I’m guessing I’m going to need to download a hex editor to carry out step 2? I am currently syncing using my work computer. The main problem is that I can only find the xml file on my mac. Strangely it didn’t even show up using finder, I had to go in to the iTunes folder manually to find it. Could you please help me?

  • Horst
    May 27, 2010 - 1:34 am | Permalink

    I followed your instructions and everything works fine so far.
    The only problem I run into now is that each time I sync, iTunes complains, the information would be coming from a different “user account”.
    I authorized only one and the same acct on each of the two computers and signed in with my Apple Store ID.

    The consequence: Each sync mingles all data, duplicating calendar and address book entries.

    Why does this have to be such a pain in the ass? I don’t get it. The iPhone is one of the most expensive and sleek pda’s, everything cool, but the most logical sync requirement (as I am sure there are millions of folks like me working with Apple at home and with Windows in teh office) is not working. Ridiculous.

    Do you have any idea, what I can do?

  • Pepe
    May 27, 2010 - 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Excelent post mate, you’re a genious!

    Thank you

  • June 2, 2010 - 1:30 am | Permalink

    Awesome Post.. I tried findin this solution at so so many sites.. Nothing helped.. But your post did the required.. Thanks a tonne for sharing..
    I’m gonna out this on my blog.. Hope to help many more ppl who face this prob..

    Cheerz!! 😀

  • trent
    June 4, 2010 - 12:27 am | Permalink

    how can i change the itunes i was using my iphone with to a different one?
    i used to use the computer at home at that is the first one i set my iphone up with, but now i have a laptop with a different itunes and when i connect it it says i cant sync it and nothing else… it dosent let me do anything else…
    if i reset my iphone will i be able to start from new and sync to another computer or not? or how do i do it?

  • non-computer savy
    June 5, 2010 - 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Thank you!!!! You’re MY HERO!!!

  • Fabio
    June 6, 2010 - 6:53 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the tip.
    I am using an Iphone 3GS, and an Imac working on OSX10.5

    However, i couldn’t replace all in Hexedit, it only allowed me to replace .
    Consequently, Itunes still asked me to erase.

    What can I do?


  • steve
    June 6, 2010 - 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Just got my wife and I Iphones and I have a Windows Vista laptop and a Windows 7 home PC. I have to say that the synching feature is the most idiotic execution I have ever seen by a PC or Mac. I have movies and music on my laptop that I have for travel and I have mainly music on my home PC. Here is how it should work: I should be able to plug into my laptop and transfer files either way between the two devices. Additionally, I should be able to plug my iphone into my home pc and transfer files in either direction. In other words, anything I have on either computer should be totally interchangable with files on the i-phones and vice-versa.

  • June 9, 2010 - 2:12 am | Permalink

    excellent – yet again this has saved a lot of hassle, thanks Shiney !

  • Daniel
    June 9, 2010 - 10:36 am | Permalink

    Im trying to sync my iphone from my old PC library to my empty library on my new macbook pro. I downloaded your suggested hex software and had no luck. There is just a file named HexEdit Project with a bunch of files and I dont know what to use. Please help me out soon. Ive already changed the Library ID’s so I dont want to mess up my new computer.

  • Christina
    June 10, 2010 - 11:50 am | Permalink

    what if the computer the iphone was originally synced with is now DEAD?? how do i go about syncing it with a new one? i’m afraid i’ll lose all of the songs/apps that are on the phone if i do the “erase & sync”!

  • moddinati
    June 15, 2010 - 5:52 pm | Permalink

    I just wiped my PC and don’t really want to erase and resync my entire Ipod, unfortunately I didn’t save the needed file.

    The Library ID has to be stored on the Ipod somewhere. Anyone know where I can find it?

  • Elie Rowe
    June 16, 2010 - 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much! Really appreciate it. Great easy to follow instructions. Keep up the good work. :)

  • Kate Murray
    June 17, 2010 - 6:33 am | Permalink

    The computer my ipod is currently connected to has completely given up. How do I add new music to my ipod without loosing all the music I already have on it?
    Please help, Thanks.

