Hack Allows you to Sync your iPhone with More than One Computer

When you try to sync your iPhone with iTunes library on another computer, you are prompted by the warning message seen in the screen shot below informing you that your iPhone is synced with another iTunes library and the only choice at this point is to either "Cancel" or "Erase and Sync" from this iTunes library.


Hack Allows you to Sync your iPhone with Multiple Computers

So basically you can sync your iPhone with only one iTunes library at a time. No problem, Andrew Grant has discovered a hack that allows you to sync your iPhone with two (or more) computers.

Before we start, please remember that just like any other hack on this site, you will be trying this one at your own risk.

Some preparatory work before you start:

Lets assume you want to sync with two computers, the one that you currently sync your iPhone with, we will call it the "regular sync computer" and the other computer you want to sync your iPhone with as well, we will call it the "new computer".

On the "new sync computer" you want to sync with, backup “iTunes Music Library.xml” and “iTunes Music Library” (Tunes Music Library.itl on a PC) to a safe location as the hack involves modifying these files.

You will also need the following programs: a Text editor (Notepad should serve you fine) and a Hex editor (you can checkout UltraEdit or any other Hex Editor).

Step 1:

On your regular "regular sync computer" open “iTunes Music Library.xml” with a text editor and search for the following text "<key>Library Persistent ID</key>"; you should ideally find it at the top of the xml file. We are basically looking for the persistent id of your iTunes library. It appears to be the ID that tells iTunes; if you are syncing with regular computer or a different computer.

In the screen shot below for example the value 8B6C633F7DACB74B in between the <string> tags is the persistent id of the iTunes library on the "regular sync computer" . Copy this entry and close the file.


Hack Allows you to Sync your iPhone with Multiple Computers

Step 2:

As you might have guessed it, you had copied the value of the Library Persistent ID to replace the value in the iTunes Music Library.xml of the "new sync computer".

Open the “iTunes Music Library.xml” with a text editor, search for the text "<key>Library Persistent ID</key>" again and copy the value of the Library Persistent ID within the <string> tags.

In the screen shot below for example the value 0E958526D15C67FA in
between the <string> tags is the persistent id of the iTunes
library on the "new sync computer".


Hack Allows you to Sync your iPhone with Multiple Computers

After copying the value, replace the value within the <string> tags with the value that you had copied in Step 1.

Save and close this file.

Step 3:

Open “iTunes Music Library” (iTunes Library.itl file on PC) using the Hex Editor on the "new sync computer".

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


Hack Allows you to Sync your iPhone with Multiple Computers

Save this file and close it.

That’s it, you are done. Now start iTunes on the "new sync computer" 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.

If you have any issues with iTunes on the "new sync computer" then replace the files you had backed up prior to modifying them.

Andrew has provided additional notes that you might want to checkout by following this link.

As always, don’t forget to let us know how it goes.

[via Andrew Grant’s blog]




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  • MmmmBop

    Nothing new here. This has been around since the iPhone first came out….

  • catalin

    THANK YOU SO MUCH. If this works, you're my hero. God knows how I hate apple for not letting me sync my iPhone both at home and at work. Apple: great gadgets, totally retarded software.

  • shawnhale.

    i want to update my phone..

    if i do this, can i update on the "new computer" without loosing all my data? i presume that when it updates, it will backup my phone so it won't loose anything… right?

    i'm out of town and can't update with my original mac

  • metronome

    Doesn't work, cant find ID within the itl file.

    I just moved my xml and itl files to the other computer without hacking em. That worked.

  • moshi

    how do i find that .xml? i went thru MyComputer/C:/Programs/iTunes… but i just can't find that .xml document…

  • Edi

    This hack doesn't seem to work on itunes 8.0.1 on PC's. I've done step by step as advised on the post and itunes keeps deleting the music synced from the first pc as soon as I try to sync music from a second PC. I tried replacing the .xml and the .itl files from first PC to second PC and that also did not work.

    Any suggestions?

    Any help is appreciated!

    Edi

  • Edi

    This hack doesn't seem to work on itunes 8.0.1 on PC's. I've done step by step as advised on the post and itunes keeps deleting the music synced from the first pc as soon as I try to sync music from a second PC. I tried replacing the .xml and the .itl files from first PC to second PC and that also did not work.

