How to Deal when Your iPad, iPhone is Not Recognized in iTunes for Windows

Apple Inc. is leading provider of Apple smart phones (iPhone), iPod, iPad with unique set of features and facility for users. iTunes is an application developed by Apple Inc. for both Mac and Windows OS to manage import export of Media files. Using iTunes users can play, download, and manage all types of media files on iPod, iPad, iPhones etc. But, there are instances where users notice some issues when they connect iTunes with iPhone or Apple related products to import export media files. This section will reveal some of the issues when your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch is not available under Devices in iTunes when you connect it to the computer.

Here are few recommendations to resolve the issue (It is suggested not to manually place the device into recovery mode while trying these steps).

Steps to Verify If Apple Mobile Device is Installed

Windows Vista and 7 = Go to Control Panel » Uninstall a Program » Check if Mobile Device Support is visible in the list of installed programs. Windows 8 = Control Panel » Uninstall a Program > Check the list of programs and make sure Apple Mobile Device Support is listed.

What to do Next If Apple Mobile Device Support is Not Installed?

If you don't see Apple Mobile Device Support in installed programs then, remove iTunes, QuickTime Apple Software Update & Apple Application Support and reinstall iTunes. If after reinstalling iTunes Apple Mobile Device also fails to list it in installed programs, restart your Apple Mobile Device Service.

Check For Install Apple Mobile Device USB Driver

Applicable for Windows Vista, 7 & 8 Users

Windows XP Device Manager

Detect Apple Mobile Device USB driver from the list and check if this entry is displayed without any arrow or symbols like "!". If so then driver is installed successfully.

If "Down arrow" mark is appearing along with Device manager, it indicates that Device is disabled. To enable this, right click on Apple Mobile Device USB Driver and select "Enable" from the short cut menu.

If Apple Mobile Device USB Driver is listed along with exclamatory mark (!), it means you need to reinstall the Apple Mobile Device driver. Right click on device and choose uninstall from the shortcut menu. Also select "Delete the driver software for this device" and 'Ok' to continue.

In Device Manager Window, right click on "Universal Serial Bus controllers" and select Scan for hardware changes.

This automatically reinstalls the necessary drivers and tries to remount the device.
If still there is exclamation or question mark over Driver then right click and choose Properties, in General tab look up under "Device status".
If following message "Windows cannot verify the digital signature for the drivers required for this device. A recent hardware or software change might have installed a file that is signed incorrectly or damaged or that might be malicious software from an unknown source (Code 52)" then follow these steps:

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users = Windows Advanced Option will appear on screen, press down arrow until "Disable forced driver signing enforcement" is highlighted. Now press return key.

Windows 8 users = Windows Advanced Options list should appear, press drop down arrow until "Disable forced driver signing enforcement" is listed. Press Return key.

What If Different Error Code Arrives in Apple Mobile Device?

If you observe a different type of error code in Apple Mobile Device driver then right click on Apple Mobile Device entry and select "Update Driver Software"

Choose "Browse my computer for driver software" and click on "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer".

Choose Have Disk button, if does not appears select a device category such as mobile or storage device available in list. Click next and Have disk button will appear.

Click on 'Browse' option and go to following location "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers". Now double click on "usbaapl" file (If you don't see any usbaapl file then probably you are not using 64 bit version of Windows, or any driver folder is not location here look up in C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers instead).

Now click on Open » Next » Finish and Windows will install the driver.

During installation if you receive or see error message stating software you are installing has not passed Windows logo testing, you are required to click on Continue Anyway to carry on installation process of the drivers in system.

What If Apple Mobile Device USB Driver is Not Listed?

If you don't see Apple Mobile Device USB Driver listed in program then you need to disconnect device from the computer.

  1. Reconnect the device to the computer and open the Device Manager in Windows versions
    • Windows 8 = Type Devmgmt.msc in search option and press Enter.
    • Windows Vista or Windows 7 = Start » Type Devmgmt.msc and Enter, click on 'Continue' to grant permission for process.
  2. Expand all following segments: Imaging Devices, Other Devices, Portable Devices, and Universal Serial Bus Controllers.
  3. Search for entry that recognizes the device as camera but it should be Apple iPhone, iPad or iPod.
If Any Unknown Device Appears
If Only Apple iPhone, iPad Or iPod Appears
If Device Is Not Recognized Through Recovery Mode

If your device is not recognized in recovery mode then it is result of update or restore of device. Usually, when device runs in recovery mode then it displays "Connect to iTunes" logo.

If iTunes does not recognize the device then:

If Only One Apple Mobile Device USB Driver Entry is Visible Without Any Errors

Check if computer has USB 3.0 ports or not. To check this either locates USB 3.0 or Super Speed USB in Universal Serial Bus Controllers, if these are listed it indicates that you have USB 3.0.

If you have USB 3.0 = Try to connect the device with different USB port. Some of the computers have USB 2.0 instead of 3.0 USB ports so this might also help to resolve the issue.

If Twin Entries of Apple Mobile Device (Recovery mode) are Seen with Exclamation Marks
Uninstall Third Party Software Programs From System

It could also be a result of some third party software program when installed on your machine, so don't forgot to uninstall the program and test. Remove iTunes and all related Apple software and reinstall iTunes and test the device whether it recognize or not. If you still need the third party program you uninstalled, then reinstall it and test whether device still functions with iTunes or not.