Through iTunes, you can manage your iOS data, update and restore your iOS device on a computer. This tool can also be used to fix an iOS device that’s going through some major types of system issues like corrupted iOS that could not be remedied by the standard factory reset. To make all these possible, you’ll have to install iTunes on a compatible computer beforehand. And once you have it installed, use the original USB cable or Lightning cable to connect your iOS device to the computer. When iTunes and your iOS device synced, you’re all set to manage your iOS files using the platform. But for some reason, there are times when iTunes just couldn’t get to recognize or detect an iOS device. Read on to learn what should be done whenever you’ll be in the same scenario wherein your iPad Air 3 is not recognized in iTunes.
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Fixing iPad Air 3 that’s not recognized in iTunes
Before you begin troubleshooting, check both ends of the Lightning cable or USB cable connecting the iPad and the computer and make sure they are tightly plugged in. Then proceed to these workarounds.
The underlying cause of the problem is either on the iPad system or the computer in use. Thus every possible trigger on both devices must be eliminated.
Troubleshooting the iPad Air
Performing the following procedures will rule out software-related factors on the iOS that’s halting or causing conflicts to iTunes.
First solution: Reboot your iPad Air.
This helps eliminate minor problems caused by random app glitches and firmware crashes. To reboot your iPad Air 3, follow these steps:
- Press and hold down the Power/Top button for a few seconds until the Power off slider appears.
- Drag the slider to power off your device.
- After a few seconds, press and hold the Power/Top button until the Apple logo appears.
Allow your iPad to finish its boot-up sequence and then reconnect it to the computer to see if iTunes is already able to detect it. If your iPad Air 3 is still not recognized, then move on to the next procedure.
Second solution: Disable Restrictions on your iPad Air.
When restrictions are enabled, there’s a tendency for it to interfere with the syncing process between iTunes and your iPad. To rule this out, disable restrictions on your iPad Air settings with these steps:
- Go to Settings.
- Select General.
- Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.
- Then select the option to Disable Restrictions.
- Enter your restrictions passcode again when asked to disable restrictions.
After turning off your iPad restrictions, retry connecting to iTunes and see if it’s still not recognized.
Third solution: Update your iPad Air to the latest iOS version.
Software updates usually contain bug fixes to eliminate relevant errors. If you haven’t set your iPad to auto-update, then you can check for updates through settings. Here’s how:
- Tap Settings from your Home screen.
- Tap General.
- Tap Software Update.
If a new update is available, you’ll see a notification containing the update details and system requirements. Whenever you’re ready to update your device, just select the option to download and install.
Reboot your iPad after updating to ensure that all new system changes are properly implemented. If your iPad is still not recognized, then try the next procedure.
Fourth solution: Reset all settings on your iPad Air.
This will solve the problem if invalid settings on the iOS device are to blame. All customized settings are deleted in the process while the original values and options are restored. Here’s how to get started:
- From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
- Tap General.
- Tap Reset.
- Select the option to Reset all settings.
- Enter your passcode to proceed.
- Tap the option to confirm all settings reset.
Allow your iPad to reboot itself when the reset is finished. As soon as it boots up, you can re-enable necessary features and see if it’s still not recognized by iTunes.
Troubleshooting the computer
To eliminate possible culprits from within the computer system that might have prevented it from recognized your iPad Air 3, try these methods.
First solution: Reboot your computer.
Computers also experience random system glitches and inconsistencies due to minor firmware crashes and system bugs. To deal with minor symptoms and errors, restarting or rebooting the computer can help. It’s in fact the simplest solution to various types of problems and errors inflicted by random firmware crashes.
Just follow the standard procedures of restarting your computer either from the Start or Apple menu or through shortcut key combinations. Before restarting the computer, disconnect your iPad Air or unplug it from the computer. Then you can plug it back in whenever your computer is finished rebooting. Once the iPad is connected to the computer and it’s still not recognized, then try the next solution.
Second solution: Remove other external devices except the keyboard and mouse.
Other external devices that are attached to the computer’s USB port can also cause conflicts and may interfere with the syncing process between your iOS device and the computer system or iTunes. As a result, iTunes would prompt an error as it fails to detect your iPad Air 3 even when it’s already plugged into the USB port. To rule this out, remove any other external devices from the computer except for the keyboard and mouse, then plug your iPad Air back in to see if that makes some positive changes.
If that makes your iPad recognized in iTunes, then you’re all good else, try performing other methods. However, if the problem continues and your iPad is still not recognized in itunes, try the next solution.
Third solution: Disable security software on your computer.
If you have some security software enabled or running on your computer, then it’s possible that your software is barring the iPad from syncing with iTunes. This usually occurs if the security software perceives some threat the moment your iPad Air is plugged into the computer. And to prevent your iPad from ruining the entire system, the software acts accordingly and deny access to your iPad. As a result, iTunes couldn’t get to recognize your iOS device even when it’s securely plugged into the USB port.
