Sync & Apply buttons grayed out in iTunes – Over Capacity

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A common problem that people are having with iOS 5 is that iTunes will not sync because it shows the iPad, iPhone or iPod touch as being “Over Capacity”. This causes the Sync and Apply button to be grayed out, making it impossible to sync new content to iTunes on your Mac or PC.

iTunes Sync Greyed Out

iPad Over Capacity

The cause of the problem is most likely due to a corrupt file in the iOS software. The device is not actually over capacity, but since iTunes indicates that it is, you cannot sync or apply changes in iTunes.

Unfortunately, restoring your iOS device in iTunes may be your only remedy. Restoring is time-consuming because it requires you to download the new iOS software, then sync all of your content back to the device after the new software is installed. Of course, you will want to restore the device from a backup if you have to restore it.

Here are some things you can try to resolve the problem before performing a restore in iTunes.

  • Reboot your computer.
  • Reboot your iOS device by holding the sleep/wake button and home button until you see the Apple logo (ignore Slide to Power Off.)
  • Reinstall iTunes.

Restoring will update your iPad or iPhone to the latest iOS firmware. This can be a huge problem for anyone with a jailbroken iPad 2 or iPhone 4S because the jailbreak will be lost and there is not currently a way to jailbreak iOS 5.1

  • Luis

    I just reset my iphone pressing off and home buttons until the white apple came up, after the iphone came back on, the issue was solved. This also worked for the yellow “other data” bar that lied about my iphone being over capacity.

    Hope it works.

  • mark

    I have the same problem on two iphone’s that sync to my computer (PC). I have tried all of the about and it did not work so I restored one of the phones as a test and lost lots of data but itunes no longer thinks it’s full. The other phone has purchases form itunes directly. If I restore will the phone loose these?

  • Beth

    I\’m not sure this is the exact problem. Although the ipad is plugged in to the computer, the device does not appear in the left column of the itunes page on the computer.
    I also do not get a message about overcapacity just the greing out.

  • Beth

    It seems the computer isn\’t recognizing the ipad. What can I do about that. I\’m hesitant to try restoring anything — nervous about losing data that already is there.

  • Cristian

    reboot by holding the sleep/wake button and home button worked.