Top 3 Issues & Fixes to iPod Cannot Be Synced with iTunes

If you encounter the trouble that iPod cannot be synced with iTunes, you may need this passage, offering you specific solutions to the three most common issues about iPod not syncing with iTunes.


By Demi / Updated on May 31, 2024

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iPod cannot be synced

My iPod Touch will no longer sync with iTunes on Windows 7. Is there a workaround or fix short of buying a new computer?

- Question from Apple Community

For the sake of transferring music to iPod or backing it up, most users may rely on the sync function in iTunes. However, the syncing process doesn’t always go smoothly as you expected.

iTunes Logo

You may receive different error messages when iPod fails to sync with iTunes. In this passage, you can get all possible solutions to the three most common issues that lead to iPod cannot be synced with iTunes. You can also try them to solve other iTunes syncing issues.

Why iPod cannot be synced with iTunes

It’s suggested to figure out why your iPod cannot be synced with iTunes before seeking solutions to fix the issue because it can save your time to some degree. The most possible reasons for iPod not syncing are listed as follows.

• A broken or incompatible USB cable or USB port.
• Unstable connection between iPod and iTunes/computer.
• Outdated iTunes or the version of the operating system of iPod.
• An unauthorized iTunes or computer.
• Unknown software or hardware error of computer, iTunes, or iPod.

How to fix iPod not syncing with iTunes

Here are common fixes and the specific solutions to the three most common issues you may encounter when iPod cannot be synced with iTunes. You can try them one after another. Optionally, if you’re in a hurry to transfer music from computer to iPod, you can try the iTunes alternative mentioned in the next part first.

Common fixes to iPod cannot be synced with iTunes

The following fixes can help you solve most of the issues you may encounter in iTunes. No matter what error messages you received when intending to sync iPod with iTunes, you can try them first.

1# Restart your iPod, iTunes, and computer
The easiest way is to restart your iPod, iTunes and computer to refresh them. Simply restarting your devices can fix most of the minor glitches of your devices and service. After restarting them, you can launch iTunes again.

2# Update iTunes and iPod OS to the latest version
An outdated version of iTunes and iPod always contains unknown errors and bugs. Therefore, whenever there is a new version of iTunes or iPod OS, you need to update it in time.

>> Update iTunes: Launch iTunes and click Help > Tap Check for Updates > If there is a new version available, follow the onscreen instruction to update it.

iTunes Check For Updates

>> Update iPod OS: Go to Settings > General > Software Update, update iPod OS if there is a new version available.

3# Connect via other USB cables and port
You can also try to plug in your iPod to another USB port of computer to check if the port is broken. You can also try connecting iPod to computer with other USB cables.

4# Disable the antivirus and firewall software on computer
If you have installed antivirus or firewall software on your computer, you may need to disable it during the sync process. This kind of software may interfere with iTunes.

5# Sync iPod in the other way: Wi-Fi or USB
iTunes provides you with two ways to sync with iOS devices, which are via USB and via Wi-Fi. If your iPod cannot be synced with USB, you can try the other way. Here is how to sync iPod via Wi-Fi:

Step 1. On your computer, launch iTunes and choose Summary > check the option Sync with this iPod over WiFi.

iTunes Sync Over WiFi

Step 2. On your iPod, click on Settings > General > iTunes Wi-Fi Sync > Sync now.

How to fix the unknown error (-54)

If you received the error message saying “The iPod cannot be synced. An unknown error occurred (-54).”, chances are that a file on your PC or iPod is locked. You can try to click OK to continue the sync, or try the solutions below to fix it.

iTunes Error 54

1# Consolidate the media files on your computer
Your iPod may have difficulty syncing with iTunes when your media files in the iTunes library are stored in several locations. Try to consolidate your iTunes library to fix the issue.

Open iTunes on your computer, click File from the menu bar > Choose Library > Click Consolidate Files... or Organize Library and check Consolidate files.

iTunes Consolidate Files

2# Remove PDF files from the sync process
You may also receive the error message when you intend to sync with PDF file saved in the Apple Books. To fix the issue, you may need to remove PDF files from the sync process. You can share the files in other ways, like by email.

