iPhone doesn’t show up in Windows 10 File Explorer [Solved]

By Sophie Luo in iPhone Tags: iPhone
Driver Easy fixes your iPhone not showing up in the File Explorer problem immediately!

If you’re on Windows 10 and you can’t see your iPhone in the File Explorer when you plug your device in, you’re not alone. Many Windows 10 users are reporting this problem as well. No worries, we’re here to help, and this problem is possible to fix. 

Here are 4 solutions for you to try. You may not need to try them all; just work your way down until you find the one works for you. 

Method 1: Install Windows updates
Method 2: Update Apple Mobile Device USB Driver (Recommended)
Method 3: Switch active driver in Device Manager
Method 4: Ensure you have full control over the iTunes folder

Before we begin

Please make sure that your iTunes is the latest version and that you have checked Trust the computer you are plugging into. 


1: Install Windows updates

Missing the following two Windows update files can be the cause of this problem. To fix it, you can download them from: 

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3010081

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3099229

After the download, install them as instructed.
You should be able to view your Apple iPhone under the category This PC now. 

 

2: Update Apple Mobile Device USB Driver (Recommended)  

One of the first things you need to consider is whether you have the latest Apple Mobile Device USB driver updated in your computer. Outdated drivers are among the most likely causes for your suddenly not working hardware. So we recommend that you get this clear out before you move on the further solutions. 

Manual driver update – You can update the Apple Mobile Device USB driver manually by going to Apple support and search for the most recent correct driver. Be sure to choose the driver that is compatible with your variant of Windows 10. 

Automatic driver update – If you don’t have the time, energy, or you’re not confident playing around with drivers manually, you can do it automatically with Driver Easy. Driver Easy will automatically recognize your system and find the correct Apple Mobile Device USB driver for it. You don’t need to know exactly what system your computer is running, you don’t need to risk downloading and installing the wrong driver, and you don’t need to worry about making a mistake when installing. 

You can update your drivers automatically with either the FREE or the Pro version of Driver Easy. But with the Pro version it takes just 2 clicks (and you get full support and a 30-day money back guarantee): 

1) Download and install Driver Easy. 

2) Run Driver Easy and click the Scan Now button. Driver Easy will then scan your computer and detect any problem drivers. 

3) Click the Update button next to the flagged Apple Mobile USB device to automatically download and install the correct version of its driver (you can do this with the FREE version).

Or click Update All to automatically download and install the correct version of all the drivers that are missing or out of date on your system (this requires the Pro version – you’ll be prompted to upgrade when you click Update All). 

4) Check if your iPhone shows up in the File Explorer in Windows 10 now. 

3: Switch active driver in Device Manager

Expect for an outdated driver, a faulty one could also trigger your iPhone not showing up in the File explorer. But no worries, just a simple twitch will fix this problem for you. Here is how you do it: 

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and X at the same time, then click Device Manager

2) Expand Universal Serial Bus controllers. Then double-click Apple Mobile Device USB Driver

3) Under the Driver tab, click Update Driver….

4) Click Browse my computer for driver software > Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer. Click MTP USB Device and Next to continue. 

5) If you can see the notification, your iPhone will show up as a mapped driver. Reboot your computer if necessary. 

4: Ensure you have full control over the iTunes folder

If you don’t have full control to your iTunes folder, you’re not likely to be able to see iPhone showing up in your Windows Explorer. To fix it: 

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and E at the same time. 

2) Click Music. Right-click iTunes and click Properties

3) Under General bar, un-tick Read Only(Only applies to files in folder). Click Apply and OK to save and exit. 

4) If problem persists, just make sure that you have full control over the iTunes folder. Go to iTunes properties window again. This time, go to Security bar. Click Edit…

5) Please make sure that you have Full control then click Apply to save the change and exit. 

Feel free to let us know if you need any assistance. You can also tell us which one of the above methods fix the problem for you: we believe it would be of great help to other readers. 

  • Sandy Davis

    You’re the best! Changing the iTunes settings to not have read only fixed for me. Thanks!

  • teeging

    None of this worked for me. All drivers are updated. I now have full control over itunes. Auto play is set to open mobile devices (and everything else) with Explorer. I tried unchecking that option as well, so it would ASK me (as it used to) how I wanted to handle the device (my phone) when I plugged it in. It still doesn’t ask, it just opens itunes. No matter what I do, itunes opens up every time I plug in my phone, and I still have no way to access my photos on my phone and move them to my PC.