  • Dave
    June 18, 2010 - 7:23 am | Permalink

    it works!! great work

  • Bob
    June 18, 2010 - 7:26 am | Permalink

    The new itunes seems to have broken itself and I had to reinstall on both pcs. Still sync’ing on the Outlook pc (1/2 hour now), I let you know if the music pc sync’s ok if the outlook side ever finishes!

  • Craig
    June 20, 2010 - 6:03 am | Permalink

    Thanks, worked in 9.2!

  • June 20, 2010 - 6:04 am | Permalink

    I see you’ve helped hundreds of people and I hope to find the same liberation. For some reason, I can’t get it to work. I have a PC and a Mac. I’ve tried changing the code in both the PC and the MAC and I’m still getting that Erase and Sync message.

    First I tried changing the ID on my PC. I changed it in Notepad and saved and closed. When I use UltraEdit, for some reason, it isn’t finding the ID when I do “Find and Replace”.

    So then I tried changing in the ID on my Mac. I changed the ID in TextEditor and then did find and replace in HexEdit, it seemed to find the ID and replace it, but when I used iTunes, it still gave me that confounded Erase and Sync message.

    Do you have any suggestions for me?




  • June 21, 2010 - 5:52 am | Permalink

    One thing that helps (atleast on PC) is to make regular backups of iTunes Library.itl and iTunes Music Library.xml and just copy em back over if you have problem with iTunes or makes a new install of it.

    This is after you get this guide to work ofcourse.

    Newly formated my computer and when installing iTunes I got a new ID but then I simply took the .itl and .xml file I saved before reformating and replaced the current once and everything was synced as before.

  • Nick Harrison
    June 22, 2010 - 8:48 pm | Permalink


    Sadly these instructions didn’t work for me with iTunes 9.2 & iOS4 with my 3GS. I still get the same prompts from iTunes on the second PC about removing & overwriting content like Apps, Music etc.

    Any thoughts – has anyone tried with these most recent Apple updates?

  • Mark Strel
    June 23, 2010 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    I was also not able to get this to work with iTunes 9.2 and iOS4 on my 3GS. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  • Andy
    June 23, 2010 - 11:14 pm | Permalink

    I was able to get it to work, but not perfectly.
    I am using iphone 3GS using itunes 9.11xxxx

    I switched off auto sync as usual.
    The music tab on my iphone option is not ticked. If I tick the box, I will get that message that says it will erase my music library on my current iphone.

    I was about to give up when I tried something different.

    I created a new play list on my iphone. Then dragged songs into there from my library or just dragged entire play lists from itunes into my new play list.

    And the songs get transferred across.


    As for my apps, I selected transfer purchased apps into my second comp and could navigate and adjust all the apps as per norm like my comp1.

  • jm
    June 25, 2010 - 6:38 am | Permalink

    chicka chicka yeah! this is awesome! I believe the ‘replace’ section of part two is backwards. Thank you!

  • hooray290
    June 28, 2010 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    Thank you. This is amazing, I always keep a backup of these files because I restore my PC a lot, now I have put it onto my work PC as it will not be getting restored, and I can keep extra backups of my iPhone.

    Thanks :-)

  • FrankBama``
    July 2, 2010 - 3:21 pm | Permalink

    I changed the Library ID in the .xml file then accidentally deleted the bad Library ID. So, I have no idea what I need to “Find” in the .itl file. Any suggestions on how to find the library ID in the hex file that needs to be changed?

    July 2, 2010 - 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Hello Mr Grant,
    I just bought an iPhone 4 and used your tutorial to sync up Contact & Calendar with itunes on my PC professional and photos and music with the itunes located on my home PC. Everything went pretty fine except for the application that I have installed only on my home PC. As soon that I try to sync up Contact and Calendar from my professional PC, I can not stop all the applications to be erased… Did I do something wrong?

