How to prevent iPhone apps from syncing to iPad

When you use iTunes to sync to iPhone and then to iPad, all new iPhone only apps will automatically sync to iPad as well. Very often you’d desire iTunes to sync only iPad apps to iPad only. Currently there is no way to just check a preference option to do so. In order to sync only iPad apps to iPad, you need to manually deselect the apps before you press the sync button.

The first step is to disable automatic sync when you insert iPhone or iPad into USB port. Select iTunes->Preferences (or Command+,) from the menu. Select the “Devices” tab, and check the box for “Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically”.


Connect your iPad to the USB port of your computer. On iTunes left column listing, select the iPad under “DEVICES”. And on the iTunes main screen, select “Apps” from the menu.


Ensure “Sync Apps” is checked, and select “Sort by Kind” from the drop down list. This will sort apps into three categories:

  1. iPhone, iPod touch and iPad Apps
  2. iPhone and iPod touch Apps
  3. iPad Apps

Categories 1 and 3 are apps that are build for iPad and takes advantage of the bigger screen of iPad. Category 2 are apps that are build for iPhone only. Scroll through the list of apps under category 2 and deselect the checkbox.

You can now press the “Apply” or “Sync” button below the screen to start iTunes sync to your iPad.