iTunes Can't Recognize My iPhone - Troubleshooting

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Julia NashIcon
Julia Nash Aug 23, 2019

Connecting iTunes and iPhones enables one to share files between your iPhone and your computer.

Most people use iTunes to connect their iPhones to their Mac or PCs.

However, sometimes iTunes might fail to recognize your iPhone thus making it difficult for you to transfer files.

Don't worry though; I have decided to give you a list of the causes of such problems, and there are possible solutions.

Let us get down to making your iPhone to connect with iTunes so that you can transfer those files with ease.

Table of Contents

Fix Problems if your iPhone won’t connect to iTunes yourself

Why my iPhone won't connect to iTunes

There exist different reasons as to why your iPhone will not connect to iTunes. Some of these problems and their solutions are:

1) You are using an outdated version of iTunes.

In case your phone is using the current iOS versions, it might have problems connecting to with an outdated iTunes. Make sure that you are using the latest version of iTunes. If not, update iTunes and try connecting your iPhone again.

2) Your computer is using a non-compatible OS.

For Mac computers, the compatible OS is OSX 10.5.8 or later. For windows, the compatible versions are Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP with service pack 2 or later versions.

In case you are using an OS, which is incompatible, I would advise you to install WALTR 2 in your PC computer.

I have explained how to use WALTR 2 below, under this article.

3) You are using a faulty cable.

It is important that you cross check whether your cable is faulty. A cable can be charging you phone while connected to your computer, but still it cannot transfer files.

4) The USB port is not working.

The connected USB port might not be working. Change the USB cable to another port and see if iTunes will recognize your iPhone.

5) Data Sync Restrictions in your iPhone

Your iPhone settings could be set on data sync restrictions. Data sync restrictions also prevents iTunes from sending message to the device.

To disable these restrictions follow the following easy steps:

1. On your iPhone, go to Settings

2. Select General

3. Tap on Restrictions > Disable Restrictions

6) Privacy settings on your iPhone

Your privacy settings may prohibit your iPhone from showing up in your iTunes. The most common cause for this is in case you have ever pressed “Don’t Trust this Device”.

If you press the “Don’t Trust this Device” prompt, then your iPhone will fail to connect to your computer, more so, the message pop-up will not re-appear.

Luckily, you can fix this problem in the following easy steps.

1. On your iPhone, go to Settings

2. Tap on General, which is located near the bottom of the menu.

3. Select, Reset Location and Privacy.

4. Plug in the Device, and the “Trust This Computer” prompt shall pop-up.

NB: Resetting Location and Privacy might interfere with some other few settings, and prompts such as those by Apps that require using your location might start reappearing.

In case you have checked the above and still the problem is not gone yet, it is time you got a bit tech savvy.

I will give some hypothetical scenarios and possible solutions for these scenarios.

Scenario 1 - iTunes won’t recognize my iPhone

To start with, you can five easy tricks if your iPhone is not showing up on iTunes. The tricks are

1. Quit and relaunch iTunes while your iPhone is still connected via USB cable

2. Disconnect the USB cable and then reconnect it again. Most preferably to a different USB port

3. Restart or Reboot your computer

4. Force restart or Reboot your iPhone. Read below to learn how to Force Restart your iPhone

If still these solutions do not work, you can uninstall and reinstall your iTunes in the following easy steps:

1. Search for all Apple-related applications and software in your computer and uninstall all of them.

2. Reinstall iTunes and check whether iTunes recognises your iPhone

Scenario 2 - iPhone won’t connect to iTunes and I am using windows 10

Such a problem is probably due to outdated drivers, or a mismatch between your version of iOS and the version supported by your computer’s drivers.

To solve this issue, do the following 10 steps.

1. On a Control Panel, go to Hardware and Sound > Devices and Printers > Unspecified, search for Apple Mobile Device USB Driver.

2. Right Click and then choose 'Properties'. On the dialog box that appears, select the Hardware tab, and at the bottom on the right hand bottom select 'Properties'.

3. A driver tab menu will appear. Since the update driver button will be unselect-able, at the bottom left corner, select and click 'Change Settings'.

