How to Sync an iPod Without Deleting the Music

by David Lipscomb

Each iPod you sync to iTunes offers you the chance to perform an automatic or manual sync. These options provide you with the flexibility to have iTunes manage your device's content, or for you to take the reins at each sync. Apple does not allow syncing to multiple machines. If you want to ensure your iPod's music files stay on board while syncing to a restored or new computer, you need to manually manage your music at least the first time. The process is the same for any iPod model.

Open iTunes prior to connecting your device. Click "Edit," then "Preferences." Click on the "Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically" box.

Click on "Store," then "Authorize This Computer." Enter your Apple ID and password, then click "OK."

Connect your iPod to your computer using the dock connector. Wait a few seconds for iTunes to recognize the device.

Click on the name of your iPod under the "Devices" header. Scroll down in the "Summary" window.

Click the "Manually manage music and video" box. Make the content changes within iTunes you want to send to your iPod on the next sync. Click "Apply" to begin your sync.


  • Holding "Ctrl-Shift" while docking your iPod prevents auto-sync, but you must perform the action each time you want to synchronize manually.
  • Remember you can redownload content purchased from the Apple Store, if it is still available.
  • You can also manually sync your content on an iPhone or iPad.


  • If you fail to select manual management of your iPod and attempt to sync, your iPod will sync with whatever library is on the new computer. Your iPod will be erased and, if there are files in the new computer's iTunes library, they will be written to the iPod.

Items you will need

  • Apple dock cable

About the Author

David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.

Photo Credits

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