  • ash
    July 3, 2010 - 3:27 am | Permalink

    Only just moved to apple 2010 this still works for iphone 4 and version 9 of itunes excellent posting thank you.

  • Gavin
    July 5, 2010 - 2:53 am | Permalink

    I trying to do the opposite: sync my PIM data across work and home PCs and the iPhone. I’m not bothered about copying the Media files as these are only on my home PC (but I do want to keep the media files on my iPhone).

    Will this hack work for me or is it only for media files?

  • Walter Gillett
    July 5, 2010 - 11:38 am | Permalink

    Tried this trick and all my music got scrubbed off of my iPhone! Not a big deal since I have it all backed up, but not what I wanted. Maybe Apple has put in some defense against this trick?

  • Greg
    July 5, 2010 - 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Worked great with a new iPhone 4. Now I can add music from two libraries just like I had been with my old iPod.


  • Hailey
    July 9, 2010 - 12:00 pm | Permalink

    i cannot figure out the hex editor?

  • bob dobalina
    July 11, 2010 - 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Worked perfect for my iPhone 4 between two macs both using iTunes 9.2…. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!~

  • chris
    July 12, 2010 - 6:15 am | Permalink

    i love you, man!

  • Vasco
    July 12, 2010 - 8:43 am | Permalink

    This is great! But in my case, I just formatted my computer without knowing that the iphone would be stuck to a certain itunes library id… and I don’t know the original library ID!!!

    So how can I see the itunes library id that iphone is synchronized with? Only then I can do this…


  • Bruce
    July 13, 2010 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    The instructions are great until the last step. In spite of updating the Library Persistent ID, when I connect my iPhone and click on “Manually manage music and videos” and then click on Apply I get warned that iTunes will delete my apps and data from my iPhone. This is under OS X 10.5.8 and iTunes 9.2. Needless to say I haven’t had the courage to perform a sync… :-)

  • July 15, 2010 - 8:37 am | Permalink

    Thanks! I’ve installed my iPhone OS on the MacBook of a friend of mine. I didn’t realise that you can only sync with one machine, so I was unable to sync with my own machine. Now I can finally put some music on my phone again!

  • tyler
    July 15, 2010 - 7:04 pm | Permalink


  • July 16, 2010 - 12:22 am | Permalink

    I wrote an app “PhoneAble” to do that automatically. Maybe a bit easier for those who are savvy with hex editors and so on.

    (Currently for windows but a mac version is in the works)

  • Nathan
    July 16, 2010 - 9:00 pm | Permalink

    This will not work for IOS4 or the latest itunes.

  • July 17, 2010 - 2:18 am | Permalink

    Andrew Grant – liked the method for syncing an iPhone with multiple machines. I have a slightly different problem which I am confident you will be able to solve. I have a bar in Vietnam and use Macintosh computers with iTunes. I have a very large music and movie collection. Travelling customers bring me their mp3 players and I put fresh music on for them. Everything works well with iPods, iPod Touches and other Sony, Samsung or whatever music players. Myproblem is the iPhone always askes to be erased. How do I enable my iTunes library to Manually Manage any iPhone plugged in to it. Easy one for you – I think.

  • Guj
    July 17, 2010 - 6:17 pm | Permalink

    omg you are my god!! iPhone 4’s not all that bad then, bar the antenna issue…

    love youuuuuuuuu

  • YES
    July 18, 2010 - 7:41 am | Permalink

    still works with os 4.0.1 and itunes 9.2

  • J. Wagner
    July 22, 2010 - 6:18 am | Permalink

    I have confirmed I have the same persistent ID on both machines but I still can’t get iTunes to let me manually manage music in my iPhone 4 (iOS 4.0.1) on both machines. I was able to do this with my iPod Touch so it’s very frustrating…

  • Pete
    July 22, 2010 - 1:24 pm | Permalink

    OK, done all this, got my iphone recognised on the 2nd PC no problem, but it automatically synced itself (couldnt stop it) and has wiped ALL my paid apps off the phone. HELP!

