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Overcoming iTunes sync issues in Windows 7

I just discovered how to overcome a strange iPad/iPhone sync issue using Windows 7 and iTunes. Since it took a bit of digging I thought I’d share to this tip to help some Google searcher in the future.

The Error

  • "iTunes was unable to load data class information from sync services"
  • "iTunes was unable to load provider data from sync services"

My specific error was the second on but apparently these are identical messages written in a different way. Is Apple taking error message tips from Microsoft these days?

The other symptom of this error is that iTunes was unable to sync “Info” services to my iPad. Not usually a big deal since my contacts and calendars are in the cloud but I really needed to sync bookmarks with safari.

Apple says that support article TS2690 is the fix. Balderdash.

According to my searching this is not an uncommon issue with Windows 7. Here is the real fix.

The Solution

  1. Unplug iPhone and close iTunes
  2. Open task manager and kill the process SyncServer (for good measure kill any “Apple” process)
  3. Browse to “C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\AppleComputer” and rename the SyncServices folder to SyncServices_Old
  4. Reconnect iPhone and open iTunes.
  5. Rejoice and Repent of all curses on iTunes for Windows developers. [optional]

For completeness I’m using:

  • iTunes Version:
  • iOS Version: 4.3.5
  • Desktop OS: Win7 64 Ultimate

A Closing Gripe

“I’m a PC” and also a fan of Apple’s iPhone and iPad, that said, iTunes for Windows is the buggiest and slowest piece of software I’ve ever run on my computer.

It may well be a panacea on the Mac but since this is the only piece of Apple software I run it leaves a very poor taste in my mouth and a lack of confidence in developers. Ask me how I became an semi-expert on iTunes libraries… ugh.

  • Max

    Thanks! Even though this post is 3 years old, this problem just happened to me today and the information here fixed it for me. Thanks again!

  • http://KnowtheNetwork.com Keith

    Well I’m glad this old post helped. Thanks for commenting.

  • Kurt Kemper

    Wow, it’s almost 2015 and this post just helped me get rid of this error! I did a lot of looking and this did the trick. Thank you!

  • http://KnowtheNetwork.com Keith

    Wow, well I’m glad it helped.

  • kaygee_goldcoast

    You are the man! Having tried hopelessly Apple’s answer multiple times, at last: someone who knows what’s going on and how to fix it! Thanks heaps.

  • http://KnowtheNetwork.com Keith

    Thanks. Apple forums can be very frustrating. Thanks for the kind comment