iPhone Keeps Connecting and Disconnecting From Mac, Fix

This article explains how you can troubleshoot when your iPhone (or iPad) repetitively keeps connecting and disconnecting when you plug it into your Mac. This can be frustrating because, for example, if you experience this problem, you may be unable to charge your iOS device when you plug your charging cable into a USB port on your Mac.

Please try each step until your issue is resolved.

See also: iTunes Not Recognizing Your iPhone or iPad? 

iPhone Disconnecting From Mac

1-The first thing you should check is your charging, USB cable for sings of damage. Try using a different cable. Try using a different USB port on your computer. Try unplugging and then replugging.

Also check  the charging port on the bottom of your iPhone or iPad. Remove any debris. You may want to use a can of compressed air.

If you are using a defective, damaged, or non Apple-certified cable, you may see the “Accessory Not Supported” error.

2-Restart your iOS device and restart your Mac.

3-Ensure that you have the latest version of iOS.

4-Force restart your device. Here is how:

Different iPad and iPhone models require different steps to do this:

  • Face ID iPad Models: press and release the volume up button and then press and release the volume down button and then press and hold the Top button until your iPad restarts.
  • iPhone 8 and later models: press and release the volume up button and then volume down button. Then press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo.
  • iPhone 7 models: press and hold the Side and Volume Down buttons together until you see the Apple logo.
  • Home button iPad models and iPhone 6s and earlier models: press and hold the Side and Home buttons together until you see the Apple logo.

5-Disconnect your device from your Mac. And, on your iPhone or iPad, tap:

  • Settings > General > Reset and tap Reset Location & Privacy.

Reset location and privacy

And now connect your device to your Mac with your USB cable.

This will reset your location settings to the factory default. You will need to regrant permission for apps to use your location again.

6-Connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac. And then open the Activity Monitor app (Applications > Utilities), or you can use Spotlight.

When you open the App, enter usbd in the search field. And the force quit the process by clicking the X sign.

Activity Monitor

You can also do the same thing via Terminal. Here is how:

  • Open the Terminal app (Applications > Utilities). And the enter the following command:
  • sudo killall -STOP -c usbd
  • Hit enter

7-Try resetting NVRAM or PRAM on your Mac. Here is how:

  • Unplug your device
  • Turn off your Mac
  • And turn on your Mac and immediately press and hold the Option, Command, P, and R keys together. Keep holding them for about 20 seconds. When you hear a start up sound then you can release the keys.
  • And your Mac will restart.

Please note that, as stated above, if you are having this problem with your iPad, the same tips will still help you fix this problem.

If none of the tips help you, then you may want to contact Apple. Apple offers live chat support. You may also reserve a Genius Bar appointment.

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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105 thoughts on “iPhone Keeps Connecting and Disconnecting From Mac, Fix”

  1. The activity monitor tricked worked! I couldn’t believe I had to go this far to get my iPhone 6, my 2014 MacBook air and my new iPhone xr all to finally cooperate with each other after all the other methods failed. Thank you thank you!

    Reply
  2. I have not been able to fix this issue for months, but the terminal solution worked like a charm! It took me a second to figure out but once I did I was extremely thankful. Basically, when terminal asks you to type your password it will not show when you type, but it will say “incorrect password” if you press enter. You just have to carefully type your password even though you will see no changes on the screen as you type, and once you type your password simply press “enter” and you are finished!

    Reply
  3. THE TERMINAL COMMAND WORKED FOR ME!!! I had to put in my password first but THIS WORKED!! THANK YOU! This has been driving me nuts for years!

    Reply
  4. I’m using Catalina 10.15.7 and iOS 13.5.1 on an iPhone XS. I tried everything to make the phone show up in my MacBook Pro’s Finder and finally the terminal command above did the trick! Thanks so much.

    Reply
  5. This terminal command worked for me. Thanks a lot. I was thinking to go to the Apple service center. You saved a lot of bucks… Thanks man..!!

    Reply
  6. Hi, I tried the terminal command but it said “command not found”, what should I do? My usb keep rejecting… Thank you

    Reply
    • Hey try again, didn’t work for me first time either but you need to pay attention to the punctuation, its like this:

      sudo killall -STOP -c usbd

      Reply
  7. The terminal command worked for me too! This is great thank you for sharing!! This has been an issue on my 2014 Retina for so long. Was isolated to the left-side USB port only, but always happened regardless of the device or cable. I kept thinking it was the USB port. Also used a small brush and compressed air to give a mild cleaning and then did the steps in terminal. Actually works now!