  • LionKing
    July 25, 2010 - 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Worked for me. Thanks. This was brilliant.

  • burbs96
    July 25, 2010 - 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much! Worked like a charm! I was trying to use the overdrive media program and had to use my old pc for the wma files. Glad I got a work around!

  • t
    July 27, 2010 - 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Excellent work.


    When editing the “Itunes Music Library.itl”

    In “Find” enter the ID you copied in Part 2. In “Replace”, enter the ID you copied at the start of Part 1.

  • Alex
    July 29, 2010 - 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Hi there,
    So I tested it between two computers, worked great. Then I went to do the real deal between two other computers and I mistakenly forgot to copy down the code from the original .xml file. How can I locate this code after saving over the .xml?

    Thanks so much,

  • CurlScience
    August 2, 2010 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    Worked like a charm!

  • TheLug
    August 4, 2010 - 5:52 am | Permalink

    Very easy, instructions are dead on.

    Windows 7 X64
    iPhone 4 w/ OS 4.0.1

    Worked first try using notepad and hexedit.exe I found on

    Thanks for the info!

  • thewanted
    August 6, 2010 - 4:54 am | Permalink

    hi when i uninstall and install my itunes again, will it be counted as one extra time of ipod touch ‘authorization?

  • aUzr
    August 6, 2010 - 4:13 pm | Permalink

    working with ipad and iphone 3gs ios4 -sweet. Thanks!!!!

    August 12, 2010 - 7:02 am | Permalink

    can you help me because i cant open my hex editor because it says> The Classic environment is no longer supported..
    Please help!!

  • Barry
    August 14, 2010 - 11:33 am | Permalink

    Awesome awesome awesome! This worked great!

  • August 16, 2010 - 9:44 am | Permalink

    I did this but the 2nd machine started deleting all my apps! but I figured out a fix:

    So – for all those trying to sync apps between computers, encountering the

    “are you sure you want to sync? all existing applications and their data on the iphone will be deleted”..

    When you have configured the second machine – don’t let it sync initially, as (for me at least) it said it was gonna sync the apps but then started REMOVING existing apps from the iphone.

    Instead, right click on the phone in the sidebar in iTunes and select ‘Transfer Purchases’. This will then ask you to authorise the 2nd machine, and will then transfer all of your existing apps to the machine. Then, once this is complete – you can sync up with the 2nd machine as normal.

    Hope this helps!


  • Mateo
    August 16, 2010 - 10:47 am | Permalink

    Andrew, this is great! I do have one question though how can i sync contacts and calendar from two computers onto my iPhone? I keep my calendar and contacts on both my personal computer and my work computer, however, as i understand it from other blogs, you can not split a category (such as calendars) between two computers. Is this true? AND have you developed a fix that would allow us to do so? Thank you!

  • ZonSonus
    August 17, 2010 - 10:18 am | Permalink

    I have done the .xml and .itl edits and this is where things get screwy…
    First, I tried to get the newly edited iTunes to pair up with my iPhone. It still warned me that it wanted to erase my phone because it was synced with another iTunes library. For grins, I connected my 80G iPod Classic and everything worked like a charm. Anybody know what gives?

  • Alex
    August 21, 2010 - 9:42 pm | Permalink


  • August 24, 2010 - 11:09 am | Permalink

    legend!!!!!! absolutely amazing, used the free version of ultra edit and worked fairly easily. find/replace with the new persistent ID then save then works immediately. didn’t work so well with hex for windows.

  • Elisabeth
    August 27, 2010 - 3:09 am | Permalink

    Thanks Mateo for the trick on how to manage the apps – thought I’d done the whole thing for no good when the computer asked me if I wanted to erase all my apps, but now it all works out fine!

