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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.

  • http://KnowtheNetwork.com Keith

    Nah, But glad it helped.

    Sent via iPhone

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.colwell.581 David Colwell

    You are a legend! been having this problem with Itunes for soooo long now

  • http://KnowtheNetwork.com Keith

    Ha. Thanks man. Glad it helped. Have a wonderful day.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.solis.927 Dan Solis

    Thank you, after viewing many posts i was getting hopeless until this. THANK YOU!!!!

  • http://KnowtheNetwork.com Keith

    My pleasure. Glad I could help you find the answer.

  • Bill

    had same problem with iphone 5 and iOS 6. Worked like a charm. Never would have figured out that fix in a million years

  • http://KnowtheNetwork.com Keith

    Well I’m glad to know this helped. Discouraged to see the problem still exists in later versions.

    Thanks for the update.

  • Jared

    Thank you my good sir ! this was the simplest and easiest fix I found on google !

  • http://KnowtheNetwork.com Keith

    Thanks for saying so. I like to share easy solutions. Glad you found it helpful.

  • Robert

    VERY nice and simple….thanks Keith!!

  • http://KnowtheNetwork.com Keith

    You’re welcome.

  • Ann Jean Duplois

    It won’t work on mine. :(

  • Lukas

    it still displays the error window with sync services… iTunes 10.5.. :/

  • George

    Help! I want to make my contacts in Yahoo the right ones and when I sync it overwrites the wrongs on my iphone. Yahoo still want to bring back to wrongs from my iphone into Yahoo.

  • http://KnowtheNetwork.com Keith

    You’ll need to get your contacts all set up in Yahoo correctly and then sync. If you sync your iPhone with iCloud first then you can export contacts from iCloud into Yahoo. Then merge and correct as needed. Break the sync with iCloud to avoid duplicates and sync with Yahoo.

  • http://twitter.com/TraceyRocks Tracey

    Hello. I can get as far as the apple computer folder, but then my only choices are: Itues, Logs, Preferences, and SyncNotifier. I don’t have SyncServices. I tried your trick on the SynNotifier folder without any luck. Any other suggestions? Thank you :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1081846460 Troy Ryan

    Worked great for me!! Thanks so much.

  • http://KnowtheNetwork.com Keith

    Good to hear. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • Marc Chapman

    Awesome workaround/fix. Curious how it originated in the first place, but glad to get things back into working order. Kudos!

  • http://KnowtheNetwork.com Keith

    I’m curious as well. Glad the fix helped you Marc

  • Betsy

    Thanks for the help! That is so frustrating.

  • http://KnowtheNetwork.com Keith

    Yes I agree. Glad it helped.

  • Missy

    It Worked!!!! Thank you so much for your help!!

  • http://KnowtheNetwork.com Keith

    Glad to hear this still works. Thank you.

  • Nick

    Worked perfect on my netbook with Windows 8!

  • http://KnowtheNetwork.com Keith

    Glad to hear it. Thanks Nick

  • Sue

    Thank you! This was simple and effective…not like all those other things I’ve tried in the last week. A simple crash on the phone lead me down many dead ends, but thanks to this tip, I’m smiling again.

  • http://KnowtheNetwork.com Keith

    That makes me smile as well. Glad it helped.

  • kuyfg

    Thankyou so much! Was having problem for iOS 6.1 on my iPhone 5!

  • http://KnowtheNetwork.com Keith

    My pleasure! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • Tverdislav

    Thanks!!! You saved my day!!!

  • http://KnowtheNetwork.com Keith

    Glad to hear. Have a great day.

  • guest

    Wow! that worked. thank you so much

  • http://KnowtheNetwork.com Keith

    You are most welcome

  • Broke Winger

    Dude, you rock!!!! Been beating my head against the wall, bought 7 new cords thinking they were the problem.

    My iPhone 4 has a cracked screen due to this little glitch. Appl eneeds to learn to play well with others.

  • Jacob Kabii N

    Hey, my IPhone 4 is not synching with ITunes. I cant even see it visible in the iTunes display, but when I connect the windows recognizes the device. Please heeeeeelp!

  • Jim Slingo

    Thanks ran into that problem today and used your “FIX” ….total success. Thanks so much.

  • http://KnowtheNetwork.com Keith

    Glad it helped.

  • Randy

    I feel bad responding to a 2 year old thread but I just had to say thank you Keith. After hours of trying to get iTunes working again after the Update, I stumbled upon this thread and tried your solution with immediate positive and joyous results. Apple should pay you a commission.

    Again, thank you!

  • http://KnowtheNetwork.com Keith

    I feel bad that a 2yr old thread is still needed to help people. I appreciate the comment. I’ll speak to Apple about the commission :)

  • J


    Version still needs this kind of help.
    Bad Apple. No Forum, No Support Article helped.
    This did

  • Carlos Gil

    This should be number one on the Google results.

  • Sevrin Haggerty

    Thank you so so so so so so so much this was really healpful

  • Will

    Thanks Keith. You are a legend.

  • J

    Can you help please, I can’t find where “C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\AppleComputer” is, I have tried browsing and also tried searching for parts of it using the search directory thing.


  • Max

    Hi Keith, I can’t seem to locate “AppData” anywhere. Do you have any ideas?

  • David Abbbott

    Unfortunately I’m on iTunes, use an iPhone 5 running iOS 7.1.2 and have just received the error and the fix doesn’t work for me…gutted.

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  • Patrick M. Ryan

    Thanks. Your steps fixed the issue. Can’t believe that (1) Apple hasn’t fixed this yet and (2) their help docs are still wrong.

  • http://KnowtheNetwork.com Keith

    Hard to believe this is still an issue but I’m glad it helped.