iPhone Cannot Connect to iTunes? How to Fix

When you connect your iPhone or iPad to iTunes, different sorts of errors can crop up as you try to transfer data, update the firmware or just plain sync. What’s even worse is when you get the “iPhone cannot connect to iTunes” error.

There can be a lot of reasons why this happens. Sometimes it could be the cord that goes kaput or sometimes it’s because the drivers aren’t updated. We’ve built a few possible solutions that can fix the issue. Check them out:

How to Fix iPhone or iPad Cannot Connect to iTunes

Scenario #1: iPhone is connected to the computer, your iPhone can be detected by iTunes, but you cannot sync data:

This could possibly be due to restrictions set on your iPhone.

Try this:

  • Go to Settings and tap Screen Time.
  • Tap on Content & Privacy Restrictions. If asked, enter the passcode.
  • Turn Off Content & Privacy Restrictions

Scenario #2: The iPhone cannot be detected. You connect your iPhone, open iTunes but the iPhone doesn’t show up.

Possible Solution:

Delete the file folders under the path: /var/mobile/Media/iTunes_Control and restart iTunes.

Scenario #3: Your computer cannot detect your iPhone, but other computers can detect your iPhone normally.

Try this:

Uninstall all the Apple-related software: (iTunes, QuickTime, Apple Application Support, Apple Mobile Device Support, Apple Software Update, and Bonjour). Then, reinstall iTunes.

Scenario #4: iTunes can’t detect iPhone and you’re using a Windows 7 machine.


  • Open C:\Windows and search for USBAAPL.SYS file.
  • Right-click the file and choose “Open File Location”, then copy all the files to a new file folder
  • Open Device Manager, look for Apple iPhone from under Portable devices and right-click to choose Update Driver Software.

Or try this:

Quit iTunes and disconnect the iPhone from the computer.

Uninstall iTunes

  • Check C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\file folder. If the file folder exists, delete it.
  • Check C:\Username\User\AppData\Local\Apple and Apple Computer and C:\Username\User\AppData\LocalLow\Apple and Apple Computer file folders. If the file folders exist, delete them
  • Check C:\Username\User\My Music\iTunes\file folder. If the file folder exists, delete it
  • Restart your computer after the above steps, launch iTunes set up file to reinstall
  • Launch iTunes and connect iPhone to your computer via USB cable
  • See if iTunes could detect your iPhone normally or not. All done

Or, if that doesn’t work:

  • Right-click My Computer → Properties → Device Manager
  • Right-click AppleMobile DeviceUSB Drive → Update Driver Software, then browse to the path: C:\Program File\Common Files\AppleMobile DeviceSupportDrivers to make sure the software is updated
  • Restart the computer and connect the iPhone to your computer via USB cable, then open iTunes to see if the iPhone is detected or not

Here are some common and general issues which restrict connecting your iPhone to iTunes:

  • The USB port may simply not be working. Try connecting to a different USB port to see if iTunes recognizes your device
  • Check each connection to make sure the cable is fully plugged into your device and into the computer
  • Restart your device: try connecting again
  • Restart your computer: Restart your Mac or PC computer and try connecting again. This resets the USB ports and can sometimes solve problems
  • Make sure you are using the latest version of iTunes: An outdated version of iTunes can cause problems with devices using the current version of iOS
  • Make sure your desktop computer is using a compatible OS: The Mac version of iTunes requires OS X 10.5.8 or later. The Windows version of iTunes requires Windows 7, Vista, or XP with Service Pack 2 or later
  • Most importantly, try out different cables too. A faulty/third-party cable might charge the iPhone but prevent it from performing data transfer

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Which solution from the list did the work for you? Share it in the comments.

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The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.