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My Laptop doesn't recognize iPhone but iTunes does?


New Member
Feb 19, 2015
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I want to get some pictures & movies off my iPhone 5S running iOS10.1.1. My Asus ROG laptop doesn't have my iPhone show up in "This Computer" when I plugged it in. I have no "errors" in Device Manager. I go to iTunes & it sees the phone just fine. I plugged my phone into a different laptop then desktop & both showed they can see the phone & the internal drive. However when you click on the drive its says its empty.

So I have a few questions.
-Why would my laptop not see the plugged in phone but iTunes does?
-Why would my laptop not see the plugged in phone but 2 other computers do?
-Why could the 2 others computers see the iPhone & show it only has 156MB free but when you click on the drive it says is empty?
-Also why do the computers say I only have 156MB free, the phone says 165MB but iTunes says 1.7GB?
Thanks for the help!


Super Moderator
Staff member
Mar 20, 2012
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Alberta Canada
Make sure your laptop is running the latest version of iTunes. (12.5.4)

We keep this thread up to date with latest OS versions.


I no longer have a Windows computer that will run the latest versions necessary for communication with iOS 10, so I'm not familiar with the way Windows communicates with IOS devices. However, it's not strictly true that Windows sees an iPhone as a drive. It sees it as a digital camera. iTunes supplies the necessary drivers for iOS, so I assume that the differences you are seeing is due to the versions installed. Also, computers have to be authorized in iTunes (Accounts in the menu). That could be the reason the storage appears to be empty.


Dec 26, 2016
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I know exactly how to fix your problem. Go into settings>general>reset>reset location and privacy. Through personal experience, I've learned that when you select "Don't trust" when the option appears after plugging in your IOS device into a windows machine, it blocks off your devices internal storage to non apple applications (I.E., Windows File Explorer). When you reset your location and privacy settings, and plug in your device to your laptop, select Trust when the message appears. This will enable you to transfer photos through File Explorer. Hope this helps!