  • thewolfe
    August 27, 2010 - 10:16 am | Permalink


    After I worked Andrew’s magic I do the following.

    I have a convoluted way of doing it if it’s Outlook your using.

    I use Outlook for my Calendar, Contacts and notes.

    I use Microsoft’s Synctoy to copy my whole Outlook folder from one computer and paste it into my other computer over my home network.

    You can also use Dropbox to send your Outlook folder over the net.

    I copy back and forth depending on which computer has the latest entries.

    So both Outlooks are the same.

    Then on iTunes I check under the Advanced section “Replace info on this ipod”

    If my ipod has the latest changes I then I don’t check the Advanced section.

  • Ted
    August 27, 2010 - 11:33 am | Permalink

    Neat and tidy, work rock solid. Cheers!

  • alaric
    August 29, 2010 - 7:53 am | Permalink

    Hi Andrew,

    I read your topic on syncing an iphone with multiple computers. I got a problem here and is ‘On the machine your iPhone currently syncs with’. I formatted my computer already so i wont be able to retrieve the file from the ‘iphone currently syncs with’. So is there an alternative way which you could help me with?


  • nlhouden
    August 31, 2010 - 7:24 am | Permalink

    There should be a Nobel Prize for this kind of service to mankind! Shame on Apple; cheers to you, Mr. Grant.

    For everyone’s benefit, I just did this successfully with:
    – iPhone4 4.02
    – ‘home': MacBook Pro 10.6
    – ‘work': Windows XP
    – ..both running iTunes

    I followed the original directions- very carefully. I didn’t need any of the tweaks from the comments.

  • koolzero
    August 31, 2010 - 8:37 pm | Permalink

    I can not make this work. I have itune and an iphone 4 with ios 4.0.2 (not jailbroken or unlocked). I’ve copied the ID from my original PC and pasted it into the xml file and i’ve replaced the id file in the itl file while itunes was closed (I even searched processes and closed ipod service and itunes helper) when I click apply it says it’s already synced to another itunes and it will wipe my device.

    I got so frustrated that I tried by copying the xml and itl files from my main computer to the 2nd computer as a test but it fails and gives me the same message. Is there something with this version of itunes that is preventing this from working?

  • September 2, 2010 - 3:43 am | Permalink

    Wow what’s awesome useful post…Many thanks

  • mikeP
    September 2, 2010 - 1:15 pm | Permalink

    still works for macs!
    iphone 3g 4.0.2, itunes 9.2

    September 4, 2010 - 1:17 pm | Permalink

    I did this lots of times back and fwd. I have the new Itunes 10 and is not working would be a diferent way of doing it. Did they figured aout and blocked it somehow???

    Can I remove itunes 10 and install a earlier version?

    Pls Help….

  • Daniel
    September 4, 2010 - 11:05 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just tried it using iTunes (PC) and it doesn’t work for me either.

  • Ken
    September 5, 2010 - 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Tried it with iTunes on a Windows XP machine and I couldn’t make it work.

  • Pax
    September 6, 2010 - 2:50 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir,
    i can’t do it!! I had tried to follow you instructed but still my itunes pop up the warning message that i have to erase all the files in order to sync to the new computer…

    Pls help!

  • Rik
    September 6, 2010 - 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Doesn’t work for me either. I’m on iTunes I’m pretty sure that the latest version is blocking this, as iTunes DB Cloner isn’t working either ( I tried right-clicking on iTunes with my iPhone selected to “Transfer Purchases” and it’s not allowing me to do it either.

  • John Za
    September 12, 2010 - 5:02 pm | Permalink

    I tried to do this on itunes 9, and now the .itl extension are called .itdb.
    Also after I changed the binary on the itunes library with the file extension .itdb it says that a damaged itunes library was found and creates, a new library damaged but the iphone still asks for the restore in order to be sync with the other PC itunes library.

