iPhone Internal Storage is Empty on Windows 10/8/7? 10 Solutions Offered

2023-05-11 00:00:00/Posted by Alleny Gavinto iOS Transfer Topic/Follow @ MobiKin

"I am trying to transfer my photos from iPhone 12 to PC, but when I link my device via a cable, the internal storage on iPhone is empty. Why? Any advice is greatly appreciated." -- from Apple Support Communities


You are not the only one to find "iPhone internal storage empty". The same problem confronts many iPhone users, and they thus can't import photos from iPhone to PC. Well, why does internal storage on iPhone is empty on Windows 10/8/7? As you may have guessed, iCloud Photos can be the key culprits to empty the DCIM folder.

Specifically, with this feature on, your iPhone only stores previews of photos in your library. It downloads a picture with a full-resolution version from iCloud once you open an image. The DCIM saves photos that your iPhone recently downloaded or has not synced to iCloud yet. Often, this is a small selection of the Photo Library.

Now, let's check this post with ten quick solutions to fix this issue lightly.

iphone internal storage empty

Part 1: 10 Fixes to Resolve "iPhone Internal Storage Empty" on Windows 10

Fix 1. Ensure Your iPhone Is on and Try Another USB Cable

Unlock your iPhone with your passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID to see if your iPhone internal storage - this folder is empty. If iPhone photos/videos are not showing up on PC, try another USB port, USB cable, or even another computer.

Fix 2. Trust Your Computer on Your iPhone

Internal storage on iPhone is empty. Chances are that you connect your iPhone to this computer for the first time. In this case, you ought to authorize this computer to let it get access to your iPhone. Here's how:

  • Connect your iPhone to the PC with a workable USB cable.
  • Unlock the device. Enter the passcode if prompted.
  • Tap "Trust" on the pop-up prompt.
  • trust computer on iphone

  • On your PC, go to This PC > click refresh.
  • Open the device or the folder to see if the DCIM folder is empty in the iPhone on Windows 10.

Click to Learn:

Fix 3. Authorize Your Computer on iTunes

You can try to authorize the PC via iTunes, referring to the following as well.

  • Have your iPhone connected to the PC via a USB cable and then launch iTunes.
  • Go to the iTunes interface and tap Account > Authorization.
  • Select "Authorize This Computer".
  • authorize computer on itunes

  • Input your username and password to view the DCIM folder.

Fix 4. Turn off Photo Stream on Your iPhone

This might be the easiest way to fix iPhone internal storage folder empty. Just follow the steps to do so.

  • On your iPhone, go to Settings > Photos.
  • Turn off My Photo Stream.

turn off photo stream on iphone

This doesn't delete any pictures, but you can only view the photos on the iDevice that took them after that.

Fix 5. Reset Location & Privacy Settings on Your iPhone

Some malware on your iPhone may access your location or change your Privacy Settings. This could lead to Apple iPhone internal storage empty. So, you can try to reset them on your device as follows:

  • Go to your iPhone Settings > General.
  • Scroll down to the bottom and select Reset.
  • Tap Reset Location & Privacy and enter the passcode.
  • Touch Reset Settings to confirm.
  • Try to access your iPhone files on your computer.

reset location and privacy settings on iphone

Fix 6. Uninstall the iPhone Driver

To uninstall the phone driver, you should go to the Device Manager on your computer to find the Apple iPhone. Then uninstall the driver and replug your iPhone. Here's the manual:

  • Press the Windows key to open the Search bar.
  • Now, enter "Device Manager".
  • Go for Portable Devices.
  • Right-click Apple iPhone.
  • fix iphone internal storage empty by uninstalling iphone driver

  • Select Uninstall.
  • Click OK when a prompt appears.
  • Your driver will begin uninstalling.
  • After that, shut down your PC and unplug your iPhone.
  • When your PC has finished booting up, link your iPhone to the computer again to reinstall your phone driver.

Fix 7. Reinstall Apple Mobile Device USB Driver

iPhone internal storage shows empty after uninstalling the phone driver? Try to reinstall Apple Mobile Device USB driver. Here are the details:

  • Link your iPhone to a computer with a USB cable.
  • Right-click "My Computer" to choose "Administration" and "Computer Management".
  • Select "System Tools" and "Device Manager".
  • Choose "USB Controller" and "Apple Mobile Device USB Driver".
  • reinstall apple mobile device usb driver

  • Right-click the latter to choose "Uninstall".
  • After that, take out the USB cable and replug it into the computer.
  • The system will automatically detect and install the driver.

