Picture this. You plug your iPhone 12 into your computer, but nothing happens: no icon appears, there’s no response of any kind. How do you get iTunes to recognise your iPhone 12?
Apple uses iTunes (or Finder, on Macs that have upgraded to macOS Catalina) to manage all of its iOS devices – a task which includes fixing, updating and restoring any software.
Unfortunately, things don’t always work as they should and your iPhone 12 might not get detected by iTunes. You connect your iPhone 12 to your computer via your USB cable, but it doesn’t appear anywhere on your computer, and iTunes doesn’t seem to recognize it.
This seems to particularly affect owners of iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max devices, and Windows computers. But the same problem can affect any iOS device and both Windows and Mac computers. In this guide, we explain why your iPhone 12 is not appearing on iTunes and how to fix the problem for good!
If you find your iPhone 12 not appearing on iTunes, the problem can be solved by simple restarts or updates, but in some cases, you may need to buy new cables or even contact Apple Support.
See also: Top 5 Advantages of a Mac over PC
What to do when your iPhone 12 isn’t showing up in iTunes
The following solutions will make your iPhone 12 appear in iTunes again. Since the guide includes a lot of troubleshooting, we ask that you start with the first potential fix and move down until you find the solution that works for you.
Solution #1: Use a different USB cable or USB port
If you find your iPhone 12 not appearing in iTunes, the first thing you should do is to try a different USB cable or USB port. USB ports and USB cables can easily become faulty, so it’s usually best to rule out the obvious stuff first. Here’s what you need to do:
If your computer has another USB port, try that one instead. Likewise, if you have another USB cable for your iPhone, try that.
Also, it’s worth trying a different computer if a different USB cable or port doesn’t work. If a different computer does detect your iPhone, then you know that the problem is most likely with your computer.
Solution #2: Restart your iPhone and computer
If your iPhone 12 isn’t showing in iTunes after trying the above steps, the next thing you can try is restarting your iPhone and then your computer. This is an obvious step, but it often works in such cases because restarts flush out your device’s RAM, which handles short-term data and tasks. For whatever reason, such data may be interfering with how your iPhone or computer is working. It’s always worth a try.
Solution #3: Turn on and unlock your iPhone
It’s pretty obvious, but you need to have your iPhone 12 turned on and unlocked before it will show in iTunes.
Solution #4: Trust your computer
One other simple thing to do when you see your iPhone 12 not being recognized by iTunes is to tap Trust when the “Trust This Computer?” notification pops up on your iPhone. Without doing this, iTunes won’t be able to detect your iPhone 12, since the latter will refuse to connect to your computer.
Also, you may have inadvertently tapped Don’t Trust at one point in time. Doing this means your iPhone 12 never sends data to your computer, and it might be the reason why your iPhone 12 isn’t showing in iTunes. If you suspect this to be the case, you can change your settings for trusted computers. To do this, go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Location & Privacy.
Solution #5: Update your software
If you find your iPhone 12 not detected by iTunes after trying the above steps, you should ensure everything is completely updated. If possible, update your iPhone, update iTunes, and update your computer’s OS (whether MacOS or Windows).
To update your Mac, you need to open System Preferences and then click Software Update. To update your Windows PC, you need to click the Start button, and then you go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update.
To update iTunes on a Mac, you need to open the App Store and then click Updates. If an iTunes update is available, click on it.
To update iTunes on a Windows PC, you need to open iTunes and then go to Help > Check for Updates.
Solution #6: Update the iPhone driver in Windows PC
If you’re running a Windows PC, try to update your iPhone’s driver software. If you do this frequently, your iPhone 12 will start showing in iTunes. We’ve outlined how to do this below if you used the Microsoft Store to download iTunes.
Step 1: Disconnect your iPhone from your PC. Then, unlock your iPhone and reconnect it to the PC via a USB cable.
Step 2: Right-click the Start button, then select Device Manager. Next, click Portable Devices so that it expands.
Step 3: Right-click on Apple iPhone (or whatever your PC may call your iPhone). Click Update Driver. Lastly, choose Search Automatically for Updated Driver Software.
Doing this will install new driver software for your iPhone 12. After it has installed, open iTunes. It should be able to detect your iPhone 12 now.
Alternatively, if you downloaded iTunes from Apple’s website rather than from the Microsoft Store, you should do the following to update your iPhone driver:
Step 1: Build a connection between your iPhone and computer via USB cable. Unlock it.
Step 2: Press the Windows R keys simultaneously, which opens the Run command. In the Run window, enter the following:
%ProgramFiles%Common FilesAppleMobile DeviceSupportDrivers
Step 3: Click OK. Right-click on either Usbaapl64.inf or Usbaapl.inf. Next, click Install. Lastly, disconnect your iPhone, restart your PC, and reconnect your iPhone before opening iTunes.
Solution #7: Update the Apple Mobile Device USB Driver in Windows PC
If you find your iPhone 12 not appearing in iTunes after trying the above steps, try updating the Apple Mobile Device USB Driver on Windows. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Press the Windows R keys simultaneously to launch the Run command. In the Run window, type in the following: devmgmt.msc
Step 2: Click OK. Next, click on Universal Serial Bus controllers to expand its sub-menu.Right-click on Apple Mobile Device USB Driver and then click Update driver to check for a newer version.
If you see an option for a more recent version, click to download it. Once the download is complete, connect your iPhone 12 again and check to see if it’s showing up.
Solution #8: Contact Apple Support
Let’s say you’ve tried all these troubleshooting options and tried connecting to a different computer, and your iPhone 12 is not appearing in iTunes, that probably means you’re facing a hardware problem. In this case, the only thing left to do is contacting Apple Support to see what they can do.
You might need to make a Genius Bar appointment at the nearest Apple Store so they can take a closer look.