While trying to transfer files from your iPhone to a PC, you might encounter the error message “Device is unreachable”. It prevents the transfer of any file from your iDevice to your PC running Windows 10. This can be challenging and frustrating when you don’t know what to do.
Fortunately, there are several ways to solve the issue, and we’ve broken them down below. Keep reading to learn more.
Give your computer access
First, make sure the PC has access to your iPhone’s photos and videos. How? By clicking “Allow” whenever the prompt asking if you want to allow the device to access your photos and videos shows up on your screen.
If the prompt doesn’t show up when you connect your iOS device, unplug and connect it again. You could restart the computer too.
If you’re connecting iPhone to the Windows PC for the first time, a prompt will appear asking if you “Trust this Computer?”. You should select “Trust”.
How to fix “iPhone device is unreachable error”
If you are still getting the error message, try out these fixes.
1. Disable Image Conversion
This is very helpful, but it could also be the reason your iPhone is unreachable on Windows 10. To find out, change the settings by following these steps:
- Disconnect the iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod) from your computer
- Select Settings
- Go to Photos and scroll to the bottom
- When you get to “Transfer to Mac or PC”, check the “Keep Originals” option
- If “Keep Originals” was already checked, you should try switching to “Automatic” then back to “Keep Originals” again
- Connect your device again to your Windows 10 PC and transfer the files
NOTE: When you make this change, your media will be transferred in their original format. Which is only readable by the iOS system.
These are .HEIC (High-Efficiency Image Coding) for photos and .HEVC (High-Efficiency Video Coding) for videos. This means that in order to view the transferred media on your PC, you’ll have to convert them.
2. Try a different USB cable
In case the first option doesn’t work, try and change the USB cable. Make sure it’s original, and not frayed or damaged. Also, connect to different USB ports and see if it solves the problem.
For those with computers that have both USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, you should use the 2.0 port for the transfer.
This is because your iPhone model may not support USB 3.0 hence causing the error. And, even though USB 2.0 doesn’t transfer as fast as 3.0, it’ll get the job done seamlessly.
3. Update USB drivers
Make sure the computer’s USB drivers are updated. You can check for updates by connecting the PC to the internet then follow the procedure below:
- Right-click the Windows logo that’s at the bottom-left corner of your computer screen. A quick access menu will show up. Select “Device Manager”
- Click on “Universal Serial Bus Controllers” to expand it then scroll down and right-click on “USB Root Hub”. Click “Update Driver”
- Select “Search automatically for updated driver software”
Give the troubleshooter time to search for the latest updates for USB drivers on your computer and the internet. You should do this for each of the “USB Root Hub” drivers.
4. Update the iPhone drivers
Check if there are any available iPhone driver updates. First, connect the phone to your computer and give the PC access to your files.
Next, you should do the following:
- On your Device Manager, expand the Portable Device section then right-click on Apple iPhone driver and select Update driver
- Pick “Search automatically for updated driver software”
- Give Windows time to search for the iPhone driver updates and install the ones that will be available.
5. Troubleshoot your hardware
Use the Windows built-in troubleshooting tool to check for issues with devices attached to your computer. In this case, once you connect your iPhone to the PC, run the “Hardware and Device Troubleshooter”. Here is how to go about it:
- Press the Windows + R keys on your keyboard to launch the Windows Run prompt.
- Enter the following command in the dialog box
msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic
- Press OK to launch the “Hardware and Devices” troubleshooter.
- Select “Advanced” and pick the “Apply Repairs Automatically” option
- Click “Next” to continue with the process
The tool will scan your device for any hardware issues that might cause the error copying file or folder the and the device is unreachable. Once it’s done, you should restart your PC and reconnect the iPhone to try transferring the files again.
6. Update iOS and Windows
Lastly, you should update your iOS system. This could help to remove bugs that are preventing the transfer of files from your iPhone to your Windows PC.
Open “Settings” on your device, then go to “General” and select “Software Update” to download the available update.
Makes sure your Windows system is up to date too. Press Windows + I to go to Settings then select “Update & Security”. Click “Check for Updates”.
7. Other solutions
The other solutions that you should try to help you solve this problem include:
- Turning on MY Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Sharing on your iPhone.
- Install the latest iTunes version on your Windows 10 PC. You can get this from the Apple website.
- Try and rename the files using shorter names to reduce the file path.
- Use third-party applications. Search the Apple App Store for reliable applications to use.
- Transfer the files in small batches or one by one. This could take time, but it might be the one option that works.
We hope that one of the solutions above helps you to get rid of the “device is unreachable” error so that you can copy photos and videos from your iPhone to your Windows 10 PC seamlessly. Be sure to share with us other different options that might have worked for you.
Melvin is a senior writer at iMentality. A DIYer at heart, Melvin loves to craft things in the tech space. He has amassed over a decade of experience in tech writing with special focus on apps and tech guides.