How to Permanently Fix a Super-Slow iPhone Backup

Ever wonder why on earth it takes iTunes so long to backup your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch?

“What the hell is it even doing?” you wonder. “I haven’t added any new info in weeks.”white_iphone_4.jpg

Even worse, if you decide you can’t waste the hour-or-two (sometimes more) that it might take, you miss out on important things like document transfers or music syncing. Remember: syncing your iPhone is a very, very good idea. You literally never know what might happen to it. But when backup and syncing takes an hour, two hours, or FIVE… obviously it becomes a problem… and no one would blame you for “conveniently forgetting” about doing it.

So I’m going to show you a trick that will SOLVE that problem permanently. (It still won’t get you a white iPhone 4, though.)


The culprit is in a little checkbox you probably turned on when you first set up your iPhone, and now you can’t turn it off. It’s called “Diagnostic Reports“, and it basically means that your iPhone spends several minutes writing up crash reports for every app that had a problem. It then tries to upload them, which, if Apple’s servers are busy, means you’re stuck waiting for the upload to finish. If you’ve got a lot of apps on your phone, and they tend to have bugs (even ones you’re not aware of), your iPhone will take freakin’ forever to do backups.

Keep in mind that the longer it’s been since you did a backup, the longer it will take. This is really noticeable if you haven’t backed up in over, say, 30 days.

Good news: there’s an easy way around part of the speed issue. You need to do the following:

  1. sync-button.jpgfirst, check and make sure you don’t have a massive amount of pictures in the camera roll. If you do, it’s fine, but guess what– they’re going to take a long time. If you delete some and keep this number down (under a thousand), it’ll help.
  2. plug in your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch. From inside of iTunes, select your iPhone from the list on the left, and (if you’re in the main “Summary” tab) turn off “sync automatically”. (This is only temporary, so don’t worry.)
  3. unplug your iPhone, then plug it back in.
  4. when you see your phone come up on the left side of iTunes, right-click on it (Mac users can two-finger click, or hold the control key and click).Choose “Reset Warnings” from the menu that pops up.
  5. hit “Sync” to sync your iPhone.
  6. within the next few minutes, you’ll probably see a box that looks like this:itunes sync checkbox
  7. uncheck the box that says “Do Not Ask Me Again”, then hit “Don’t Send”. This is the most important step. What you’ve just done is tell iTunes to ask you each time there are files to send, and that you don’t want it to send this batch.
  8. From now on, you’ll see that box come up any time there are crash reports to file on your phone. Be sure to always click on “don’t send”.
  9. Enjoy your faster syncing times!

Did it not work? Still having a slow iPod Touch or iPad backup? There’s one other quick fix: check on the Music tab in iTunes (when your device is connected) and see if the option for “automatically fill free space with songs” is turned on. If it is, turn it off. It’ll speed up the iPad sync a whole lot, especially if you have a higher-capacity model.

Hope this was helpful. I don’t normally do such specific tutorials on AppCulture, but in this case I figure a lot of readers are having this problem. Did this solution work for you? Have other ideas on fixing slow iPod sync? Let me know in the comments!

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