  • Dorothy Turner

    A really simple solution I just found.
    Create a new folder within your ‘Pictures’ folder on your pc titled “Camera Roll”. Make sure you have at least one photo in the folder titled “Camera Roll” ( Put any photo that you have on your pc into that folder). Then disconnect and reconnect your iphone to your computer. Worked like magic!

    • Mark M

      Thank you! This worked nicely for me and was much easier than any of the other listed solutions.

  • Mark

    Thank you, solved the problems by updating the MTP USB Device drivers!

  • Frank Whososever Bell

    It won’t allow me to click full control.

  • Faisal

    I didn’t find MTP option how can i get?

    • Sophie Luo

      Hi, Faisal.

      Would you please check if you have ticked the option “Show compatible hardware” when in the “Select the device driver you want to install for this hardware” window? If not, please tick it and then see if “MTP USB Device” option is available.

      • Martin Atyne

        not for me

  • Alex

    Method 3 MTP, worked, thanks for that

  • Mark

    When I go to the device manager and use the MTP USB Device driver the drive does indeed shows up in “This PC” on my Windows 10. but then there is no way to use your iphone in itunes. I am guessing apple no long supports having a drive in 10.3.1

  • Josh Matcuk

    Method 3 worked for me in Windows 10 64bit with an original iPad 1 with the 30 pin connector.

  • Walt

    Method 3 did the charm

  • Jash Thakkar

    MTP method works flawlessly

  • NIKKI

    THANK YOU! TRIED EVERYTHING AND MTP WORKED!

  • Young

    MTP works

  • Nige

    Changing the driver to MTP worked for me! Many thanks for a excellent guide! Been driving me nuts for months!!!!

    Machinehead

  • Leonardo Sergeev

    thank you spenty 2 days trying to solve this issue followed each step to no success until the mtp driver.
    very much appreciated. THank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Joan Walker

    Worked for me, thanks!

  • OC

    #3 worked for me too after i tried many other things i saw online. thanks.

  • Euphy

    Method 3 worked for me!! Thank you so much!

  • Moe

    Method #3 is the easiest.
    very detail and accurate steps.

    thanks

  • statg

    This worked for me.

    Thank you!

  • Peter

    Method 3 ??

  • Domino

    Method 3 worked for me toooooooo. Thank you so much

  • RG

    Method 3 worked for me

  • Ciggies

    Method 3 works for me!!! Thank you!!
    I’ve searching for many websites and youtubes videos but none works!
    Thank you for solving my iphone 6s problem!!!

  • adolf hitler

    metod 3 danke!

  • Gary

    Method 3!! Thank you!!

  • a.b

    These fixes do work, so BIG thanks for that. They are, however, workarounds. Because I need to keep applying these every time, I believe, MS has another update for my W10 box. I don’t understand why they can’t fix this, and any other issues, permanently.

  • Wendy

    Eternally grateful – Method 3 finally worked; have spent countless hours trying to fix this using every tip and trick I could find on the web. Is the first time have come across this method.

  • Premnath

    Method 3 worked for me.

  • KayKay

    Method 3 worked like a charm. Thanks a bunch.

    • Timster

      Same here, thnx a lot!

  • Emma

    Thanks so much! I spent ages yesterday trying so many different things other sites had suggested and then this morning I found your article and finally method 3 worked!

  • Radar_Blip

    Thanks. Method one worked after updates. Also, make sure that you are not on your lock screen

  • Mabel Almodovar

    Method 3 worked for me. Thanks a bunch.

  • Yi

    Great! Finally I solved the problem. Many thanks.

  • JuliaB

    Thank you so much. This worked!! Brilliant.

  • Joann MacMaster

    It worked! Thanks for posting this,

  • Jerrold

    I am constantly browsing online for ideas that can help me. Thx!

  • Daveymcman

    Bloody fantastic – thank you

  • Art

    I had the same problem with an IPhone 6S and believe it was due to a Windows 10 upgrade problem. To reduce the possibility of hacking, I create an admin account which I don’t use and take away admin privileges from my normal day-to-day account. When the windows update automatically occurred, it occurred on my normal account and didn’t perform it on my admin account. Suspecting my problem might be privilege related, I logged onto my admin account for the first time since the update. Lo and behold, the Windows 10 upgrade started and completed. When I logged off and back onto my normal account, the problem was fixed.