iPhone does not show up on Windows Explorer [Fix]

iPhone users always have to use the Windows/Mac system for backing up their data by transferring files since the iPhone storage is not expendable. While doing this task, there occurs an issue where iPhone does not show up on the Windows Explorer on the system.

This issue is preventing the user from accessing the files or anything from iPhone on their Windows system. The potential reasons for this issue could be one of the following.

  • Faulty USB cable or USB port of your computer
  • Outdated iPhone software
  • No control over the iTunes folder on the system
  • Internal technical issues on the iPhone
  • Not having Apple Device USB driver

Having listed all the possible reasons, we have deeply researched them and compiled a set of solutions in the article below.

Preliminary Fixes

  1. Check the USB Cable – This could happen mostly due to the damaged USB cable or sometimes due to using an unauthorized USB cable from third-party sellers. So check if the USB cable is broken or damaged and try replacing it with the original USB cable.
  2. Try a different USB Port – Many users found that the USB port was not working correctly and this was causing the issue. So try connecting your iPhone through a USB cable to another USB port on your Windows system and see if this works. Also, try to get the faulty USB port repaired.
  3. Update the iPhone software – This could be the common reason but checking whether the iPhone’s software is at its latest version can fix this problem. So try updating the iOS on your iPhone.
  4. Ensure your Windows system is updated – Sometimes, we tend to ignore the windows update notifications and this may lead to such problems. So go to the Windows Update page and if there are any updates available, please download and install them.
  5. Restart the iPhone – Most iPhone users have fixed this problem by simply restarting their iPhones for removing any minor software bugs. So we suggest our users try restarting their iPhones once and check if this helped them.


Solution 1 – Try switching to MTP driver for the Apple USB device

If the current Apple USB device driver is creating this issue, you can always try the default driver by installing it using the steps mentioned below.

Step 1: Press the Windows key and type device manager.

Step 2: Now select the Device Manager option from the search results under Best Match as shown below.


Device Manager


Step 3: Once the Device Manager opens, double-click on the Universal Serial Bus devices option for expanding it.

Step 4: Then right-click on Apple Mobile Device USB Composite Device and choose the Update Driver option from the context menu.


Update Apple Composite Driver 11zon


Step 5: Click on Browse my computer for drivers.


Browse The List Of Files From Computer 11zon


Step 6: Next, select the Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer option by clicking on it.


Letme Pick A List 11zon


Step 7: Now click on MTP USB Device and tap on Next to proceed as shown below.


Select Mtp Usb Device 11zon




Solution 2 – Get Full Control over the iTunes folder

When you do not have access to the iTunes folder on your system, it is not possible for the iPhone to appear on Windows Explorer. So try getting full control over the iTunes folder using the steps below.

NOTE – Make sure you have the iTunes app installed on your system. If not, please install it.

Step 1: Press the Windows and E keys together to open the Windows Explorer window.

Step 2: Now double-click on the Music folder and right-click on the iTunes folder inside it.

Step 3: Select the Properties option from the context menu as shown below.


Itunes Properties 11zon


Step 4: After the Properties window appears, click on the General tab and uncheck the Read-only (Only applies to files in folder) Attribute.

Step 5: Then click Apply and OK.


Read Onoy Uncheck 11zon


Step 6: Once done, check whether the issue is resolved.

Step 7: If not, go to the iTunes Properties window once again using Steps 1-3.

Step 8: Now click on the Security tab and tap on the Edit option.


Security Edit 11zon


Step 9: On the Permissions for iTunes window, make sure you have allowed your system to have Full Control permissions for the iTunes folder.

Step 10: At last, click Apply and OK.


Full Control Allow Itunes 11zon

Solution 3 – Unplug the USB Cable and Restart the system

Step 1: First of all, you need to remove the USB cable from the Windows system by unplugging it.

Step 2: After unplugging the USB cable, restart your Windows system.

Step 3: To do so, right-click on the Start menu button (blue-colored square shape) and hover over the Shut down or sign out option from the context menu as shown below.

Step 4: Then click on the Restart option from the side-drop menu list.


Restart System 11zon


Step 5: This will restart your Windows system and once done, try connecting your iPhone via USB cable.

Solution 4 – Update the Apple iPhone Driver on the system

Step 1: At first, launch the Device Manager by right-clicking on the Start menu button from the taskbar and clicking on Device Manager from the context menu list.

NOTE – You need to connect your iPhone to your Windows system via a lightning USB cable from Apple.


Device Manager From Start Menu 11zon


Step 2: Once the device manager window appears, search for the Portable Devices option from the Devices list and expand it by double-clicking on it.

Step 3: Now right-click on the Apple iPhone and select the Update Driver option from the context menu.


Apple Iphone Driver Update 11zon


Step 4: Choose the Search automatically for drivers option from the popped-up window on the screen.


Search Auto For Drivers Apple Iphone Driver 11zon


Step 5: This will start searching online for the latest driver for the Apple iPhone device and installs it.

Step 6: Once done, you can close the Device Manager.

Step 7: Disconnect the iPhone from the Windows system and try reconnecting it again.

Then check if it appears on the Windows Explorer window.

Solution 5 – Try updating the USB device driver

Step 1: Open the Run command box by pressing the Windows and R keys together.

Step 2: Next, type devmgmt.msc in the run command window’s textbox as shown below and hit Enter.


Devmgmt Code For Device Manager Run Box 11zon


Step 3: This opens the Device Manager window on your Windows system.

Step 4: Now find the Universal Serial Bus devices option from the list of devices and double-click on it to expand it.

Step 5: After that, double-click on the Apple Mobile Device USB Composite Device option below it as shown.


Apple Composite Device Properties 11zon


Step 6: This opens the Properties window.

Step 7: Now click on the Driver tab and click Update Driver under this tab as shown.


Update Driver Apple Composite Device 11zon


Step 8: You will get an Update Driver window on your screen.

Step 9: Select the Search automatically for drivers option and this starts updating it by searching online.


Search Auto For Drivers Apple Device 11zon


Step 10: When it is done, try reconnecting your iPhone to the Windows system by unplugging and plugging it back.


Solution 6 – Reset Location & Privacy Settings on iPhone

Step 1: Disconnect your iPhone from the system by unplugging the USB cable and then you have to open the Settings app on your iPhone.

Step 2: Go to the General option.


General Settings 11zon


Step 3: Click Transfer or Reset iPhone at the end of the General page by scrolling it.


Transfer Or Reset Iphone 11zon


Step 4: After that, choose the Reset option at the bottom.


Reset Iphone 11zon


Step 5: Select the Reset Location & Privacy option from the context menu pop-up on the iPhone screen.


Reset Location Privacy 11zon
Reset Location Privacy 11zon


Step 6: Enter your passcode to continue.

Step 7: Then again you have to click on Reset Settings on the pop-up menu.


Reset Settings 11zon


Step 8: This resets the location and privacy settings on your iPhone.

Step 9: Once done, try connecting your iPhone to the system via a USB cable.

Step 10: This time, it will ask you to accept a pop-up on your iPhone screen by clicking Trust.