What to Do When iPhone Won't Connect to Mac? [11 Workarounds]

2023-05-21 00:00:00/Posted by Alleny Gavinto iOS Transfer Topic/Follow @ MobiKin

"I have an iPhone 12 Pro, and I'm trying to connect it to my Mac to download songs. Both the Mac and phone have all the latest updates. iTunes is up to date on both. When I connect it with a USB cable, it charges, but the iPhone won't connect to Mac. What can I do to fix this? -- from Apple Support Community


Apple owners often use iTunes or Finder to manage iOS devices. At times, when you start doing the same, as said in the preface, but nothing happens. Alas, you run into a situation where iTunes couldn't connect to this iPhone.

Well, how can you get iTunes to recognize your iPhone/iPad on a Mac computer? OK, we shall help you have your iPhone connected to Mac shortly after. And first, let's have a rough look at the causes of this phenomenon.

iphone wont connect to mac

Part 1: Why Won't My iPhone Connect to My Mac

In a nutshell, first and foremost, check both your iPhone and your Mac computer for hardware issues. For instance, you can first inspect the ports to see if there isn't any debris or dust on them because dust and other particles can hinder communication. Furthermore, there's a decent chance that your device(s) may come up against software issues. Below we will explore the solution to "iPhone won't connect to Mac" from these two respects.

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Part 2: How to Fix "iPhone Won't Connect to Mac" in 11 Methods

Method 1: Ensure You've Tapped the Trust Button

iPhone won't connect to Mac. Firstly, watch your iPhone when you connect it to your Mac and check for an alert. After it appears on the phone's screen, click Trust.

Method 2: Try a Different Apple USB Cable

Disconnect all USB accessories from your Mac except for your iPhone. Try the USB cable/port to see if it works. If the going gets tough, try a different Apple USB cable.

try a different apple usb cable

Method 3: Restart Both the iPhone and the Mac

This is the most commonly used solution to resolve some software problems. And it might work for "iPhone won't connect to Macbook". Just reboot the Mac and the iPhone. Then try reconnecting again.

restart iphone

Method 4: Try Another Mac/Windows Computer

Try connecting your iPhone to another Mac computer. And if you have the same issue on that computer, just move on to the next method.

Method 5: Uninstall and Reinstall iTunes

My iPhone won't connect to my Mac after checking the hardware issues? If so, iTunes may be to blame first. So, just reinstall the tool to ensure you can use the latest version of iTunes. Before that, you have to follow the steps to remove its old version from your Mac:

  • Open "Finder" and then navigate to the "Applications" folder.
  • Right-click on iTunes and select "Get Info".
  • Click on the padlock icon at the bottom right and enter your admin password as prompted.
  • In the "Sharing and Permissions" section, double-click "Everyone" and go for "Read & Write".
  • Close the iTunes window.
  • Reinstall iTunes.

Method 6: Update Your Software

  • On your Mac, go for System Preferences from the Apple menu.
  • Tap Software Update to check for updates.
  • If there's any update available, click Update Now.
  • You can also click "More info" to check details about each update and select a specific one to install.

Method 7: Check Your iCloud account

Have difficulty in syncing purchased items? You might not sign in to iTunes via the correct Apple ID (Apple ID is disabled?), which may result in iPhone not connecting to Mac. To resolve this, you can:

  • Select "Store" from iTunes and then "Sign in" to log in to the iTunes account.
  • If you signed in, make sure it is with the correct account.
  • Suppose the computer isn't authorized for use with your account, click "Store" > "Authorize this computer".
  • check icloud account to fix iphone wont connect to mac

  • Finally, sign in with your Apple ID when prompted.

Method 8: Reset Privacy and Location Permissions Manually

iPhone won't connect to Macbook for a long time? If so, the system may be having trouble trusting your device. Some users claimed they could fix this issue by resetting the location & privacy settings on their iPhone. Here's the manual:

Go to your iPhone settings > tap on General > Reset > Reset Location and Privacy > Confirm the passcode > Reset Settings.

reset privacy and location permission manually

Method 9: Use Finder

Some of you may have gone through the avenues, and your iPhone won't showing up in iTunes/Finder. Here are the troubleshooting tips:

  • Plug your iPhone into your Mac via a USB cable.
  • Click Finder from the Menu bar.
  • Tap System Preferences.
  • Click the checkbox next to CDs, DVDs, and iOS Devices to see if the box is empty. If it was checked, check it off and wait a few seconds.
  • Tap the checkbox next to CDs, DVDs, and iOS Devices again to uncheck and wait a few minutes.
  • After a few minutes, your iPhone should appear in the sidebar of the Finder under Locations.

