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What to do when your Apple iPhone 8 is not recognized by a Windows computer or iTunes? [Troubleshooting Guide]

While iTunes plays a great role when it comes to backing up of iOS devices, it can also cause you some troubles especially when things go wrong with either the computer or iTunes program itself. Just like any other computer programs, iTunes can also become unstable at times due to certain factors. And this is when you will be prompted with iTunes error code when trying to download contents for your iOS device, installing software updates or restoring iOS.

In this post, we will tackle a particular problem with iTunes on a Windows computer. Many people have been into a problem in which the computer or iTunes is unable to recognize their iOS device. Even some of the first few owners of the new iPhone 8 are troubled with the same issue while attempting to use iTunes to manage iOS device on a Windows computer.

What could have barred your iPhone from establishing connection with your computer and what should be done as remedy? If you have the same questions that need answers with in mind, then this post is for you. Just keep reading to learn your options in dealing with a pertinent issue on the new iPhone 8 handset.

If you are looking for a solution to a different problem, make sure you drop by our iPhone 8 troubleshooting page for we have already addressed a lot of issues with this device and we may have already published a post that addresses your concern. Browse through the page to find issues that are similar with yours and feel free to use our solutions. If you still need our help after that, then fill up our iPhone issues questionnaire to contact us.

What makes your computer unable to recognize or communicate with your iPhone 8?

It’s not just one but several factors can cause problems with detecting external devices attached to the computer. You will need to look into a possible issue on the USB cable, USB ports, computer system, iTunes program, and the iOS device itself. That being said, you will need to troubleshoot your iPhone, the computer, and iTunes program in order to resolve the underlying cause. Outlined below are possible solutions are recommended workarounds that you may consider among your options when troubleshooting the problem.

Recommended workarounds and possible solutions

Below is a rundown of generic solutions and general recommendations you can use to troubleshoot your iPhone 8, your Windows computer, or iTunes when dealing with problems on external device detection.

Disconnect and reconnect your iPhone 8

It is inevitable for computers to fail to recognize external devices the first time they’re plugged in. This can occur as a temporary software glitch, which can be rectified by a redo. That being said, try to unplug or disconnect your iPhone from the computer for about 30 seconds and then plug it back into the computer. Make sure that both ends of the USB connector are properly secured.

Restart your computer and iPhone 8

Restarting the computer can help rectify minor glitches that might have prevented it from reading and recognizing your iOS device. The same thing it does to your iPhone 8. Should a glitch prevents your iPhone from communicating with the computer or iTunes software, a reboot (soft reset) will likely handle it.

  • To restart a Windows computer, close all programs you’ve opened then click Start-> Restart. If it’s frozen, just do a long press on the (CPUs) Power button until it powers off. After 1 minute, press the Power button again until it power cycles.
  • To restart your iPhone 8, just press and hold the Side button or Power button for a few seconds until the Drag to Power Off screen appears. Drag the slider to power off your device completely. Then after 30 seconds, press the Side button again until it power cycles.

Reconnect your iPhone to the computer afterwards and see if the computer is now able to detect it.

Update your computer operating system, if necessary

Keeping the computer’s operating system up to date is highly recommended to evade issues associated with obsolete or outdated system platform. Doing so will likewise eliminate computer problems caused by some bugs as updates also contain bug fixes. So if you haven’t already, try to check for available system update for your Windows computer and if there is, download and install update. After updating the computer system, try to reconnect your iPhone 8.

Quit or exit all running programs on your computer

Running programs on the computer can also cause conflict especially if one of them gets corrupted and becomes rogue. While computers are capable of multitasking, things can go wrong sometimes when multiple programs are kept opened in the background. When this happens, other computer functions will become affected including external device recognition.

Disable security software like antivirus or firewall temporarily

Security software installed and enabled in computers can also bar access to external devices. Your iPhone is also considered an external device the moment it is attached to the computer through a USB connector. When a firewall or antivirus sees any potential threat, that is when it denies access to your iPhone. As a result, the computer will no longer be able to communicate with your iOS device. If you are using any security software on your computer, try disable it temporarily then try to connect your iPhone 8. You can re-enable it when you’re done using iTunes to manage iOS.

