How to copy music files to iPhone without iTunes sync

How to copy music files to iPhone without iTunes sync – Although iTunes 11 has been released, the same horror still remains. Lots of people get frustrated because they can’t just simply drag and drop a music file (mp3 or other format) into their iPhone through iTunes. iTunes sync can be a nightmare or a good dream to many iPhone/iPod/iPad users.

There is actually a setting in iTunes where you can manually manage your music files so you can just copy your music files straight into iPhone without syncing, simply by just dragging and dropping files.

The setting is called “Manually manage music and videos” and it appears on the Summary tab of the iOS device after you plug it in.

iTunes summary tab

iTunes copy music to iPhone

Simply tick the box that says “Manually manage music and videos” under the Options heading (you may need to scroll down to reach this area). A word of caution though, that this will erase ALL music and videos (just music and videos) that are currently on your iOS device. Save and then sync the device to apply this option.

Now, you can just drag and drop a music file straight into your phone through iTunes. To do this on iTunes 11, once you plug your iPhone in, click on the iPhone button on the top right corner of iTunes:

iPhone button on iTunes

Then go to the Music area through the sidebar on the left:

iTunes Music

Now you can drag and drop your mp3 or other music files into your iPhone through the songs list on the right.

You can also drag and drop a song from your Music library on iTunes straight to the iPhone (rather than having to open a Windows Explorer and locate your music file). Just search and locate the song you like from the iTunes search and then drag-and-drop the song on the Library area to the iPhone button. An overlay window should slide from the right where you can drop the song there.

Drag and drop

That’s how to copy music files to iPhone without iTunes sync. Not that hard, right? As long as you manually manage your music and videos, then you don’t have to do the old trick of having a playlist and then sync that playlist to your iPhone. Well, if you are still into syncing, then I guess you need to use that old trick still to transfer your songs into your iPhone.

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A technology enthusiast, blogger, gamer, and reviewer. Proud owner of Craving Tech
  • Mohd Aktar

    i have a iphone 4s.. and i also have a itunes in my laptop. but everytime when i was going to insert music files in my iphone first i have to sync it. i got frustrated with it. by this article now i can put files direct into my iphone without sync.

    • Michael Aulia

      Let me know if you have problems or if you have actually succeeded in copying the files without syncing

  • Nhick

    This is awesome, now I know what to do.. thanks for the tips cravingtech.

  • Ankur

    Does it allow to categorize in folders ?

  • Naser

    Thanks for the share Michael. My brother bought an iPhone 5, so this will be useful to him :)

  • Ravi @ Technology Blog

    Thank You Michael .. It was always hectic and un-handy but this tip solved Big question for me.. Thank You very much

  • Connor Harley

    This is a real eye opener. My family has different kinds of apple products. This is a big help. Thanks Michael!

  • Swet Nath @ iPhone Application Development

    Nice Post Michael …. Thanks for solving one of the very common problem of iPhone users I know because I m working in B24esolutions , an iPhone i Pad application development company that’s why I usually interact with iPhone users …………:)

  • Bobbie Moreno

    Awesome post. Now I don’t have to waste time waiting until my iphone is fully synced. Now I could probably download, and move files right before I leave the house.

  • joanna

    thank u for sharing .
    save me much hassle!

  • John McNamara

    I was so happy when i found this setting. I always hated waiting for iTunes to finish syncing up when all I wanted to do was copy some music to my iPhone.

  • Edgardo West

    The step-by-step guidance given by you is too clear and understandable. The iPhone users can take advantage of these tips. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Tan

    Wow, this is very useful and simple to use compare to iTunes. I must try it later. I am already tired with iTunes.

  • mohit

    Awesome post…This is very useful for me.I am going to try this and will share my experience also.Thanks :) :) :)