How to Fix iTunes Sync Error -54

If you find that your iPhone cannot be synced with iTunes, and saying that an unknown error (-54) occurred, it means you have met the iTunes error. Don’t worry, in this post we will tell you what is iTunes error (-54) and how to fix it.

Joy Taylor Last Updated: Mar. 03, 2020

iTunes Sync Error 54: “The iPhone 7 cannot be synced. An unknown error occurred (-54)

When using iTunes to backup, restore or sync your iPhone iPad, you may face a lot of issues, such as iTunes error 14, 50, 39 and 54. When syncing songs/pictures or something on iPhone/iPad/iPod touch with iTunes, you may encounter this iTunes sync error (-54) problem that stop you from transferring.

You may have tried many methods online to fix this iTunes sync error, such as updating iTunes to latest version and upgrading iPhone/iPad to the newest iOS operating system. However, the “iTunes sync error 54” still can’t be fixed.

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About iTunes Sync Error (-54)

This sync error 54 is one common iTunes problem people may face when updating PC to a new Windows operating system.

And most of people think this iTunes sync error is related to authorization and administration issues – computer doesn’t permit unauthorized users to sync some data to iPhone/iPad/iPod touch. You may be the person who has no permission to modify or move the data, and the data you want to sync may be the “iTunes” folder or just some files (such as songs, pictures and movies).

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How to Fix Unknown Error (-54) about iPhone/iPad/iPod Cannot Be Synced

Sometimes fixing your iTunes sync error (-54) seems a little difficult because it is hard to find which files cause this problem. In this case, you have to sync separately to find what kind of data you can’t sync. For example, you can sync only songs to iPhone 6 or iPhone 7 to check whether the music files cause this unknown error (-54).

Of course, there are some common tips you can try to fix this error:

1. Update your iTunes to the latest version. Sometimes iTunes update would fix the errors and bugs of iTunes, so make sure your iTunes is the latest version.

2. Upgrade your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch to the latest iOS. The reason why iTunes refuses to sync your iPhone is might because it does not support the out-of-date iOS. Check your iPhone and update it to the latest iOS and try to sync with iTunes once again.

3. Authorize your computer in iTunes. Another reason why iTunes cannot sync your iPhone is because you didn’t authorize your computer in it. That is to say, iTunes refused to work in an “unknown” computer. So authorize your computer first and try again.

Open iTunes > Choose “Store” on iTunes menu and authorize your computer.

4. Change permissions of your “iTunes” folder or original files/folder.

You can find the originals that you want to transfer to iOS device and change permission. iMore give us one example to change “Read Only” permission of “iTunes folder” to fix iTunes sync error (-54) on Window 10:

Open Windows Explorer > Go to “Music” folder > Right Click “iTunes” folder > Properties > Uncheck “Read Only”.

5. Run iTunes in administrative mode.

Sign in to Windows as an administrator > Right click iTunes icon > Select “Properties” > Select “Compatibility” > Check to run as administrator.

6. (For Windows iTunes users) Install all available Windows update service packs. iTunes sync error may be caused by incompatible driver on your windows pc.

7. Download one registry repair tool to clean all of your PC’s registry errors. Windows computer registry errors may cause the error (-54) that some files cannot be accessed and transferred from computer to another device.

Use an iTunes alternative – AnyTrans for iOS

After trying all the solutions mentioned above, if your iPhone still cannot be synced due to the unknown error occurred (-54), you can seek help from some iTunes alternative, like AnyTrans for iOS. It allows you to sync data between iPhone and iTunes without effort. Here are the features of AnyTrans for iOS.

AnyTrans for iOS – iTunes Alternative

  • Extract and list all your iTunes library files completely and safely.
  • Sync selected files from iTunes to iPhone and won’t erase existing data.
  • You can check the content you want to sync to your iPhone.
  • Work well with all iPhone(iPhone 11 & iOS 13 supported).

Free Download100% Clean & Safe

Free Download100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

How about give it a free try? Click here to download AnyTrans for iOS and follow the steps bellow to sync data from iTunes to iPhone:

Open AnyTrans for iOS > Plug in your iPhone > Go to iTunes Library > Choose the data you want to sync like music > Select the songs you need > Click Send to Device button to start.

Add Music to iPhone from iTunes Library in AnyTrans for iOS

Fix iTunes Sync Error (-54) – Use AnyTrans for iOS

Once the transferring process is completed, you will see Transfer Completed Page. Then you can check the songs on your iPhone.

The Bottom Line

That’s all about how to fix iTunes sync error. Hope you can fix your problem after reading this article.
Joy Taylor

Member of iMobie team as well as an Apple fan, love to help more users solve various types of iPhone related issues.