Fix: Device is unreachable on iPhone connected to a PC

Importing photos from any device (smart or not) to a Windows PC is usually a rather simple procedure. You connect the device with a USB cable and click Import photos. Select photos and videos you want to transfer and that’s it. However, some users are getting the Device is unreachable iPhone error on their PCs when they try to import photos and videos from the iPhone.

We have a few suggestions on how to fix the problem at hand. Check them out below.

Table of contents:

  1. Make sure your iPhone is properly connected
  2. Restart your device and tap Trust this PC
  3. Select Keep Originals instead of Automatic
  4. Try with iCloud for Windows

The device is unreachable when transferring photos from iPhone to PC

1. Make sure your iPhone is properly connected

The first thing to do is to check if your device is properly connected. Try switching USB ports and make sure to use the original Lighting to USB cable.

Usually, Windows 10 or Windows 7 doesn’t have issues with Plug-and-Play Photo Transfer without drivers. However, you can also check for drivers in the Device Manager.

Disabling Wi-Fi, Data, and Bluetooth helped some users, as well. If that doesn’t help, move to the next step.

2. Restart your device and tap Trust this PC

Try restarting your PC and your iPhone. Once you reconnect your iPhone, make sure to tap the Trust this PC and provide your PIN. This way, your iPhone will allow access to your local storage. Or, in this particular case, access to Photos.

Also, it’s worth saying that your iPhone should be up to date to avoid system bugs (which this might be). To update your iPhone, navigate to Settings > General > Software Update.

3. Select Keep Originals instead of Automatic

Now, this is the most frequently recommended solution for this problem. It seems that, for some format-related issues, Windows won’t accept converting photo and video files to a compatible format. What works is just transferring photos in their original file format.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Photos.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and select Keep Originals instead of Automatic.
  4. Try transferring photos to your PC again.

Yes, of course, it won’t be easy to access these photos on a Windows 10 PC due to compatibility issues without installing codecs. The file formats are HEIF and HEVC. You can get both codecs from Microsoft Store, here and here. And, on older Windows iterations, you’ll need to get a converter of a kind to change HEIF and HEVC formats to globally supported formats: JPEG and H.264.

In addition, on every iPhone, you can change to more widespread formats in Camera settings.

4. Try with iCloud for Windows

Now, if you are still getting the Device is unreachable iPhone error on your Windows 10 PC, you can simply try with the iCloud client for Windows.

Once you download it, install and sign in, you can get all backed-up photos and videos. You can get iCloud for Windows 10, here. You can also try with iTunes suite for Windows 10, which makes things easier. If you are not using the suite, downloading and installing it can be a hassle. But, once you set everything up, many things like backing up your device will get much easier. To get the latest version of iTunes for Windows 10, navigate here.

That should do it. Thank you for reading and feel free to share alternative solutions or post questions in the comments section below.

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