How to manage iPhone from a Mac

Mac iPhone

As users navigated with iPhone, we know that to manage the phone from a PC we need to install the program iTunes, so you can always have your personal data synchronized, make backups to keep on your PC and even modify some synchronization items. However, if we use an Apple Mac or a MacBook for the first time you will immediately notice the absence of iTunes, which on the latest versions of macOS is no longer installable, with its features that have been fully integrated into the system.

If we have never connected an iPhone to the Mac, we are in the right guide: here we will show you in fact how to manage iPhone from Mac, taking advantage of the iTunes voices integrated into the system and also showing you how to synchronize data using both the USB data cable and the Wi-Fi connection (very useful for immediately connecting the phone to the Mac even in the absence of a cable ).

READ ALSO: Sync Safari Favorites on iPhone, Mac, PC and Android

Replacement of iTunes on Mac for iPhone

Since this guide is dedicated to Mac beginners, in the following chapters we will see together both the connection methods to manage iPhone from Mac and the available options, so that you don’t necessarily have to turn on a PC with Windows and switch to the use of iTunes ( completely replaced on recent Mac versions).

Connect the iPhone via cable or Wi-Fi

To connect the iPhone to the Mac, simply use the Lightning USB cable included in the phone package; the cable must be inserted into one of the USB ports on the side or in the back. Once the iPhone is connected, we unlock the screen and enter the password (or use the FaceID / TouchID) to confirm our identity and, in the window that appears, we confirm the connection with the Mac. Now we can comfortably manage the functions of the iPhone from the Mac by opening the app Finder and clicking on the phone icon (present in the left sidebar).

iPhone connected

The screen is identical to the one we would find on iTunes on Windows, with all the items to manage the functionality of the iPhone (as we will see in the next chapter). If we no longer want to use the USB cable to connect the iPhone, just connect it once via cable then simply open the Finder, press on the name of the connected iPhone and put a check mark on the item Show iPhone if Wi-Fi is on. After the modification we press on the key Apply and disconnect the cable: from now on the iPhone will be manageable without a cable, all we have to do is be connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the Mac in use.

IPhone management features

Now that we have connected the iPhone to the Mac, let’s see what we can manage with the Finder built into the operating system. Opening the Finder immediately after the connection we will end up with the various options to manage the iPhone backup: we can choose whether to save the backup to iCloud (recommended) or whether to save a local backup to the internal memory of the Mac.

Backup management

On the same screen we can also install updates for iOS (if any), choose whether to manually manage music, videos and documents and whether to convert the songs we play inside the iPhone. By opening one of the other tabs on the screen we can manage any type of data or file (music, video, document, film etc.), copying and pasting the files we want to move to the iPhone (or Mac). If we have never done an iPhone backup before, we recommend that you read our guide How to backup iPhone.

How to synchronize files and folders

What if we wanted to synchronize some folders or files without having to connect the iPhone to the Mac every time? In this case we can take advantage of the power of iCloud, the personal cloud provided to all holders of an Apple ID (essential for accessing all the functions of the Mac and iPhone). Before continuing, let’s check that you have iCloud active on both platforms; from iPhone just open the app Settings, press at the top on the name of the Apple account in use, press on the item iCloud and finally turn on the switch next to the item iCloud Drive.

iCloud Drive

Then let’s go to the Mac, press the icon of the bitten apple at the top left, open the menu System Preferences and click on the icon ID Apple, let’s go to the iCloud menu and make sure that the item is checked iCloud Drive.

Drive Mac

We now have a common space where we can synchronize the folders that we always have on both devices. To add files and folders to iCloud Drive from iPhone we open the app File, we press on the menu Browse at the bottom, keep your finger pressed on the folder or file to be copied to the cloud, select the item Move and we choose iCloud Drive as a destination.

Move to Cloud

To do the same operation from Mac we open the app Finder and drag the file or folder onto the menu iCloud Drive on the left side of the screen. To do this first, we advise you to directly create the new folders and new files directly from iCloud Drive, so as to have them immediately available on the iPhone. To use other iCloud-like cloud services, we recommend that you read our guide Best free Cloud to save files online.


When we buy an iPhone it is practically taken for granted that, sooner or later, we will have to deal with a Mac or a MacBook, both for work and for passion for the Apple brand. With this simple guide we will be able to quickly connect our iPhone to the Mac without the need to use iTunes, which has now disappeared from macOS (it’s all integrated into the system). For novice users it is also useful to learn how to synchronize the most important folders and files, so that they can be used on any Mac platform thanks to the space offered by iCloud.

If we have an Android smartphone and want to connect it to a Mac or MacBook to post photos and personal images, we invite you to read our guides How to move photos from Android to Mac e How to connect the smartphone to the Mac. If, on the other hand, we want to duplicate the iPhone screen on the Mac and manage it without even having to press your fingers on the screen, just read our in-depth analysis. How to mirror iPhone screen to Mac.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *