Solved: How do I fix “sync session failed to start” iPhone/iPad to iTunes?

Problem: iPhone and iPad reported issue when trying to sync iPhone/iPad with iTunes, the error “sync session failed to start” prompted. The detail error message as below:

The iPhone “iPhone” could not be synced because the sync session failed to start.

Solutions to fix "sync session failed to start" iPhone/iPad to iTunes
Solutions to fix “sync session failed to start” iPhone/iPad to iTunes

Follow below solution steps to resolve the sync session failed to start issue.

Content Summary

Potential Causes
Solution 1: Force close all running applications
Solution 2: Restart iTunes and reconnect iPhone/iPad
Solution 3: Soft Reset
Solution 4: Update iOS to the latest build
Solution 5: Update iTunes
Solution 6: Delete the previous backup
Reference

Potential Causes

  • Running applications stop the sync process
  • Missin iTunes opponents
  • Outdated iTunes and component software
  • Corrupted iTunes software or iTunes library
  • Faulty or incomplete iTunes installation and iTunes related component installation.

Solution 1: Force close all running applications

On your iPhone, force closes all the running apps in the multitask window.
For iOS 7
Step 1: Click the Home button twice.

Step 2: Tap and hold on the app.

Step 3: When it starts to jiggle, tap the X to close it.

Step 4: Repeat until all the apps have been closed.

For iOS 8
Step 1: Click the Home button twice.

Step 2: Swipe the application preview window upwards to close the app. You can close multiple apps at once.

Step 3: Repeat until all the apps have been closed.

Force close all running apps.
Force close all running apps.

Solution 2: Restart iTunes and reconnect iPhone

Step 1: Exit iTunes.

Step 2: Connect iPhone to PC using the USB cable.

Step 3: Start iTunes.

Step 4: If iTunes starts automatically, close it and restart it with the iPhone plugged into the USB port.

Solution 3: Soft Reset

Step 1: Hold both Home and Sleep button for around 10secs until you see the Apple logo then release.

Step 2: Returns to Home screen.

Step 3: Connect to sync.

Solution 4: Update iOS to the latest build

Step 1: Exit iTunes and disconnect the cable from PC.

Step 2: Put the iPhone on charging and connect it to a Wi-Fi network.

Step 3: Open Settings and tap on the Apple ID.

Step 4: Tap on iCloud > iCloud Backup > Backup Now button and wait for the backup process to complete.

iPhone iOS iCloud Backup
iPhone iOS iCloud Backup

Step 5: Open Settings > General > Software Update. If the iOS update is available, then download and install it.

iPhone iOS Software Update
iPhone iOS Software Update

Solution 5: Update iTunes

If the iTunes is downloaded from the Microsoft Store, go to Microsoft Store and click Downloads and updates to check when it was updated last time.

Download and updates iTunes from Microsoft Store
Download and updates iTunes from Microsoft Store

If the iTunes is downloaded from Apple’s website, open iTunes > Help > Check for Updates.

iTunes Check for Updates
iTunes Check for Updates

Solution 6: Delete the previous backup

Step 1: Open iTunes.

Step 2: Click on Edit > Preferences.

Step 3: Choose the correct device.

Step 4: Delete the previous, if the Reset Sync History button is enabled click on it.

Delete previous backup and reset sync history.
Delete the previous backup and reset sync history.

Reference

Apple Communities > Sync session failed to start

Published by Thomas Apel

, a dynamic and self-motivated information technology architect, with a thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to system and network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. I enjoy the technical writing process and answering readers' comments included.