Learn More:

Fix 8. Show Hidden Items in File Explorer

If you find there's nothing in the internal storage on your iPhone, the DCIM folder may be hidden on your computer. Now, follow the easy steps below to check the Hidden items box:

  • Open File Explorer on your PC.
  • Go to View > Show or Hide.
  • Place a checkmark on the Hidden items box.

show hidden items in file explorer

Fix 9. Reinstall iTunes on PC

Provided iTunes is the origin of the awkward situation (iTunes errors, not installing the latest version of iTunes, etc.), reinstalling iTunes may help figure out the program. Note that ensure a stable network connection before going any further. Then let's see how to reinstall iTunes on PC:

  • Press the Windows key to open the search bar.
  • Type "Add or remove programs".
  • This should open the Apps & Features tab.
  • Look for and click iTunes on the programs displayed below.
  • Select Uninstall and go ahead with the prompts.
  • reinstall itunes on pc

  • After that, follow this link to download iTunes again.
  • Tap Download now.
  • Open the .exe file and install iTunes again.

Fix 10. Force Restart Your iPhone and Reboot Your PC

Force restarting your iPhone can fix "Apple iPhone on Windows says this folder is empty" for the most part. Follow the steps below to do it:

  • iPhone 8/X/XR/Xs/11/12: Press and release the Volume Up key and repeat the same with the Volume Down key. Hold down the Sleep/Wake key and let go of it until the Apple logo appears.
  • iPhone 7/7 Plus: Concurrently hold down the Sleep/Wake and Volume Down keys for around 8 to 10 seconds only when the Apple logo turns up.
  • iPhone 6/6S and earlier: Hold down the Sleep/Wake and Home keys concurrently for 8 to 10 seconds and let go of them once the Apple logo shows up.

Once accomplished, do remember to reboot your computer before checking your iPhone's internal storage.

Part 2: 3 Great Ways to Export Photos/Videos from iPhone to Computer

Way 1. Transfer iPhone Photos to Computer with Dedicated Software

When none of these methods is able to cope with Apple iPhone internal storage empty on Windows 10, you can resort to MobiKin Assistant for iOS (Win and Mac). This magic program is tailored to satisfy those who want to back up, restore, transfer, and manage iOS content at will.

Why choose MobiKin Assistant for iOS?

  • Let you preview and transfer various photos from an iPhone to a PC/Mac.
  • Support moving such files as Photos, Music, Videos, eBooks, Contacts, Messages, Notes, Safari Bookmarks, Voice Memo, Podcast, Ringtone, etc.
  • Back up and restore files between iDevices and computers/iTunes.
  • Manage iOS pictures and other data on a computer as you wish.
  • Work on overall iDevices with various iOSes, containing iPhone 12/11/11 Pro (Max), iPhone X/XS/XR/XS Max, iPhone 8/8 Plus, iPhone 7/7 Plus, iPhone 6/6S/6 Plus, iPods, iPad Pro/4/mini/Air, etc.
  • It won't give away your privacy.

ios assistant for win ios assistant for mac

How to check iPhone internal memory and move photos to a computer with Assistant for iOS?

Step 1. Install and run Assistant for iOS on a computer after the installation. Connect your iPhone to the PC via a USB cable. Then hit Trust on the iPhone to trust this computer as prompted, and press Continue to get this iPhone recognized.

the main interface of assistant for ios

Step 2. After the recognition, choose Photos from the left menu of the interface. Next, preview and mark the pictures you intend to transfer. Finally, click "Export" from the top screen and save them on this computer.

transfer photos from iphone to computer with mobikin

Way 2. Email the Pictures from iPhone to Computer

By attaching iPhone photos and send them to your own mailbox, you can get the iPhone photos onto your computer after downloading the items from the recipient account.

How to copy iPhone pictures to a computer by Email?

  • Start the Photos app on your iPhone.
  • Open the album and choose the images you want to transfer from this iPhone to a computer.
  • After the selection, tap Share > choose Mail.
  • email pictures from iphone to computer

  • Enter the mail account you want to send the photos to.
  • Click "Send".
  • Log in to the email account on your computer.
  • Check the email that contains the pictures you sent.
  • Download the photos onto this computer.

Way 3. Download Photos from the iCloud Website

It's also advisable to download pictures from when there's nothing in the internal storage on your iPhone. Yet you can only get no more than 1,000 photos at a time.

How go get iPhone photos from the iCloud website?

  • On your computer, log in to with your Apple ID and passcode.
  • Go to the Photos tab.
  • Click the picture to select it. (here, you can hold shift to select multiple photos)
  • Press Download at the top right of the window.
  • download photos from icloud website

  • Save the items on your computer.

In Conclusion

We've summarized the ten quick fixes to troubleshoot "iPhone internal storage empty" in this post. Hopefully, you can benefit from the full details. Despite the fact that internal storage on Apple iPhone is empty, you could transfer photos and videos from your iPhone to a computer with any of the three ways above.

And as usual, how is your situation coming along? Please share in the comments.

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Alleny Gavin
Alleny GavinChief Editor
A chief editor at MobiKin, brings over a decade of experience in technical writing and holds a B.A. in English Literature. With a background as a Project Manager in the IT industry, he has authored 1000+ articles on, offering expert solutions for iOS issues. Gavin, a tech enthusiast, effortlessly recommends software with passion and extensive expertise in smartphones and software.
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