[Solved] A Device Attached to the System Is Not Functioning

When transferring iPhone photos and videos to PC, you might have the problems like a device attached to the system is not functioning. Read this passage to know why it appears and how to solve it.


By Dylan / Updated on March 7, 2024

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What does "a device attached to the system is not functioning" mean?

From time to time, you need to save iPhone data like photos to computer for backup iPhone photos or just for managing/saving. But sometimes, the Windows PC can't detect the device and you may receive a message saying a device attached to the system is not functioning when copying files from iPhone. This issue can happen in Windows 11/10/8/7.

A device attached to the system is not functioning

What does that mean? When you get the error, it means a connectivity problem between your iPhone/iPad and the computer. Don't worry, this is a common problem. Next, we will explain why it happens and how to fix it in the following content.

Why does computer say a device attached to the system is not functioning?

Before we figure out why you get the error, there is a fact that iPhone/iPad default uses HEIC and HEIV format to store photos and videos taken by iPhone. These 2 formats help you get high-quality photos and videos which take only about half of the storage compared with JPG and MP4 files.


But these 2 formats are not compatible with the Windows system. So when you transfer them to your computer, your photos will be automatically converted to a format that is compatible with the Windows system, like JPG.

So, we can know the causes of the "Not functioning" error as follow,

• The photo files you sent to your computer failed to convert to JPG. Usually, it can occur when your iPhone/iPad is running out of space. In this condition, your iDevice does not have enough memory to convert the file format. 
• The USB cable or the port is not working well. As we said above, this error refers to a connectivity issue. So if you USB cable or the port is not valid, you will get the problem. 

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How to fix "A device attached to the system is not functioning"

Now we have known why you get the device attached to the system not functioning error, you can fix it with the following solutions.

Solution 1. Use a certified USB cable or try another USB port

The error can happen due to connectivity issues. You can use the official or certified USB cable and try another USB cable to connect your iPhone/iPad with the computer.  If you did, you can disconnect your device from the PC and connect again to see if the problem can be fixed.

Solution 2. Free up iPhone storage

If your iPhone storage is full and your iPhone can't convert photos to computer, you can free up some storage space in your iPhone. Just go to "Settings“ > "General" > "iPhone storage" to check what files take up your storage. And delete some files to free up your storage space.

iphone storage

Solution 3. Transfer original files to the computer

Since we know that one of the common causes is your device failed to convert HEIC to a proper format, we can fix it by transferring the original format to the computer without converting. 

The solution is very simple:

1. Go to Settings on iPhone.

2. Scroll down to locate and select Photos.

3. Find Transfer to Mac or PC section at the bottom.

4. Select Keep Originals.

Keep Original

In addition, if you want to save the photos you take as jpeg files which can is compatible with Windows, you can do something on iPhone.

1. Open Settings app on iPhone.

2. Select Camera section.

3. Expand Formats.

4. Select Most Compatible.

iPhone Camera Format

Section 2. Easily export iPhone photos and avoid device issue

You can directly export iPhone photos by copying files from the DCIM folder but this method is not stable, because iOS sometimes stops the process to protect your privacy or for other issues like the device being unreachable. You could easily export your photos and videos via a stable platform.

FoneTool is a brilliant iPhone data transfer. You could use it not only to transfer photos and videos between iPhone and PC, but also transfer music and backup iPhone contacts and messages.

Preview and Export: You could view all the pictures and videos like you do in DCIM folder and select the really needed ones to export.
Stable and Safe: FoneTool is designed by a professional team with 14 years of experience in data security. Feel free to use it.
Widely Compatible: FoneTool supports all iOS devices, including the latest iPhone 15/14/13/12/11, iPad 10/9/8/Air, and iOS 17/16.
Fast transfer: For instance, 5000 photos can be copied to your computer in 12 minutes.
Convert to JPEG after transferring: This tool is also able to batch convert HEIC to JPEG. So you can convert it after transferring to view/manage/edit your photos. 

Step 1. Connect iPhone to FoneTool

Download FoneTool on computer and connect iPhone to PC with USB cable. Trust This Computer on iPhone if it is the first time you connect the iPhone to this PC.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. Select the Feature of Transfer

On the home screen of FoneTool, go to Phone Transfer > Select iPhone to PC > Click Get Started.

Transfer to Computer

Step 3. Select Photos to Transfer

Click the plus icon to view all the photos and videos on iPhone an select some of them to export. Click OK.

Choose Photos

Step 4. Transfer iPhone Photos

Click the Start Transfer button to transfer all the selected items from iPhone to PC.


Section 3. Transfer photos from iPhone to PC via iCloud

Your might have backed up iPhone photos to iCloud, but this will not help your get more iPhone storage. After you upload all the iPhone photos to iCloud, they are still stored on your iPhone. You can enable optimize storage to get more storage at most but this makes it difficult to view your photos every time because they need to be downloaded every time.

If you have problem of a wired transfer, you can download iCloud photos to PC without connecting iPhone to computer.

1. Go to Settings on iPhone > [your name] > iCloud > Photos to switch on iCloud. Wait for some time before all the photos are uploaded to the server.

2. On your computer, open your browser and go to icloud.com.

3. Sign in your Apple ID and select Photos.

4. View and select iPhone photos to download them to your computer.

View Photos on iCloud


The error that a device attached to the system is not functioning might occur when you copy iPhone photos and videos to Windows 11/10/8/7 computer. You could use the methods in this passage to solve or prevent it.

Besides, you will get other ways to copy photos, videos, and other data off iPhone. FoneTool is an excellent iPhone transfer app to export the data you want.

You could share this guide to help more people.