What Does Sync Mean on My Phone? Should It Be ON or OFF?

Gone are those days when you would need to physically connect your device with a computer before you could back up your data. Unlike then, when you will need Bluetooth or a USB cable, you can now back up your data within minutes using the Auto-sync feature.

This article will help you answer the question, “what does sync mean on my phone”. We will also let you know if it is more advisable to leave the sync feature ON or OFF.

What Does Sync Mean on My Phone? – Android and iPhones

Sync is short for synchronization. When you sync your data and phone media, you upload your files to your cloud storage account.

So as long as you can access your account on any device, you will be able to access your data and media.

For Androids

If you are using an Android device, you will be synchronizing your information on your device to your Google account. This information may include things like your contacts, documents, and media files.

To help you understand better, let’s consider Gmail. If you turn ON the sync feature on your Android, every email that goes into your Gmail account will go into it in real-time, i.e. it will appear simultaneously across any device you have your Gmail account logged in to.

Gmail will also sync the device’s contacts, drive and media information. Basically, your device will upload all the information to Google’s server, so anytime you log in to that account on a new device, all that information will appear on your new device.

For iPhones

In the case of iPhones, there is a slight difference. Syncing on an iPhone still means the same thing, but the process is a bit different because you can sync on an iPhone using either iTunes or iCloud.

When you use iTunes, you can sync your files from your computer to your iPhone. You will also be able to back up your iPhone files to your computer.

If you sync your iPhone using iCloud, you will be able to sync important information across your mobile devices. For example, if you purchase a song on iTunes with your iPhone, you will be able to listen to it on your computer.

You could also create a document on your computer, and you will be able to access it on your iPhone.

Should Sync Be ON or OFF on Android?

Generally, it is advisable to leave the sync feature ON because it is a sure way of keeping your data secure and accessible at all times. When you leave the sync feature ON, your account will be able to update your information in the same way across your devices.

This makes it easy to upload, edit, and share files from any of your devices.

Though we advise you to leave the sync feature ON, you can consider turning it OFF if you don’t have much use for it. If you don’t feel the need to constantly back up your data on the cloud so you can access it anytime and anywhere, then you may turn it OFF.

What Does Sync Mean in Gmail?

Syncing your Gmail involves the same process as the regular syncing you’ve learned about so far in this article. If you turn ON the sync feature for your Gmail, every email you receive on your Gmail account will appear on your main device and in real-time.

This means that the emails will appear simultaneously across any device you have your Gmail account logged in to.

Gmail will also sync the device’s contacts, drive and media information. Since Google saves all the information to their server, you will be able to access all your information even if you get a new device.

The only thing you will need to do to access the information is to log in to your Gmail on the new device.

Read also: Why Your Samsung Phone keeps Losing Network Connection

How to Enable or Disable Sync ON Your iPhones and Android

Below are various guides on enabling or disabling sync on your iPhones and Androids.

Follow the steps below to enable or disable the sync feature on your Android:

  • STEP 1: Go to your “Settings” menu.
  • STEP 2: Click on the “Accounts” section in the menu.
  • STEP 3: Inside the “Accounts” section, you will see an “Automatically sync data” option with a toggle bar that allows you to turn sync OFF or ON.

Note that this may slightly differ depending on your Android version and device. Nonetheless, the guide above will still be helpful if you use an Android.

Follow the steps below if you want to enable or disable the sync feature on iPhone:

  • STEP 1: Select the “Settings” app from your Home screen.
  • STEP 2: If you have signed in to your Apple ID, tap on your Apple ID profile icon at the top of the settings page.

If you haven’t signed in to your iPhone, select the “Sign in to your iPhone” option beside the profile picture icon. Then, enter your Apple ID and select “Next.”

Enter your Apple ID password, then select “Next” again.

  • STEP 3: Select iCloud from the list of options.
  • STEP 4: Tap the toggle switch next to each item to turn iCloud synchronization ON or OFF.

Mobile Apps That Need Sync Enabled to Function Well

Below is a list of some mobile apps that need you to enable sync so they can function adequately: Google Calendar

  • Google Duo
  • Dropbox
  • Gmail
  • Whatsapp
  • Telegram
  • Twitter
  • Viber
  • Google Contacts app
  • Google Play Store
  • Google Photos
  • iTunes Store
  • App Store
  • Apple Books
  • Slack
  • Facebook
  • Instagram           


Turning ON the sync feature on your phone is very important. If you enable the sync feature, you can secure the information and files you do not want to lose.

So, if you didn’t have an answer to the question, “what does sync mean on my phone,” we hope you do now.


I had a great experience with Inpics Solutions. They repaired my shattered phone screen, and it’s like new again! With over 15 years in the business, they truly know their stuff. Quick, professional, and reliable!

Jamie L., Austin, TX


My laptop had been running slow for weeks and finally crashed. Inpics Solutions, with their extensive experience, had it back to me in no time, running smoother than ever! Their expertise and customer service are top-notch.

Alex M., El Paso, TX


Inpics Solutions has been my go-to for all gadget repairs for the last five years. Their years of experience shine through in the quality and precision of their work. They are always friendly, informative, and quick with their services!

Morgan R., Corpus Christi, TX