iPhone taking forever to sync

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A while ago I noticed that my iPhone 3GS was taking ages to sync with iTunes. By ‘ages’ I mean more than 90 minutes. I couldn’t pinpoint when the problem exactly started because to be honest I don’t sync that often (usually purchasing and installing apps through the phone itself). I came across this website which offered a solution for many people experiencing the same problem.

According to the author, corrupted apps (especially those installed through the phone rather than through iTunes) are often the culprit. So I followed his steps to remove all apps from the phone and reinstall them one-by-one by syncing through iTunes. Doing this of course meant I lost all my app data and settings. I didn’t really mind too much about high-scores though, except for in Angry Birds (which has to be the best game for iPhone so far!). It seemed to help as my final sync completed within a matter of seconds rather than hours. But a day later the slow syncing problem had returned – this time even worse.

After some Googling I found the problem: The path/folder tree location of the photos that I was syncing had been somehow corrupted (not in Finder, but purely in iTunes trying to access it). Simply pointing iTunes to a different folder in the same tree didn’t help (the folder I was syncing was deep in Pictures > subfolder1 > subfolder2). So I made a new folder in a ‘higher’ location (Pictures), moved the photos there, redirected iTunes to sync the new folder and – hey presto – it synced in a flash!

Note: I let iTunes delete all my photos on the iPhone when it asked if it should.

I hope this solution helps some other people if they are experiencing a similar problem.

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