Wi-Fi Sync for Jailbroken iPhones - how to fix what it breaks in iTunes

Back in late June/early July, I reviewed an app called Wi-Fi Sync for jailbroken iPhones. You can find my revised version of the review here. Originally this seemed like a pretty neat app. It's a bit pricey for what it does, but it did it well.

Now I've been having several issues with iTunes over the past 2 months. I couldn't restore or upgrade firmware (it would hang up at the very end and leave all my devices in never ending recovery loops). To my dismay, it also broke backups within iTunes. I found this out after I wiped one of my devices and then noticed my last backup had been 2 months earlier. In frustration, a buddy on Twitter (@snoslicer8) asked if I by chance had Wi-Fi Sync installed. And without a doubt, that was the problem.

Needless to say, click along to see how to fix these issues if you're having problems with iTunes and you've previously downloaded W-Fi Sync. Odds are, it's the culprit.

You'll need to complete these steps exactly in order. If you have already uninstalled Wi-Fi Sync and that didn't seem to solve the problem, re-install it and do these steps completely in order. Odds are you didn't complete the first step before uninstalling and that can cause your backups to still epically fail. So after you re-install, reboot your Mac before continuing.

*Side note: I am on Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6.4). I do not know if this effects previous versions of Mac or PC. If you know or have any input, please feel free to leave it in the comments for future users who may have the issue.

Re-enable backups via Wi-Fi Sync

This is why I said to re-install if you had already uninstalled. You'll see the icon for Wi-Fi Sync in your top taskbar, it looks like a tiny iPhone like below.

Click that icon to get a drop down menu, you'll see one like the one below. If disable device backups is checked, UNCHECK it. For me, device backups were disabled by default. If you don't do this before uninstalling, you will still have issues with backups even after uninstalling.

Only after you've done this, will you be good to uninstall.

Uninstall Wi-Fi Sync

A lot of users were wondering how to uninstall Wi-Fi Sync. I'm not quite sure why the developer did not include the uninstaller in the bundle, but you'll have to go here to download the uninstaller for Mac. Download that and run the terminal app. It may prompt you to enter your admin password.

Reboot your Mac

After you reboot, your problems should be solved. To make sure, simply open iTunes, connect one of your iDevices and sync it. It should saying backing up, which it didn't say before. Or another way to know is after you sync, go to iTunes ---> Preferences --> Devices and look to see if you have a new backup. If you do, you should be good to go. If you are still having issues, leave a comment below and we'll try and help you out.

Thanks to @snoslicer8 for helping me out with this one! And as my revised review states, I can't recommend this app until the developer does something about this. This is app is not worth paying for when it breaks core functionality in iTunes. So until it's resolved, I can't recommend anyone pay money for this application. I tried contacting the developer over 2 weeks ago to no response. I attempted to contact him on Twitter as well, to no avail. I can't seem to find a workaround other that completely uninstalling the app, and the issue seems pretty prevalent in several forums and boards. If anyone else found another solution, let us know!

Allyson Kazmucha

Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

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There are 53 comments. Add yours.

therealjjohnson says:

Thanks...i havent been able to update my phone with new firmware releases (on my macbook) since. didnt put 2 and 2 together though. Im trying this now.

Marco Schreijen says:

Upgrading to iTunes 10 broke the Wifi-sync, but with your tips I was able to get it back to work. I never had any trouble with my iPad, where I always use it. Making backups en syncing. Doing a restore never came to my mind using wifi-sync. The proces of restoring is way too tricky to do without cable connection. So if you use it just for syncing and backup, Wifi-sync works just fine for me and is worth the money from my point of view...

Allyson Kazmucha says:

@Marco you can't use wifi sync to restore anyways. But wifisync breaks backups in every version of iTunes under Mac os. Not just iTunes 10. This seems to be a known issue.

iName says:

You would think that at that price there would be regular updates. There's a lot of issues with that app and I don't the developers plans to do anything until october.

Steve says:

That solved the problem. It's been driving me nuts. I re installed iTunes twice ( apples advise ) with no fix. Just restored and update first try! Thanks for the tip.

Kick Butt Applications says:

Thanks - good advice. A friend of mine was having issues and now resolved!
Kick Butt

saice101 says:

i did this i don know why but my itnues does not recognize my iphone via usb WTF i cant believe i paid 10$ for this app.

saice101 says:

I even tried to reinstall wifisync from cydia and its GONE are u kidding ????? does anyone else has the same problem?

