Solved: Mac Doesn’t Recognize my iPhone

Summary: Is your Mac not recognizing the iPhone? Learn the 9 ways to fix iPhone not showing up on Mac. You can apply these methods for all iPhone models not recognized by macOS Catalina, Big Sur, High Sierra and below.

Solved: Mac Doesn’t Recognize my iPhone

You may want to backup iPhone data or transfer favorite photos, music, or videos to Mac. But sometimes your Mac computer doesn’t detect the iPhone when you try to connect it. There are so many complaints such as iPhone not showing up in Finder in Catalina or Macbook not recognizing iPhone 12. Some also reported an unknown error or a 0xE error when trying to connect iPhone to Mac computer. The situation is frustrating as it prevents you to sync iPhone to macOS and access iPhone data on Mac.

No worries. There are methods, which can fix the issue and let you again access your iPhone on Mac. But, first you should be aware why Mac fails to recognize your iPhone as this helps in troubleshooting the problem.

Why your iPhone not detected by Mac computer?

Mac does not detect your iPhone due to many reasons, such as

  • iPhone is not ‘on’ when connected to Mac.
  • iPhone is damaged.
  • The USB cable or USB port is not working.
  • Software updates are pending including iOS, iTunes, and macOS.
  • Third-party software conflict wherein 2 programs arecompeting for the same memory, peripheral device etc., on your Mac.
  • Firewall or Antivirus software is preventing Mac to recognize iPhone.
  • Mac settings don’t allow to view iPhone in Finder.
Mac Doesn't Recognize my iPhone

1. Check your iPhone

Before you connect your iPhone to Mac, make sure the iOS device is unlocked and on the Home screen.

2. Fix USB connection

When Mac computer doesn’t recognize iPhone, first check your USB connection. The USB cable or the port can be faulty. Try to connect iPhone to Mac using another Apple USB 2.0 cable. If that doesn’t work try with the different port. Plus, disconnect other USB devices from Mac except your iPhone.

3. Restart your iPhone

Restarting the iOS device would resolve any issue between your iPhone programs and iTunes. To restart hold volume/side/ top button depending on your iPhone model. Slide the red power off slider on your iPhone. Wait for your iPhone to turn off. After a few seconds, again restart iPhone. Now Mac should recognize your iPhone.

4. Restart your Mac

Restarting Mac clears the cache and memory of your system giving it a fresh start. It also installs pending updates.

5. Update your macOS

When iPhone is not showing up on Mac Finder but you can see it under USB Device Tree, update the macOS to the latest version. Make sure there are no pending software installs.

To check the USB Device Tree on Mac follow the below steps:

  • Click on Apple icon followed by About This Mac.
  • Click the System Report button.
  • Under Hardware, select USB.
USB Device Tree
Figure: USB Device Tree
  • On the right pane, you will see USB Device Tree. If you see your iPhone in the list, then update to the latest macOS.

6. Update iTunes

Older versions of iTunes can create conflict with normal Mac functions. Hence, Apple recommends installing the latest iTunes updates.

To install the latest iTunes, open iTunes. From the menu bar choose Help > Check for Updates and follow the prompts to install the latest version.

Now, check if your Mac recognizes the iPhone or not.

7. Disable antivirus on Mac

One of the reason cited for iPhone not detected by Mac is anti-virus or firewall protection on your system. So disable the antivirus or firewall and then try to connect your iPhone to Mac.

8. Enable iOS device in Mac Preferences

When iPhone is not showing on Mac Finder, check if your Mac Preferences allows to view iOS devices in Finder. To enable iOS device in Finder follow the below steps:

  • Go to Finder > Preferences.
  • Click on the Sidebar button in Finder Preferences box.
  • Check in CDs, DVDs and iOS Devices
Finder Preferences
Figure: Finder Preferences

This should fix iPhone not showing up in Finder on Mac.

9. Connect iPhone to a different Mac machine

Try by connecting your iPhone to another Mac. If you receive a message asking to ‘Trust this computer’, click on ‘Trust’ to access your iPhone data on the new computer. Make sure to backup iPhone to avoid data loss situation.

Tip: Have you lost or accidentally deleted Camera Roll, Contacts, Photos Stream, Voice Memos, or more while transferring iPhone data to Mac? No need to worry. Restore the deleted photos, videos, messages, contacts, etc., with the help of an efficient Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone for Mac.

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1. Can I connect iPhone with Mac wirelessly?

You can sync your Mac and iPhone over the same Wi-Fi network.

  1. Connect your iPhone to Mac using a USB cable.
  2. Open Finder on Mac and select your ‌iPhone in the sidebar.
  3. Click on the General tab.
  4. Check in Show this iPhone when on Wi-Fi.
  5. Click Apply.

2. How to fix my iPhone cannot connect to iTunes?

If iPhone is not showing up in iTunes, restart your devices and ensure macOS, iTunes, and iOS are updated. To know more methods, read How fix iPhone unable to connect to iTunes problem.

3. How to connect iPhone to the latest MacBook Pro 2021 that doesn’t have USB A port?

The new MacBook has USB Type-C port. You can use USB-C to Lightning cable to connect iPhone XR, SE, 11, and above to the new MacBook. If you have iPhone X or below use USB-A to Lightning cable.

4. Can I use the methods to fix iPhone 11 not recognized by macOS Monterey?

Yes, you can apply the above methods to fix any iPhone not detected by macOS Monterey, Big Sur, Catalina, or below.

5. Will I lose any data when syncing iPhone and Mac?

No, you won’t lose data by syncing iPhone to Mac. Syncing helps to access your iPhone data on Mac anytime from anywhere. However, if you accidentally delete iPhone data, use an iPhone Data Recovery software to restore it.

Wrapping Up

Syncing iOS device to macOS has so many advantages but if Mac is not recognizing your iPhone, you cannot transfer, back up, or access iPhone data on Mac. This post has shared 9 methods to fix the syncing issue of Mac and iPhone. One of them should resolve Mac not detecting your iPhone.

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