To make sure that this isn’t preventing iTunes from recognizing your iPad Air, disable firewall or any antivirus software on your computer then reconnect your iOS device.
On Windows, disabling the firewall is done through the Control Panel. Here’s how it’s done:
- Open the Control Panel.
- Click the System and Security link.
- Select Windows Firewall.
- Click the option to Turn Windows Firewall off.
- Then click to mark the bubble (radio) button next to Turn off Windows Firewall (Not Recommended).
- Then click OK to save the changes.
To disable antivirus software like Windows Defender, follow these steps:
- Click the Start menu.
- Open Settings.
- Click Update & Security.
- Click the Windows Security tab in the upper-left side of the screen.
- Click Virus & threat protection then click Virus & Threat protection settings.
- Finally, disable Windows Defender’s real-time scanning.
To disable firewall on Mac OS X version 10.6 or Snow Leopard, refer to these steps:
- Click the Apple menu from the toolbar.
- Select System Preferences.
- Select View then click Security when the System Preferences screen appears.
- Click on the Firewall tab.
- Then click the Stop button to disable your firewall.
To disable or turn off antivirus for Mac, select the software icon located on the menu bar of your Mac then choose the option to Shut Down [name of the antivirus software]. Then antivirus software icon should disappear and then program is disabled.
There are also some antivirus programs for Mac like Trend Micro Antivirus program that offers a diagnostic toolkit. You can use the Diagnostic Toolkit to turn off your antivirus software for Mac. Here’s how:
- Open the Spotlight search box then type the name of the antivirus software to show all files related to the program.
- Click to select Trend Micro Antivirus Diagnostic Toolkit.
- Navigate to the General tab.
- Then click the Stop Components button.
- Click OK from the confirmation message.
After disabling turning off firewall and antivirus software on your computer, connect the iPad again and see if it’s still not recognized in iTunes.
Don’t forget to re-enable the firewall and antivirus software after using iTunes to ensure security on your computer system.
Fourth solution: Update or reinstall iTunes on your computer.
Problems like this can also be due to the iTunes program that’s corrupted and is no longer working properly. In this case, updating or reinstalling the program is recommended.
If you’ve downloaded iTunes from the Apple website to your Windows computer, follow these steps to update the program:
- Open iTunes on your computer.
- Navigate to the menu bar at the top of the iTunes screen then click Help.
- Select the option to Check for Updates.
- Follow the onscreen prompts to install the latest version of iTunes.
If you’ve downloaded iTunes from the Microsoft Store, you won’t see an option to Check for Updates from the Help menu. This is because iTunes will be automatically updated from the Microsoft Store whenever a new version is released.
If you’re using iTunes on Mac, updates for iTunes are bundled with macOS updates. So all you have to do is go to the Apple menu, select System Preferences, then click on Software Update. Or you can also open the App Store on your Mac and then click Updates at the top of the screen. If any iTunes updates are available, click the option to Install.
Reboot your computer after updating iTunes to refresh the program and your computer’s memory. Then reconnect your iPad Air to see if the problem is fixed.
If updating iTunes doesn’t solve the problem, then you may have to consider uninstalling the program and then reinstall it on your computer. Doing so helps eliminate complex errors affecting the app’s core functions and gives it a clean fresh start.
Fifth solution: Install OS and driver updates on your computer.
Installing new updates for your computer’s operating system can also help solve the problem, especially if it’s attributed to some major system bugs. Aside from software updates, installing driver updates for Windows or Mac is also recommended.
To update drivers on Mac, follow these steps:
- Click on the Apple Menu.
- Select Software Update.
- Then wait for any available updates to show up in the list.
To update drivers in Windows 10, follow these steps:
- Open the Search box on the task bar then enter device manager.
- Select Device Manager then a category to view the names of devices.
- Right-click the Apple driver to update it.
- Select the option to Update driver.
- Then select Search Automatically.
For further assistance in updating drivers, contact Apple Support (for Mac) or Microsoft Support (for Windows). They can also walk you through configuring your computer’s settings in a way that allows iTunes to detect your iPad Air 3 immediately upon plugging it into the computer’s USB port.
Still couldn’t get iTunes to recognize your iPad Air 3?
At this point, check the hardware components. Performing the above procedures is usually enough when ruling out software-related factors that caused conflicts on both the iOS device and the computer system. If you’ve exhausted all of them but to no avail, some hardware components such as defunct USB cable/Lightning cable or damaged USB port on either iPad or the computer are likely to blame. To clear this out, try using other USB cable or Lightning cable or plug the cable into a different USB port. Or you can also try connecting your iPad to another computer if you got one available.
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