Allyson Kazmucha says:

Did you even read the article? The issue is with the wifisync desktop client. I've already stated there are severe issues with iTunes so why would you continue to pay $10? That's your own doing. I recommended that you do NOT purchase this app. This article is aimed at people who already have and have issues on the Mac because of it. This has nothing to do with the mobile portion of wifisync via cydia.

iquinn says:

Yet another reason not to JB. When I get an app from the app store I know that not only is it going to do what it is supposed to do but it will not screw up anything else.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

Jb has nothing to do with it

Jim Robertson says:

Thanks a million for the advice. I was suffering the same problems but didn't associate it with wifisync. I've now uninstalled it and my backups etc are working normally again. Again, thanks a million for the invaluable assistance.

loki says:

@Allyson, thank you. I was able to figure this out last friday and then i read your article and you confirmed it.

Saice says:

@Allyson I purchased this app few days ago before this post and after one day I unistalled it cause my iTunes would crash everytime I tried to go to the app section of my iPhone via iTunes. So i wanted to reinstall the app again so I could uncheck the "disable backup".

Ben says:

Discovered this a few months back
Good luck on getting a reply, I tweeted him months ago, still waiting for a reply

Eddie says:

@Allyson Thanks for the tip. I had to restore two different iPhones (one JB iPhone 4 and one non-JB 3Gs) at my office to workaround the stalled updates a week ago. I also uninstalled iTunes completely which seemed to fix the issue though I don't recall having run Wifi Sync afterwards. Either way it's good to know the true root of the issue here.
It's a shame, I really want to free up a USB port without going through a hub. Still, the author never got iPhoto to sync anyway.

Jeff says:

I have never had the app work at all!!! Developer has never responded to his own blog, twitter, or direct contact...... Very disappointed with app and developer!!! I would stay away from anything he developed, concept is excellent and if it ever worked I would be supportive.
If anyone has contacted him, let me know, all I can say is scam! No help no response.

Jcal08 says:

@Quinn, then don't jailbreak, if your not savy enough to read articles like this, and watch videos to learn how to do things, then no jailbreaking isn't for you. But there are tons of 14 year olds with step by step tutorials for everything jailbreak related.. So don't attack jailbreaking as a whole cause you can't figure stuff out.

websyndicate says:

You can use umbrella to kick your phone out of recovery mode

Linda says:

I am trying to remove wifisync from my macbook. You directions say -" you’ll have to go here to download the uninstaller for Mac", I tried clicking on the "here" and nothing happens. Please advise. I have only downloaded the wifi sync for mac but have not purchased the actual program. I changed my mind about it and just want to get it off. I am
a novice and this is over my head. Thanks

Allyson Kazmucha says:

@Linda - just go to getwifisync.com - the uninstaller is on that page

Robbie Alexander says:

This is what you get for using sketchy jailbroken work-arounds I suppose.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

@Robbie Alexander
Please don't bash things you obviously know nothing about. Jailbreaking is by no mean sketchy. It allows iPhone users to have functionality all other manufacturers give you out of the box.

Freenick says:

I just got my new iPhone 4 two days ago and I was able to jail break it in less than 6 minutes.
By the way, I didn't have to pay for the phone. If you want a free iPhone 4, just follow the instructions in the link below:http://freebiejeebies4u-freebiejeebies.blogspot.com/
At the beginning, I was skeptical but when I got the phone delivered to my house, I was shocked.

thunderkeys says:

The following should re-enable backups without having to install/uninstall wifisync:
defaults write com.apple.iTunes DeviceBackupsDisabled -bool false
defaults write com.apple.iTunes AutomaticDeviceBackupsDisabled -bool false

Allyson Kazmucha says:

You can re-enable via wifisync too. The big issue is how it breaks the upgrade/restore process. Until that's fixed natively, it's crap in my book still.

Glenn#IM says:

Jailbreak helps the non jailbreak users. When Apple sees the functionally that other devices have out if the box, and you have to jailbreak to get basic things, Apple will come around. Copy paste, folders, and wallpapers are a few that come to mind. You could argue that jailbreak did not cause this, but I believe it is a combination of factors which includes the jailbreaking community.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

Absolutely. Cydia was the FIRST app store and there are certain things that apple just blatantly copied like pages and the dots showing u which page you're on. Jailbreakers have had pages and folders for a long time. You're a fool to think jailbreaking has not played a part in iOS advancements. Well said Glenn

thunderkeys says:

@Allyson I know you can enable via wifisync, just saving a step for some people ... the author knows about the broken restores with iTunes and has stated it'll be fixed in the next version.
I've known about the no-restore bug for forever and it still bites me in the ass every now and then.
As a very early adopter of Wifisync (first or second day of release), I am also disappointed in the general responsiveness of the developer (and lack of updates). However, I am happy he is at least letting customers know that there is an improved version in the works (which is more than he did for about 4 months, with nothing but an update for supporting Windows in that period).