  • Tobias
    September 13, 2010 - 7:47 am | Permalink

    I cant get this to work with itunes 10 either, it just wont work at all . Anyone got any updates with this? :(

  • Marius
    September 13, 2010 - 1:29 pm | Permalink

    It’s works perfect!
    I did it with a iPhone 4 and everything goes ok!
    Thank you very much!

  • Marius
    September 13, 2010 - 1:32 pm | Permalink

    I jus read the comments before mine and I must say I did it to a itunes 10.0.068 and it worked perfect!
    thanks again!

  • Tyler
    September 13, 2010 - 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Resolved the Apps erasing issue.

    Step 1 – Make sure you uncheck sync Apps on the 2nd computer

    Step 2 – Select Manually manage

    Step 3 – It will ask to delete the apps. Say yes then immediately cancel the action on the iphone.

    This will now allow you to drag and drop music files individually onto your iphone from the library. You cannot sync normally – just drag and drop files.

  • Jeff
    September 14, 2010 - 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Great guide man! Worked like a charm and now I don’t have to deal with my other slow ass computer in order to upload my music, thanks!

  • Kim
    September 15, 2010 - 4:11 am | Permalink

    I am so frustrated. I keep trying everything you have said, (and I cant afford the hex editor recommended so I got a free one) but the find / replace option isnt on any of the ones ive donwloaded. With hex editor nero I can hit find, and then I can hit replace (two seperate buttons) but it keeps coming up saying a pattern was not found when I try to replace it …Ive even selected the pattern myself and it says pattern not found.
    Please help me! email is attached

  • Tyler
    September 15, 2010 - 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Kim, do a Google search for “Phoneable”. Its a windows program that does this automatically for you. Very simple, just follow the instrucitons then make sure to read my earlier post.

  • Stacy
    September 15, 2010 - 10:18 pm | Permalink

    This isn’t working for me. I’ve tried it a few times and it is still prompting me to erase my phone to manually manage music. I double checked the codes and the correct codes from my old computer are saved in the new iTunes files. I am using Mac OS X 10.6.4, iTunes 10.0 (67), and attempting to manually manage music on my iPhone 3GS version 4.1 (8B117). Please help!

  • Rik
    September 15, 2010 - 10:33 pm | Permalink

    For anyone having issues, this is what I did, and it worked for me.

    App data is stored in only two places, on your phone & in your iphone backup. When you do hit the sync button, all itunes content will be erased from your phone. Because you formatted your hard drive, your phone now sees your computer as a “new” computer & since the iphone, by design, syncs itunes content with one computer at a time, there is no way to prevent your itunes content from first being erased from your phone. If the same content is in your current itunes library, you simply sync it back. To preserve your app data, do this:

    1. Disable auto sync when an ipod/iphone is connected in itunes, under preferences(under the edit menu if using windows).
    2. Make sure your computer is authorized-Store>Authorize this Computer.
    3. Make sure whatever contact & calendar applications you use on your computer are not empty-put fake entries in if you want, the important point is that they not be empty.
    4. Connect your phone, itunes running, DO NOT SYNC, go up to File>Transfer Purchases-to make sure all purchased content is in your itunes library.
    5. Right click your phone in the device pane & select “Reset Warnings”
    6. Right click again and select “Backup”.
    7. Right click again & select “Restore from Backup”. Select the backup you just made, if prompted to create another backup, decline.
    8. Follow this by syncing your itunes content back to your phone, which you select, as before, from the various tabs.

    If you follow these instructions, you will preserve your app data & you’ll be syncing to your “new” computer.

    Original post:

  • Kal
    September 16, 2010 - 11:09 am | Permalink

    Didnt work for me for iPhone 4.1. My iPhone is sync’d with my MBP at home. I replaced the ID on my office PC and the old ID reappears in both the files when I open iTunes. I can’t even drag and drop podcasts on my office computer.

  • Satenru
    September 17, 2010 - 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Just use MediaMonkey to sync your music. It works on multiple computers but you have to have iTunes installed also for the driver.

