How to Fix Computer Not Recognizing iPhone

Wondering why your computer is not recognizing your iPhone?

Unlike the earlier days, Apple and Microsoft devices should have no problems connecting to each other. Apple even provides a dedicated Windows app for iTunes, so iPhone users can manage their devices on any computer. 

However, you might still encounter issues when connecting your iPhone to a Windows PC. 

If you are reading this, we can assume that your computer is not recognizing your iPhone. 

There are several reasons why this happens. Most of the time, it’s caused by faulty USB cables and a lack of permissions. 

On the other hand, it can also be due to outdated software and improper configurations. 

In this guide, we’re going to show you what to do if your computer is not recognizing your iPhone. 

Let’s begin!

1. Restart Your Computer. 

Before changing your configurations, try restarting your computer first if it’s not recognizing your iPhone. This way, you can rule out temporary bugs and errors that may have occurred during use. 

Here’s how you can restart your PC: 

  1. Click on the Windows icon in the lower-left corner of your screen. 
  2. Now, open the Power Options tab. 
  3. Finally, choose Restart
Restart your PC

Once done, reconnect your iPhone to check if the problem is solved. 

2. Restart Your iPhone. 

If restarting your computer did not do the trick, you can try restarting your iPhone. A temporary issue may have caused the connection problem between your devices, and restarting them should solve it.

For iPhone X, 11, 12, or later: 

  1. Hold down the Volume Down button and Side button until the ‘Slide to Power Off’ prompt appears. 
  2. Now, drag the slider to the right and wait for 30 seconds. 
  3. Press the Side button afterward to turn on your device. 
Restart iPhone

For iPhone 6, 7, 8, or SE: 

  1. Locate the Power button on your device. 
  2. Now, hold the button until the ‘Slide to Power Off’ prompt shows up.
  3. Drag the slider to the right and wait for 30 seconds before turning on your device. 
Computer Not Recognizing iPhone

Connect your iPhone to your computer via USB and see if it will be recognized. 

3. Trust the Computer. 

Whenever you connect your iPhone to a new computer, you’ll need to trust it to access files and manage its data. 

If you are connecting to a new computer, follow the steps below: 

  1. First, ensure that the lightning cable is connected to your computer. 
  2. Unlock your iPhone and connect it to your PC via USB.  
  3. Wait for the ‘Trust this Computer’ prompt to appear. 
  4. Tap Trust on your iPhone
Trust Computer

Wait for your device to initialize, and it should show up on iTunes and File Explorer. 

4. Check Your Cable. 

Not all charging cables support data transfer. If your computer is not recognizing your iPhone, it’s possible that you are using a third-party cable that doesn’t have data transfer. 

To avoid problems, make sure that you use the lightning cable that comes with your iPhone. Try connecting your device again and see if it will get detected. 

Related: How to Fix iTunes Error Code 17 on Windows

5. Run iTunes As Admin. 

If your iPhone is not showing up on iTunes, try running the software as an administrator. This should give iTunes the necessary permissions to access devices connected to your computer. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. First, right-click on iTunes on your desktop. 
  2. Choose Properties and go to Compatibility
  3. Look for ‘Run this Program as an Administrator’ and enable it. 
Run as Admin

Save the changes and relaunch iTunes. Connect your iPhone and see if it will be recognized by your computer. 

6. Clean Your iPhone’s Port. 

Dirt and grime accumulate on your iPhone’s charging port as you use it over time. As a result, the connector pins on the port can get blocked, causing your device not to get recognized when you connect it via USB. 

To fix this, try cleaning your iPhone’s charging port. 

  • Give it a nice blow to remove dust and dirt on the surface. 
  • Use a toothpick to clean the pins on your iPhone’s charging port. When doing this, be careful not to apply too much force on the pins.
  • Use a can of air to blow off dirt and dust build-up on your device’s port. 

After cleaning your iPhone’s charging port, try connecting it to your computer and see if the problem is solved. 

7. Update Your iPhone. 

The version of iOS you’re running might have an issue that prevents Windows systems from recognizing your device. To rule this out, install the latest version of iOS on your device to patch bugs and errors. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Go to your home screen and launch Settings
  2. Tap on General > Software Update
  3. Choose Download and Install and follow the prompts. 
Computer Not Recognizing iPhone

Reconnect your iPhone via USB and see if your computer can recognize it. 

8. Update Your Computer. 

Similar to the solution above, the version of Windows you’re using might have an issue that prevents your system from detecting your iPhone. It’s also possible that the version you are using is not compatible with your iPhone’s software. 

To rule this out, follow the guide below to update Windows: 

  1. Press the Windows + I keys on your keyboard to open Windows Settings
  2. Next, go to Update & Security
  3. Access the Windows Update tab and click on Check for Updates
Computer Not Recognizing iPhone

Follow the prompts to download the latest version of Windows and restart your system afterward. 

Try connecting your iPhone again to check if the problem is solved. 

Related: How to Fix Can’t Connect AirPods on Windows

9. Update iTunes. 

You can also try installing the latest version of iTunes on your computer if it still doesn’t recognize your iPhone. 

Follow the steps below to update iTunes: 

  1. Launch iTunes on your computer. 
  2. Now, click on Help in the menu bar. 
  3. Choose the Check for Updates option and follow the prompts. 
Computer Not Recognizing iPhone

Reconnect your iPhone and see if it will now get recognized. 

10. Contact Apple.

If none of the solutions above worked, we suggest you let the professionals handle the situation. 

Visit Apple’s support page and contact their team to ask for assistance regarding the issue you’ve been experiencing. To speed up the process, provide the exact model of your iPhone, the iOS it’s running, and the version of Windows you’re trying to connect it to. 

Computer Not Recognizing iPhone

You can also check the guides on their page and see if you can find solutions not mentioned in our guide. 

That wraps up our guide on what to do if your computer is not recognizing your iPhone. If you have questions, please drop a comment below, and we’ll do our best to answer them. 

If this guide helped you, please share it.


  • Jake Kovoor

    Jake is the Editor-in-Chief of Saint and an independent software developer, with a Bachelors in Computer Science from Lancaster University, UK. He loves trying out various tech from the Flipper Zero to coding Raspberry Pis for automation. He started Saint back in 2016, having written over 100 posts, with the sole purpose of creating guides for software that had yet to exist back then to help users navigate around their technical problems.

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  1. I wish your post was the first to show up when searching for this problem. Solved easily with the first solution. Thank you so much.

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