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iphone iTunes sync – recover your Library Persistent ID

Usefull for example, if you…
– have formated your pc without backup of your iTunes folder
– want to sync your iphone to an second pc
– don´t have jailbreak on your iphone

Follow this easy steps and you will have your Libarary ID again, and that even if you dont have jailbreak on your phone!

1. Connect your iPhone to your PC with USB and start iTunes

2. Your phone should not appear in your iTunes. Rightclick your device and select “Backup” (yes this will work without deleting your phone contents)

3. After the backup is done, navigate in your explorer/finder to:
Windows:   %appdata%\apple computer\mobilesync\backup\<unique string>\
OS X:           $HOME/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/<unique string>/
-> Windows: simply copy+paste the above path into the explorer
-> OS X:       $HOME is your Homedirectory. Then click through the folders
–> Both:      “unique string” is random string that itunes creates. there should only be one directory. If there are more, simply use that one with the latest date string

4. In the folder you will find an Info.plist, that contains the necessary data. But not in an easy readable format. Because of this you can use this tool, to decode it.

That was already all you have to do. If you dont know what to do with the id, I will write another howto later. But for this you can already find many resources via google.

One limit has this thing: The Option for encrypting your iTunes Backup must be turned off!

If it does NOT work:
– Get somehow in contact with me (email, contactform, comments)
– Send me (or upload it somehwere) the Info.plist file. I will of course delete it, after I found the failure

If it works:
– Please leave a short comment that it did 😉

About kTitan

Comments (115) Trackbacks (7)
  1. Do you have to have a mac computer to do this?

  2. You ANGEL!! Thank you a universe!! The store I got my iPhone from had installed some apps and games on it but I needed to manage it myself! It was so annoying if I had to take it there for any small change. Thank you! Now it’s getting my music, THANK YOU!

  3. For anyone who has iPhone 5 and doesn’t have the old library ID, you can find the info.plist file created with iTunes backup in:
    My computer/Username(Your computer name, for example Awesome Girl)/AppData(You should’ve enabled viewing hidden files and folders before)/Roaming/Apple Computer/MobileSync/Backup

  4. If it’s related to the windows version, in Win7 you can find info.plist in:
    My computer/Username(Your computer name, for example Awesome Girl)/AppData(You should’ve enabled viewing hidden files and folders before)/Roaming/Apple Computer/MobileSync/Backup

  5. My I-Phone goes through the update but Finder returns no results for the file.

  6. Any ideas on how to find the ID with iTunes 11? Synced the iPhone but can’t find the ID in my Library/App Support/Mobile Sync folder..

    Thanks very much

    • I just had a look with my iTunes 11 Installation. I still have the file located in that place.
      Perhaps you only backup to iCloud? If yes force an local backup, and have a look again.

  7. When you try to replace the old Library Persistent ID with the new one, it restore back to the old ID. To fix that (if anyone has a problem), do this:
    [Before doing anything, backup iTunes Library Extras, iTunes Library Genius, iTunes Library, and iTunes Music Library.]
    -Open iTunes Music Library.xml with notepad and replace the Library Persistent ID.
    -Save it.
    -Open iTunes Library.itl with notepad. Don’t do anything.
    -Save it. That will corrupt it, which will force iTunes to rebuild the iTunes Library.itl with the Library Persistent ID that is stored in the iTunes Music Library.xml.

  8. So I’ve done exactly what you said but I can’t find a MobileSync folder at all. This is super annoying. I haven’t been able to do anything with my iPhone for almost a year now because of the erase situation and it’s starting to get to the point that I might as well erase it and start over. Is there a way for me to find where the backup went? Cause it wasn’t where you said (and it’s not on icloud cause I forced it to backup on my computer)

    • What operating system do you use?

    • In the new mac OS they’ve hidden the library system files. They are still there but you have to go through the “hidden” library file. in finder click on “go” from the top menu and click “go to folder” then type “~/Library” this will bring up your actual library folder which should contain your system files as well as the mobile back up folder…. very annoying I know.

  9. OK i found the info.plist file, but what to do now? There are strings from apps (i have over 329), deleted apps (even more), device name, buld version, and so on. I cant imagine, that these strings have anything to do with the persistent ID string.

    Which is the latest date sting? There is no date. At the beginning or the end of the file? THX

    I tried to copy a string with Vitaly´s method, but it always comes the erase and sync message in Itunes and another string is created in both libary files.

  10. Awesome work man! I just verified that this worked w Mac OSX 10.8.4, iTunes 11.0.4 (4), iPhone 4S (iOS 6.1.3)

    Had to use this method because I did not have access to my old iTunes library

    Here’s how I did it:
    1. Connected iPhone to my new Mac
    2. Opened iTunes automatically
    3. Disabled auto-sync in iTunes for the device
    4. Disabled backup encryption
    5. Performed manual backup of iPhone and QUIT ITunes.. not close, but QUIT
    6. Navigated to “~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup” as instructed
    **Note to others: In order to get to the location listed as my Step6, you will need to:
    6a: Open Finder Window
    6b: select Go
    6c: select Go To Folder
    6d: copy paste “~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup” without the quotes and go
    7. Go into the folder w the most recent date stamp (you probably only have 1 folder listed if this is a brand new computer)
    8. Locate the info.plist file and copy it
    9. Paste a copy to your Desktop
    10. Use this VERY USEFUL SITE to browse to your desktop for the info.plist file and upload it
    11. Once submitted, you will be presented w a Library Persistent ID. I’d recommend documenting this for future use
    12. Use finder to navigate to YourUsername/Music/iTunes
    13. Make a copy of both “iTunes Music Library.XML” and “iTunes Library.itl” to your desktop.. these files will serve as a backup incase you don’t have the same success that I did (three times so far)
    14. Go back to your finder window that has YourUsername/Music/iTunes opened up
    15. Right-click “iTunes Music Library.xml” go to “Open With”
    16. Open with TextEdit
    17. Locate the line with your Library Persistent ID
    18. Replaced the unique ID with the one generated from this site
    19. File > Save > File > Close
    20. Right click “Itunes Library.itl”
    21. Open With “Other”
    22. Locate TextEdit and select Open
    23. Erase ALL TEXT in this file (we are corrupting it so that iTunes will create a new one)
    24. File > Save > File > Close
    25. Open iTunes
    26. You’ll likely receive an error that Itunes Library.itl is corrupted and has been renamed as Damaged
    27. Try to add a playlist or music to your iPhone to verify that it worked