    Reply
  8. THANK YOU!!!! I wish Apple was aware of this fix. I just spent 20 minutes with them to have them say I need to bring my laptop in for repair.

    Reply
  9. Both Activity monitor -> X usbd and sudo killall -STOP -c usbd worked for me. Had this problem for about a year and now problem FIXED thanks to you!!!

    Reply
  10. Thanks 😊

    Activity monitor: kill usbd worked for me. 👍

    .. but in my case the problem comes back after a while and I had to kill usbd process again!

    Reply
  11. It’s worked for me, but after restart the Mac, comes back again.
    Not for charge, but in TV app folder cannot appear the iPhone, or just for seconds 🙁

    Reply
  12. USBD really worked! I have been searching the solutions for 1.5 years. Thank you so much! I don’t mind repeating the same action as long as my iphone can be connected to the laptop.

    Reply
  13. USBD worked for me (but after I force restart my phone, resetting location and privacy setting, and resetting PRAM on my Mac). Thanks, however, does this mean I have to force quit USBD when I’m plugging my phone again?

    Reply
  14. Thank you so much!!! After months of searching your activity monitor trick worked. God bless you 😭😭😭

    Reply
  15. “Removing debris” worked for me! had this problem for years! I just had to blow in my MacBook’s USB port and voila!

    Reply
  16. I had this issue for over a year. Today I stumbled across a page that said to do a SMC reset and now it is all fixed!! Shutdown the Mac and connect the power cable. Hold down Shift+Control+Option+Power all at the same time for a few seconds. The light on the power adapter will blink or change colour once you remove your fingers (all at the same time). When it does this you’ll know ths SMC reset is complete. Turn your MacBook on by hitting the power button like normal. It should be fixed now 🙂

    Reply
  17. I finally found a solution to this! I tried the above but usbd kept being an issue. Solution: connect through an old USB 2.0 Hub. “usbd” apparently is responsible for negotiating the higher charging rate for iPhones, but gets glitchy (with cables that work, but not considered reliable enough for fast charge…?) The hub can’t request higher charging power. iPhone connection is 100% solid going through the USB 2.0 hub that CAN’T request higher power!

    Reply
  18. Hi,

    I thought it might be dust in the charging port on the iPhone but the kill process in the activity monitor worked for me – i searched USB and killed anything to do with it, Reconnected my phone and straight away it popped up with ‘Do you trust this device?’. I had also reset locations and privacy settings on the phone too, which may have helped.

    J

    Reply
  19. I have been experiencing this forever and gave up trying to use my laptop to charge my iPhone. This fix worked first time! Thank you!

    Reply
  20. O. M. G. !
    The “sudo killall -STOP -c usbd” commend works (solution #6). I am so thankful for finding a solution here! It’s been bothering me for years (since I had my MacBook), I thought it’s some sort of defect of my MacBook! THANK YOU SO MUCH for the solutions!

    Reply
  21. Trying step 6 now, but nothing shows up when I search for usbd in Activity Monitor. Is the word universal? My Macbook is in norwegian.

    Reply
  22. The #6 fix “worked” but now my iPhone is not seen by iTunes. Basically the MAC is only charging my phone but I cannot sync it via iTunes. Not much good but it did stop the connecting/disconnecting issue. Once I restarted the MAC, the problem came back. IS there a permanent fix where as I can also sync up to iTunes?? Thanks

    Reply
    • Same for me Glen. I can get my phone to charge now, but I can’t sync iTunes or photos, etc.
      Any additional suggestions would be appreciated!

      Reply
  23. Point # 6 with Terminal App worked and released the headache. Had contacted the Apple Support beforehand but they couldn’t help it out.

    Reply
  24. THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!! first before i did the number 6 trick itunes said to factory reset my phone. thank you thank you thank you

    Reply
  25. I was struggling with this since 4 months. I was assuming there was some thing wrong with my iPad. but fortunately i got this sudo killall -STOP -c usbd . it worked like a charm for me

    Reply
  26. 6-Connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac. And then open the Activity Monitor app (Applications > Utilities), or you can use Spotlight.

    When you open the App, enter usbd in the search field. And the force quit the process by clicking the X sign.

    this is solved my problem

    Reply

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