7 Ways to Troubleshoot If ITunes Is Not Recognizing Your iPhone

  • If iTunes is not recognizing or connecting to your iPhone, there are some simple fixes you can try to get connected.
  • Make sure iTunes is up to date, your phone is unlocked, and you’re allowed the iPhone to trust your computer.
  • You should also restart the computer and iPhone and make sure the USB cable is not damaged.

Many people have stopped using the desktop version of iTunes entirely, instead relying on wireless syncing, which is often much more convenient. If you still connect your iPhone to your computer with a USB cable, though, you might sometimes run into a problem in which iTunes doesn’t recognize your iPhone. There are a number of probable causes, so here’s a look at seven ways you can fix your computer-to-phone connection when iTunes is not recognizing your iPhone.

Make sure iTunes has the latest updates

Are you using the latest version of iTunes? If it’s out of date, there could be a software incompatibility or bug preventing your iPhone from connecting properly. Apple notifies you that there’s a new version of iTunes automatically when you start the app, so if you see an update notification, don’t cancel it — install the update.

Make sure your iPhone is unlocked

Sometimes it’s the really simple things that can fix a perplexing glitch. If you’re having trouble with iTunes recognizing your iPhone, close iTunes and then unlock your iPhone and be sure it’s on the Home screen (not an app screen). Restart iTunes and see if that solves the problem.

iTunes for Windows with an arrow pointing to an iPhone in the menu bar of the library.

When properly connected, you should see your iPhone appear under the menu bar.

Dave Johnson/Insider


Let your iPhone trust this computer

When you connect your iPhone to your computer, you might see a message on your iPhone asking if you can trust this computer. If you do, don’t ignore or dismiss this window — tap Trust. iTunes won’t be able to connect to your iPhone unless you confirm the phone can trust this PC.

Trust This Computer?  message on iPhone.

If your iPhone asks if you can trust the PC, tap Trust.

Dave Johnson/Insider


Restart your iPhone and computer

It’s likely that the reason iTunes won’t recognize your phone is that there’s some sort of temporary software glitch. That’s especially true if you can usually connect, but it’s not working right now. To eliminate most software issues, restart both your iPhone and computer.

Remove the cable connecting your iPhone and computer. Then restart your computer in the usual way: Click Startfollowed by the Power icon and then Restart. After that, restart your iPhone. Start iTunes and reconnect your iPhone.

Replace your USB cable

USB cables wear out, fry, and break internally. Even if the business ends look like they’re in working order, the wiring under the sheath could be compromised, especially if it has sharp bends. Try the cable on another device or just replace it with another cable and try again.

Try a different USB port on your computer

Likewise, the USB port that the iPhone is plugged into could be unreliable or completely broken. Move the cable to another USB port, if possible, and see if that solves your problem.

Clean your iPhone’s port

While you can often try a different port on your computer, you don’t have that luxury on your iPhone — there’s only one port. That’s OK; If there’s a problem, it’s almost always that it has gotten so dirty that the Lightning cable can’t reliably make contact with the inside of the port. If iTunes still isn’t recognizing your iPhone, you might suspect a problem with debris in your port. Carefully clean the iPhone’s port and try again.

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