iTunes Not Recognizing Your iPad or iPhone? [How To Fix]

What do you do if you plug your iPhone or iPad into your computer and nothing happens? This guide will show you how to make iTunes or Finder recognize your iOS or iPadOS device.

It's a frequent problem. You plug your iPhone into the computer and there's no icon or response. How do you get iTunes to see the device?

Apple uses iTunes (or Finder for Macs running macOS Catalina or later) for things like repairs, updates, and restoring software on iOS devices. But what if iTunes doesn't see your iPhone, iPad, or iPod?

How To Fix iTunes Not Recognizing Your iPad or iPhone? 

This issue is common among iPod classic, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle users, particularly on Windows PCs. Yet, it can occur with any iOS device on both Windows and Mac computers. This article will cover what to do if your Apple device isn't showing up and how to help iTunes recognize your iOS device.

iTunes don't recognize the iPad

Check the Internet Connection

First, make sure it's not a hardware problem with your cable. Do these things quickly:

  • Make sure the cable is securely plugged into both your iOS device and your computer.
  • Try using a different port on your Mac or PC to see if it helps the connection.
  • Look at your device’s Lightning port (or USB-C, or for older devices, 30-pin socket) for any dust or debris that could be blocking the connection.
  • Try a different cable to see if it connects better. If it does, replace the old cable.

Still not working? Let's move on.

Fixing iTunes on Windows

If your Windows PC can't recognize your Apple device when it's connected, follow these steps:

  • Restart both your PC and your iOS device.
  • To update iTunes on your Windows PC, open iTunes and then go to Help > Check for Updates.
  • Watch your iOS device when connected to your PC. If a message pops up, click Trust.
  • If you keep seeing the ‘Trust This Computer?’ message, you may need to install the latest version of iTunes for Windows.

You don't need to use Recovery Mode for this.

Check for Apple Mobile Device Support

When you install iTunes on Windows, it also installs something called Apple Mobile Device Support. To check if it's installed:

  • Open Search (top-right in Windows 9, bottom-left in Windows 10) and search for “Control Panel.”
  • Click on Uninstall a Program.
  • Look to see if Apple Mobile Device Support is listed among the programs.

If Apple Mobile Device Support isn't there, you need to install iTunes for Windows again.

iTunes don't recognize the iPad

Troubleshooting iTunes on Mac

It's uncommon, but sometimes a Mac may not detect an iPod or iOS device. If you encounter this, follow these steps:

  • First, examine your USB connection. Clear any dust or debris from the socket, switch to a different USB port, or use another USB cable.
  • Press the Trust button on your iOS device when connecting it to your Mac.
  • Restart your iOS device.
  • Restart your Mac.
  • Check for software updates on your Mac. For instance, if you're connecting to an iPhone with iOS 13, you might need to update to macOS Catalina. Your Mac will generally alert you if this update is necessary.
  • If you're using security software, it might disrupt the connection with iTunes on your Mac. Refer to the Apple Support document titled “Resolve issues between iTunes and Security Software” for help.