How to Fix my iPhone Not Recognized by Computer

If your computer will not recognize your iPhone, you cannot perform any tasks from apps like iTunes or Finder on your iOS device. There are reasons why your machine is failing to detect your device and this guide offers methods to fix that. Read on to learn the available methods.

Joy Taylor Last Updated: Aug. 28, 2020

There are many occasions when you would want to connect your iPhone to your computer. Whether you want to make a full backup with iTunes, or you simply want to copy certain files from your device to your machine, you will need to connect your device to your computer over a USB connection. This connection works just fine most of the time. However, occasionally, you might find that your PC will not detect your iPhone.

There are a variety of reasons why your computer is unable to recognize your phone. It may be that there is an issue with the USB connection. It may also be that you do not have the proper drivers installed on your computer. Luckily, you have multiple ways to fix it when your iPhone will not connect to your computer.

The following guide describes some of the most simplest and advanced ways. At the end of the guide, you should be able to interact with your iPhone from your computer.

Part 1. Basic Tips to Get Computer to Recognize iPhone

If your computer is not recognizing your iPhone because of some basic issues, the following tips will help you fix the problem on your devices. Once the issue is fixed, your iPhone will show up on your computer and you will be able to work with it from there.

Tip 1. Restart Computer and iPhone

The simplest way to fix it when your computer will not recognize your iPhone is to reboot both your computer and iPhone. Sometimes, minor glitches cause issues with your devices and you can fix these by turning off your machines and then turning them back on.

Rebooting your devices will not harm them in any way. Before you do that, though, make sure you have saved any unsaved work. If you reboot your iPhone or computer without saving your work, you will lose the work.

The following is how you go about rebooting your iPhone and computer.

Reboot an iPhone

For iPhone 8 or earlier: press and hold down the Power (Side/Top) button to turn off your device. Then, press and hold down the Power (Side/Top) button again to turn on your device.

Restart iPhone 8 or Earlier Models

Restart iPhone 8 or Earlier Models

For iPhone X and older: Press and hold Side button and Volume Up/Down button to turn off, then press and hold Side button to turn on.

Restart iPhone X or Later Models

Restart iPhone X or Later Models

Reboot a Computer

If you have a Windows PC, click on the Start Menu, select the power icon, and choose Restart.

Reboot a Windows PC

Reboot a Windows PC

If you have a Mac computer, click on the Apple logo at the top-left corner and choose Restart.

Reboot a Mac

Reboot a Mac

Connect your iPhone to your computer when your devices reboot.

Tip 2. Check if your USB Cable Works

A valid reason why your computer is failing to detect your device is that the USB connection is not working. It may be that the USB cable that you use to connect your iPhone to your computer is damaged. If this is the case, you will need to get a new cable and use it to make the connection.

Also, some aftermarket USB cables are known to cause issues like the one you are facing. Therefore, you should avoid getting those cables and always insist on getting the Apple certified cables for your devices.

Once you have replaced the cable, use the new cable to establish a connection and your computer will be able to detect your phone.

Tip 3. Always Trust your Computer

If you have ever connected your iPhone to your computer, you probably know that you need to trust your computer before you can exchange any files. You need to verify on your iPhone that you trust the connected machine and you do not have any objections with transferring files to and from this computer.

Your iPhone asks you to trust your computer when you connect it to the computer for the first time. If you are not sure what options you have set and whether your machine is trusted, you can re-trust your machine as follows.

Step 1. On your iPhone, launch the Settings app and tap on General.

Step 2. Select Reset on the following screen and tap Reset Location & Privacy. This will reset the settings for your trusted computers.

Reset iPhone’s Location and Privacy Settings

Reset iPhone’s Location and Privacy Settings

Step 3. Connect your iPhone to your computer and you will get a prompt on your iPhone. Tap on Trust in the prompt and your computer will recognize your device.

Part 2. Advanced Methods to Fix iPhone Won’t Connect to Computer

If the basic tips did not fix the issue for you, you might want to look into some advanced ways to get rid of the issue. There are several methods for you to resolve the connection problem and get your computer to recognize your iPhone.

