How to Fix iTunes does Not Recognize iPhone: 4 Top Ways

If you received an error saying iTunes does not recognize iPhone on a Windows PC or Mac. Refer to this article, it will demonstrate 4 methods to fix iTunes can’t read iPhone 6, 8, X, 12, 13, 14, 15 and provides an alternative to iTunes to transfer and backup iOS device.


By Dylan / Updated on March 12, 2024

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iTunes will not recognize my iPhone.

I downloaded iTunes for Windows to transfer photos from my iPhone 15 to my PC, but iTunes will not recognize my iPhone. Please help me. Thanks!

- Question from

Why iTunes does not recognize iPhone?

iTunes is a versatile tool to manage media files for iOS users, like transfer videos from iPhone to Windows computer. However, lots of iPhone users reported that iTunes has failed to recognize their iPhone, and got an error message saying iTunes does not recognize iPhone” or “iTunes could not connect to this iPhone” or something like that.

There are various causes behind this issue, such as faulty USB cable, locked iOS device, out-of-date iTunes versions, faulty Apple USB driver, and so on. Don't worry, no matter what cause, you can try the following methods to solve this issue.

How to fix iTunes does not recognize iPhone 15/14/13/12

Now we offer 4 ways to help you easily make it. If you need a better iTunes alternative to access the iPhone data via USB, just skip to the next part to find the professional tool!

Method 1. Try another USB cable

A faulty USB cable can make your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch can’t be connected to a Windows 11/10/ 8/ 7 computer. Check your USB cable if it is in fine condition, or try another USB cable. In addition, some users said that the problem won’t happen when they switch to an original Apple USB cable.

Method 2. Check and install the latest iTunes

An old version of iTunes may not be supported very well making the unstable connection with your iPhone. See the following steps to check and install iTunes.

✌ For Windows PC

You can download and install iTunes for Windows from the Microsoft Store. Usually, you can get the latest version of iTunes from the Microsoft app store. If iTunes was downloaded from the Apple site, run iTunes to check if it is the latest version.

1. Launch iTunes from your PC, click “Help”, and choose “Check update”.

Itunes Check For Updates

2. Follow the guides to see if it is the latest version.

✌ For Mac computer

1. Open the App Store from your MacBook.

2. click “Update” on the App Store window.

3. Then the App Store will check for the updates of all software. And click "UPDATE" if there is a newer version of iTunes.

Itunes Check Update Mac

Method 3. Update Apple USB driver

Apple USB driver is a file allowing your iOS device to communicate with the computer. It should be installed after iTunes for Windows installation. A valid or old Apple mobile device USB driver can lead to the iTunes not recognize iPhone issue. You can reinstall it to fix this problem.

Step 1. Press “Win + R” keys simultaneously to open the Run box.

Step 2. Type “devmgmt.msc” and press Enter to open Device Manager.

Step 3. Once the Device Manager is open, click and expand “Universal Serial Bus Controllers”.

Step 4. Right-click on the “Apple Mobile Device USB Driver” and choose “Update driver”.

Step 5. Select “Search automatically for updated driver software”. And complete the reinstallation process. Then check if the iPhone still not showing up on iTunes.

Update Apple Driver

Method 4. Restore iPhone to factory settings

This method is usually for the error “iTunes cannot read the contents of the iPhone”. If all the methods above can’t fix the issue, you can restore your iPhone to factory settings.

Warning: Restore iPhone to factory settings will erase all data on the iPhone, please turn to the next part to back up your iPhone.

Step 1. Open 'Settings" on your iPhone, and tap "General".

Step 2. Tap "Reset" after you enter the General.

Step 3. Tap "Erase All Content and Settings".

Reset All Content and Settings

Step 4. Enter your passcode if it asks, and wait for the process is complete, and reconnect your iPhone to see if iTunes can recognize the device.

Alternative to iTunes to transfer & backup iPhone

If you are using iTunes to transfer photos, videos, message, contacts, and other data, you can turn to FoneTool, which is one of the best alternatives to iTunes to transfer and backup iPhone 15 and other models, and iPad (all models), iPod Touch (all models).

Especially if you are going to restore your iPhone to factory settings, this tool is necessary to have a backup of your iPhone. Next, you can download and install this app and follow the steps below to see how it works:

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

Step 1. Connect your iPhone with a PC via USB cable, and open FoneTool. And click “Selective Backup”  under the More Features.

Step 2. Here you can choose photos, videos, contacts, messages, and other data. After that, click “OK”.

Select Files

Step 3. At the bottom of the interface, you can click Backup Storage Path to specify the storage path to store the backup files. Then click “Start Backup”.

Click Backup


So this is all about how to fix “iTunes does not recognize iPhone 15/14/13/12, and so on in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7. Hope the methods can help you out of the issue. In addition, FoneTool is more than a backup software, it also helps you to transfer files from PC to iPhone or from iPhone to PC, erase iPhone data, convert HEIC photos to JPG, and so on.