iOS 13 for iPhone SE

Yes. One should do the security updates for the OS they are using.

My iMac can’t go past High Sierra and I’m using iTunes as it was the last to allow iOS app management. So what about USB sync (I’ve never used WiFi Sync)? If I install iOS 13 will I still be able to sync and manage my iDevice with iTunes and MacOS High Sierra via USB?

Yes, but iOS 13 also continues to prompt periodically, so users don’t set and forget. If you’re completely on top of controlling your location manually, you can do so equally as well in previous versions of iOS as well. But most people have no idea, and even for those who do, it’s hard to remember to keep checking. I last wrote about this in

I haven’t seen any issues with USB sync and iOS 13. The “issue” ultimately appears the same for USB as for wifi. It’s not that sync won’t work, it’s that it can’t be initiated/canceled or monitored from iOS anymore. The entire menu for that in Settings > General has disappeared with iOS 13. Initially I thought that was some kind of bug until more and more people reported it gone and we realized that Apple had simply removed it on purpose without of course bothering to point it out (and none of the reviews I’ve seen noticed it either).

You have to monitor and/or manually start/stop syncing on the Mac side if you choose to do that. On the phone side nothing’s left apart from that rotating circle arrow thingy in the status bar. For USB that’s probably not an issue because you’re most likely within a few feet of your Mac anyway (Lightning-USB cable length). But for wifi sync where your phone and your Mac might be much farther apart this can be a real bummer.

Now in Apple phantasy land there’s no issue really because you can just set up wifi sync to work automatically and that’s the end of it. Fire and forget so to say. But at least in my experience that’s not the way things really work. I wouldn’t say that’s on iOS 13. It’s just as likely iTunes or Mojave, or any combination of those three. Bottom line, auto wifi syncing doesn’t always work reliably. Sometimes it needs to be “reminded” to initiate. Sometimes iTunes needs to be restarted (both issues appear to occur more frequently with iOS 13 though). And all of that becomes much more of a pain when you no longer have the ability to monitor on your iPhone what it’s doing in terms of sync after you plug it in, let alone being able to stop/start a wifi sync on your iPhone. When things appear to misbehave, I now need to wander across the house, go to my Mac, check iTunes there and restart iTunes and/or sync, only to then possibly, hopefully go back to bed and see that now my iPhone is actually properly syncing over wifi. With iOS 12 that could all be done form my iPhone.

But again, if you’re syncing over a USB cable that’s not likely to really be a bother.

Thanks. I agree removing the ability to start/stop sync from iOS was a really stupid move on Apple’s part. Sounds like Apple is trying to force iDevice users to only use iClod. Apple needs to clean their upper management and get back to pre-Cook days.

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I really hope it’s not just Apple pushing users towards iCloud. For one, having several independent backup strategies is always a good thing. But also, iCloud syncing is syncing. It’s not a versioned backup. iTunes backups are by default not versioned backups either, but they can be made to be. It’s good to have both options at our disposal. Using the existence of one as an argument to discard the other would be silly.

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iMazing does a wonderful job of providing versioned backups and keeping all backups local. I do all my file management and backup via iMazing not iTunes. If it weren’t for iMazing, I wouldn’t have tried an iPhone again (okay and a nod of the hat to @ace and his eternal, if often unwarranted, optimism about Apple). iMazing is life changing and liberating software.

I currently sync an iPod Touch running iOS 13 to a Mac running 10.12 (Sierra) using a USB cable and the latest iTunes Apple provides for Sierra. It all seems to work as expected.

just chiming in to say I’m syncing two iOS 13 devices via USB to a Mac running High Sierra, haven’t had issues.

Thank you for the replies, David & Seth, I may try iOS 13 on my old iPad Mini 4.

…with the caveat that not all devices are eligible for iOS 13. My partner has an iPhone 6s plus, and it can only go to iOS 12.

(edit: probably an iPhone 6plus)

Your partner must have an iPhone 6+, because the 6s+ (as well as the SE) can install and run iOS 13. In my observation the 6s runs 13 just fine.

That’s why I won’t be using my backup iPhone 6! The iPad Mini 4 can go to 13.

Could be. I know it is large! (she also has an iPad mini that won’t go past iOS 12)

Note that iMazing relies on Apple’s command line tools for working with iThings data. If Apple removes those, it’s not clear if iMazing can do anywhere near as much as it does now, if it can work at all.

I don’t expect that Apple will kill local sync in a hurry, because they do pay at least some attention to enterprise/government/education customers who cannot legally or sensibly back up to most clouds even with end to end encryption. Sadly, actual security is kind of a small part of HIPAA and FERPA. The CYA legal agreements are more important, and AFAIK Apple doesn’t do that, at least for higher ed.

So far, I’ve had no trouble backing up / syncing iOS 13.3 iPhone 8 and iPad mini 5 to iTunes 12.6.5 (with the ios app store) and iMazing on El Capitan. YMMV, newer devices may need newer versions of MacOS and iTunes (or Finder in Catalina).


Feb 9, 2020
I did it yesterday-all went fine.
Thought the added security was beneficial-
Thanks Adam.

So now all my messages are green and not blue. And almost all my contacts have iPhones and are not using android devices. I also cannot get the green messages on my computer any longer. Anybody got any ideas about this?

Sounds like iMessage is not active. Check its settings.

A few messages I sent to my SO were green this week as well. His were returned to me as iMessages. And Maps have been miserable for me, I wonder if there is something going on in the Apple network.


Whenever I get unexpected issues with anything to do with Apple or iCloud I check the System Status at It is kind of small but the link is right at the bottom of the iCloud window. No need to log in to iCloud to check the overall status of services.

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