4. Select the Trust option
First, note that users need to select a Trust option that appears on their iPhones when they connect mobiles with PCs. That will give the connected desktop or laptop full access to the iPhone.
So, users need to make sure they’ve selected Trust when they first connect mobile with PC. Resetting an iPhone’s settings will ensure the Trust prompt appears when the mobile is connected.
So if iPhone is not showing files on PC, be sure to follow the instructions from above to fix this issue.
5. Connect the iPhone to PC with a lightning cable
Some useres reported that iPhone is not showing up in File Explorer if they are using unofficial USB cables.
So, connect the iPhone with an Apple Lightning cable that comes with it. The Lightning cable should also enable data transfer.
In addition, try connecting the cable with an alternative USB slot on the desktop or laptop. It might be the case that the USB port isn’t working.
6. Add some photos to the iPhone
Note that a connected iPhone doesn’t show up in Explorer if there aren’t any photos saved on it.
Some users have stated that their iPhones showed up in File Explorer after they added photos to their mobiles.
Check if there are pictures saved on your mobile. If not, take a few snapshots with the phone’s camera and save them.
7. Install Windows Media Pack on KN and N Platforms
Some users have stated that installing Windows Media Player on Win 10 platforms which don’t include that media player can fix the issue.
Users can install WMP on Windows 10 KN and N by opening a Windows Media Pack link from this page.
Open a Win 10 build version page to download it from, and then run the Windows Media Pack installer to install its software.
This is a quick and easy solution, so we advise you to try it out if iPhone is not showing files on your PC.
8. Reinstall iTunes
- Open the Run accessory with the Windows key + R hotkey.
- Input appwiz.cpl in Run and click OK to open the window shown directly below.
- Select iTunes and click Uninstall.
- Click Yes to provide further confirmation for the software removal.
- In addition, users will also need to uninstall Bonjour, Apple Mobile Device Support, Apple Software Update, and Apple Application Support via the Programs and Features Control Panel applet much the same.
- Restart Windows after uninstalling the Apple software.
- Press the Get button on the iTunes UWP app page.
Reinstalling iTunes is another resolution that can potentially help if iPhone is not showing up in File Explorer.
That will at least ensure that iTunes and its related programs are the latest versions.
9. Check the iTunes folder permissions
- Open Explorer with its Windows key + E hotkey.
- Select Music on the left of Explorer.
- Right-click the iTunes subfolder and select Properties.
- Deselect the Read-only option if it’s checked, and press the Apply button.
- Select the Security tab.
- Click the Edit button to open the window in image directly below.
- Select Full Control and all the other allow check boxes under Permissions for SYSTEM. Deselect selected deny check boxes if you can’t adjust the allow settings.
- Select the Apply option.
- Then click OK to close the window.
Apple iPhones might not appear in File Explorer for users who don’t have full folder permissions for their iTunes folders.
10. Add an iPhone File Explorer to Windows
There are numerous third-party file manager software tools for Windows with which users can browse photos, music, and videos saved on their iPhones.
Users can utilize iPhone file explorer software to browse their phones’ photos and videos without even opening File Explorer. So, users don’t need Explorer to browse iPhones in Windows.
Macgo iPhone Explorer is one of the freeware iOS file managers for Windows. Click the Free Download button on the software’s page to save the installer for iPhone Explorer.
Then users can add that software to Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, and Vista with its setup wizard. Connect a phone with PC, open iPhone Explorer’s window, and click Media Files to browse photos and videos with the software.
Those fixes will probably ensure iPhones shows up in File Explorer so that users can browse their mobiles’ photos and images within Windows.
Any users who have fixed the issue with alternative methods are welcome to share their resolutions below.
FAQ: Learn more about browsing iPhone photos
- How do I get photos off my iPhone without iTunes?
To get photos off your iPhone without iTunes, simply download Adobe Bridge on your PC and follow the procedure detailed in this dedicated article.
- Why can’t I transfer photos from iPhone to PC?
You cannot transfer photos from iPhone to PC if you haven’t selected the Trust option or if your iPhone doesn’t show up in File Explorer.
- How do I transfer photos from iPhone to a laptop using a USB cable?
To transfer photos, connect your iPhone to the PC, tap the notification that shows up, and choose the option that says Import photos and videos. If you can’t do so, refer to this detailed guide.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in February 2019 and was revamped and updated in January 2021 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.