If you’ve connected your iPhone or iPad to a Windows computer and you are encountering an error message that says “A device attached to the system is not functioning,” this guide is meant for you.
When this error appears on your computer, it usually means that your iOS device and your computer are not communicating well. The reason could be that your device isn’t connected properly or the USB cable isn’t working. It could also be down to the Settings on your iPhone.
Due to the wide variety of issues that could lead to this problem, we have listed down several solutions. What works for you might not work on another device, therefore, try each one of them until you fix the issue.
Solutions to ‘a device attached to the system is not functioning’
To fix this error:
1. Reconnect your device
When the connection between the USB storage device and your computer is not set up properly, the error message pops up. The connection problem could be because you are using a faulty USB cable or your iPhone or computer are not firmly attached to the connector.
To fix this, you have to try reconnecting your device. Confirm that the USB data cable you are using is firm on both your iPhone and computer. If that doesn’t help, then you will need to try using a different USB data cable. Try copying your files again to see if the problem is fixed.
2. Restart your computer and iPhone
At times, the error message pops up due to technical issues on your iPhone or computer. In many cases, technical issues are easily resolved by restarting devices. So in this case, you have to restart your computer and iPhone just in case one of them has technical issues.
After restarting, reconnect the devices to start copying again. If the error message appears again, try the next method below.
3. Change the transfer setting on your iPhone
It could be the transfer settings on your iPhone that could be leading to the error message. To fix the issue, you have to change the transfer settings.
Here are the steps to follow:
- On your iPhone, go to settings
- Tap on the Photos section
- Scroll down to find transfer to Mac or pc section
- Select the Keep Originals option
4. Switch USB ports
A problem with your computer’s USB port can also cause the error. To fix the problem, you have to try connecting your iPhone to a different USB port, especially one that supports 3.0 connectivity.
It is even better when you disconnect from your computer any extra peripherals- apart from the mouse or keyboard. This is done temporarily until you are done with the copying process.
5. Change Camera Settings
If you are transferring images or videos and this error pops up, you need to change the image format in order to proceed to share your files. To change the settings:
- Launch Settings
- Select Camera
- Go to Formats
- Change the current format to Most Compatible
Once you do this, all your pictures will be saved as JPEG files and won’t be distorted while transferring. Videos, on the other hand, will be saved as H264 which are easily shareable and will work across different devices.
6. Update device drivers and iTunes
The drivers or iTunes on your computer could be outdated, causing the error to occur. It is thus important to update device drivers and iTunes on your computer.
To update iTunes:
- Go to start menu
- Search for Apple software update
- Click on it to open
- Check if there is any latest iTunes version if so, click on it to install.
To update your drivers, you can go the manual way by visiting the manufacturer’s official website. To update automatically, you need driver updater tools like Driver Easy, Driver Talent, etc.
Hopefully, you will fix the error “a device attached to the system is not functioning” with one of the methods above. Feel free to share your opinions about the error in the comments section.
Alex is an IT technician who shares his experiences with Apple devices occasionally. He has a collection of Apple devices (from iPhone 4) and has recently started trying out Android.
IG: @I M_Alex