4. Click the 'Driver Tab' menu near the top, the 'Update Driver' button will now be clickable. Before clicking the 'Update Driver' button, select the 'Disable Driver' button.

5. Select 'Remove Driver'

6. Close Windows and reopen after a few minutes. Now you can now select 'Update Driver'

7. Select 'Browse My Computer For Driver' Software. If no software is found, select 'Browse the Internet For Driver Software' and let it download. Re-install the driver by clicking 'Next'.

Force restarting your iPhone

How to force-restart your iPhone

This is the good ol’ trick if any device fails. It has been proven time and again that force restarting a device, can help solve some issues.

You can force restart your iPhone in case it has frozen while trying to connect it with your computer, or simply when your iPhone won’t connect to iTunes.

How do You force Restart an iPhone?

To force restart your iPhone follow the following easy steps.

1. Hold the Home button and the Power Button at the same time. Hold both buttons until an Apple Logo Appears

2. After the Apple Logo appears, release the buttons and patiently wait as your iPhone completes the start sequence

3. On the start-up screen use your passcode. Do not use your Fingerprint.

For those who use iPhone 7 and later, do the following steps to force restart your iPhone:

1. Hold the lock/power key and the volume down key at the same time. Hold until the Apple Logo Appears

2. After the Apple Logo appears, Release the buttons and patiently wait as your iPhone completes the start sequence

3. On the start-up screen use your passcode. Do not use your Fingerprint.

Connect iPhone to Windows 10 without iTunes

Now let’s face it, all the procedures and the cross-checks listed above are a bit too complicated, and time consuming. What if I give you another solution that will not require all that bulls**t?

Yes, you can connect iPhone to windows 10 without iTunes!

Maybe even none of the solutions that I have given above has helped you. Yes, it happens. These devices sometimes want to have their way.

How do You Connect your iPhone to Windows without iTunes?

If your iPhone won’t connect to iTunes, even after following the above solutions, or you simply want a simpler way out.

Use WALTR 2!

WALTR 2 is the best and simplest way to connect iPhone to PC for the purpose of transferring music, videos, books, pdfs or ringtones into iPhone.

How does WALTR 2 Work?

To use WALTR 2 you will first have to download it. You can download WALTR 2 by clicking the button below:

Requirements: macOS 10.9 and higher
Latest Version: 2.6.25, 13 December 2019
Requirements: Windows 8 and higher
Latest Version: 2.7.19, 14 November 2019
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Download Waltr

After downloading WALTR 2 follow the following easy steps.

Step 1. Launch WALTR 2

WALTR 2 will quickly connect your iPhone to a computer

Insert your email address. The email address should be valid since it will help you to activate your free trial with WALTR 2.

Launch WALTR and use a USB cable to connect your iPhone (Make sure the cable is working and can transmit data). Click on the settings wheel on the WALTR home interface, it is located on the right low corner. Then click Enable Wi-Fi Connectivity.

Connect your iPhone to WALTR via a USB cord

Voila! You can now add files in future without the need to use Handbrake.

Step 2. Drag and drop the desired file into the App

One can also add files by selecting them manually by clicking the small Plus button.

Drag & Drop a file into WALTR and wait for a few moments

That's all. What are you waiting for? Download WALTR 2 and enjoy file transfer in under 5 seconds!


Given the BS that is involved in using iTunes to connect iPhones, I would choose WALTR 2 as my file transfer App of choice any day any time.

Many things can make your iPhone not to show up on iTunes, or rather prevent iTunes from recognizing your phone.

Likewise, the solutions to these problems are many, depending on the iOS version, or your PC version.

Never mind though, there is one solution that works for all problems and it's WALTR 2!

The surest and easiest way to get rid of any of these problems is to stop using iTunes all together and use WALTR 2. WALTR does not work on windows 10 only but other versions too.

Julia Nash
Julia Nash

Apple junkie at Softorino

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Drag and Drop Any Media to iPhone



With WALTR 2, you can wirelessly drag-and-drop any Music, Ringtones, Videos, PDF & ePUB files into iPhone, iPad or iPod without iTunes (Even files that aren’t supported by iTunes, such as FLAC and MKV).


Fully supports: MAC OS macOS & Windows Windows