The device is unreachable while copying files from iPhone [Fix]

Some photos and other files that we have downloaded or received from others sometimes need to be edited. It can also be used while creating some documents. So users may have to transfer those files to a PC from their iPhones since not all editing applications are available and user-friendly on the iPhone.

These days, many iPhone users have found an issue while trying to copy or transfer files from their iPhones to their Windows PC. When they attempted to transfer the files, they got an error message window that said “The device is unreachable” and stopped transferring or copying to the PC.

iPhone users are still not sure why this error occurred while copying the files. This probably might have been caused due to the following reasons.

  • Outdated Portable device on the Windows system.
  • iPhone has not updated to the latest iOS.
  • Image conversion is enabled automatically.
  • Damaged lighting cable.
  • The USB driver installed on the Windows system is not updated.

Keeping these above points in mind, we have compiled a few solutions below in this article that will assist iPhone users to resolve this issue.

Fix 1 – Disable File Conversion in a Compatible Format

There is a setting under the Photos option on the Settings page called Transfer to Mac or PC. When this setting is set to automatically, it will check for file compatibility and will convert the file if needed to the compatible format before transferring the file to the PC from iPhone.

So we need to disable this setting by following the steps given below.

Step 1: Open the Settings page after unlocking the iPhone.

Step 2: Then scroll down the settings page and select the Photos option from the list.


Photos Option 11zon


Step 3: At the bottom of the Photos page, tap on the Keep Originals option from the Transfer to Mac or PC option as shown in the below screenshot.


Keep Originals 11zon


Step 4: Now check if this worked. Otherwise, change it to Automatically.

Step 5: Try enabling the iCloud Photos option by tapping on its toggle button at the top.

Step 6: Then select the Download and Keep Originals option below the iCloud Photos option.


Icloud Photos 11zon


Step 7: Enable a few other options (Shared Albums, Show Hidden Album, View Full HDR, etc.) as well on the Photos page as shown below.


Other Options Photos 11zon

Now, Try again

Fix 2 – Update the USB Driver


When the USB driver is out of date on your Windows PC, it tends to throw such errors while trying to send files through USB ports. So let us try updating the USB driver on the Windows PC and see if this helps.

Follow the steps explained below on how to update the USB driver.

Step 1: Press the Windows + X keys together on the keyboard to open the context menu of the Start menu button.

Step 2: Then press the M key which opens the Device Manager.

Step 3: Once the Device Manager window opens, scroll down the list and double-click on the Universal Serial Bus controllers option to expand it.

Step 4: Now right-click on the USB Root Hub (USB 3.0) from the list.

Step 5: Once the context menu appears, select the Update Driver option from it.

Usb Driver Update 11zon


Step 6: Click Search automatically for drivers option from the Update window as shown in the below screenshot.


Search Automatically For Drivers 11zon


Step 7: After the USB driver gets updated, check if the problem got resolved.


Fix 3 – Update the Portable Device Driver


Some iPhone users claimed that they were able to resolve this issue by updating the Apple iPhone portable device driver on their Windows PC. So we suggest our users try updating the portable device driver and see if this works.

NOTE – Before performing the below steps, make sure you have connected your iPhone to the Windows PC via a good lightning USB cable.

Step 1: Open the Device Manager by pressing the Windows key and typing device manager.

Step 2: Next, select the Device Manager app from the search results as shown in the below screenshot.


Windows Device Manager Min


Step 3: Double-click on the Portable Devices option to expand them and right-click on the Apple iPhone.

Step 4: Select the Update Driver option from the context menu as shown in the below screenshot.


Apple Iphone Portable Device Update Driver 11zon


Step 5: Now choose the Search automatically for drivers option from the update window as shown.


Search Automatically For Drivers 11zon


Step 6: This starts updating the Portable device connected to the Windows PC, by searching for the update online.

Once done, check if the problem got fixed.

Additional Fixes

Check the Lightning USB Cable

If the lightning cable is broken because of any reason, this type of issue keeps persisting on your Windows PC while transferring files from your iPhone. So it is always best to first check if the cable which is used to connect the iPhone to the Windows PC is damaged or not. If so, please replace it with another good USB cable.

Try connecting to another USB Port

There is a possibility that the port to which you have connected the USB cable to transfer the files from your iPhone to your PC, is corrupted or damaged. If this is the case, you can try changing the port by disconnecting the USB cable and plugging it into another port on your PC.

After changing the USB port, check if the problem got resolved or not. If the issue still persists, try our other best solutions given below.

Update your iPhone’s iOS to the latest

The problem may have been caused by the iPhone’s side. There is a chance that the iPhone’s iOS is outdated and this can cause the error to occur while transferring the files to Windows PC.

Therefore, we request our users try updating their iPhone’s iOS by going to Settings > General > Software Update and if there are any updates available, please tap on Download and install and perform the onscreen instructions to complete the process.

Once the iPhone is updated, the problem should be resolved.