We get countless requests from people worried they can’t sync their iPhone because it is not recognized by the PC. Over the years, we grew pretty good at helping folks get their iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices detected on Windows computers including Windows 8, 7, Vista, Windows XP and soon, Windows 10.
We summarized all the solutions that have been known to work in the article below. Get your iPhone ready and let’s begin.
Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to fly over what appears to be an insurmountable hurdle. Experienced pilots know how important following a strict checklist is in case of 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
- 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 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
- The iPhone is still not detected? Continue on with the instructions below.
iPhone drivers and Windows PCs
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 If your iPhone is still not detected, chances are that the drivers are not installed, outdated, or are misconfigured.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
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. The CopyTrans Drivers Installer installs the necessary drivers automatically. Here’s how to do so.
Install, update or repair the iOS drivers via iTunes
- I don’t have iTunes installed
- I already have iTunes installed
- My iTunes is installed and up to date but my iPhone is still not recognized
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.
To get the iOS drivers with iTunes, download it from the following page 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
My iTunes is installed and up to date but my iPhone is still not recognized
Even if iTunes is installed and up to date, there may still be trouble with the iOS drivers on the PC. In this case, we recommend the following.
- Fully uninstall iTunes and all its components by following this tutorial
NOTE: uninstalling iTunes won’t delete the contents of your iTunes library
- Restart the PC
- Reinstall iTunes
- Check whether the iPhone is now correctly detected.
I still have a problem
Sometimes, despite all your efforts, the pesky problem persists. This section is for those of you who…