How to Sync Your Apple Devices to Mac in macOS Catalina without iTunes


iTunes is undoubtedly one of the most popular apps on both Mac and Windows. It was originally intended as a companion app for Apple iPod, allowing users to buy music, movies, videos and sync them to their iPods. But with the launch of the iPhone, Apple added support for syncing calendar, contacts, browser history and bookmarks, media files, and more. And for those who don’t know, Apple users had to manually update their device firmware with iTunes as there was no OTA update feature until the release of iOS 5.0.1.

After the removal of iTunes from Apple’s latest Mac operating system macOS Catalina, it has been replaced with three separate apps: TV, Music, and Podcasts. Your previous iTunes purchases will be sorted between these apps. But if you want to sync, update, restore or back up your iPhone, iPad or iPod to your Mac device, you have to use the new Finder app instead of iTunes now.

Continue reading this article to learn how you can use the Finder app to sync your Apple devices to Mac in macOS Catalina.

Sync iPhone, iPad or iPod to Mac in macOS Catalina

Here’s how to sync your iPhone, iPad or iPod to Mac in macOS Catalina with Finder:

  1. To get started, connect your iPhone, iPod or iPad with a lightning cable to your Mac device. The newer iterations of the iPad come with a USB-C port, so you need a USB-C cable for it.
  2. The Finder app will automatically launch on your Mac. In case it doesn’t, launch Finder from the app drawer.
  3. You will see your device under the Locations section, which is found in the left sidebar of the app.

    an iPhone connected to Mac in macOS Catalina

Here you will see the options for Sync, Backups and Restore, similar to iTunes. You will also see sync options for Music, Movies, TV Shows, Podcasts, Audiobooks, Books, Photos, Files. You can select the files of your choice and click on Sync to sync your Apple device to Mac without any issues.

In case you want to sync your device to Mac wirelessly, scroll down to the Options section and tick the checkbox next to ‘Show this iPhone/iPad/iPod when on Wi-Fi’.

Wireless Sync Feature in Finder


In case you want to sync your Apple device to Mac in macOS Catalina using the new Finder app, you can follow the steps mentioned above. If you are facing connectivity issues, try to restart your devices and make sure the Lightning / USB-C cable is working properly. Also, it should be noted that that iTunes for Windows still works and provides the same functionality as the Finder app, even after the discontinuation of iTunes in macOS Catalina.

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