iTunes Won't Recognize the iPhone

Written by chris anzalone
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Apple's iTunes software allows you to manage all aspects of your iPhone, from software updates to app downloads, but under certain circumstances you may find that iTunes does not recognise your iPhone, making it impossible to perform some of your device's vital functions. If your iPhone fails to appear as an active device in the left column of your iTunes window, you may have a number of different issues interfering with your connectivity.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • iPhone USB cable

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  1. 1

    Verify that your computer has the minimum system requirements to connect with your iPhone. If you use a Mac, you will need Mac OS X 10.4.11 or higher, according to Apple. If you use a PC, you will need to run Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or later, or any edition of Windows Vista. If you do not meet the minimum system requirements, you will need to upgrade before you can access your iPhone in iTunes.

  2. 2

    Install the latest version of iTunes. Visit the iTunes page at and download the latest update. If you run an older version of iTunes, you may not have the ability to access your iPhone.

  3. 3

    Charge your iPhone. If your battery has little or no life remaining, you will need to recharge before iTunes can detect the device. Plug the iPhone into your computer using the iPhone USB cable and allow the device to sit idle while it charges.

  4. 4

    Restart your iPhone. If the problem lies within the iPhone software, you can sometimes fix the problem by rebooting the device. Press and hold the "Home" and "Sleep" buttons simultaneously until the device restarts. You will find these buttons on the front of your iPhone and at at the top of your iPhone, respectively.

  5. 5

    Remove iTunes from your computer and reinstall the software. If nothing else works, you may just have a defect in your iTunes software. You can remedy this problem by removing iTunes and downloading a new iTunes installer from the iTunes web page.

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