Transferring and syncing files across your computer and iPhone is easy as long as the computer detects your phone. But, when it no longer does that, you may find yourself in a sticky situation.
However, it’s not the end of the world because you can still fix it. The underlying causes may be wide-ranging but we have put together a list of solutions that are bound to help you.
Potential Causes of Computer Not Detecting iPhone
This problem can originate from different causes. We have listed some of the common ones with their solutions in the later sections of this article.
- Defects in USB cable and ports
- Not trusting your computer
- Internal glitches in iPhone
- Old iOS version
- Outdated computer system
- Incompatible iTunes app
- Non-functioning Apple mobile device support
- Apple mobile device service not running
- Overdue updates of device drivers
How to Fix Computer Not Detecting iPhone?
Your computer may not be detecting the iPhone in case you have an impaired or detached USB cable. So, check the state of the cable. Also, your iPhone has to be unlocked while connecting it to your computer.
Then, give a quick glance over to the USB ports because damaged USB ports are not helpful either. If necessary, clean the USB ports because the built-up dirt and debris can interfere with the connection.
More importantly, when pairing the computer and iPhone, your iPhone prompts you to opt for Trust or Don’t Trust the computer. Selecting Trust can help your computer to detect the iPhone.
Fixes to Apply on Your iPhone
If the problem lies within iPhone and its settings, you can change them for the better. To get your computer to detect iPhone, here are some of the fixes you can try on your iPhone.
Restart Your iPhone
Sometimes, internal glitches of the iPhone can hinder your computer to detect the phone. Restarting the phone can get minor issues like sluggishness, application errors, etc. out of your way. Likewise, it prevents the apps and background cache from dragging down your phone’s performance.
- Tap and hold the side or volume button on the iPhone.
- Slide the power-off slider to turn off the phone.
- Wait for 30 seconds or so.
- At last, tap and hold the side button to turn the phone again.
Update the iOS Version
You have to keep track of your iPhone’s updates. Or else, the obsolete iOS version can also impede the connection between your computer and iPhone.
So, update your iPhone occasionally to steer clear of issues like such.
- Launch Settings.
- Tap General.
- Then, tap Software Update.
- Now, select Download and install.
Fixes to Apply on Your Computer
If the solutions meant for your iPhone didn’t help, move on with your computer. You can begin by updating your computer and get on with other listed solutions.
Update Your Computer OS
From taking care of the bugs to improving overall performance, updates are great for your computer. So, a simple update can aid the communication between your computer and iPhone. And, ultimately help your computer detect your iPhone.
- In the Apple menu, click System Preferences.
- Select Software Update.
- Then, select Update Now
- Hit Windows + I keys to launch settings.
- Select Update & Security.
- In the right pane, choose Windows update.
- In the right pane, select Check for updates.
- After that, Windows will download and install if an update’s due. All you need to do afterward is restart your computer.
Get the Latest Updates on iTunes
Apple suggests you update iTunes on your computer if it’s having trouble detecting your iPhone. You can update iTunes, only up to 12.8, on Mac and Windows in the following manner.
- Go to Apple Mac Store.
- Click the Updates tab.
- Then, click the Update next to iTunes.
- Launch iTunes.
- Select the Help tab for Windows.
- Next, select Check for updates.
- A pop-up will appear if an update is due.
- Now, download and install the latest updates on iTunes.
Check if Apple Mobile Device Support App is Installed
Apple Mobile Device Support aids the communication between computer and iOS devices. In case you don’t have it on your computer, it could be the reason why it’s not detecting your iPhone.
However, if you can’t tell if your computer has Apple Mobile Device Support, here’s how.
- Press Windows + R keys.
- In the Run command window, enter
appwiz.cpland select OK.
- If you spot Apple Mobile Device Support in the programs and features then, rest easy. If not, reinstalling iTunes could be a workaround for it.
Ensure Apple Mobile Device Support Services Are Running
Apple Mobile Device Service is responsible to help your computer to detect and sync to iPhone. Sometimes, this service can come to a halt. So, check if this service is running. Here’s how to do that on Windows.
- Start the Run command window with Windows + R keys.
services.msc. Then, click OK.
- Search and open Apple Mobile Device Service.
- See if the Startup type is set to Automatic. Likewise, make sure the Service status is set to Running.
You may question how reinstalling iTunes could help your computer detect the iPhone. But, it just so happens that, the iTunes version on your computer and the iPhone can often be incompatible. This can also disturb the connection and stop your computer from detecting your iPhone.
Reinstalling iTunes is a known cure for this. Likewise, if you couldn’t find the Apple Mobile Device Support in the Control Panel earlier, this step could also enable it on your computer. However, back up your iTunes library before getting on with the reinstallation process.
- In the Finder, select Applications.
- Select the Utilities folder.
- Next, double-click on the Terminal application to open it.
- Then, type
cd /Applications/and hit Enter to reach the Applications directory.
sudo rm -rf iTunes.app/and press Enter to uninstall iTunes completely.
- If prompted to enter the admin password, type in your password and confirm.
To install iTunes back, go to App Store and follow these steps:
- Select your macOS version and download iTunes.
- Open the installer drive entitled
- Run the installation package.
- Hit Continue.
- Keep on clicking Continue until the License Agreement displays. Accept it and move ahead.
- For destination volume, choose your Mac OS startup drive.
- At last, click Install and hit Close.
- Press Windows + R keys to launch the Run window.
- Type in control and click Ok to navigate to Control Panel.
- Scroll down and choose Programs and Features.
- Find iTunes in the list and right-click on it.
- Then, select Uninstall.
- For deeper clean-up, uninstall the programs related to iTunes (e.g., Bonjour, Apple Software Update, etc.) in the same manner.
To install iTunes on your Windows, follow these steps:
- Go to Microsoft Store.
- Click the Get in Store app.
- Select Open Microsoft Store in the pop-up window.
- Now, select Install.
- Once the installer package downloads, run it.
- To continue the installation, hit Next.
- In the Installation Options window, tweak the options to your liking.
- Select Install and later click on Finish.
- Accept the license agreement by selecting Agree. And, you’re done.
Update Apple Mobile Device USB Driver
Outdated USB drivers can also come in the way when pairing your computer and iPhone. In this situation, especially, give your attention to updating the Apple Mobile Device USB driver.
The steps to update the driver are given below. This step is only applicable on Windows.
- Hit Windows + R keys to open the Run window.
- Enter control and click OK.
- In the Control Panel, select Device Manager.
- Locate and expand Universal Serial Bus controllers.
- Find and select Apple Mobile Device USB Composite Device.
- Right-click on it and select Update Driver.