syncing iPhone on macOS Catalina

In macOS Catalina, Apple replaced the iTunes app with three new apps, Music, Apple Podcasts, and Apple TV. If you still use iTunes on your Mac to sync your iPhone and iPad, don't worry. You can still use your computer to perform this task. It's just different on the new macOS.

Where to sync your iPhone or iPad on macOS Catalina

Instead of using iTunes to sync your mobile device in macOS Catalina, you'll use Finder:

  1. Click on the Finder app on the Mac Dock.
  2. Select your device on the left side of the screen under Devices.

    Connecting iPhone to macOS Catalina

Once you do, you'll see the familiar interface that's been carried over from macOS Mojave. From here, you can restore your device, manage backups, and sync content between your computer and mobile device(s). From this screen, you can also handle file transfers between devices.

Amazon's 12 Days of Deals is here with big discounts for all

How to sync music to your iPhone or iPad on macOS Catalina

If you're using the iCloud Music Library sync on your iPhone or iPad, you cannot sync music using your Mac.

  1. Click on the Finder app in the Mac Dock.
  2. Select your device on the left side of the screen under Devices.
  3. On the right-hand side, click on the Music tab.

    sync music on macOS Catalina

  4. Check the box Sync Music onto your device to activate Music syncing.
  5. Under Sync, you can select Entire music library or Selected playlists, artists, albums, and genres.
  6. Under Options, you can choose to include videos, voice memos, and automatically fill free space with songs.

    sync music in macOS Catalina

  7. Select playlists, artists, albums, and genre, where applicable.
  8. Click Apply.
  9. Click Sync to sync music files between your Mac and mobile device.

    sync music on macOS Catalina

How to sync movies between your iPhone or iPad on macOS Catalina

  1. Click on the Finder app in the Mac Dock.
  2. Select your device on the left side of the screen under Devices.
  3. On the right-hand side, click on the Movies tab.

    sync movies on macOS Catalina

  4. Check the box Sync Movies onto your device to activate Movies syncing.
  5. Under Sync, click the Automatically include box.
  6. Use the pull-down menu to select all content or make another choice from those listed.

    sync movies on macOS Catalina

  7. Click Apply.
  8. Click Sync to sync movies between your Mac and mobile device.

    sync movies on macOS Catalina

How to sync TV shows to your iPhone or iPad on macOS Catalina

  1. Click on the Finder app in the Mac Dock.
  2. Select your device on the left side of the screen under Devices.
  3. On the right-hand side, click on the TV shows tab.

    sync tv shows on macOS Catalina

  4. Check the box Sync TV Shows onto your device to activate TV Show syncing.
  5. Check the box to Automatically include.
  6. In the pull-down menu, select all unwatched or make another choice from those listed.
  7. In the next pull-down menu, select all shows or selected shows.

    sync tv shows on macOS Catalina

  8. If selected shows were chosen, check the boxes next to the shows you want to sync.
  9. Click Apply.
  10. Click Sync to sync TV shows between your Mac and mobile device.

    sync tv shows on macOS Catalina

How to sync podcasts to your iPhone or iPad on macOS Catalina

  1. Click on the Finder app in the Mac Dock.
  2. Select your device on the left side of the screen under Devices.
  3. On the right-hand side, click on the Podcasts tab.

    sync podcasts on macOS Catalina

  4. Check the box Sync Podcasts onto your device to activate podcast syncing.
  5. Check the box to Automatically copy.
  6. In the pull-down menu, select all unplayed or make another choice from those listed.
  7. In the next pull-down menu, select all podcasts or selected shows.

    sync podcasts on macOS Catalina

  8. If selected podcasts were chosen, check the boxes next to the podcasts you want to sync.
  9. Click Apply.
  10. Click Sync to sync podcasts between your Mac and mobile device.

    sync podcasts on macOS Catalina

How to sync audiobooks to your iPhone or iPad on macOS Catalina

  1. Click on the Finder app in the Mac Dock.
  2. Select your device on the left side of the screen under Devices.
  3. On the right-hand side, click on the Audiobooks tab.

    sync audiobooks on macOS Catalina

  4. Check the box Sync Audiobooks onto your device to activate audiobooks syncing.
  5. Check to sync All audiobooks or Selected audiobooks.
  6. Select your audiobooks to sync, when applicable.

    sync audiobooks on macOS Catalina

  7. Click Apply.
  8. Click Sync to sync audiobooks between your Mac and mobile device.

    sync audiobooks on macOS Catalina

How to sync books to your iPhone or iPad on macOS Catalina

  1. Click on the Finder app in the Mac Dock.
  2. Select your device on the left side of the screen under Devices.
  3. On the right-hand side, click on the Books tab.

    sync books on macOS Catalina

  4. Check the box Sync Books onto your device to activate books syncing.
  5. Check to sync All books or Selected books.
  6. Select your books to sync, when applicable.

    sync books on macOS Catalina

  7. Click Apply.
  8. Click Sync to sync audiobooks between your Mac and mobile device.

    sync books on macOS Catalina

How to sync photos to your iPhone or iPad on macOS Catalina

If you're using the iCloud Photo Library sync on your iPhone or iPad, you cannot sync photos using your Mac.

  1. Click on the Finder app in the Mac Dock.
  2. Select your device on the left side of the screen under Devices.
  3. On the right-hand side, click on the Photos tab.
  4. Determine the files to sync.

    syncing photos on macOS Catalina

How to sync files to your iPhone or iPad on macOS Catalina

  1. Click on the Finder app in the Mac Dock.
  2. Select your device on the left side of the screen under Devices.
  3. On the right-hand side, click on the Files tab.

    sync files on macOS Catalina

  4. Click the files you wish to sync using the pull-down menus for each applicable app.
  5. Select Apply.
  6. Click Sync to sync files between your Mac and mobile device.

    Click on Sync to sync files

How to backup your iPhone or iPad on macOS Catalina

You can manually backup your iPhone or iPad on your Mac:

  1. Click on the Finder app in the Mac Dock.
  2. Select your device on the left side of the screen under Devices.
  3. On the right-hand side, click on the General tab.
  4. Click Back Up Now next to the Backup and Restore section.

    backup using macOS Catalina

How to restore your iPhone or iPad on macOS Catalina

You can manually restore your iPhone or iPad on your Mac:

  1. Click on the Finder app in the Mac Dock.
  2. Select your device on the left side of the screen under Devices.
  3. On the right-hand side, click on the General tab.
  4. Click Restore Backup next to the Backup and Restore section.

    backup using macOS Catalina

Final questions and comments

If you have any questions about the new syncing process with macOS Catalina, let us know below.