No matter you’re Windows or Mac user, you need iTunes to manage your iPhone/iPad. With iTunes, you can easily update your iOS device, create a backup, also can sync with the computer, and most importantly can transfer some media onto it. However, sometimes, the iPhone doesn’t show up in iTunes, but, appears in File Explorer.
This means, when you connect your iPhone to a PC via lightning cable, the device icon doesn’t appear in iTunes to access the iPhone. It clearly means iTunes isn’t recognizing your device. Though, no worries, if in Windows 11 or 10, your iPhone not showing up in iTunes. Because usually, this problem can be easily solved by re-installing iTunes and Drivers. But, in some cases, you may need to contact Apple support.
Solutions: iPad/iPhone not showing up in iTunes
Change Lightning Cable and USB Port
When iTunes doesn’t recognize your iPod, iPad, or iPhone, it doesn’t necessarily mean critical errors. Outdated iTunes App, locked iPhone, faulty lightning cable, or USB port can be the main causes. Even, sometimes, a simple device restart can fix many issues.
First, disconnect your iPhone/iPad and restart it. Also, do restart your Windows PC.
Now, make sure the lightning cable you’re using isn’t broken. We all know how fragile are Apple’s cable is.
After that, connect your iPhone to PC via lightning cable, but this time in a different USB port.
Enable Trust This Computer
If you’re connecting your iPhone first time to iTunes. Then, you need to know that – the iOS device should stay unlocked. One more thing which you need to do after connecting the iPhone first time to the PC. Which is, do tap on “Trust” when the “Trust This Computer” prompt appears. Enter passcode after that, if the device asks.
‘Trust This Computer’ alert not showing up on the iPhone, what to do?
If accidentally, you have tapped on “Don’t Trust”, then iPhone will never send data to your computer. And, it might be the reason for the iPhone isn’t not showing in iTunes. Though, no worries, you can get back the Alert by resetting trust settings.
Go to settings > General > Reset > Reset Location & Privacy.
Now, reconnect your device to PC, and hopefully this time iTunes will detect your iPhone/iPad.
If still, iPhone not showing up in iTunes, then it might be iTunes App or Driver issue.
Before following the next solutions, first, go to Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Devices and Printers and check if your iOS device is showing up there.
Re-Install iTunes App
It might be possible that some files of the iTunes App got corrupted. Or, maybe a third-party program is interfering with the iTunes App. Well, whatever is the cause, I suggest you re-install the iTunes App.
If reinstalling iTunes App does not fix the issue, then you have to reinstall Apple Drivers. Which is quite easy to do. You don’t have to download any files.
Connect another Apple Device
Before re-installing Apple mobile device driver, you can try this solution. If you have any other Apple device, then connect it to the PC and open iTunes. After that disconnect it, and connect the Apple device, which wasn’t showing in iTunes. That’s it, the bug will get fixed automatically.
Re-Install Apple USB Drivers
Personally, this solution worked for me. When you connect an Apple device first time to Windows PC, it automatically does install drivers. Though, if you have updated Windows recently, then Apple drivers can create issues. So if iPhone isn’t showing up in iTunes, then just uninstall Apple USB drivers. And, scan for the devices in the device manager, and Windows will reinstall the drivers.
Right-click on the start button in Windows 10/11, and then click on the device manager.
Click on “Universal Serial Bus devices” to expand.
After that, right-click on “Apple Mobile Device USB Composite Device” and then click on “Uninstall device”.
Click on Uninstall. (Don’t select the delete driver option.)
The device manager will now ask to restart Windows. You don’t need to, so click on No.
Now, Just reconnect your iPhone lightning cable. And, click on the “scan for hardware changes” option in the device manager.
You”ll see the driver will get installed again. Don’t forget to tap on Trust on your iOS device. Now, check the iTunes App, the devices section will appear, and you can access your Apple device.
Note: If the “Universal Serial Bus devices” section doesn’t appear. Check Apple drivers in the “universal serial bus controllers” section.
So, these are the solutions that you can try, when iPhone not showing up in iTunes. First, restart the iPhone and Windows 10. After that, check the lightning cable and change the USB port. Reset trust settings and enable trust. After that, reinstall iTunes App, and reinstall Apple USB drivers. And, all these solutions will fix the “devices not showing in iTunes” issue.