Windows 10 doesn t recognize iPhone

Connect iPhone to PC

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This article will walk you through the steps of troubleshooting and solving the problem when you try to coonect iPhone to PC and your computer doesn’t recognize it. We get countless requests from people worried they can’t sync their iPhone because it is not recognized by PC and, therefore, iPhone won’t connect to iTunes.

In this article, we will cover the most popular issues:
tethering iPhone to PC
PC not recognizing iPhone
iTunes doesn’t recognize iPhone on PC

Over the years, we grew pretty good at helping folks get their iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices detected on Windows PCs, including Windows 7, 8, 10, and 11. Get your iPhone ready, and let’s begin!

How to tether iPhone to PC

Basic troubleshooting steps

If you are having trouble getting your iPhone to sync with a Windows computer, it is likely because the phone is not being detected. Also, iTunes won’t recognize iPhone in this case. Luckily, we have compiled a list of steps that should fix this problem and get your computer and device syncing in no time!

Experienced pilots know how important following a strict checklist is in case of an emergency. We advise you to do the same and before you continue, make sure you checked every item in the list below.

  • Disconnect iPhone and restart the PC.
  • Restart the iPhone.
  • Ensure that Windows is up to date. iTunes is waiting for Windows update to install the driver for this iPhone
  • Close all running programs on the PC.
  • Temporarily disable security software (antivirus and firewall). These could be preventing PC access to your iPhone.
  • Check the USB cable and confirm that it is not damaged.
  • Use an original Apple cable. Non-genuine cables are cheaper but don’t last long, plus they might damage your battery.
  • Try using another USB cable.
  • Check whether both the USB slot on the PC and the iPhone USB connector are free from damage and dirt.
  • If Auto-Lock is on, unlock the iPhone with your Passcode.
  • Make sure the iPhone is showing the Home Screen.
  • Reconnect the iPhone to the PC via the USB cable.
  • Do not use external USB hubs but connect the iPhone to one of the slots located directly on the computer.
  • If you have a desktop PC, connect the iPhone to a slot located on the back of the motherboard.
  • If prompted by the iPhone, trust the computer.
  • Give the PC some minutes to recognize the device upon connecting.
  • Unlock your iPhone and leave it unlocked before connecting it to your computer (life-hack from one of our users).
  • Open My Computer and ensure you see the device as an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and not as an imaging device or as a folder. How to connect iPhone to Windows PC
  • Is the iPhone still not detected? Continue on with the instructions below.

iTunes is waiting for Windows update to install the driver for this iPhone

Windows computers require iOS drivers to correctly recognize iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. If your iPhone is still not detected, chances are that the drivers are not installed, outdated, or misconfigured. The drivers come installed with iTunes but if you don’t intend to use or install iTunes on your PC, there are alternative methods to get the iOS drivers.

Install the iOS drivers without iTunes

copy trans drivers installer logo

Many people find iTunes bulky to install and complicated to use. This is why we developed a free tool to get the iOS drivers without iTunes and to have the iPhone recognized in minutes.

CopyTrans Drivers Installer installs the necessary drivers automatically. Here’s how to install iPhone drivers without iTunes.

  1. Download our free utility CopyTrans Drivers Installer that will automatically install the drivers for you.

    Download iOS drivers for FREE!
    *100% clean and safe

  2. Extract the program from the ZIP.

  3. Run CopyTrans Drivers Installer. Read and accept the License agreement. ctdi license agreement apple drivers

  4. Uninstall iTunes and any other Apple software for CopyTrans Drivers Installer to download the drivers correctly.
    NOTE: your iTunes library won’t be affected. ctdi uninstall itunes drivers
    TIP: if you just want to uninstall iTunes, click “Back” or close the window. ctdi install itunes from computer

  5. Start the installation by clicking “Install”. ctdi install drivers to recognise apple device

  6. CopyTrans Drivers Installer requires an Internet connection to download the drivers. Make sure you let the program through your firewall. If your Internet connection uses a proxy, you can configure proxy settings in CopyTrans Drivers Installer manually.

    TIP: If you want to control the installation process, click “You can click here to select the drivers manually” instead.

  7. The installation of the drivers is complete. You can now use the CopyTrans products. ctdi installation is complete

Link iPhone to Windows 10

Watch the 3-minute video tutorial

iTunes doesn’t recognize iPhone on PC

Use alternative tools

If you don’t like your experience with iTunes, there is always an alternative. Check out CopyTrans programs: they can do as much as iTunes, and even more.

CopyTrans Photo interface

Transfer iPhone photos to the PC and back

Transfer photos, videos, live photos, bursts, portraits, time-lapse videos, panoramas, and more from your iPhone to the computer through simple drag and drop. Back up your entire iPhone photo library in just one click! Just press Full Backup and wait until all the photos and videos are transferred to your computer or external hard drive.

Download and try for free!

Manage iPhone contacts, messages, notes, and calendars on your PC

Transfer contacts, messages, notes, and calendars from your iPhone to the PC in different formats. Manage contacts and calendars in one place from the comfort of your desktop. Transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone as well as Gmail, iCloud, Excel, Thunderbird, and Hotmail.

Download and try for free!
CopyTrans Contacts interface
CopyTrans Shelbee interface

Back up your iPhone to the PC without iTunes

Back up and restore your iPhone without iTunes. You can restore all your data or only the information you need without overwriting the iPhone’s contents.

Download and try for free!

Install, update, or repair iOS drivers via iTunes

Select what applies best to you:

I don’t have iTunes installed

If you don’t have iTunes installed on the PC, the computer will detect the iPhone but incorrectly – as a camera device. The problem is that when you connect the iPhone, you can access only the Camera Roll. You can neither view nor sync or backup iPhone music, videos, messages, or any other iPhone content. device is ready to use windows prompt

To get the iOS drivers with iTunes, download iTunes and install it.

