How to Fix iPhone cannot be synced unknown error -54 [solved]

The iOS device/ iPhone cannot be synced with iTunes. This common error occurs in iTunes while you are trying to sync your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) device with iTunes on Mac or Windows. You might be getting an alert message that says “The iPhone 7 Plus cannot be synced. An unknown error occurred (-54).” For example, only here I have taken iPhone 7 Plus. However, As per model wise, a number could different like iPhone 7, iPhone 6S (Plus), iPhone 8 (Plus), iPhone X, etc.

What is the main reason of error -54 when your sync with iTunes? An answer is, it can happen due to a file on your iDevice or your Mac or Windows Computer is locked. In the leading cases, an error will be removed, and you can sync if you click OK at the bottom of the message alert.

For that user, who stuck with an error and unable to go next screen. Then try following suggestions to resolve an unknown error occurred (-54) quickly.

Here’s Fix iPhone cannot be synced unknown Error -54 – iOS/ MacOS/ Windows

The iPhone cannot be synced error solved on Mac or windows with iTunes

Fix #1. Restart iOS and Mac/ Windows

Reboot your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch and Restart Your Mac or Windows, after that try again to sync your content.

Fix #2. Check you have latest iTunes Version installed

Check and Update to the latest Version of iTunes for Mac or Windows whatever you have.

Fix #3. Check for Software Update on your iOS Device

Go to Settings on your iDevice home screen– Tap General – Tap Software update.

Please make sure your device connected to Wi-Fi and if any update available, Please take the latest backup and start to download and install.

If above items are perfect, however, still see the issue, continue below.

On your Mac OS X, you will find synced error occurred; it also contains some brackets (13019). The reason behind giving common error “iOS device can’t be synchronized.” For that, you must update your installed iTunes setup on your Mac.

  • Consolidate the media files in your iTunes library
  • Check for issues with third-party security software
  • Sync a small amount of content
  • Delete and re-download content
  • Delete and re-import content
  • Remove PDF files from the sync process

You can also use iTunes Alternatives to transfer your content from Mac or PC to your iPhone/ iPad or iPod Touch.

So Follow the below steps, and fix it in an instant way

  1. Open iTunes on your Mac system by Click on Apple and then select Software update option.
  2. Then connect your iPhone with the lighting cable, after connoting with iTunes, uncheck Sync Music, Sync TV Shows, and Sync Podcasts in iTunes.
  3. Tap on Sync button, this will clean your iPhone, but it can’t wipe iTunes data.

    Tap sync button - The iPhone cannot be synced error
    Tap sync button – The iPhone cannot be synced error
  4. Now your iPhone free with space and error problem.
  5. Remove your iPhone from lighting cable.
  6. Put your iPhone in off mode with the press and hold sleep/wake button continuously at the top sidebar.

    Sleep - wake button in your iPhone
    Sleep-wake button in your iPhone
  7. Now turn on your iPhone by the pressing and holding sleep button again.
  8. Reconnect your iPhone to your Mac system through the iTunes.
  9. Select, showing iPhone inside iTunes device options ( the already connected device will be demonstrated). Choose only media that you want to in your iPhone from Mac iTunes.
  10. Tap on sync option.

Useful: you can’t find iPhone, iPad or iPod touch in your Mac or windows using iTunes.

We ardor, you have a solution from Apple on “The iPhone cannot be synced” because something cannot be found.

Note: you don’t have enough space on your iPhone, iPad when you are connecting to iTunes you can also get same error “The iPhone cannot be synced” title alert referred by apple forum.

This iOS tricks also works with related add title as An unknown error occurred, Unknown error 54, error 1723, the duplicate file name was specified.


  • Sherif

    Actually i restarted the device and the cannot sync issue was gone, i think it was mainly due to overload on the memory of the device due to too many processes that filled the cache up.

  • lisa c.

    I don’t use a Mac….I use a PC and I still get this message :/

  • i have issue with iTunes Syncing Errors and found your site on google and used your steps mentioned here and its works for me. now its working for fine for me.