Install Apple drivers manually on your Windows computer

If your iPhone 8 is not recognized by the computer or recognized but as a camera device, it denotes that iOS drivers are missing, corrupted, or not properly installed on your computer. In this case, installing Apple drivers manually can help. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Check and ensure that iTunes is up to date. If necessary, download and install the latest version of iTunes for your computer.
  2. Open the Control Panel by pressing the Windows key and X key simultaneously.
  3. Select Hardware and Sound.
  4. Open the Devices and Printers folder. You should see your iPhone 8 is marked as Unspecified.
  5. Right-click on your iOS device (iPhone 8) and select Properties.
  6. If you don’t see your iPhone 8 in the list, make sure that you have tapped the Trust this computer prompt on your iPhone screen and that the USB cable your are using to connect your iPhone to the computer is not damaged.
  7. On your computer, click on the Hardware tab then click Properties.
  8. Click the General tab then select Change settings then OK.
  9. Click the Driver tab then click Update Driver button.
  10. Select the option that says, Browse my computer for driver software in the opened window.
  11. Click Browse…
  12. Then navigate to This PC->C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers folder. If you don’t have this folder on your computer, try to go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers folder and then make your selections.
  13. Click Next then Close.

Restart your computer and iPhone again then try to reconnect.

Update iTunes if necessary

It’s possible that the version of iTunes you have could be outdated. You can check for iTunes update by going to Help-> Check for Updates menu on your computer’s iTunes app. If iTunes is already up to date but your computer still cannot recognize your iPhone 8, then there may still be some trouble with the iOS drivers on your Windows computer. In this case, try to remove or uninstall iTunes and all its components from the computer. This will not affect the contents of your iTunes library. Then check and see if your iPhone 8 is now correctly detected by the computer or iTunes.

Other helpful suggestions to consider

  • Check and ensure your USB cable is working. Use only the original Apple (OEM) cable. You may try another USB cable but do not use a USB hub. Also check and ensure both the USB slots on your computer and iPhone are free from damage and dirt.
  • Unlock your iPhone with your passcode, if Auto-Lock is enabled and make sure the iPhone is displaying the Home screen. Try to connect your iPhone to the computer while it’s unlocked.
  • If prompted on your iPhone to Trust This Computer, tap Trust to confirm and grant access.
  • Make sure that your iPhone is not detected as a camera device on your Windows computer. Open My Computer and make sure that your device is detected as an iPhone and not as a folder or imaging device. The computer may have recognized your iPhone as a camera device if you don’t have iTunes installed on the computer. This means that you can only access your iPhone’s Camera roll. Other operations like viewing, syncing, or backing up contents on the iPhone are not available. In this case, you will need to get the iOS drivers with iTunes downloaded and installed to your computer.

What to do if iTunes or your computer does not recognize your iPhone 8 and prompts you with unknown error 0xE?

If you are prompted with an unknown error or 0xE error, try to do these steps:

  • Verify and ensure that your computer is running the latest software (OS) version. Do the same with the iTunes software on your computer.
  • Make sure that your iPhone is turned on and if necessary, unlocked.
  • If you are prompted with a Trust this computer alert, unlock your iPhone then tap Trust.
  • Remove or unplug all other USB accessories from your computer except for your iPhone. Try to switch from one USB port to another to see if one works while the others not. If available, try another Apple USB cable.
  • Restart your iPhone 8 and your computer.

If that still won’t work, try connecting your iPhone 8 to another computer (if available). You can try using a Mac computer instead. If the same problem occurs on another computer, then you should contact Apple Support for further assistance and other options. Unfortunately, there is nothing much more you can do on your end to further troubleshoot the problem. Or if you suspect that the problem is on the computer you are using, contact Microsoft Support instead.

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