If you experience troubles installing iTunes, continue to the following section: I have a problem installing iTunes.

I already have iTunes installed

The version of iTunes you have could be outdated. In this case, it may not support your iPhone. Update iTunes by navigating to Help > Check for Updates iTunes doesn't recognize iPhone on PC

iTunes is installed and up-to-date, but iPhone won’t show up on PC

There may still be trouble with the iOS drivers on the PC even if iTunes is installed and up-to-date. In this case, we recommend the following.

  1. Fully uninstall iTunes and all its components by following this tutorial.
  2. NOTE: the uninstallation of iTunes won’t delete the contents of your iTunes library.

  3. Restart the PC.
  4. Reinstall iTunes.
  5. Check whether the iPhone is now correctly detected.

If you don’t know what to do if your iPhone is disabled connect to iTunes please follow the steps in our guide to fix the problem.

Connecting iPhone to Windows 10

I still have a problem

Sometimes, despite all your efforts, the pesky problem persists. This section is for those of you who…

I installed iTunes, but the iPhone is still not recognized

First, check whether the Apple Mobile Device Service is running:

  1. Make sure you are logged in as an administrator on the PC and temporarily disable your antivirus software.
  2. Click on the Windows Start button and type services.msc in the search box. start menu with services.msc in the search box
  3. Hit the Enter key on your keyboard.
  4. In the newly-opened Services window, find Apple Mobile Device Service, right-click and choose Properties. windows services window focused on apple mobile device service
  5. From the Properties window, confirm that the service is started and that its startup type is set to Automatic. amd service properties window
  6. Click Apply if needed.
  7. Restart iTunes.

Second, check whether the Apple Mobile Device USB Driver is installed and active.

  1. Make sure you are logged in as an administrator on the PC.
  2. Connect the iPhone and be sure iTunes is closed.
  3. Click on the Windows Start button and type device manager in the search box.
  4. When you see the Device Manager entry selected in the Start menu, press the Enter key device manager selected in start menu
  5. In the newly opened Device Manager window, scroll down to the Universal Serial Bus controllers category and open it. Make sure you see the Apple Mobile Device USB Driver listed. device manager window with apple mobile device USB driver selected

    If you don’t see the Apple Mobile Device USB Driver, the iOS drivers are not installed. Install the iOS drivers.

If you see a ! next to the Apple Mobile Device USB Driver entry, right-click on the entry and choose Enable. right-click menu to enable AMD USB device

If you see a ? next to the Apple Mobile Device USB Driver, right-click on it and choose Uninstall.

  • From the newly-opened window, click OK and hang-on until the device is uninstalled. windows prompt to uninstall driver
  • Next, right-click on Universal Serial Bus controllers and choose Scan for hardware changes. device manager scan for hardware changes

    Windows will now try to automatically install the needed drivers and will attempt to detect the iPhone.

Alternative solution

  1. Open Control Panel and choose View Devices and Printer under Hardware and Sound.Open Control Panel and under Hardware and Sound choose View Devices and Printer
  2. Under Unspecified you will see Apple iPhone. Under Unspecified you will see Apple iPhone
  3. Right-click on Apple iPhone and choose Troubleshoot.

    💡 TIP: Sometimes, there might be no Apple Mobile device but Apple Mobile Device Ethernet and Apple Mobile Device USB Driver. Right-click on Apple Mobile Device USB Driver and choose Troubleshoot. After it’s done, the Apple iPhone will appear. Continue with step 3. Right-click on Apple iPhone and choose Troubleshoot

  4. Restart the PC.

I have a problem installing the iOS drivers

Please follow this troubleshooting tutorial if you are being returned an MSI error while installing the drivers with the CopyTrans Drivers Installer.

I have a problem installing iTunes

To begin with, some folks have trouble installing or re-installing iTunes. There are two major iTunes installation errors:

  • Service Apple Mobile Device Service failed to start. In this case, check whether the Apple Mobile Device Service is running, then retry the installation. apple mobile device amd service failed to start
  • iTunes was not installed correctly. Error 7 (Windows error 127). In this case, you need to 1) fully uninstall iTunes, 2) restart your PC, then, 3) re-install iTunes.

If iTunes installation still fails, try to find and fix corrupt Windows system components by following this tutorial.

These were some basic and more advanced techniques that we know have helped folks get their iPhone recognized by the PC and iTunes.

Computer doesn’t recognize iPod

For the sake of simplicity, all further references to iPod also apply to iPod Classic, Mini, Nano, and iPod Shuffle.

If your iPod is not recognized by PC:

  1. Reboot your computer.
  2. Make sure the iPod is turned on and has enough charge.
  3. Connect your iPod to computer (directly, not through a USB Hub).
  4. Connect the device to computer using another USB port. For desktop PCs with USB connectors on the front and on the back, try with one of the back connectors.
  5. If you have an extra USB cable, try using it.
  6. If all failed, check if iTunes recognizes the iPod. If iTunes doesn’t recognize iPod, please refer to Apple troubleshooting guide.


If your computer has suddenly stopped recognizing iPhone the best way to fix the Windows doesn’t recognize iPhone issue is to install CopyTrans Drivers Installer. Did you fix iTunes not detecting iPhone in a different way? Why not tell us in the comments section below? We’ll be happy to add the solution to the list.

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By krasimir

Krasimir is an avid marketing aficionado and a tech-support specialist in charge of the English-speaking market. He grew up in Bulgaria and on the island of Mauritius where he became passionate about windsurfing and photography.