Copying the contents of your iOS device to your Mac should not be a difficult task, and yet it is. In this tutorial I’m going to show you a simple no-nonsense way to simply and easily copy your music, movies, TV shows, ringtones, books and more right from your iOS device.

What happens when you accidentally delete your media library from your Mac and your only copy is on your iPod/iPhone/iPad? Apple doesn’t let you copy your music out of your device. In fact, if you plug your device into your computer after deleting your iTunes library, iTunes will ask you if you’d like to delete all the songs on your device and sync it with the empty iTunes library.

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DeTune with iPhone

Since Apple doesn’t let us copy our media off of our devices, we are going to turn to a free app called DeTune. There are a few things I really like about DeTune, it’s simple, no messy setup, lets you move one song, a selection, or all songs at once, and even looks like iTunes for added simplicity of use.

Another great thing about DeTune is that its light weight, and still very powerful, especially since it’s a free application. It supports all iPods, iPhones and iPads. All that’s required to get the media off your device is to select the songs or videos that you’d like and drag them into a folder. Once in the folder of your choice you simply drag it all into iTunes.

Before plugging in the device that you want to extract the media from, open iTunes, go to the Menu Bar -> iTunes -> Preferences -> then the Devices tab and select “Prevent iPods, iPhones and iPads from syncing automatically. This will prevent iTunes from automatically opening when you plug your device in and trying to sync, which could result in deleting everything off your iOS device. Once you have restored all your media to iTunes you can de-select this option and have it automatically sync again.

copy music ipad mac

DeTune List

Plug your iPad/iPhone/iPod in and open DeTune. It may take a second or two but you’ll see your media populate on the left panel. It will only show the items in the panel if you actually have the media on your device. So for instance, if you don’t have any movies stored on the device then the movies option on the left won’t show anything for movies.

To actually copy media, you can move one at a time by selecting it then dragging it into a folder, or select a bunch of media by clicking one item then holding down the shift key and clicking on another item which will select everything in between your two selections. Or simply copy everything by holding the Command key down and then pressing the “A” key.


You can download DeTune here: Download DeTune