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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101 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!

  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!

  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!

  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.


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