    Any suggestions?

    Any help is appreciated!

    Edi

  • SKEME

    Damn man! Incredible. Worked for me on Itunes 8.0. The hex editor you use is a factor though.

    Edi, try to use the hex editor that this guy recommended, because that was the diff. for me.

  • Rick Jamison

    On Itunes 8.0.01 there is 2 lines that have to modified in the ".xml", then it should work, did for me.

    Thanks agian,

    Rick Jamison

  • Rick Jamison

    On Itunes 8.0.01 there is 2 lines that have to modified in the ".xml", then it should work, did for me.

    Thanks agian,

    Rick Jamison

  • http://johnnyCaraveo.com Johnny Caraveo

    GREAT! Works, wonderfully!

  • Mark

    Didn't work for me in iTunes 8.01. I'm downgrading to 7.6 to see how that works. Old versions available at http://www.oldapps.com/download.php?oldappsid=iTunesSetup7629.exe

  • Adam

    worked great. Thanks!

  • voodoorodent

    Anyone know if this works with 2.2?

  • http://www.apnetworking.com Andy

    Excellent. I just purchased a used iPhone and got rid of my iPod touch and I was really disappointed at not being able to synch music from both my home and work PC. This did the trick nicely using itunes 8.01. My iPhone is unlocked, jailbroken firmware 2.1.

    Thanks!

  • sujit

    Believe it or not, but it still works even with iTunes 8.0.2.22 on Windows Vista. Thanks for simple but very useful trick.

  • fronton79

    What can I do if my computer died, therefore I wouln't know the ID to replace it on the new computer?
    Is that ID number the same as the iphone's o how can i do?
    Cheers

  • amoney

    which 2 lines do u have to mod?

  • boogie1979

    thanks for sharing the easiest way to do it metronome! i just tried the method you did and guess what…i got my iphone to work on my new pc ;)

  • Aperez07

    im wondering the samething as fronton79. I no longer can access the computer i originally synced my iphone and i spent hrs lookin through the iphones files to see if i could find the Library Persistent ID with no luck. im sure it has to be somewhere on the iphone otherwise we wouldnt have to copy the Persistent ID's to begin with right?? pls email me at aperez07@gmail.com if n e 1 has a solution

  • jmgmeitin

    Metronome – When you move the two files do you replace the xml and itl files on the other computer?

  • Paulius

    This worked for me, except the apps. For some reason apps get removed from the New Computer if I try to sync it with my iPhone.

    Solutions, anybody?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01157159bf8b970b me.yahoo.com/a/7tAyP3wxuP9x3CLLptoc.Dq2wLZe.Gt6bg–

    Does anyone know if this works if you're going from a "regular sync computer" that is a Mac to a "new computer" that's a PC?

  • Kayla

    It doesn't work. I did everything correctly. I changed the ids and replace it with the id that my iphone is originally sync with. When I plug my iphone in, it wouldn't allow me to edit it. I've done these steps before and it worked the first time. Unfortunately, the computers that I had my iPhone sync with were restore to it's factory settings. Can some help me?

  • RP

    can't find the files did full system searches. cna't find any reference to them. pc's with itunes 9x

  • Ferd

    This works! Don't worry. Just get yourself first the latest hex editor. That's the secret ingredient. My edit resulted in error at first. But with the latest hex editor, this worked like a charm! :-)

  • Ben

    youre an idiot. how is it totally retarded software? its to prevent illegal music sharing, and also apps. everything apple makes is outstanding engineering and the software is the best!

  • Tiffany

    Helppppp! anyone?! i’ve done all these steps above, n the msg bout earsing my datas stil pops up! wat i done wrong? does it work on iphone4 or…? wats the problem?

  • dieter

    i´m using the most simplest way i can imagine. backup these two files first from your 2nd pc: iTunes Library and iTunes Music Library.xml. then copy these two files from your 1st pc into the itunes directory. done. copy whatever you want from or to your ipad/iphone. cheers

  • welbo

    Has anyone had success with this on iTunes 10.6.1 and an iPhone 4? Or anything recently? I have not been able to make it work. Has the hack been patched, or am I doing something wrong?

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