    Thx again to kTitan – much appreciated

  11. wonderful, honey

  12. so i have windows 8 and i am able to locate the file in my folder but when i cannot find “appdata” when trying to upload the file to your persistent id decoder. i have hidden folders shown.

  13. wholly cow! I was pulling my hair out when I lost my old iTunes due to having to reset my PC and I followed your process and viola! It worked!!! thanks a ton!!! this was an AWESOME thing – you should sell this to people!!! thanks again!!!

  14. Wow, I looked to find how this is actually stored in the Info.plist file. There’s an XML file base64-encoded in the last segment (iTunesPrefs.plist). Decoding that (e.g. using base64 -D), there’s a section near the end (iPodPrefs that’s just a binary chunk.

    Decode THAT through base64 and hexdump it. The last 4 bytes on the 1st line and 1st 4 bytes on the 2nd line (i.e. the 13th through 20th byte) is the Persistent Library ID value, in reverse byte order.

    Now to see if I can change the value and see if restoring from that backup makes it change the ID in the device (rather than change the ID in the library).

  15. Many thanks.. Worked first time…

    Kevin, perfect instructions thanks

  16. To sync an iPhone and an iPad to the same MacBook-Pro I was able to retrieve the LPID from my iPhone and configure iTunes on the MBP to match (after corrupting the iTunes Library.itl file….. however I need a way to update or edit the LPID on the iPad to match the other devices.

    Any thoughts on editing the iPad LPID to match the MBP ?

  17. I have windows 7 and an iPhone 5 and I have looked everywhere for a way to not have to sync my phone because I have a lot of music that I have downloaded that isn’t even available in iTunes and my laptop needed a new hard drive so I essentially got a new laptop for all intensive purposes. I have searched all around my laptop and I’m not sure where in supposed to be looking or searching for the Info.plist with this thing: %appdata%\apple computer\mobilesync\backup\\. If someone could help me out I would be really grateful.

  18. i got the ID. Thanks man!

  19. Your tool to read the info plist file worked for me. Thank you!!

  20. Thank you, thank you, thank you. As much as I hate Apple’s solution with ID I am that much grateful for your solution 🙂

  21. Worked like a charm… Many thanks !!!

  22. Great followed all Instructions, and it also recovered all my music off my old laptop which was lo longer accesible, as my old pc broke! many thanks to the publisher of this Post!! A+++++

  23. can confirm that this worked with my iphone 6, ios8.1.1 / itunes!
    just remember to close itunes when you are editing the files.
    thank you!

  24. Don’t know if this is still active… I’ve used this before for other devices, but it’s not working right now.

    I get this error

    An Error has occoured: No Library Persistent ID found in file (wrong file?)

  25. Thank you so much, kTitan. It worked!

  26. this form has a max file size of 1mb; if you upload any bigger file (in my case 4MB), you get an error ‘file is empty’.
    solution is to make the file smaller. Simply open the file in textedit, and remove all (or most) app info. It starts in line 7, after Applications .

  27. seems to be broken in iTunes 12.3

    • An older version of the info.plist file worked with this tool just fine, but attempting to upload the latest file from iTunes 12.3 (pc version) results in the following being returned by the tool: “An Error has occoured: File is empty” instead of returning the Library Persistent ID. Did apple change something?

  28. sorry, I see it’s an old thread, but when I try to use it, it tells me the info file is empty when uploading

  29. It Just Says info.plist Nothing There

  30. Hi! Thank you very much for this tool!

    Unfortunately I couldn’t get my Persistent ID. After I upload the info. file I get the following error message:

    application/octet-streamAn Error has occoured: Invalid file submitted

    I tried it on Safari, Chrome and Firefox. I am using a Macbook Pro “13 with the latest OSX and iTunes version and my iPhone is also updated to the latest iOS.

    Can anybody help?

    Thank you very much!

  31. So, what do we have to do after getting the persistent ID? I don’t have iTunes Music Library.xml file at all, I am running iTunes 12.3. Found the iTunes Library.itl, but that appears to be of no help.

  32. Worked fine for me with iTunes 12.3.

  33. Hi, iPhone 6 16gb on Windows 10 using iTunes 12.3.2. does not create a back up that has info.plist in the backup folder i rebacked up 3 times and still no info file?

  34. Hi. Thanks for this. It finally helped me to turn change the itunes id on the computer and turn off autosync completely.

  35. backup taken with imazing of an ios 9.1 still works thank you!

  36. Not working
    using iTunes and OS X 10.11.5
    I get the number from the iPhone 5S with OS X 9.3.3 and change the number in the .xlm file, corrupt the .itl file by erasing the content and get a message when i restart iTunes. a new .xlm file and .itl file is created at that point and iTunes wants to erase my phone content

  37. Thanks a lot. Now off to sync my Son’s iPod.

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