Viral says:

my iphone has been locked i m trying to unlock my iphone 2G 8GB model. i came to know we can unlock and jailbreak iphone using QuickPwn but after downloading QuickPwn when i try to open it it does not get open everytime it shows windows have occured prob so plz help me out shld i unlock and jaibreak iphone plz do email me

Rob says:

thank u thank u thank uuuuuuu!!!!1111

chris carey says:

I had horrible issues with Wi-Fi Sync and can't believe that the developer ignores everyone and steals their money. I requested a refund the same day I purchased the software and have been completely ignored. http://chriscarey.com/wordpress/2010/10/08/review-of-wi-fi-sync-for-iphone/

Kuyabebing says:

Plug your iPhone into the computer and then on iTunes, click File >> Transfer pheruascs. This will copy them to your iTunes Library. From there use the Podcasts sync tab to choose the ones you want on the iPhone. If you do not want any, then choose the option that says Selected Podcasts and then keep all of them unchecked.This will delete the ones from your iPhone. If you no longer want them, delete them from your iTunes library after you have done this.

Nick says:

PLEASE HELP! Im on window 7 Ultimate with a Acer aspire notebook. I have removed wifi sync and even restored to an earlier point many times. Every time I try to update to iTunes 10 the wifi goes to "Limited access" at the end of the install? I even connected it straight into the Ethernet cable and it goes out on that also with the "error 651". I even tried the command ipconfig /release - ipconfig /renew on my terminal and that didn't bring my wifi connection back. Diagnostics didn't help. If anyone knows how to fix this please let me know. Thanks ahead of time.

Nick says:

@thunderkeys - Thank you. changing the settings using defaults write... worked perfectly!

Mike Vallez says:

I have followed your directions because I was experiencing spot on the same problem when syncing as well as iTunes trying to sync all 2800 apps of mine each and every time, without provocation.
I did the reinstall then unchecked the disable backup, but now iTunes does not recognize my iPhone or my iPad).
Please help.

Felipe says:

I wasnt able to unistall Wi-Fi Sync using the script from the official site, even though I was running following the instructions. In terminal, since I did not have any password for my machine, I just pressed enter several times and It said "Wi-Fi Sync uninstalled. Reboot". But when I did that, Wi-Fi Sync was still there. I kept having the Ituneshelper.exe error no matter what. Finally I put a password on my Mac and when I ran the uninstall (terminal script) again and input the new password, I succeeded in Unistall it.
So, to make it simple, If you cant uninstall it, try creating a password for your mac.
Hope it helps.

Paolo J says:

Has there been any update from the developer at all for fix? The idea behind the app is fantastic but the execution is poor.

Stebe says:

There doesn't seem to be an uninstall feature for windows- how do I clean up this mess??
Btw, if I end the wifisync process or prevent it from loading on windows start, my iTunes fails to recognize my iphone in the device list. When I re-enable it and restart itunes/iphone, it appears back in the device list again. (and back to the usual sync issues etc).
I just want to get everything back to normal until the developer comes out with a fix for all this. HELP!!

adagio says:

i used a program called "your uninstaller" to get rid of the desktop client. did you try windows add/remove?

Gregory says:

Thanks! I had a feeling this program was the issue but it took this article to confirm...now I am back up and running. Thanks a million.

swsmpbaby985 says:

I had WiFi sync installed on my MacBook Pro and I was experiencing the same issues. Of course I'd stubble upon this article AFTER I took the computer to Apple and had them erase the hard drive and do a clean instal of the OS. Oh well WiFi sync was a good little app but now I think I know why Apple rejected it from the App Store...

bean bags says:

very helpful thanks for sharing

djphen says:

Worked beautifully! Thank you so much -- you really saved me!!! They're adding wifi sync to the next version of iOS, so I guess this won't be breaking restores in a few months...

Brushpile says:

Thanks for this. Had the same "missing back up" issue and could not get iTunes Backup option to return.

Jimmyr9 says:

When I hit uninstall it just uninstalled the uninstall, also iTunes won't open and my ipod lost cydia, i tried iFiling it resprung my device and it hasn't stopped, i just need to get rid of wifi snyc, and iTunes working

Ravenrue says:

I didn't know that to uninstall on the mac all I had to do was to open Terminal, drag the uninstaller, press enter, and input my password, press enter again, then I would be happy again.

Observer says:

I'd appreciate it if you posted a solution for Win 7 as well.

Lex says:

I have seen that smart real estate antges all over the place are getting set to FSBO Promoting. They are acknowledging that it's more than simply placing a poster in the front property. It's really regarding building associations with these dealers who at some point will become consumers. So, once you give your time and effort to supporting these vendors go it alone the Law connected with Reciprocity kicks in. Thanks for your blog post.

Kayem says:

(website or the app) is not a VOIP program, you need to have an atvice line for GV to route the calll thru. so this means that if you wish to use GV on your cellphone, you need to have an atvice cell number line so that GV can route the call thru your cell. this means you can not cancel your cell service provider. if and when GV becomes VOIP, you can then cancel ur monthly cell service and use WIFI to use GV, but unitl then it requires an atvice line to route all calls