Method 10: Stop the "usbd" Process

To troubleshoot iPhone not connecting to macOS Big Sur in this way, make sure that the text is entered exactly as underlined above, maintaining the spaces. Here are the details:

  • Open the Finder app from the Dock.
  • From the top-right corner, type in Terminal. (make sure the search is performed on This Mac and not use the Recents filter.)
  • Double-click on Terminal.
  • Copy/paste sudo killall -STOP -c usbd in the Terminal window.

Method 11: Check if the iPhone Shows Up in System Information Rundown

Lastly, you can check to see if your iPhone shows up in the System Information rundown if you can't connect iPhone to Mac. Here's the direction:

  • Connect your iPhone to your Mac.
  • Click the Apple logo on the computer.
  • While holding down the Option key (or maybe Alt), click System Information.
  • check system information rundown

  • Tap USB in the sidebar.
  • If your device shows up under the USB menu, it means your Mac is registering the iPhone as connected. To rectify this, please ensure you've updated macOS to the latest version.

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Part 3: How to Transfer iPhone Data to Mac without iTunes

So, what if the iPhone still won't connect to Mac? Here's a specialized MobiKin Assistant for iOS (Mac) for you. This program can do more for you than transferring data between iPhone and Mac/PC. For example, you can utilize it to back up iOS data smoothly for restore and let you manage your device without technical hassle. More importantly, it can always perform the tasks smoothly.

Major features of MobiKin Assistant for iOS:

  • Transfer iOS data to Macs/PCs/iTunes and vice versa.
  • Flexibly back up and restore iDevices.
  • Work for such files as Contacts, Video, Photo, Music, eBook, SMS, Notes, Safari Bookmarks, Voice Memo, Playlist, Podcast, Ringtone, and more.
  • Manage iPhone contacts and other iOS files on a computer directly.
  • Get on well with 1000+ Android models, covering iPhone 12/12 Pro (Max)/12 mini, iPhone 11/11 Pro/11 Pro Max, iPhone X/XR/Xs/Xs Max, iPhone 8/8 Plus, iPhone 7/7 Plus, iPhone 6/6S/6 Plus, iPod, iPad, etc.
  • It also comes packed with a Windows version.
  • It never gives away your privacy.

ios assistant for mac ios assistant for win

So, it's a smart move to ditch iTunes and use Assistant for iOS to transfer iPhone data to Mac smoothly. Here are three easy steps to accomplish the task:

Step 1. Connect your iPhone to Mac

Install and launch this software after the download. Link your iPhone to the Mac via a USB cable. Then the tool will detect your iDevice automatically and display it on the program interface.

main interface of assistant for ios

Step 2. Preview and check desired data

Choose any data types from the left menu to see the details on the right. Subsequently, mark what you want to sync to this Mac.

Step 3. Transfer data from iPhone to Mac

After the selection, hit the "Export" button from the top menu and save the chosen items on your Mac computer.

transfer data from iphone to mac with assistant for ios

Can I use Assistant for iOS to back up iOS data to Mac/iTunes in bulk? Of course. Here's the quick guide: go to the program's Super Toolkit > iTunes Backup & Restore > Backup > select the device you wish to back up > choose an output folder as needed > hit OK.

backup ios data to itunes


Closing Remarks

Are you still facing iPhone not connecting to Mac? Hopefully, you could get this issue settled after reading over this article. As you might expect, the above 11 measures are not well-targeted, which means you'll need to try each one out, and you may be unable to connect your iPhone to your Mac eventually. So, it would be more convenient to pick MobiKin Assistant for iOS to ease your iOS data transfer and management.

ios assistant for mac ios assistant for win

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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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