Fix for iPhone Syncing to a Mac

Here’s a fix that worked for me for an error that I got, while trying to sync an iPhone 3G to a macbook.

It was syncing 100% when out of the blue one day (on an important and a busy day) I get this error on iTunes saying:

iTunes cannot sync information with the «iPhone Name» because syncing has been disabled on this computer. Do you want to enable syncing?

When I tried to enable sync, the error message was

Syncing cannot be enabled on this computer

If I remember correctly, then I had two options: Overide and OK. When I clicked overide, the error message was something like “You cannot overide…”! Beats me why it had the overide button in the first place! LOL!

Here’s the fix that worked for me on iTunes 8.0 and Mac OS X 10.5.5.

  1. I opened Terminal
  2. At the root, I typed
    cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/SyncServices/
    mv Local Local_bak
  3. Restarted my macbook.
  4. Restarted iSync
  5. Quit iSync
  6. Connected my iPhone
  7. Opened iTunes
  8. When it detected my iPhone 3G, pressed SYNC

It worked.

This is a slightly adapted fix taken from The difference being, iSync hanged when I tried to launch without restarting.

What this essential does is actually removing the Local folder. However, instead of removing it, it was just renamed in case I needed it back.

A friend did earlier suggest the removing technique for Mac applications. However, on previous occasions of sync errors with my previous Nokia E61i, it did not resolve the issue then. I now suspect, it was because of a mismatch with my iPhone version, Mac OS X version and the iTunes version.

  • Larry

    Whoa! I had this issue for about 3 weeks straight and found your fix on my 3rd round of Google searches. It totally did the trick! Thanks Fayid. (I have Mac OS 10.5.6 and iTunes 8.2b7 and an iPhone with OS 2.2.1.)

    BTW, the same steps for non-Unix hackers is

    1. Quit iTunes
    2. Navigate to your home folder (the one that’s usually named after you and has a little house next to it)
    3. Inside your home folder go to /Library/Application Support/SyncServices
    4. Inside that SyncServices folder, you’ll see a folder called Local. Rename it and move it somewhere else, or just drag it to the Trash.
    5. Restart your computer.

    Thanks again –

  • ian

    Thanks for the original post credit.


  • Arno

    I have the same issue but i do not have a folder called SyncServices.

    I own a macserver, an imac and a macbook
    The imac has the user account stored on the server.
    The macbook is an mobile account which syncs whenever i login.

    Any hints ? The folder ain’t on the server either.

    • If you could indicate the OS versions, someone visiting here might be able to help. Sorry, I have no idea.

  • Stavros

    Arno, I had the same case where the folder was not on the server and what I have done I created a folder called SyncServices on the server, restarted the macbook pro and it worked fine