How to fix the error - iPod cannot be found

If the error message says “The iPod cannot be synced because it cannot be found.”, the fixes below are nice tries for you.

iTunes Sync Error Cannot Be Found

1# Reauthorize your computer in iTunes
It’s necessary to authorize your computer in iTunes so that you can get access to the files and copy them to your iPod. It’s easy to accomplish.

Open iTunes on your computer > Click Account from the menu bar > Click Authorizations > Choose Authorize This Computer.

iTunes Authorize This Computer Windows

When it is finished, restart iTunes and computer, try to connect iPod and sync with iTunes again to see whether the error disappeared.

2# Reset the lockdown folder of iTunes
The lockdown folder is actually a hidden folder that contains security certificates which is essential for iOS devices to communicate with computer successfully. Try to reset the lockdown folder of iTunes to fix unknown errors.

Step 1. Press both the Windows key and the R key to open the Windows Run Box > Type %ProgramData% and click OK.

Windows Run Box

Step 2. Locate and double-click the Apple folder from the File Explorer screen that shows up > Right-click the Lockdown folder > Tap Rename to rename the folder to Lockdown.old.

Lockdown Folder Rename

Now you can try to relaunch iTunes and connect your iPod to computer again to have a try.

How to fix the error - A duplicate file name was specified

If iTunes tells you the iPod cannot be synced, a duplicate file name was specified, there may be something wrong with your iTunes compatibility or iTunes library. Here are two solutions to help you out.

iTunes Error Duplicate File Name

1# Run iTunes as Administrator
You can try to run iTunes as Administrator to avoid iTunes working improperly to fix iPod cannot be synced with iTunes.

Right-click the iTunes on your computer > Choose Properties > Compatibility > Check the option Run this program as an administrator > Click Apply to save your changes.

iTunes Administrator Mode

2# Create a new iTunes library
When you receive the message showing a duplicate file name is specified, your iTunes library may be corrupted or duplicated. You can create a new iTunes library and remove the older one to fix it.

Step 1. Holding the Shift key while launching iTunes > Choose Create Library and reopen iTunes to see if the iTunes library can work for syncing data from iPod to iTunes.

Create New iTunes Library

Step 2. Go to My PC > Music > iTunes > Rename the iTunes Library as outdated/corrupted.

Step 3. Go to the Previous iTunes Library and select the most recent library to copy.

Previous iTunes Library

Step 4. Paste the library to current iTunes and rename it as iTunes Library.itl.

Transfer music from computer to iPod without iTunes

Apart from the error you encounter when syncing iOS device with iTunes, there are many other iTunes problems on Windows. If you have been tired of looking for solutions to fix them, it is recommended FoneTool, a more professional transfer tool for iOS devices and Windows PC.

You can benefit a lot from FoneTool:
★ A preview and selective transfer process. You’re enabled to preview and choose to transfer files as you like.
★ No loss of the quality of transferred files. It won’t compress the quality of the transferred data.
★ Both purchased and non-purchased music is allowed. You don’t need to worry about losing your non-purchased music. You can transfer all your favorite songs to iPod.
★ Optional transfer functions. It supports transfer from iDevices to iDevices, iDevices to computer, and vice versa.

FoneTool is perfectly compatible with not only iPod, but also iPhone and iPad. Click the icon below to download the tool to your computer. Let’s take transferring music from computer to iPod as an example.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7
Secure Download

Step 1. Connect your iPod to computer > Launch FoneTool > Click Phone Transfer > Go to PC to iPhone and click Start Transfer.

Transfer To iPhone

Step 2. Click the arrow icon to browse the music files on computer > Choose the wanted files > Click Open.

Choose Music

Step 3. Click Start Transfer to save them to your iPod.


FoneTool also supports to backup iPod. You are enabled to backup iPod to computer fully or selectively.


Hopefully, no matter what issue you encountered that led to iPod cannot be synced, you can fix it after trying the solutions mentioned in this guide. If you’re looking for a better way to transfer music from computer to iPod or vice versa, you can try FoneTool. If this guide helps you, share it with others.

Demi · Editor
Demi is an editor of FoneTool group as well as a good advisor in the area of iOS-related issues. She does well in finding solutions to people's problems. She enjoys traveling, gardening, and watching movies. She spends most of her free time with her pet and family.