new iPhone / old iPod Touch and iTunes

Wayne Drueck

New Member
Sep 4, 2012
I am sure that this has been covered and I have read a little bit. But I am technologically challenged sometimes.

I just bought a new iPhone 3gs. I already have an iPod Touch. The Touch is already synched with my Windows 7 computer on iTunes. I have been reluctant to plug in my iPhone because I don't want to stop using my Touch, but I don't want everything that's on my Touch to transfer to the iPhone.

I have read conflicting instructions about how to do this or if it can even be done. I would appreciate some guidance that is simple for a simple mind...

Thanks in advance

Wayne (n)


Jun 6, 2012
Greetings Wayne!

There is a simple way NOT to sync your iPhone when you plug it into your computer.
Without any idevice plugged into your computer, open the iTunes app on your desktop. Once iTunes is open, click on Edit then Preferences. A "Device Preferences" box will pop up. There are 7 tabs on the top of the box interface, starting with "General". Click on the "Devices" tab. There will be a "Device backups" box. Now look right beneath that box, there will be a "Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically" tick marker. Click on the tick marker and press ok.
Now whenever you plug your idevice into your computer, it shouldn't sync automatically. You can now configure what you want manually on whichever idevice your choose.


Oct 23, 2007
Louisville, KY
You can definitely operate the two as separate devices. When you plug the iPhone in for the first time, iTunes will prompt you that this computer has already been synced to an iOS device and offer you to restore from a backup. Don't do that when it asks, just set it up as a new device. Changes made to your iPhone sync settings don't affect what's on your touch, and vice versa.

Even if you do restore from a backup, they will operate as separate devices from that point forward, so that changes to the iPhone won't also happen to the iPod. If you want to have most things from the iPod to transfer to the iPhone, you could restore from the backup and then just delete what you don't need from the phone.

Things to keep in mind that can affect running two devices separately:

- deleting an app out of your iTunes library will actually remove it from your computer and then both devices will reflect that change when next synced. That is, the Apps library in the sidebar, not the Apps tab in the iPhone/iPod sync screen. To delete an app only from one or the other, delete it on the device itself using the home screen, or use the Apps tab in the sync screen and uncheck the app from the list.

- the "Automatically sync new apps" checkbox in the Apps tab of the sync screen. If checked, iTunes will put all new apps you've downloaded since your last sync onto the device. That means if you download an app on your iPhone, then sync it, then sync your iPod, iTunes will put that app on your iPod as well. If you do not want this to happen, make sure "Automatically sync new apps" is unchecked in the Apps tab of the iPhone/iPod sync screen. They will still transfer from the iPhone and iPod to the computer, but iTunes will not automatically add them to the other device.

- there is an "Automatic Downloads" function on your iPod and iPhone in Settings -> Store (as of iOS 4.3.something - which is only available on 3rd gen touch and newer). This will perform basically the same function as the above. This happens without any syncing. If you download an app for the first time on your iPhone (as opposed to re-downloading an app you already purchased), and this option is on in your iPod settings, your iPod will also download it. So, if you turned off "Automatically sync new apps" above, you might also wish to turn this off.