The following are those methods.

Method 1. Update iTunes to Help Computer Detecting

If you have been using a really old version of iTunes on your computer, that may be why your computer is failing to detect your iOS device. Older versions of any app including iTunes can cause many issues on your devices. Therefore, you should always keep your apps up to date no matter the device.

One of the ways to fix the connection issues with your iPhone and computer is to update the iTunes app on your computer. This process should only take a few minutes and it can fix it when your computer will not detect your iPhone issue. The following is how you do that.

Step 1. Open the Start Menu, search for Apple Software Update, and click on it. This will open the utility that helps you update apps like iTunes on your computer.

Step 2. Wait for the tool to check for available iTunes updates.

Step 3. If an update is available, select that in the list and then click on Install at the bottom.

Download iTunes Update on Windows

Download iTunes Update on Windows

The iTunes update will be installed on your computer.

Method 2. Update Windows/Mac Operating System

In addition to keeping iTunes up to date on your computers, you need to update the version of your operating system as well. Whether you are a Windows or Mac user, it is important to keep your system up to date. This can help fix the issue where your iPhone is not recognized by your computer.

Downloading and installing updates for both Windows and Mac machines are pretty easy. All you need to do is head into certain menus on your machines to get and install updates. The following shows how to do that.

Updating a Windows PC

Step 1. Open the Settings app from the Start Menu and click on Update & Security.

Step 2. Click on Check for updates on the right-hand side panel to check and install updates.

Update Windows Computer

Update Windows Computer

You might need to reboot your computer to apply the downloaded updates.

Updating a Mac

Step 1. Click on the Apple logo at the top-left corner and choose About This Mac.

Step 2. Select the Software Update button to find and install macOS updates.

Update Mac

Update Mac

Your Mac should now be up to date.

Method 3. Use AnyFix to Detect iPhone System Problems

One of the many reasons why your computer cannot recognize your iPhone is that there is an issue with your iPhone’s software. If there have been any changes to the core files of your device, that can cause many issues on your phone.

One way to fix the system issues on your iPhone is to use a repair tool. While there are many other tools in the market, you are suggested to use AnyFix – iOS system recovery tool as it fixes almost all types of issues on your iOS-based devices. It is basically an all-in-one solution to all your iPhone problems. It provides you three repair modes to fix 130+ iOS/iPadOS/tvOS problems. Besides, it allows you to solve 200+ iTunes errors. The following shows how you can use it to fix your iPhone and make it recognizable by your computer.

Step 1. Download and launch AnyFix on your computer. Plug-in your iPhone to your computer and click on System Repair in the app.

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Click on System Repair

Click on System Repair

Step 3. Hit Start Now when you are ready to start repairing your iPhone.

Choose iPhone Problems and Start Now

Choose iPhone Problems and Start Now

Step 4. Choose one of the repair modes on your screen and that mode will be used to fix your phone.

Choose Standard Repair

Choose Standard Repair

Step 5. Follow the on-screen instructions, wait for some time, and your iPhone will be fixed.

Your computer should now recognize your device without a single issue.

Method 4. Update Apple Driver

Your Windows computer uses driver software to recognize and work with your Apple devices. If you do not have the right drivers installed for your iPhone, that is why your computer is failing to detect your device. You can fix that by updating your iPhone’s drivers on your machine.

The following shows how to do this.

Step 1. Launch the Device Manager from the Start Menu on your PC.

Step 2. Find your iPhone under Portable Devices, right-click on it, and choose Update driver.

Update the iPhone Drivers

Update the iPhone Drivers

Step 3. Select Search automatically for updated driver software to find and install the required drivers.

Search and Install the iPhone Drivers

Search and Install the iPhone Drivers

When the drivers are installed, your PC will recognize your iPhone.

Conclusion

If your computer will not recognize your iPhone despite connecting it the right way, there are issues with the elements that you are not aware of. The above guide tells you what those elements are and how you can fix them on your devices. Your iPhone should connect with your computer then.

Joy Taylor

Member of iMobie team as well as an Apple fan, love to help more users solve various types of iOS & Android related issues.