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iTunes Wi-Fi Sync issue with Phone 4, iPhone 4S, and iTunes 10.5+

Have you recently updated your iPhone to iOS 5.1.x or had to replace the hardware only to discover that Wi-Fi Sync no longer works? Well that is exactly what happened to me and I have found a solution.

There are multiple guide to do the basic troubleshooting or configuring iTunes Wi-Fi Sync including Apples steps located here: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS4062
If you followed those steps and it still does not work, here are the other options that have helped me fix the problem.

Symptoms:
While iTunes is open and your iPhone is configured for Wi-Fi Sync, your iPhone “Sync Now” button is not greyed out (Settings > General > iTunes Wi-Fi Sync) but when you press the “Sync Now” button, it says something like looking for “<ComputerName>”, cannot find “<ComputerName>”, or Sync will resume when “<ComputerName>” is available.

There are a couple of additional steps that you can take that should clear this up prior to a trip to the genius bar:

  1. Reinstall the newest version of iTunes. Reboot your computer. Do not open iTunes. Then download the file from Apple (http://www.apple.com/itunes/download) and install* over the previous version. Follow the steps on how to setup Wi-Fi Sync (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1386). Did this work for you? Great! If not, go to step two.
  2. Backup your iPhone and restore it to factory default (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1766), then try again.

*Note for windows users, you might need to repeat option 1 but by uninstalling iTunes first then doing a fresh install. If you have a lot of data in iTunes, I would likely go to the genius bar before this option and then also backup the iTunes database before starting the uninstallation.

Managing iTunes library, for your reference:
iTunes: Back up your iTunes library by copying to an external hard drive.
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1751
iTunes: How to re-create your iTunes library and playlists
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1451

PS- This worked just fine for Jailbroken iPhones.


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iOS 5.1.1 Untethered Jailbreak for iPhone 4S, iPad 3, & more.

Why jailbreak your phone?  I hate so sound elitist however, if you don’t know, don’t do it.  I have jailbroken phones for many reasons in the past, this is why I was motivated to do it with my iPhone 4S:

  • MyWi – For the occasional Wi-Fi Tethering without a monthly subscription (mind you, it still uses the data plan)
  • Mail Enhancer Pro – For greater eMail functionality and customized signatures per account.
  • SBSettings – Quick toggle switches for commonly used features in the Notification Center

Please note that there are inherent risks and you could break EUA with Apple, your carrier or otherwise by doing this.  I do not recommend this unless there is some serious need.

How to Jailbreak an iPhone:

  1. Backup your iPhone to iTunes (right click on the phone and choose backup)
    (iTunes: right click (or control click) on your iPhone on the left panel, then select “Back Up”.)
  2. Uncheck “Open iTunes when iPhone is connected”
    (iTunes: click on your iPhone on the left panel, then scroll down to Options.)
  3. Remove your Passcode Lock (if you have one)
    (iPhone: Settings > General > Passcode Lock)
  4. Disable any SIM card lock (AT&T customers only and likely won’t be a concern)
  5. Upgrade your Firmware (iPhone to iOS 5.1.1)
    (iTunes: click on your iPhone on the left panel, then scroll down to Versions and select “Check for Update”.)
  6. Download the newest version of Absinthe at GreenPois0nby Chronic Dev Team (note this is a great source for jailbreak info and news).DownloadAbsinthe 2.0.4 for Mac
    -or-
    Download Absinthe 2.0.4 for Windows
  7. Install Absinthe
  8. Shutdown iTunes
  9. Start Absinthe
  10. Click Jailbreak
    The whole process takes 30+ minutes.  Once complete, click on the Cydia icon on your iPhone.  That will start the journey.  Expect to reboot your phone.  Open Cydia again, choose “User” and wait until the source packages are all loaded (up to 5 minutes).  At some point there will be a little red notification that is under the Changes icon on the footer.  Click that and update the application.  After that, everything should work like any other app store.

After that point you can start loading applications.