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Troubleshoot Your iPad Syncing Problems

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Posted May 07 2010 11:07 AM

Having problems syncing your iPad? This excerpt form Biersdorfer's iPad: The Missing Manual offers some simple troubleshooting measures you can employ.
Apple has tried to make the whole getting-stuff-on-your-iPad process as simple and flexible as possible. Every once in awhile, though, minor hardware or software issues may trip up that smooth syncing experience and make you wonder what’s making the iPad so unfriendly toward your files. These next couple of pages explain some of the more common issues—and how you can fix them.

iPad doesn’t show up in iTunes. The first step to syncing is getting the iPad to appear in the iTunes Source list. If it’s not there, check a few simple things. First, make sure you have the latest version of both iTunes and the iPad firmware installed. If so, check to see that the USB cable is firmly plugged in on both ends. If that doesn’t help, try plugging the smaller end into a different USB 2.0 port on your PC or Mac. Also, make sure the iPad has a decent battery charge. Still no luck? Restart the iPad and while you’re at it, restart the computer as well. Antivirus software may be hindering the communication between your iPad and iTunes, so check your security settings or temporarily turn off the program to see if that’s the problem. If nothing else has worked, Apple recommends reinstalling iTunes.

Weird error messages while syncing. You may see iTunes toss up an alert box saying something like “Error 13019” and suddenly stop syncing. If that happens, try turning off the checkbox for Sync Music, click Apply, and then click Sync. After iTunes gets done syncing, go back to the preferences and turn on the Sync Music checkbox again. Then try to freshly sync all those tunes again. 

If you’re syncing contacts, calendars, notes, and other items from the Info tab, you may see the Sync alert box pop up if, say, you have two different versions of someone’s contact file between your computer and iPad (usually from editing it on both machines between sync sessions), or if more than five percent of the information will get changed on the computer during the sync session. Click the Show Details button to see the different versions and pick the one you want to go with. You can also cancel the Info part of the sync session in case you want to check out your data on both computer and iPad—but don’t have time to deal with it now.

Some items didn’t sync to the iPad. The two most common reasons for an incomplete sync are fullness and formats. If the iPad’s drive is close to overflowing, you simply can’t fit any more content on its bulging drive. And if some of the files you try to sync are in incompatible formats, the iPad won’t sync them. (This is often the case with video files—there are many formats around the Web, but the iPad only works with a few of them: .mp4, .m4v, and .mov.) In either case, iTunes probably gave you a message about the situation. The solutions are simple: delete some other files from the iPad to make room for the new things you want to sync, and convert files in incompatible formats to ones that work on the iPad. (Apple’s $30 QuickTime Pro software at www.apple.com/quicktime is one of the many software options here.)

iPad: The Missing Manual

Learn more about this topic from iPad: The Missing Manual.

The iPad 2 is faster, lighter, and more versatile than its predecessor, but there's still no printed guide to using its amazing features. That's where this full-color Missing Manual comes in. Learn how to stream HD video, make video calls, manage your email, surf the Web, listen to music, play games, and maybe even do a little iWork. It's the book that should have been in the box.

See what you'll learn

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