iTunes Not Recognizing Your iPhone or iPad? Fix

You connect your iOS device to your computer (Mac or Windows) with your USB cable and iTunes does not detect your iOS device? This article explains what you can do to troubleshoot when iTunes does not see your iOS device, iPad or iPhone.

When your device is connected to your computer, you can do various things via iTunes. For instance, you can sync your content, back up your device or you can update your device. Once connected, you can access your device by clicking on your device’s icon in iTunes (see image below):

iTunes iOS device viewIf nothing happens when you connect your device, this means that your device is not detected. And here is what you can do:

The first thing you should do is to check if your iOS device is charging once it is connected. If your iPad or iPhone is charging, your device will show a lighting bolt next to the battery icon. (see this article if your iPad is saying “not charging“). If your device is not charging, that highly means that that your USB cable is damaged. Try a different USB cable to see if that fixes your problem. Or debris, dirt may cause this. In fact I had this problem, and it went away when I cleaned the charging port. You may want to clean any debris or dirt from the charging port too.  One last thing possibly happening is that your USB port on your computer is not working properly. Try using a different USB port.

If you see the “This accessory is not supported by this device” error message, read this article.

See also: iTunes Error 9006

What to do when your device isn’t recognized

If your device is charging when it is connected, then read on:

  • Restart your iOS device and your computer.
  • Ensure that your iPhone or iPad has the latest version of the iOS software. You may check this by going to Settings > General > Update
  • Ensure that your computer has the latest version if iTunes
    • On Mac, go to System Preferences > Software Update
    • On PC, open iTunes > then go to Help > Check for Updates. You can also update via the Microsoft Store by going to Microsoft Store > … [more] > Downloads and Updates.
  • Make sure that your iOS device is on. If not, turned it on.
  • If you see the “Trust this Computer” alert popup, tap “Trust”.
  • Make sure that you unlock your iOS device
  • Try these in this order:
    1. Disconnect your device from your computer
    2. Unlock your device
    3. Go to Home screen on your device
    4. Reconnect your device
  • Close and reopen iTunes
  • On your iOS device, go to Settings > General and scroll down and tap Reset > Reset Location & Privacy and follow the instructions. This action will reset your location settings.

If you are still having issues, try the following tips:

Mac

  1. Connect your device to your computer
  2. Then press and hold the Option key and (while holding down) click Apple Menu and System Information. This will launch a system information window. From the left menu, select USB (under the Hardware section).
  3. Under USB Device Tree, you should see your device (see the image below). USB device treeIf you see your device, it is highly likely that third party security software prevent iTunes from recognizing your iOS device. You can resolve this:
    • Try updating your security software
    •  If possible, try temporarily disabling your security software to make sure if that causing the problem.
    • Contact your security software developers.

Windows PC

If iTunes is crashing, see this article. Try reinstalling the Apple Mobile Device USB driver. Read this document to do this.

If you are still having this issue, you can contact Apple support. You can make a Genius Bar reservation, if you prefer.

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.

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1 thought on “iTunes Not Recognizing Your iPhone or iPad? Fix”

  1. I had an iphone 7 mobile that two month later my mobil had problem and show no antenna, in IRAN we have not apple support team, a technician fixxed mu iphone and now my mobile antenna is fix,but now I can not use of my old apple ID, please help me

    Reply

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