  • Brad
    September 19, 2010 - 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Hello, i tried 7 time to do this to 2 pc’s and on the second one i would have the id’s changed and saved in the .xml and .itl files and when i connected my iphone and tried to sync it wouldnt let me still so i went and reopend the .xml and .itl files and it had changed the id’s back? anyone have that problem? or know how to permanantly change the id’s so it wont change back on computer 2?

  • Mark
    September 21, 2010 - 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Great guide. Thanks. I also share this how-to tips about how to transfer itunes library to another pc.

    Hope it helps.

  • r3ika
    September 22, 2010 - 9:56 pm | Permalink

    yey!!~ thanks!!

  • September 28, 2010 - 11:08 am | Permalink

    I got it working on Windows7 64-bit:
    * Had to uninstall iTunes 10 (trick didn’t work).
    * Removed .xml, .itl, and other data files that uninstaller missed.
    * Got iTunes 9.0.3 from and installed it.
    * Cloned Library Persistent ID using this howto (.xml and .itl file).
    * In iTunes: File > Transfer Purchases from iPhone (to transfer my iphone apps from iphone to itunes).
    * Checkbox Manually Manage Music and Videos.
    * Click ‘Apply’
    * Works!

  • September 28, 2010 - 7:19 pm | Permalink

    You can also do this by copying all the files in the my music dir over to the new pc. I just did that and it worked. However you tutorial helped me so thanks =]

  • Kim
    September 28, 2010 - 9:31 pm | Permalink

    alonso, can you explain further? im computer illiterate

  • Toby
    October 4, 2010 - 1:54 pm | Permalink

    I tried this method because I had originally set up my iPhone 4 with my Macbook, and wanted to manage music with my new iMac.

    I used Hex Fiend/Xcode to change the library ID in the file, with iTunes 10.0.1 and iOS 4.1. Despite the change, which registered in the music library file, I still couldn’t edit the music on the iMac.

    I’ve resorted to clicking ‘manually manage music etc’ and just starting from scratch on the iMac. I fear that the latest version of iTunes and iOS have made this method obsolete.

    October 7, 2010 - 6:06 pm | Permalink


  • Arokh
    October 7, 2010 - 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Awesome. Works perfectly.

    Thank you for providing this info.

  • Arik
    October 8, 2010 - 9:29 am | Permalink

    I’ve tried it on two Windows machine and it’s not working. I am using iTunes 10.x. is it still valid solution?


  • ruben
    October 12, 2010 - 7:14 am | Permalink

    i use windows 7 64bit but i have a problem. i change correctlu the two files, but when i connect iphone to the second computer the id persistent library return before…..why????

  • ryan
    October 12, 2010 - 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Does not work with iTunes 10. iTunes 10 regenerates the original ID automatically when opened.

    Also, the program below, PhoneAble, automates the process above for windows users. There is also a Mac version but it’s in alpha. PhoneAble doesn’t work for iTunes 10 yet, but the developer is looking into how to fix the regeneration problem, so probably a good place to check for updates as this blog post is 2 years old.

  • E.T.
    October 13, 2010 - 11:40 am | Permalink

    Wait a second, this tutorial doesn’t really capture what I’d like to do…what if I want to back up my iPhone (my data more than music, although music would be nice as well) with both a Mac (powerbook G4) at work and iMac G4 at home. Can anyone help me out with that??

    [Believe me, I love all things Apple, but nothing was better when I used to sync my Palm TX to multiple desktops and be able to control just what data overrode what!!! Why won’t Apple give us some more refined ways of syncing?]

  • Chris
    October 15, 2010 - 10:01 am | Permalink

    I am having troubles finding the binary library persistent ID…when I open both of them, they both reflect the original ID. Any suggestions??


  • amit
    October 20, 2010 - 9:15 am | Permalink

    actually i don’t know that persistent library ID then what i do…