I recently upgraded to Microsoft Windows 11 and found that iTunes no longer detected my Apple iPad or iPhone. Here’s how I fixed it.
Syncing your iPhone or iPad with a Windows 11 PC is fairly simple. Just install the iTunes app, and connect the device to the PC using a supported cable after opening the iTunes app. The iPad or iPhone asks you to authorize the Windows 11 PC, and you’re in. However, issues start to surface when the iTunes back-end drivers are faulty or iPad/iPhone is unable to communicate with the Windows PC and vice versa.
Irrespective of the reasons that stop the Windows 11 iTunes app from detecting your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, try the troubleshooting methods mentioned here. You should be able to connect the Apple smartphone or tablet to your PC to sync audio and video files or download photos from the device.
What’s The iTunes Not Detecting iPhone/iPad Error?
When you connect your iPhone or iPad to a Windows 11 PC when the iTunes app on the PC is open, the device should show up in the appropriate section of the iTunes app. If the device doesn’t show up, it means you’re facing the “iTunes not detecting iPhone or iPad” error. In most cases, there are no error messages on your Windows 11 PC. In some instances, you could get any or all of the following error messages:
The last USB device you connected to this computer malfunctioned, and Windows does not recognize it
Unknown USB Device (Device Descriptor Request Failed)
Whatever the reason is, the issue is serious. It stops you from syncing your iPad or iPhone with a Windows 11 PC so that you can download data to the PC for long-term storage. iTunes music and video syncing also don’t work. Want to fix this situation real quick? Try the troubleshooting tips mentioned below.
How to Fix iPhone or iPad Not Detected
1. Perform Some Basic Checks of the Accessories
According to Apple, you must use Apple MFi Program-certified USB Lightning to USB A and USB-C to USB A cables to connect your iPhone and iPad with a Windows 11 PC. Hence, check if the cable you’re using is of the right quality and specifications or not. If possible, use a new USB cable or borrow one from a friend. If the issue doesn’t appear again after replacing the USB cable, you must get a new one.
Sometimes, debris and lint on the USB ports of the PC and Apple device could prevent a successful electronic connection between the port and USB cable. Inspect the USB ports closely for any obstacles. If there is any debris, clean that using a dry cotton swab. Also, you could try an alternative USB port at the back of the PC case.
2. Restart Windows 11 PC and iPhone or iPad
If you don’t see any activity on your Windows 11 PC after connecting the iPhone/iPad, try restarting both devices. Here’s how it’s done:
- On the Windows PC, go to the Start menu and click the Power icon.
- Then, choose the Restart option to reboot the PC.
- To restart an iPhone or iPad, go to the Settings app.
- Tap General on the left-side navigation pane.
- Scroll down the right-side menu until you locate the Shut Down button.
- Tap the button and then slide the Slide to power off button on top of the screen to the right to shut down.
- Now, press the top button once to start the iPhone or iPad.
After a reboot, open the iTunes app on your Windows 11 PC. Connect the iPhone/iPad to the PC using a supported USB cable. If everything goes well, you should see the Apple iPhone or Apple iPad detected notification on the bottom right corner of the PC. The iTunes app will also show the device in the appropriate section.
Also read: How to Reset iPhone & iPad Settings
3. Connect the USB Cable Directly Between the Devices
Often, you might use a USB hub to connect all USB-compatible devices conveniently. A hub is easy to access than the USB ports at the back of the PC case near the motherboard’s I/O interface. However, your Apple product may not support these hubs. Hubs may not be able to provide the exact amount of cable voltage an iPhone or iPad needs to establish a successful connection with the Windows 11 PC.
Also, some PC displays come with a few USB A ports, which you might regularly use for other USB devices. If you try to connect the USB-C to USB A or Lighting to USB-A cable to these ports, an iPhone or iPad may not respond when you open the iTunes app. Therefore, connect the USB A port from the Lighting or USB-C cable directly to the back of the PC case for optimum connectivity via cables.
4. Update the Operating Systems on All Devices
You must ensure that you’re running the latest operating systems on the Windows 11 PC and iPhone/iPad. Here’s how you can check for updates on these devices:
Update Windows 11
- Hit the Windows + I keys on your PC.
- Select the Windows Update option from the left-side navigation panel.
- Windows 11 will start checking for the updates automatically.
