Cannot See iPhone in File Explorer

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  1. Posts : 18
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #11

    @Lottiemansion - this is the location from which I originally downloaded iTunes, from Apple. This is a new install of Windows 10 with the latest version of iTunes. I was curious whether there really is a difference between the Windows Store version of iTunes and the one from Apple (in terms of drivers installed). I guess it doesn't matter, as I never got my download notification from the Store.

    @Cr00zng - Agreed, iTunes shouldn't be required for viewing the phone as a storage device. I'm not sure how the above setting will help, but I'll double check it. My phone is always unlocked when I connect it, and I can connect it with the same cable to my Surface and it shows up in File Explorer without issue.

    This worked before, on the same PC, before reinstalling Windows. I'm beginning to suspect a system driver issue. The mobo is about five years old, so the USB drivers installed by Windows are not the drivers issued by the manufacturer. It's a long shot, but maybe a more likely troubleshooting route than installing iTunes again.

    I'll report back in about 12 hours, unless someone else has ideas. Thanks.
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  2. RickC's Avatar
    Posts : 670
    Windows 7 + 10
       #12

    rexnewman said:
    @Cr00zng - Agreed, iTunes shouldn't be required for viewing the phone as a storage device. I'm not sure how the above setting will help, but I'll double check it. My phone is always unlocked when I connect it, and I can connect it with the same cable to my Surface and it shows up in File Explorer without issue.

    This worked before, on the same PC, before reinstalling Windows. I'm beginning to suspect a system driver issue. The mobo is about five years old, so the USB drivers installed by Windows are not the drivers issued by the manufacturer. It's a long shot, but maybe a more likely troubleshooting route than installing iTunes again.
    Sorry but it's not 'USB drivers' and it's not 'iOS access'. Your 'Device Manager' is showing you quite clearly (in post #3) that Windows needs a 'PTP Mode' driver loaded.

    When you plug your iPhone in, do you not see the following 'Notification'?

    Cannot See iPhone in File Explorer-iphone-win10-1-.png

    If not then you need to look at Windows' Notifications & actions for AutoPlay (Settings > Systems > Notifications & actions > Get notifications from these senders > AutoPlay) to ensure AutoPlay notifications haven't been switched off.

    To amend how AutoPlay controls the options themselves (as I mentioned in post #2), use Settings > Devices > AutoPlay > Apple iPhone:
    Cannot See iPhone in File Explorer-iphone-win10-2-.png

    If you set the dropdown to Ask me every time then you should get to choose each time what mode is used, either 'mass storage' or 'PTP'. The first time you use the Import photos and videos (Photos) mode then a 'PTP mode' driver should be loaded.

    If MS don't include a 'PTP mode' driver (which it doesn't look like it does) then the Apple one will be used from the iTunes install... either way, the yellow exclamation mark should disappear from Device Manager.

    (On my Win 10 laptop with no iTunes installed I could access my iPhone natively as a 'mass storage device'. However, if I chose Import photos and videos (Photos) then Photos showed We're having trouble connecting. After I installed iTunes (from Apple, not the Store) I was able to select and choose which photos/video to import into Photos. Note that (in 1709 at least), Photos still shows We're having trouble connecting but I can click on the Close button then choose Import > From a USB device and it now works. You don't have to use iTunes... but you do need the 'PTP mode' driver in my experience.)

    Hope this helps...
    Last edited by RickC; 28 Nov 2018 at 21:28.
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  3. Posts : 18
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #13

    Okay, thanks. This is great info. I'll check these settings when I get home.
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  4. Lottiemansion's Avatar
    Posts : 91
    Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
       #14

    Regarding the following: -
    rexnewman said:
    @Lottiemansion - this is the location from which I originally downloaded iTunes, from Apple. This is a new install of Windows 10 with the latest version of iTunes. I was curious whether there really is a difference between the Windows Store version of iTunes and the one from Apple (in terms of drivers installed). I guess it doesn't matter, as I never got my download notification from the Store.
    On my system I tried both versions & only the windows one installed everything need for it to work.

