Windows Can’t See iPhone Photos: Here’s How to Access Files on iPhone

If you want to view iPhone photos on Mac, you need to import them to your photo library. This takes a long time and if you want to copy an image from the Image Library to a different folder, the process is going to be more complicated.

In contrast, you can connect an iPhone to a Windows 10 system and access files directly from File Explorer. Viewing and browsing iPhone Photos in Windows 10 is easier than viewing it on macOS.

Windows cannot view iPhone photos

Windows cannot view iPhone photos

To access photos on an iPhone you need a data cable to connect it to the system, and an app for browsing photos. The images are either in JPG format or in HEIC format.

If you can’t view iPhone photos in Windows 10, try the solutions below.

How to access files on iPhone from Windows 10 PC

1. Unlock iPhone

You must unlock your phone before connecting it to your Windows 10 system. If locked, the files will not load even if you regularly connect the device to the same system.

  1. Disconnect the iPhone from your system.
  2. Unlock the iPhone and make sure you are on the home screen.
  3. Connect the iPhone to the system with the screen awake and the device unopened.
  4. Tap on ‘Trust’ immediately that you can see on the iPhone (may or may not appear).
  5. Open File Explorer and open the iPhone device.

2. Reset device permissions

If you have made changes to the device such as VPN profile installation or some sort of certificate, it may be causing device permissions issues.

  1. Open the Options app on your iPhone.
  2. go to General> Reset.
  3. Tap on it Reset network settings.
  4. Restart the phone.
  5. Unlock the iPhone and connect e to Windows 10 system.
  6. Tap Trust quickly on the iPhone.
  7. Browse images and File Explorer.

3. Change data cable and USB port

If you are using a third-party data cable to connect the iPhone to a Windows 10 system, make sure it is Apple-approved. If not, disconnect it for an original data cable from Apple or transfer to one made by an Apple-approved manufacturer.

You should also try changing the USB port you are using to connect the iPhone to the system. Connect it directly to a Windows 10 system instead of using a USB hub or similar media facilities.

4. Install iTunes

In general, iTunes is not required to scan the photos on iPhone however, when all else fails, it is worth installing iTunes.

  1. Download iTunes from Microsoft Store.
  2. Unlock the iPhone and connect it to the system.
  3. Stay tuned iTunes to find the device.
  4. Open File Explorer and browse the photos on the iPhone.

5. Reset Apple mobile device USB driver

To access files on iPhone, Windows 10 installs the Apple Mobile Device USB driver. The drivers are installed automatically and sometimes, the installation does not always work. It is best to uninstall and reinstall the driver to get into problems with it.

  1. Make sure that the IPhone is connected to Windows 10 system.
  2. Open Device manager.
  3. Expand Universal serial bus equipment.
  4. Choose Apple mobile device USB driver and right click on it.
  5. Choose Uninstall from the context menu.
  6. Disconnect the iPhone from the system.
  7. Reconnect the iPhone and let the driver install.
  8. Disconnect the phone after drivers are installed.
  9. Unlock the phone and keep the screen awake.
  10. Connect the phone to Windows 10 system and accept immediately on the iPhone.
  11. Open File Explorer on Windows 10 and browse the photos on the iPhone.


Browsing iPhone photos on Windows 10 does not require the installation of a specific app or the installation of any special permissions. It’s, arguably, one of the easiest things to do even though Windows 10 sits miles outside of Apple’s ecosystem. Problems with browsing iPhone photos usually come down to the iPhone being locked when connected. Windows 10 cannot actively detect that the device has been rooted and often does not show files in it for this very reason.

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