[Solved] iPhone Not Showing in Windows 11/10/8/7 File Explorer

You may find your iPhone is not showing in Windows Explorer when you want to manage and transfer media files from iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch to Windows PC. This article will guide you how to fix this issue easily.


By Dylan / Updated on June 7, 2023

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Why is iPhone not showing in Windows Explorer?

Windows Explorer/File Explorer can be an easy way to manage and move photos, and videos to a computer. You just connect your iPhone to a computer via a USB cable. However, some people reported that their iPhone not showing up in Window Explorer so they can’t view iPhone photos on PC. Here we conclude several reasons making this issue:

● Faulty or underqualified USB cable: Windows can’t read your iPhone with an underqualified or corrupted USB cable.
Outdated Apple USB driver: A valid Apple USB driver is necessary to establish communication between an iOS device and a PC.
Windows 10 media pack missing: In some cases, no media files can be found in Windows 10 system, it is because the OS is missing media files pack.
● You don't have full access to iTunes folder: If the iTunes folder is not full controlled by your computer, your iPhone will not appear on your Files Explorer.

Next, according to these causes, this post will demonstrate several fixes helping you to solve iPhone not showing up in File Explorer/Windows Explorer on Windows 11/10/8/7.

How to fix iPhone not showing in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7 File Explorer?

Here we provide 6 methods helping you to fix this problem. You can try these solutions one by one until your iPhone appears in Files Explorer. Or you can directly turn to an alternative way- an iOS transfer tool introduced in this post to transfer and manage iPhone data.

Method 1. Try the official or MFi-certified USB cable

Using an original USB cable or accessories that got the Made For iOS(MFi) certification helps you create a fine connection between the computer and your iPhone. Besides, uncertified USB cables may damage your iPhone, iPad, and iPod.

If you have already got the original or MFi USB cable, try different USB ports on your computer. A corrupted USB port can also be the cause of the connection issue.

Lightning Cable

Method 2. Update Apple USB driver

If your iPhone drives do not appearing in the Windows File Explorer, you may need to reinstall the Apple USB driver.

Apple USB driver is used to communicate data between your iOS device and a Windows computer. Usually, it will automatically install when you first time to connect your iPhone to a PC. It can be outdated and make your iOS not show in File Explorer.

Follow the steps below to see how to reinstall Apple USB driver.

Step 1. Press the “Windows” key and “R” key to open Run box, and type “devmgmt.msc” on the box. Then press “Enter”.

Step 2. Once the Device Manager is launched, expand the “Portable Device”.

Step 3. Click “Update driver” to update the Apple driver.

Update Apple Driver

✍Note: If there is no newer version available, you can reinstall the driver. Just click “Uninstall device” in Step 3. Disconnect and reconnect your iPhone, the Apple USB driver will automatically be reinstalled.

Method 3. Install Windows 10 media pack

If your computer is running with Windows 10, some iPhone media files are missing in Windows Explorer. That can be related to a Windows 10 bug that affects the communication functionality of your PC with media files on external drives, CD, digital devices.

To fix this issue, please check: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3099229 to install the update.

Method 4. Change active drive in Device Manager

An outdated, invalid, or corrupted driver can cause your iPhone data not to show up in Windows. Another way to fix it is to change the active drive in Device Manager.

Step 1. Run Device Manager on your computer. Expand "Universal Serial Bus Controller". Go to the Device Manager on your computer and after that, expand “Universal Serial Bus Controllers”.

Step 2. Open “Apple Mobile Device USB Driver”.

Step 3. Choose the Driver tab. Click "Update Driver."

update driver

Step 4. Choose "Browse my computer for driver software". Then click "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer". 

Step 5. Click “MTP USB Device”. Click "Next" to continue. Then follow the instruction to complete it.

Note: MTP stands for Media Transfer Protocol. It actively used for transfer data between iPhone and computer.

Method 5. Make sure your computer has full access to the iTunes folder

iPhone not showing in Windows Explorer if you don't have full access to the iTunes folder. Here are the steps on how to solve this problem.

Step 1. Open "This PC" icon the desktop. Or press "Win" + "e" keys on your keyboards to open Files Explorer.

Step 2.  Click "Music" on the left side of the window. Right-click on the iTunes folder, and click "Properties".

Step 3. Make sure the "Read Only" is unchecked. And click "Apply" or "OK" to save the change.

Step 4. If the problem is still here. Choose "Security" tab on the Properties of iTunes folder. Click "Edit".

Step 5. In this dialogue, tick "Full Control" or tick "Allow" next to the Full Control. And save the change.

click full control

Method 6. Download iCloud photos to PC

If your iPhone videos and images not showing in Windows Explorer, these media files may not be present on your iPhone.

We know that with iCloud enabled, your photos videos that shot or stored on other devices like the iPad will be uploaded to your iCloud storage. Then your iPhone will store previews of these media files. So they actually not on your iPhone, you can download them on your iPhone.

1. Go to the “Settings” app on your iPhone. Tap the “Photos” app on the Settings.

2. Check “Download and Keep Originals” on the Photos option.

Turn On Photo Stream

Then open Windows Explorer to see if your pictures and videos folder is demonstrated on it.

Alternative to Windows Explorer to transfer data between iPhone and PC easily

Lots of users will use Windows Explorer to transfer and manage iPhone data on PC. However, it often failed to execute a task due to some problems like "iPhone not showing in Windows Explorer". And it seems not easier to use when you want to handle (import or export) a large amount of data.  

If you want to easy way to transfer data between iOS and PC, you can rely on this professional backup & transfer tool named FoneTool. This tool can easily transfer photos, videos, messages, contacts, and other files from iPhone to Windows computer, as well as from Windows to your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

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

Compared with Files Explorer, this tool is easier to use. FoneTool owns several advantages making it better than Windows Explorer and other tools to transfer data from iPhone to Windows 11/10/ 8/ 7 computer.

● Fast transfer speed. This tool provides fast speed to transfer files to a PC. For example, 1000 songs or pics can be moved to your computer in 10 minutes.
● Stable data transfer: It can create a stable connection between your iOS device and PC via USB cable, the process will not be interrupted by unexpected errors.
● Easy-to-use software: FoneTool comes with an intuitive interface making the process can be complete in a few clicks.

Now you can connect your iPhone to computer. Next we will guide you on how it works.

Step 1. Open FoneTool. To transfer data, click “Phone Transfer” on the left pane > Move the cursor to "iPhone to PC" and click "Start Transfer".

transfer to computer

✍Note: You can click “PC to iPhone” to transfer files from PC to iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.

Step 2. Click the “+” icon and select the file type you want to transfer, and click “OK”.

choose photos

Step 3. The selected files will be listed, and you can change a storage path on the "Transfer Settings". Then click “Transfer” to start the operation.



So this post list 5 methods to fix “iPhone not showing in Windows Explorer” in Windows. Hopefully, they can solve this problem. In addition, FoneTool is an effective and easy-to-use alternative to Windows File Explorer to transfer iPhone data to computer. Besides, this tool can also support converting HEIC photos to JPG, erasing iPhone, find and delete duplicate photos on iPhone and PC.

Dylan · Editor
Dylan is an editor of mobile backup software. He likes to share the latest news about iPhone and iOS, write useful tips, and give solutions to help people solve all kinds of issues.