- Even if it tells you You’re up to date, look for Windows 11 feature updates below the Check for Updates button.
- Open the Settings app and tap General.
- Tap the Software Update button on the right side of the General settings screen.
- If there are any pending updates, touch the Download and Install button.
After updating all the devices, attempt connecting iPhone with the PC, and this time you shouldn’t face the “iTunes not detecting iPhone” issue.
5. Don’t Forget to Authorize the PC From iPhone or iPad
When you connect the iPhone or iPad with a Windows 11 PC that has the latest iTunes, the iPhone/iPad will ask you to authenticate the action. The mobile or tablet device screen shows the following pop-up:
Trust the Computer? Trust or Don't Trust
Once you tap the Trust button, your iPhone/iPad will ask you to enter the device passcode. Enter the password and you should be able to see the device on iTunes. If you ignore these steps, you won’t see the iPhone or iPad on iTunes.
6. Fix iTunes Not Detecting iPhone or iPad Using the Services Tool
When you install the iTunes app on your PC, the installer package itself installs two critical Windows Services required to connect an iPhone/iPad/iPod efficiently with iTunes. These services are as outlined below:
- Apple Mobile Device Service
- Bonjour Service
If someone or something stops these Windows Services on your PC and set these services to start manually or don’t start at all, then you’ll for sure face the “iTunes Not Detecting iPhone” error. Hence, it’s worth checking these services on your PC to ensure that they are working properly. Here’s how you can accomplish this:
- Hit the Windows + R buttons together to open the Run command.
- Type in the following code in the Run command box and hit Enter:
- The Services utility will open.
- In the list of all Windows Services, look for the services mentioned earlier.
- The Status of these services should show Running.
- If that’s not the case, double-click the Apple Mobile Device Service.
- Select Automatic in the Startup type drop-down list.
- Also, click Start under the Service status section.
- Do the same thing for the Bonjour Service.
- Restart your PC.
7. Update USB Drivers From the Device Manager
An outdated USB driver may also stop your device from communicating through iTunes. To resolve these, try these steps:
- Click Start on Windows 11 and type Device.
- Select Device Manager to open the tool.
- Expand the Universal Serial Bus devices entry.
- Click the Apple Mobile Device Composite Device and right-click and select Update driver.
- Do the same for Apple Mobile Device USB Device driver.
8. Manually Install Apple Mobile Device Drivers
- Ensure you have installed the latest version of iTunes.
- Plug your Apple iPhone or iPad into a USB port on your computer using a supported Lightning or USB-C cable.
- Ensure your iPhone/iPad is on the Home Screen. If there’s any prompt to Trust, select the prompt to trust Windows 11 PC.
- Hit the Windows + I keys together and click Bluetooth & devices.
- Now, select the Devices menu on the right-side panel.
- When inside the Devices screen, scroll to the bottom to find the More devices and printer settings menu.
- Click it and scroll down on the new window to find iPad/iPhone under the Unspecified device list.
- Right-click the device and choose Properties on the context menu.
Note: If you don’t see your device listed here, ensure you have selected to trust the PC on the device and you are using a supported cable.
- Select the Hardware tab, then click the Properties button.
- From the General tab, select the Change settings button.
- Select the Driver tab, then select Update Driver.
- Choose the Browse my computer for driver software option.
- Select the Browse button and navigate to the following directory:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers
- If you don’t have the above folder, check the following directory:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers
- If you still don’t see it, try uninstalling and reinstalling iTunes.
- This time, install iTunes by downloading the Windows installation package from Apple. Don’t re-install the Microsoft Store iTunes app.
Note: Since a few of you have messaged me that you still don’t see this folder, I have zipped up the files and made them available for download here. Unzip the folder somewhere, then point Windows to the files.
- Click Next and then hit the Close button.
- iTunes should now detect and sync with your iPhone or iPad successfully.
Why don’t I have the Drivers folder?
It’s possible your installation of iTunes didn’t include it as you downloaded the app from Microsoft Store. Uninstall this app from your Windows 11 PC. Then, go to the iTunes Apple portal and click the Windows hyperlink beside Looking for other versions? narration on the website. App download will begin automatically. Install the app to get the Drivers folder.
I hope you can now fix the iTunes Not Detecting iPhone yourself. Try the above methods and share your comments about the outcomes below. If the issue is persisting, you can contact Apple Support or Microsoft Support.