We are often approached by readers with various questions about solving any problems related to mobile devices and software. One of the most popular: “Computer (iTunes) can’t see iPhone, what should I do?”.
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iPhone won’t connect to your computer (Mac or Windows)?
Our technology is gradually abandoning wires, even gadgets have learned to charge without being connected to power sources. True, from time to time you have to connect your devices to computers, this also applies to iPhone owners. There can be many reasons for this: backups, fast transfer of music or videos, or even something else. The cable is a one-stop solution that always helps. But iPhone owners will have to find their own Lightning cable first. The next step is to connect to iTunes or Finder if you’re on a Mac with macOS Catalina or later.
You can find a working way out of such a situation on the Internet, but you have to fight your way through mountains of various information. In this article, we decided to combine all possible solutions and figure out why, after all, “The iPhone is not visible to the computer.”
But there is always the possibility that the process will fail. Your iTunes may not recognize iPhone connections, or you may receive a cryptic error code 0xE. Because of this, the application simply won’t be able to work. Similar problems can occur when using Finder on newer versions of macOS. The problem may seem serious, but sometimes it can be surprisingly easy to fix.
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Check the connection and reboot the devices
Before proceeding with other, more complex methods, it is necessary to check a few of the simplest factors. First, make sure your iOS device is unlocked and you have access to the home screen… If it is not, then unplug the cable from your device and then plug it back in. Make sure one end of the cable is firmly seated in the iPhone and the other in the computer.
The next easy step is to restart your iPhone. This is common advice, but it works well for a number of problems. To do this, go to Settings → The main → Turn offto turn off the device. Then press and hold the side button to turn on the smartphone.
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Computer does not recognize iPhone or iPad in recovery mode
If you cannot put your iPhone or iPad into recovery mode, for example, in order to reset a forgotten passcode, then check your steps for this instruction (for iPhone, for iPad). This is because the process for entering recovery mode differs depending on the iPhone or iPad model.
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Check your Lightning cable / try another
Another common problem that can cause your iPhone to not appear in iTunes or Finder is a bad cable. Look at both ends first. If they seem frayed or wrinkled to you, then this is a bad symptom. But the cable can be damaged even without any visible external signs. One of the internal teeth may be bent, or the contact may have disappeared due to moisture on the connector.
And even if your cable is in perfect physical shape, it can still be problematic if it is not MFi certified. This standard means that Apple has approved the use of this cable with its equipment. If you have spare Lightning cables in stock, try using a different accessory. Perhaps it will solve your problem. And if you need another cable, then buy it or borrow it from friends for a while.
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Inspect the ports on your computer and iPhone (iPad)
But the cable is not the only part of the physical connection that can prevent iTunes from discovering the iPhone (iPad). Dust and debris can enter the Lightning port, resulting in poor contact and connection problems.
If dirty, clean the Lightning port on your mobile device. For such purposes, the SIM eject tool that comes with most phones is perfect. Another simple tool at hand is a toothpick. But be careful not to damage the port itself.
The USB port on the computer can also be a source of problems. If your iPhone won’t connect to iTunes and you’re using a USB hub, try connecting your smartphone to your computer directly. If, even with this connection, iTunes does not see the smartphone, then try using a different port.
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Update iTunes (for Windows users)
If you get a message that iTunes cannot connect to iPhone, try updating the application itself.
On Windows, there are two different ways to update iTunes. Which option you choose depends on whether you installed the app from the Apple website or through the Microsoft Store.
If you downloaded iTunes from the Apple website, select “reference“, And then click on”Check for Updates“. Then just follow the instructions to update iTunes through the Apple Software Update app.
If you’re using the Microsoft Store version, it should automatically check for updates. However, you can also start a manual check by opening the Microsoft Store app. Click the three-dot menu button in the upper right corner and select “Downloads & Updates“. Then select “Check for updates“. Or find in the sidebar “The library“, And in it you will find the button”Check for updates“.
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Check System Report (for Mac Users)
If you’ve already followed all the suggested steps on your Mac, and your iPhone still won’t connect to Finder, then it’s time to start digging deeper into the matter.
Hold down the ⌥Option (Alt) key and click on the Apple logo in the upper left corner of the screen. Then select the menu “System information“. In the window that appears, select USB from the list on the left.
