Sync MacBook to iOS/iPadOS devices via Finder

Sync Music library to iOS/iPadOS devices

Below method is to sync the imported music in Apple Music, and when you don’t have Apple Music subscription.

  1. Install Apple Music both on your MacBook and iOS/iPadOS devices.
  2. Connect your iOS/iPadOS device to your MacBook via USB cable. This is only for the first time. Next time, it will connect wirelessly when both devices are on the same network. To enable this feature, you have to tick some options in the Finder after you connect via USB cable.
    • Trust your MacBook on your iOS/iPadOS device by entering the passcode.
    • On Finder, click your iOS/iPadOS device on the left sidebar.
    • In general, tick “Show this iPhone/iPad when on Wi-Fi” and “Automatically sync when this iPhone/iPad is connected”.
    • In Music, tick “Sync Music onto [your iOS/iPadOS device]”.
  3. Eject your iOS/iPadOS device from Finder, and then disconnect the USB cable.
  4. Restart your MacBook.

Disable automatic local backups

Automatic local backup of iOS/iPadOS devices in MacBook is very annoying due to the requirement of manual approval on the iOS/iPadOS device. In-case you don’t want to backup, there is no any option for that. This is a workaround to disable it.

  1. Quit the Apple Music on your MacBook (with macOS Sonoma).
  2. Launch Terminal and then type
    defaults write AutomaticDeviceBackupsDisabled -bool true
    and press Enter.
  3. Restart your MacBook.


  • In case you need to back up, you have to do it manually. i.e. Press the “Back Up Now” button of the iOS/iPadOS device in Finder.
  • If you want to re-enable automatic backups, type
    defaults write AutomaticDeviceBackupsDisabled -bool false
    and press Enter.

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Published on Nov 23, 2023

Last revised on Nov 24, 2023