How to Fix iPhone Failed to Connect to iTunes

--Tuesday, Nov.29, 2016

It's reported from our readers that their iPhones fail to connect to iTunes somehow when they tend to update to the latest iOS, transfer data, backup data or restore data from an iTunes backup. 

"Hi Selena. I was going to do an iTunes backup but it prompts me that 'iPhone cannot connect to iTunes' when I plugged my iPhone 6s in the computer."

Actually, there are four different cases of which you might be in trouble with. However, before you drill down one by one, you can try some common workarounds in the first place.

Solutions: Common Solutions to Try When Connection Fails

1. Check whether the USB cable is fully plugged with your iPhone and into the computer.

2. Switch to another USB cable. It's recommended to use the original cable bundled with your iPhone. Third party cable might allow you to juice up your device but prevent from connecting to iTunes.

3. Plug your iPhone in another USB port. Sometimes it happens due to the poor performance of USB port, which might make iTunes fail to detect and recognize your device.

4. Restart your iPhone, your Mac/PC and try to connect them once more. It works most of the time.

5. Make sure that the iTunes has been upgraded to the latest version. Most possibly, the bug you're facing would be addressed on the latest version of iTunes.

Case 1: iPhone Can be Detected but Fails to Sync Data

This problems might result from the restrictions in your iPhone. Please try the followings and see whether it's solved.

Step 1. Open "Settings" app on iPhone.

Step 2. Tap on "General" option.

Step 3. Scroll down and choose "Restrictions".

Step 4. Enter your Passcode and select "Disable Restrictions".

Disable Restriction

Case 2: iPhone Cannot be Detected

It might be caused by the corrupt or malfunction of iTunes files, so you have to delete it as to get it right.

Please close iTunes at first and find out the file under this folder: /var/mobile/Media/iTunes_Control. Then, reboot iTunes and see whether it can detect your iPhone.

iPhone Cannot be Detected

Case 3: iPhone Cannot be Detected Exclusively on Your Computer

If your iPhone can connect to iTunes on other computers other than yours, there must be something wrong with your computer. It's recommended to uninstall all the Apple-related software on your computer and re-install iTunes later on.

Please uninstall all the software listed below:

  • iTunes

  • QuickTime

  • iCloud Panel

  • Apple Application Support

  • Apple Mobile Device Support

  • Apple Software Update

  • Bonjour

Uninstall Apple Related Apps

Case 4: iTunes's Connection to the iPhone was Reset

iTunes might show you an error messages and stop the sync, which reads "The iPhone could not be synced because the connection to the iPhone was reset" as the following image shows. Please try the following methods to solve this problem.

1. Change to another USB port. Please unplug your device to which the USB cable is connected and instead plug in another USB port on your computer. Sometimes, electrical/circuit problems at the USB port can lead to a connection problem between iPhone and computer.

2. Use another USB connector instead. Generally speaking, simple issues with the cable can result in a connection problem, so you should switch to a new USB cable. Please note that though the cable might be working well when charging, it doesn't mean it will work well in connection to computer as well.

3. Reset Sync History (Currently Available on Windows).There is an option in iTunes named "Reset Sync History", which is known as a best bet to fix the connection issue. In order to reset sync history, please follow the steps below.

Step 1. Disconnect your iPhone if connected.

Step 2. Run iTunes on your computer.

Step 3. Click "Edit" and then click "Preferences".

Step 4. Select "Devices" option.

Step 5. Click on "Reset Sync History", and then quit iTunes.

Step 6. Re-launch iTunes and reconnect your iPhone to it.

Normally, it works and you will not see the error messages any more. However, if it fails, please check out the last but not least solution to fix the issue.

Reset Sync History

4. Remove Lockdown folder. The lockdown folder is a protected folder on the computer containing temp data (mostly about syncing). You can deleting the folder or the contents of this folder as to reset the lockdown folder. You have to disconnect iPhone and quit iTunes completely before starting the process.

On Windows:

Step 1. Find the Search bar:

In Windows 7, click Start.

In Windows 8, click the magnifying glass in the upper-right corner.

In Windows 10, click the Search bar next to the Start button.

Step 2. In the Search bar, enter "%ProgramData%".

Step 3. Open the "Apple" folder and delete the "Lockdown" folder.

Step 4. Relaunch iTunes and connect your iPhone.

Lockdown Folder on Windows

On a Mac:

Step1. Click "Finder" and click on" Go" > “Go to Folder".

Step 2. Type in "/var/db/lockdown".

Step 3. Click on "View" > "Icons" to see some files.

Step 4. Highlight and delete all the contents in the "Lockdown" folder.

Note that don't delete the lockdown folder itself.

Step 5. Open iTunes and connect your iPhone to it.

Lockdown Folder on Mac

After you've try all these solutions, I'm sure the problems will be solved with ease. However, if not, you're welcome to drop your comments below or contact me. Moreover, if you want to transfer, backup or restore data, why not try other choices instead - iPhone Transfer & iPhone Data Recovery.

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