7 Tips to Fix iPhone Windows 10/11 Internal Storage Empty

When you try to transfer photos from iPhone to PC but find iPhone Windows 10/11 internal storage is empty in Windows Explorer. This article will help you fix this problem with 7 solutions, also you can directly use FoneTool to easily transfer photos, videos from iPhone to PC.


By Dylan / Updated on March 7, 2024

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iPhone Internal Storage folder empty when connect to Windows 10.

I am trying to transfer my photos from iPhone XS Max to PC but when I connect my phone via cable the internal storage folder shows empty.

- Question from Apple Community

Why is my iPhone internal storage empty in Windows?

There must be a lot of pictures on your iPhone to transfer to PC  for backup, editing or sharing. However, when connecting your iPhone to Windows 10/11 computer via USB cable, you will find the iPhone internal storage is empty and the iPhone DCIM folder is not showing up. Therefore, you can’t import the photos to PC.

internal storage is empty

This can be due to a faulty USB cable, iPhone is locked, iPhone not permitting computer, photos saved in iCloud instead of your device, system glitches or bugs, driver issues, etc. Don’t worry, this article will show you 7 useful tips to solve this problem.

How to fix iPhone Windows 10/11 internal storage empty issue

Now, these methods will help you solve iPhone internal storage empty issue. You can try them one by one. You can directly go to Method 7. and use FoneTool to view, transfer your photos, videos from iPhone to computer.

Content Navigation:

Method 1. Unlock your iPhone and try another USB cable

If your iPhone screen is locked, you will not be able to view any photos or videos in the DCIM folder and the iPhone DCIM folder will appear empty. Unlock the screen with your passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID to see if you can view device data.

It's worth checking if the USB cable and port are damaged, which can affect a stable connection between your iPhone and PC, try switching to another USB cable or port. If possible, connect to another computer to have a try.

Method 2. Trust this computer

If your iPhone doesn't allow your computer to access it, you won't be able to view the iPhone's internal storage. That's why the internal storage not showing up. Especially when you connect iPhone to this computer for the first time, you ought to tap "Trust" on the pop-up prompt.

trust this computer

Method 3. Restart iPhone and computer

Sometimes, system glitches can cause Apple iPhone internal storage to be empty in Windows File Explorer. If you click iPhone Internal Storage on Windows PC and find this folder empty, you can restart your iPhone and computer to fix it.

💡You may also want to know: How to fix iPhone not showing up in Windows Explorer issue.    

Method 4. Authorize your computer

If you do not authorize your computer, it cannot be authorized to access your iPhone data, and you may find your iPhone photos are not showing up on computer even if iPhone get connected. So, you need to authorize the computer, refer to the steps below.

Step 1. Make sure you have the latest iTunes version, and launch it. Connect your iPhone to the PC with a USB cable.

Step 2. Go to the iTunes menu, tap Account, and then click Authorizations.

Step 3. On the next screen, select Authorize This Computer, enter your username and password to view the DCIM folder.

authorize this computer

Method 5. Download Photos from iCloud

Your iPhone DCIM folder appears empty on your PC, probably because your photos are uploaded to iCloud instead of being stored in your iPhone internal storage, and you have enabled “Optimize iPhone storage” feature to keep pictures with a smaller size to save space on iPhone.

Therefore, if you have enough storage space on your iPhone, you can download the pictures to your iPhone so that you can view them on your computer.

Note: Make sure your device is connected a stable Wi-Fi or internet network.

Go to Settings > tap [your name] > click iCloud > tap Photos > select the Download and Keep Originals.

turn on icloud photos

Then go to the “Photos” app, full-resolution photos will be automatically downloaded from iCloud to your iPhone.

Method 6. Manually update or uninstall the Apple Driver

The latest and valid Apple Mobile Device USB drive is necessary for Windows PC to detect iPhone Photos. Outdated Apple Mobile Device USB drivers are not recognized by the computer, resulting in an empty iPhone internal storage in Windows Explorer. You can manually update or reinstall the driver to fix this issue. Here are the steps to do this:

Step 1. Connect iPhone to computer with USB cable, right-click the Windows start icon on the desktop.

Step 2. Select Device Manager, expand Potable Devices and right click your iPhone.

Step 3. On the next screen, select Update driver, then choose Search automatically for updated driver software.

update apple driver

You can also click Uninstall device to remove the driver and reconnect the iPhone to the computer, the device driver will be reinstalled. Then verify that the problem is resolved.

Method 7. Use easier way to transfer photos from iPhone to computer

Despite trying the above methods, if your iPhone internal storage is still empty and the DCIM folder is still not showing up. At this point, you can use a professional tool to copy your iPhone photos to computer, which will make it much easier to read the iPhone internal storage.

FoneTool is such a professional iPhone data transfer software. It will help you to establish a connection between iPhone and computer to transfer your photos successfully without any troubleshooting issues.

Why choose FoneTool?

💥It allows you to transfer multiple data such as photos, videos, contacts and messages from iPhone to computer and vice versa.
💥FoneTool supports you to preview and select specific iPhone photos to transfer. Also, you can convert HEIC to JPG easily on PC for free.
💥It can transfer thousands of files at super high speed.
💥It is perfectly compatible with Windows 11/10/8/7, the latest iOS 17/16 and all iOS devices like iPhone 15/14/13/12 and iPad Air/Mini, etc.

Now, click the button below to download FoneTool and follow the steps to transfer photos from iPhone to computer.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Connect your iPhone to computer with USB cable, run FoneTool, click the Phone Transfer option on the main interface. Choose iPhone to PC and click Get Started.

transfer to computer

Step 2. Click the "+" icon, select the pictures you want to transfer and click OK.

choose photos

Step 3. You can choose a storage path on Transfer Settings to save the selected photos. Click the Start Transfer button to begin the task.



In this post, we summarize 7 quick fixes to troubleshoot iPhone Windows 10 internal storage empty issue. Hope you can benefit from the full details. To transfer iPhone photos to computer more conveniently, you can use FoneTool--the professional iOS data transfer/backup and management tool. With this tool, you will no longer have to worry about such various problems.