By Dylan / Last update September 7, 2022


iPhone internal storage not showing

I want to put my photos taken by iPhone into Photoshop but I can’t transfer photos from iPhone to PC. I used USB cable to connect iPhone to computer and was going to copy photos from iPhone as usual, but I got only an empty folder. Why? What should I do with it?

- Question from Apple Community

As a photographer, photos taken by iPhone need to be transferred to computer because they have taken a lot of storage on iPhone and editing them on computer is necessary.

Unlike Android, you can’t view everything on iPhone when connecting it to computer. Apple only allows users to view data in the camera roll. That means you could only export only photos and videos in Windows File Explorer.

Usually, it is enough for iPhone users to export photos, but because of some rules of iOS, computer failed to read iPhone storage. The common issues are device storage is not showing, photos in DCIM is not showing or a device attached to the system is not functioning.

Why DCIM folder is empty?
If you could see the device name of your iPhone in Windows File Explorer, but there are no photos in the DCIM folder, your driver and connection are OK. It is your permission that iPhone is waiting to let computer read photos and videos. Refer to Section 1.

There might be something wrong with the connection or privacy protection, but don’t worry, you could find the best solution in the following content.

Section 1. How to fix iPhone internal storage not showing

The first thing you need to check is the hardware. Try different USB cables and USB ports to connect iPhone to computer. Do not use a USB hub because a low power supply cannot be used to transfer data. Make sure your hardware is OK and then troubleshoot this issue with the listed solutions below.

#1 Trust This Computer: Even if you have trusted this PC, iPhone would let you trust it again after several days, so tap trust on your iPhone.

#2 Unlock the Screen: If the screen is locked, you could not find any photos or videos in DCIM folder or even the folder. Unlock the screen and then you could find them there.

#3 Restart Computer: Sometimes system glitches might cause the error that you could not find the device name of your iPhone in Windows File Explorer. Restarting computer would fix the issue for you.

#4 Download iCloud Photos: If you are using iCloud Photos, your photos might disappear from DCIM folder. This is because you have checked Optimize iPhone Storage to save space on iPhone.

Your photos on iPhone are compressed thumbnail pictures. If you tap any photos, it takes time to download from the server. If you connect iPhone to computer, you cannot find them because they are not stored in iPhone internal storage yet.

Go to iPhone Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Photos > select Download and Keep Originals.

Turn on iCloud Photos

If you find not all iPhone photos showing up on computer, it is because the downloading hasn’t been finished. Connect a fast Wi-Fi and wait patiently. You could also directly download iCloud photos to PC.

#5 Delete iPhone Driver: Driver is needed to connect the device and lets you access iPhone internal storage. If something went wrong with the driver, you could delete it and it would be automatically reinstalled next time.

Right-click the Windows icon on desk top in the lower-left corner > select Device Manager > select Portable Devices > right click Apple iPhone > check to Delete the driver software for this device > click Uninstall > click OK. Then you need to restart computer and connect iPhone with USB cable again to see whether it works.

#6 Manually Update Apple Driver: Outdated Apple Mobile Device USB driver could make iPhone not showing in Windows Explorer. To read iPhone internal storage, you need to manually update the driver.

Connect iPhone to computer with USB cable > right-click the Windows start icon on the desktop > select Device Manager > expand Potable Devices > right-click the name of your iPhone > select Update driver > Select Search automatically for updated driver software. Now you could find your iPhone photos on PC.

Update Apple Driver

Section 2. How to easily get photos and videos off iPhone like a pro

Using Windows File Explorer could directly find your photos but it gives you no clue to fix all kinds of issues. If there is a professional tool for you, reading iPhone internal storage would be much easier each time.

FoneTool is such a professional iPhone data transfer. It will automatically help you troubleshoot any connection issues to help you successfully build a connection between iPhone and computer.

Fast Transfer speed: It gives you a much fast speed to transfer photos and videos on your iPhone. You can save your time, especially you have many items to transfer.
Transfer multiple data: FoneTool could be used to transfer photos, videos, contacts, and other data from iPhone to PC or from PC to iPhone.
★ Preview and Select: In FoneTool, you could preview iPhone photos and select to export the original photos.
★ Great Compatibility: FoneTool supports Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/SP, iOS 16/15/14/13 and the latest iOS devices iPhone 14/13/12/11/XS and iPad 8/Air 4.

Step 1. Download FoneTool and connect iPhone to PC with USB cable.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. Select Phone Transfer on the home screen. Move cursor to the iPhone to PC transfer mode, and click "Start Transfer".

Transfer to Computer

Step 3. Click the cross icon to view photos and videos on iPhone.

Select Files

Step 4. Select the photos from iPhone and click OK.

Choose Photos

Step 5. Click Start Transfer to get your photos on computer.

Transfer Photos


iPhone internal storage not showing or empty on PC might be caused by System glitches or driver issues. You could follow the 6 solutions above to fix it.

Or you can turn to the professional iPhone backup software named FoneTool. It helps you easily transfer original photos from iPhone to Windows computer without any connection issues. You could share this guide to help more people.

FoneTool Runs Perfectly on

iOS Versions
  • iOS 16/15/14/13/12/11 and former
  • iPadOS 16/15/14/13/12/11 and former
iOS Devices
  • iPhone 14/14 Pro (Max), 13/13 mini/Pro (Max), iPhone 12/12 mini/Pro (Max), iPhone 11/11 Pro (Max)
  • iPhone X/XR/XS/XS Max, iPhone 8/8 Plus, iPhone 7/7 Plus, iPhone 6/6s/6s Plus
  • iPhone SE (1st, 2nd, 3rd generations)
  • iPod touch 1/2/3/4/5/6/7
  • All models of iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad Pro and iPad