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My Resolution to iOS 5 “Waiting for items to copy” Sync Issue

Sync Problem Icon

Ever since updating my iPhone to iOS 5, I was unable to complete a sync.

It backed up fine (thankfully), it did the majority of the syncing, it just got to the last ‘stage’ of the process and hung there perpetually. I saw messages such as “Waiting for items to copy”, “Waiting for changes to be applied” and so on.

It wasn’t a complete showstopper, since I could sync the majority of content, make sure I was backed up, and then just cancel the sync at the last stage, but it was something that needed a fix.

I had read various threads on Apple Support Communities — it seems that many people are having this issue.

I get the impression that this symptom is caused by various syncing issues and that some solutions have worked for some people, and not for others. Bear this in mind — this solution worked for me, but it might not work in every case. 🙁

I believe I have now solved this problem on my iPhone.

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Delete All Copies of Voice Memos

I deleted all of the synced Voice Memos in my iTunes library, then also went into the Voice Memos app on the iPhone and deleted each and every one there. Upon the next sync, the locking up at “Waiting for items to copy” did not happen, and the sync completed successfully.

This suggests that one of the causes for this issue is Voice Memos. If you are experiencing this issue, try backing up and removing all the Voice Memos from iTunes, removing them all from the Voice Memos app on the iPhone itself, then syncing again.

(The iPhone does still sync Genius Data each time it syncs, but this does complete successfully. Perhaps this is normal — I am not really sure!)

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  1. Mia wrote:

    thanks a million. spent some time researching and trying to find a fix. resoring to factory setting didnt seem to help and then saw this!!!! Problem solved. thanks again.Just curious how did you discover it?:)

    Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 06:00 | Permalink | Using Safari Safari 533.22.3 on Mac OS X Mac OS X 10.5.8
  2. Sure wrote:

    I don’t have any voice memos still i am the same problem please help me… I can’t tolerate that waiting for items to be copied…

    Friday, June 15, 2012 at 21:09 | Permalink | Using Safari Safari 7534.48.3 on iOS iOS 5.1.1
  3. Todd wrote:

    Wow. Amazing. Thanks so much! That was really annoying to try and get around.

    Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 00:48 | Permalink | Using Google Chrome Google Chrome 21.0.1180.79 on Mac OS X Mac OS X 10.5.8
  4. Seth wrote:

    This helped me too… it came from a voice memo that was recording when the phone died. I guess it was corrupted and iTunes couldn’t handle that.


    Monday, January 7, 2013 at 02:01 | Permalink | Using Mozilla Firefox Mozilla Firefox 17.0 on Mac OS X Mac OS X 10
  5. Andrew Parker wrote:

    Worked, thanks! Now, do you have a solution for the Exchange password and Cannot Connect To Server errors, please?

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 23:20 | Permalink | Using Safari Safari 8536.25 on iOS iOS 6.1.2
  6. john Fischetti wrote:

    Dude, that worked — thank you so much!!!

    God bless the internet!

    Friday, March 15, 2013 at 01:26 | Permalink | Using Safari Safari 536.26.17 on Mac OS X Mac OS X 10.8.2
  7. Tina wrote:

    But I don’t have any voice memos.

    Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 03:00 | Permalink | Using Google Chrome Google Chrome 26.0.1410.43 on Windows Windows 7
  8. Aye wrote:

    OMG..It work for me too.
    Thank you so much!

    Friday, June 14, 2013 at 18:45 | Permalink | Using Google Chrome Google Chrome 27.0.1453.110 on Windows Windows XP
  9. Charlie wrote:

    Awesome! it worked! Thanks man!

    Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 00:45 | Permalink | Using Safari Safari 537.71 on Mac OS X Mac OS X 10.9

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