7 Fixes to iPhone Icon not Showing in iTunes

Connect iPhone to computer but find iPhone icon doesn’t show up in iTunes? You may need this guide to know the reason behind it, as well as effective solutions to fix the issue - iPhone icon not showing in iTunes.

Demi by Demi Updated November 21, 2023
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What is iTunes icon used for and where it is?

Generally speaking, if you intend to use iTunes sync photos, and other media files between iPhone and PC or backup iPhone, you may connect your iPhone, and an icon of your device will appear in the upper-left corner of the iTunes window. And you can click the icon to continue.

iTunes device icon

However, sometimes when you connect your iPhone to the computer as usual and then open iTunes, you may find something wrong with iTunes this time. You may find iPhone icon not showing in iTunes. You may have noticed that if iPhone device icon not showing in iTunes, your iPhone cannot be read by iTunes, let alone to sync media files, perform backup task, and so on.

But don’t be frustrated, since you are not alone. Luckily, here in this guide, you will be given useful solutions to fix this issue. Let’s get started.

Why is the iPhone icon on iTunes not showing up?

Before any troubleshooting, it is necessary for you to figure out why iPhone icon is not showing in iTunes. And the followings are some common reason to it.
• Outdated version of iTunes/iOS.
• USB Connection issues.
• Disabled device driver on computer.
• Third-part firewall software conflicts.

Any of these causes and unknown software glitches or bugs can lead to the issue, you may try to troubleshoot these possible causes one by one until you get out of the problem.

7 fixes to iPhone icon not showing in iTunes

This part offers you both quick tips and advanced solutions when iTunes doesn’t detect your iPhone. Let’s get started the troubleshoot process. If you are in a hurry, you can also get to the next part to get a powerful iTunes alternative to manage your iPhone files.

1# Check the USB cable

One of the most obvious reasons to the issue could be because of bad connectivity. You can test if your USB cable is faulty by using another USB cable to connect your iPhone to PC. You can also check to see if your iPhone’s USB port is dirty or damaged.

Now, reconnecting your iPhone to computer to see if the issue gets fixed and iTunes works properly.

2# Check for iTunes/iOS updates

Either outdated iTunes or operating system always can bring bugs and glitches that make iTunes fail to detect iPhone. Simple update your iTunes and iOS to the latest version may fix it.

Update iTunes to the latest version
Disconnect iPhone from computer > Re-open iTunes > Click Help from the toolbar > Tap Check for Updates > If there is a new version available, update it.

check for updates

Update iOS to the latest version
Go to the Settings app on your iPhone > General > Software Update. If there is a new iOS version, download and install it.

iOS software update

3# Restart your iPhone and computer

If the iPhone icon is still not showing in iTunes, the next thing you can try is to restart your iPhone and computer. This is a simple procedure, but it always works since restarting your iPhone and computer clear the RAM, which manages temporary data and processes. Such information can be hindering the functionality of your iPhone or PC for whatever reason. Just give it a shot.

4# Reset location and privacy settings

Chances are that your iPhone’s icon that you accidentally hit may prevent iTunes from recognizing your iPhone, like you pressed the iPhone “Don’t Trust” button by mistake. This is an easy issue to resolve.

Step 1. Go to the Settings app on your iPhone > Click General > Transfer or Reset iPhone.

Step 2. Choose Reset > From the prompt window, choose Reset Location & Privacy > You may need to enter your passcode to confirm.

reset location and privacy

Now, connect your iPhone again, and tap Trust on your iPhone to check whether you can see the iPhone icon in iTunes. Is the Trust This Computer not showing up? Click to fix it. 

5# Uninstall security software

iTunes may have trouble connecting to Apple servers or your iPhone if you install third-party security software manufactured by firms other than Apple on your iPhone.

When you attempt to sync, restore, or backup your iPhone via iTunes, you can even receive a numeric error message.

In this case, you can go to your computer’s Control Panel > Programs > Locate and right-click the third-party security software to uninstall it.

6# Open Apple Mobile Device and update driver software

Sometimes, iPhone icon not showing in iTunes may be caused by driver software. Your device’s driver may need an update. Follow the steps below to update it.

Step 1. Close iTunes and connect iPhone to computer with USB > Click the Start menu > Tap Device Manager.

Step 2. Under Portable devices > Locate and right-click your iPhone > Click Update Driver Software...

update Apple Driver software

After the update, restart your iPhone, connect your iPhone to your computer, then open iTunes to see if your iPhone icon appears.

7# Reinstall Apple Mobile Device USB Driver

Just in case, your Apple drivers won’t function correctly, preventing your Windows PC from recognizing your iOS device, which lead iPhone icon on iTunes not showing up. Thus, it is suggested to reinstall Apple Mobile Device USB driver to fix the issue.

Step 1. Connect iPhone to computer without launching iTunes > Hit the Windows key > Type Device Manager in the search bar > Click Open.

Step 2. Navigate to Universal Serial Bus devices and click to expand.

Step 3. Locate and right-click your Apple Mobile Device USB Driver > From the pop-up menu, choose Uninstall device.

reinstall apple mobile device usb driver

Step 4. Back to Device Manager > Right-click Action > Select scan for hardware changes to let your computer automatically install the driver again.

Bonus: Best iTunes alternative for iPhone

Besides iTunes recognize bug, you may also encounter other issues when utilizing iTunes to backup or manage iPhone files. That’s why this part comes, providing you with one of the best iTunes alternative for Windows.

FoneTool, a specialized iOS data management tool, is developed by a team that has spent more than ten years concentrating on data protection. The software is updated frequently in response to uses demands.

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Data transfer feature

FoneTool enables you to transfer everything or selective files from iOS device to another, iOS device to PC, and vice versa. It is designed to be user-friendly and easy to use, so anyone can use it without any technical knowledge.

1# iPhone to iPhone Transfer
FoneTool's iPhone to iPhone function is the ideal choice for you if you wish to switch to a new iPhone without losing any apps, types of data, or material.

go to transfer

2# iPhone to PC/PC to iPhone
You can also selective transfer songs, photos, contacts, and videos among iOS devices and computer with these two transfer services. It’s possible to transfer non-purchased music without effort.

go to transfer

Data backup feature

FoneTool helps backup iPhone to PC, which allows users to create a full backup of their iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, including photos, videos, messages, contacts, and more. The software also includes features such as selective backup and restore, and the ability to preview and extract specific data from backups.

1# Selective Backup
The Selective Backup function in FoneTool helps you backup selective files, like photos, videos, contacts, music, and messages to backup from your iPhone to Windows PC.

selective backup

2# Full Backup
When you need to switch to a new iPhone or factory reset the old one for troubleshooting, FoneTool offers a Full Backup option that lets you backup everything from iPhone to PC. Unlike iCloud or iTunes, the backup task with FoneTool can be completed with a single click.

full backup


In conclusion, if you are experiencing the issue of your iPhone icons not showing up in iTunes, there are a few potential solutions that you can try. Hope you have gotten out of it after trying the solutions in this guide. For more queries, suggestions, or feedback, please feel free to contact us.

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