Nowadays people often use iTunes to sync content from their PC or Mac to iPhone. Cloud services and subscriptions allow us to use content with no need to copy media content using iTunes. But if you are that kind of user who has his own collection of purchased music or videos not from iTunes, you are probably still using this software regularly or even on daily basis. If so, during the sync process you may face a nasty error 54 with the following text: The iPhone cannot be synced. An unknown error occurred (-54). Here is what you need to do in order to fix iTunes error 54.
What Does iTunes Unknown Error 54 Mean?
This error happens when iTunes sync stumbles upon protected file on your computer or something on iOS (security software, for example) prevents files from copying.
How to Solve iTunes Unknown Error 54?
First, try to ignore it. Yes, if you ignore it, maybe it will go away. That is what official Apple support says about this issue. Sync will continue if there is only one protected file. iTunes will simply skip it and continue synchronization.
Sure, this might not help and iTunes unknown error 54 will appear again. Before you start, make sure you have checked the following items:
- You have the latest iTunes version;
- You have the latest iOS version;
- You have the latest macOS and Windows 10 updates installed;
- You have signed in on iTunes and authorized your computer;
- You allowed your iOS device to trust a computer you have connected it to.
Fixing iTunes Error 54 – iTunes Folder Permission
This issue mostly happens on Windows 10 machines because of an incorrect access level to the iTunes Media folder.
- Click Edit > Preferences > Advanced and check iTunes Media Folder Location;
- Open this folder in the File Explorer. Right-click it and select Properties;
- Make sure Read-only attribute is unchecked;
- Press OK and try to sync your iPhone or iPad again.
iTunes Unknown Error 54 – Library Consolidation
Library consolidation merges all your iTunes media, stored in different locations. This might be the reason why error 54 appears. Do the following:
- On iTunes click File > Library > Organize Library;
- Check Consolidate files;
- After this iTunes will copy all your media files to iTunes Media folder, leaving original files on their previous place. Try to sync your iOS device again – error 54 should be gone now.
How to Fix iTunes Error 54 – Security Software
If you have some third-party security software installed on your iPhone, it may cause an error 54 during the synchronization problem. Since we can’t provide the list of such software and advise you how to fix it, we recommend you contact developer in order to learn how to disable it or bypass error 54.
If you are an ordinary user without third-party security software, skip this step.
Fixing Unknown Error 54 – Partial Synchronization
Try syncing a small amount of content. Do not try to sync your library of hundreds of tracks altogether. Sync 10 files or even one by one. This will help you to find the file causing an error 54. If you have found it, try to delete it and download it again. If you purchased it from the iTunes Store, try downloading it directly on your iPhone or other iOS devices.
Apple also says that error 54 might happen if you have PDF files in your Apple Books collection and try to sync purchased books from iOS to a computer. In such case send yourself an email with a copy of PDF file. After that delete it from the device and try to sync books again. Everything should be working fine.