    As an aside, I also had updated the IOS to v12.1 this needed to be power cycled & then all worked fine.
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  5. RickC's Avatar
    Posts : 670
    Windows 7 + 10
       #15

    Lottiemansion said:
    Regarding the following: -

    On my system I tried both versions & only the windows one installed everything need for it to work.

    As an aside, I also had updated the IOS to v12.1 this needed to be power cycled & then all worked fine.
    The Apple download version of its iTunes installer for Windows has long been known to be occasionally problematic, hence why you sometimes need to force the install of the drivers (post #2). Good to hear that the Store version doesn't appear to have the same issue. However, if you had to install from both sources and the Store version worked then it seems you installed the Apple download installer first... so the drivers may have been kicked into place by the subsequent Store version being installed. Who knows?
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  6. Posts : 18
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #16

    Lottiemansion said:
    On my system I tried both versions & only the windows one installed everything need for it to work. As an aside, I also had updated the IOS to v12.1 this needed to be power cycled & then all worked fine.
    Lottie, thanks for the clarification. I never received purchase confirmation from Windows Store to download iTunes, so that might be another avenue of troubleshooting. My phone is at iOS 12.1.
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  7. Posts : 18
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #17

    RickC said:
    When you plug your iPhone in, do you not see the following 'Notification'?
    Thanks again for the reply. There is no notification.
    I installed iTunes (Apple version), installed the driver (Post #2), and connected the phone.
    My "Settings, Devices, Autoplay" configuration has no "Apple iPhone" category.
    In "Settings, System, Notifications," everything is turned on.
    The "PTP" still appears under "Other Devices" in Device Manger with the phone plugged in.
    Sorry if I'm being dense, but was there something I missed?
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  8. Lottiemansion's Avatar
    Posts : 91
    Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
       #18

    The notification below is on your mobile phone not the PC.
    Cr00zng said:
    Connecting the iPhone to this system shows up as a USB storage, after the customary permission for accessing the device for iPhone :
    Attachment 215518
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  9. RickC's Avatar
    Posts : 670
    Windows 7 + 10
       #19

    rexnewman said:
    Sorry if I'm being dense, but was there something I missed?
    You're not being dense. I've had it happen that I've had to un-install/reinstall iTunes several times when using both Windows 7 and 10. (iTunes for Windows is rubbish. Funnily enough I've never ever had a similar issue when connecting any iOS device to my MacBook.)

    Let's clarify a few things:

    1. Do you get any Device Connect noises when you connect your iPhone (i.e. basic hardware recognition)?
    2. Do you get any notification on your iPhone about whether to Trust the connected device (PC, laptop, etc.)?
    3. Does Device Manager show your iPhone under Portable Devices or are there any yellow triangles within the Universal Serial Bus controllers category? (You should see this even before answering the challenge notification Lottiemansion describes in post #18.)
    Cannot See iPhone in File Explorer-iphone-win10-4-.png
    4. Do you have another data/charge cable you can try, preferably genuine Apple rather than third-party?

    Hope this helps...
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  10. Cr00zng's Avatar
    Posts : 698
    Windows 10 64-bits
       #20

    rexnewman said:
    This worked before, on the same PC, before reinstalling Windows. I'm beginning to suspect a system driver issue. The mobo is about five years old, so the USB drivers installed by Windows are not the drivers issued by the manufacturer. It's a long shot, but maybe a more likely troubleshooting route than installing iTunes again.
    My Ivy Bridge motherboard is probably older than that, this system started out as Windows 8.0, updated to Windows 10, and has these USB controllers:

    Cannot See iPhone in File Explorer-usb-drivers.jpg

    The "Intel Host Controllers" have MS drivers, no motherboard manufacturer's drivers:

    Cannot See iPhone in File Explorer-ms-usb-drivers.jpg

    The "Apple Mobile Device" driver is:

    Cannot See iPhone in File Explorer-iphone-driver.jpg

    I don't recall installing this driver and my guess is, that Windows installed it at the first time the iPhone has been connected to this system and subsequently updated via Windows updates. The system handles the iPhone as a "Portable Device" and there's no device connect noise, it just shows up in Windows Explorer.

    Maybe your system missing the Apple Mobile Device driver?
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