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The iPhone Cannot Be Synced? iTunes Sync Error 54 Fixed

The official Apple support website provides you with some common solutions to fix "The iPhone [xxx] cannot be synced. An unknown error occurred (-54)" problem. However, they don't work for most iTunes users, cuz the specific conditions are more complicated. If you don't get your problem solved using these methods, you can take the below smart approaches into consideration, no harm to anything.

By Abby Poole to iTunes Troubleshooting Tips|Last updated on Jan 8, 2024

iTunes error never leaves you alone. Even when you apply iTunes to sync your iPhone, you still have great chance to get the alert message, saying "The iPhone [xxx] cannot be synced. An unknown error occurred (-54)". You may be tired of iTunes for it constantly bothers you no matter what you do, iPhone backup, iPhone restore or iPhone sync. And there is a high likelihood that you would immediately ditch away iTunes if you have a better iTunes alternative. Yet, if currently you don't find the iTunes replacement that you favor, you need the below tips and tricks to help you troubleshoot this annoying iTunes sync error 54.

iTunes error 54

1. Try the Apple Support Methods First

1). Aggregate the media files in your iTunes library.

2). Check if it's your third-party security software to be blamed.

3). Sync a handful of iPhone files at a time.

4). Delete and re-download content from iTunes Store.

5). Clear and re-load content (not from iTunes Store) to iTunes.

6). Remove the problematic PDF files from your iBooks app after you make a backup of your PDF files.

If you need the detailed guide of these methods, go to Apple Support for the nitty gritty.

2. Change Permissions

Sometimes, your iPhone won't sync with iTunes (error 54) partly because you accidently change some files on your iPhone. The solution is to change permission settings for your files as below:

1). Go to /private/var/mobile/Media/Photos and change the permission to 755 (or 777 if 755 is not working).

2). Find Thumbs and Photo folders from /private/var/mobile/Media/Photos/, make a copy of these two folders and then delete them.

3). Now sync your iPhone with iTunes to see if it works.

3. Delete Apple Mobile Device Support, Apple Software Update...

This solution is suitable for Windows users to fix "the iPhone cannot be synced issue" caused by iTunes 54 error. Now read the detailed operating steps:

1). Run the computer menu > enter "regedit" > click & open HKEY-current-user, software and apple computer inc > open iTunes and QuickTime folder > delete all the files that you can delete (keep the files if they can't be erased).

2). Access to Microsoft official website > download and install "Windows Installer Clean Up" > launch it and delete "Apple Mobile Device Support", "Apple Software Update", "iTunes" and "iPhone Software" > choose these software and tap "Remove".

3). Delete iTunes and QuickTime on the computer control panel.

4). Head to Apple official website to re-download and install iTunes. Afterwards, connect your iPhone to sync again.

4. Resort to Top iTunes Alternative

It's known to all that iPhone cann't be synced once there is one single corrupt or incompatible file found by iTunes. You have to delete the iTunes incompatible files first and then try again if you insist on iTunes for iPhone sync. In case you're reluctant to remove your PDF files from iBooks or other files downloaded from other paths, say goodbye to iTunes. Instead, give a whirl to its best alternative -
MacX MediaTrans.

This top iPhone manager is perfectly compatible with any 3rd party security software, no interference or security settings problems. What's plus, it hands over all the initiative to you to bulk or selectively sync files from macOS to iPhone, as well as backup iPhone photos, music songs, videos, TV shows, ringtones, iBooks, podcast, iTunes purchases to iMac/MacBook/MBP without the so-called permission setting error. As for the non-Apple music or video files, leave them to it to handle: with built-in video/audio conversion feature, it can smoothly transfer MKV, AVI, VOB, VP9, FLV, SWF, FLAC, AAC, etc. from macOS to iPhone without using any other tools. Thanks to its advanced Nvidia/Intel/AMD GPU hardware acceleration tech, it can sync files between iPhone and macOS at 5X faster speed, helping you be away from iTunes sync taking forever trouble.

How to sync files from macOS to iPhone without file corrupt or incompatible problem? Read the below instance with music sync:

Step 1: Fire up iTunes and tap "iTunes" > "Preferences…" > Hit "Devices" and tick the option "Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically." You'd better finish this step, for it's useful to prevent your iPhone data loss during file syncing.

Step 2: Connect your iPhone to Mac via USB cable and run the best iTunes alternative on your MacBook/MBP/iMac 5K. The latest iPhone Xs Max, iPhone Xs, iPhone XR and all the iOS 17 iPhones are supported.

Step 3: Click "Music Manager" on the home screen > tap "Add Music" > opt for the music songs, ringtones, MP3, audio files from CD, FLAC, AAC, etc. from local computer > hit "Open" button. Then the selected songs will be imported to your iPhone instantly.

Leave the rest to this iTunes replacement irrespective of iPhone supported audio/video formats or its incompatible formats since it has inner conversion ability to automatically transcode audio/video to iPhone friendly formats.

sync music to iPhone

Step 4: Hit "Sync" button and then the loaded music and audio files will be instantly synced to your iPhone without any corrupt or incompatible iTunes errors, cuz it can auto skip the damaged files, convert the non-Apple formats to iPhone supported formats and continue syncing file data with iPhone. Needless to change any security software settings or remove suspicious files, you can get what you want on your iPhone just several seconds or minutes later (sync time based on the size of your files and the hardware configurations of your desktop).

Still have any problem on how to solve iPhone cannot be synced error, just email us >>
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No Luck to Fix iTunes Error -54? Try Best iTunes Alternative!