iPhone not recognized by iTunes – Can’t Sync

For a while now I’ve had the issue that, sometimes, my iPhone would not be recognized by iTunes and wouldn’t sync. Sometimes there  was an error message; sometimes not. Most recently, I would just get the Windows’ sound you get when you connect a USB device twice in a row. The iPhone then charged, but did not sync at all.

Last night it got to the point where it just simply did not work at all anymore, so I had to look into it. Much to my surprise, the relevant article on the Apple Support Site, iOS: “Device not recognized in iTunes for Windows”, actually helped. In my case, I had to remove and reinstall the Apple Mobile Device USB driver.


Reinstall the Apple Mobile Device Driver

  1. Right-click the Apple Mobile Device entry in Device Manager and choose Uninstall from the shortcut menu.
  2. When prompted, select the box “Delete the driver software for this device” and click OK.
  3. In the resulting dialog box, click OK.
  4. In the Device Manager window, right-click Universal Serial Bus controllers and choose Scan for hardware changes from the shortcut menu.

At this point, the Apple Mobile Device entry did not reappear. Checking in the “Computer” window – the one which has your drives listed – showed an “Apple iPhone” device. I found it in the Device Manager under “Portable Devices”. I had to then update the software:

  1. Right-click the Apple iPhone, Apple iPad, or Apple iPod entry in Device Manager and choose Update Driver from the shortcut menu.
  2. Click “Browse my computer for driver software.”
  3. Click “Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.”
  4. Click the Have Disk button. (If the Have Disk option is not present, choose a device category such as Mobile Phone or Storage Device if listed, and click next. The Have Disk button should then appear.)
  5. In the “Install from Disk” dialog, click the Browse button.
  6. Use this window to navigate to the following folder: C:Program FilesCommon FilesAppleMobile Device SupportDrivers.
  7. Double-click the “usbaapl” file. (This file will be called “usbaapl64” if you have a 64-bit version of Windows. If you don’t see “usbaapl64” here, or if there is no Drivers folder, look in C:Program Files (x86)Common FilesAppleMobile Device SupportDrivers. instead).
  8. Click OK in the “Install from Disk” dialog.
  9. Click Next and finish the driver-installation steps. Open iTunes to verify that the device is recognized properly.

This worked – as soon as I clicked “next”, the iPhone’s screen lit up and it started synchronizing.

This was on Windows 7 64bit, do check the article for other versions and more detailed descriptions.

8 thoughts on “iPhone not recognized by iTunes – Can’t Sync”

  1. Thanks Nils for solving my issue.

    I noticed a couple of months ago iTune no longer syncs to my iPhone, I then found another software TouchCopy can't see the iPhone either. Uninstall and reinstall latest iTune and TouchCopy had no effect.

    While other search results talked about missing Apple Mobile Device missing from USB device list under Device Manager and how to have it added and ensure it's started, it did not fix the issue.

    What did fix the issue is listed in the original post by Niks about iPhone under Portable Device, delete and reinstall the usbappl74 driver.

    It worked right away as iTune immediately sync'ed and TouchCopy software connected to the iPhone also.

  2. I have a 64-bit version of windows. When following the above instructions I noticed that the file was called “usbaapl64″ however there was no "Drivers" file under: C:Program Files (x86)Common FilesAppleMobile Device Support. I did find a drivers file under C:Program FilesCommon FilesAppleMobile Device SupportDrivers, but when following the above instructions using the file at this location nothing happened. It seems I don't have the correct driver installed. Or is it just in the wrong location? Please help.

  3. I tried everything you described but when i got to the driver (mine's x64), it said
    "The folder you specified doesnt contain a compatible software driver for your device. If the folder contains a driver, make sure it is designed to work with windows x64"
    and in device manager, my 4G appeared in portable devices not usb.
    what should i do to connect to itunes? i want to edit songs & apps

    windows 7, x64, iph 4G, itunes x64 (downgrade)

  4. Haven't had that issue, but my first approach would be to uninstall and reinstall iTunes (as that comes with all the iPhones drivers).

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