Disclaimer: One of the tools used in this post is iTunes DB Cloner, which is Windows-only. If anyone knows of a good Mac substitute that can change the Persistent ID of iTunes, please leave a comment below.
iTunes doesn’t like you to sync your iDevice with more than one computer. When you try, it tells you that you’ve already synced it with another library, and it wants to erase your device!
But, what if you don’t want to erase your device and no longer have access to your old iTunes library? What if you want to sync your iDevice to whatever computer you want?
After some research, I found that iTunes uses a unique Persistent ID (PID) that’s on your device and compares it to the PID of iTunes. So, to be able to sync with your new iTunes, you need to change the PID of iTunes to match the one on your device. Apparently, you can instead change the PID of your device to match the one in iTunes, but I haven’t really looked into how to accomplish that.
This is how I was able to trick my newly installed iTunes into thinking it was already synced to my iPhone:
1) Open iTunes and connect your device. Make sure that “Encrypt local backup” is unchecked:
Then, right-click your device and choose “Back Up”:
After the back up is complete, close iTunes. Your device’s PID is now stored in a file named “Info.plist”;
2) Go here and upload your “Info.plist” file (see steps 3 & 4 of that webpage for instructions). Save the alphanumeric that appears, for use in the next step (mine is blacked out here):
Using Google Chrome, I wasn’t able to see the “Upload” button, so I used Internet Explorer 9. With other browsers, YMMV. Never mind, my minimum font size setting in Chrome was causing the problem];
3) Make sure iTunes is closed then download the free iTunes DB Cloner, install and run it, then paste/type the PID from the previous step:
and click “Update ID”. You should see something like:
That’s it! One thing to note, a little while after doing this I noticed that some apps on my iPhone wouldn’t open anymore, they would crash immediately after clicking on them! I really thought I was screwed, but after doing a little more research the simple fix I found was to install any app from the App Store. That fixed it, and restored my sanity at the same time.