If you see a mention of your phone in the main window, but the Finder (or iTunes on older versions of macOS) can’t connect to it, then the problem is most likely in the software. Try updating macOS or uninstalling third-party security software such as antivirus apps.
On the other hand, if your iPhone doesn’t show up in the menu section USBit might be a hardware problem. Try connecting your phone to a different computer, or repeat the above tips for checking cables and ports.
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Reinstall Apple Mobile USB Driver (Windows Users)
If you are using Windows and none of the above steps worked for you, you can probably find the culprit. The Apple Mobile Device USB driver can cause problems, so reinstalling it might fix the situation. It often happens when your computer does not react at all to the iPhone connection, does not give feedback and iTunes.
Regardless of which way you downloaded iTunes, start by disconnecting your iPhone from your computer if you haven’t already. Then unlock your phone and make sure you are in front of the home screen.
Now reconnect your iPhone. If one of the versions of iTunes opens, close it.
If you downloaded iTunes from the Apple site
Open the window Conductor… At the top of the window, enter the following into the address bar and press Enter:
% ProgramFiles% Common Files Apple Mobile Device Support Drivers
In the panel that opens, right-click on the usbaapl64.inf or usbaapl.inf file (there will be only one of them) and select “Install“.
Although you may see other files with similar names in this folder, you should only install the file with the .inf extension. If you do not see in “Explorer” file extensions, go to the tab “View” at the top and check the box on “File name extensions”…
After finishing the driver installation, disconnect your iPhone and restart your computer. Now reconnect your smartphone to your computer and launch iTunes.
If you downloaded iTunes from the Microsoft Store
Reinstalling the Apple Mobile USB Driver is easier if you’ve installed iTunes through the Microsoft Store. Right click the button “Start” and choose “Device Manager”…
Scroll down until you find the section “Portable devices”… Expand this section and find your iPhone. Then right-click on its icon and select “Update Driver”…
In the pop-up window, select “Automatic driver search”…
After the installer completes, try opening iTunes. Hopefully the app now recognizes your iPhone. If you still have problems with iTunes not recognizing iPhone connections, you can try completely uninstalling and reinstalling the app.
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Pay attention to the trust in the device
Having connected an iPhone or iPad to a new computer for the first time (or after reinstalling the OS on an old one), the user receives a request Trust this computer? and must answer yes to access settings and content on a mobile device.
ITunes Notification (Windows)
Finder Notification (macOS)
If you reject the request, then a synchronization problem may arise in the future, and in order to solve it, you will need to use the instructions below.
If you accidentally pressed the button earlier “Do not trust”, then this can be fixed. On your iPhone, open Settings → The main → Carry over or reset iPhone → Reset → Reset geotuning.
Now, the next time you connect your phone to your computer, you will see the trust question again. This time, don’t forget to click “Trust“.
After these steps, the iPhone should be detected in iTunes (Windows):
Or on macOS:
If suddenly this method does not help, try manually deleting the contents of the Lockdown directory. To do this, you need to enable the display of hidden folders and files (Start → Control Panel → Folders settings),
and then go to address C: ProgramData Apple Lockdown (for Windows 7, 8, 10) or C: Documents and Settings All Users Application Data Apple Lockdown (Windows XP).
If removing the certificates from the Windows PC did not solve the problem, you will have to use a more complex method:
one… Right-click on the shortcut “Computer”, choose “Properties” and find “Device Manager”;
2… In chapter “USB controllers “ right-click the context menu of the item “Apple Mobile Device USB Driver “ and click “Update drivers … “;
3… Then we sequentially choose “Search for drivers on this computer “ → “Select from the list of already installed drivers “ → “Install from disk … “…
4… In the window that appears, click “Overview” and go to the directory C: Program Files Common Files Apple Mobile Device Support Drivers, where we are interested in a file with the name “usbaapl “which you want to install.
iTunes Still Won’t Recognize Your iPhone?
In the vast majority of cases, one of the tips we’ve provided will help solve your problem. However, your iPhone may not show up in iTunes or Finder for many reasons. When you run out of solutions to your problem, it might be time to contact Apple Support.