Can’t browse iPhone photos in Windows 10? Here’s the fix

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things surrounding it. He is passionate about the...
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  • Many iPhone users reported that they can't view iPhone photos on their Windows 10 PC.
  • One way to fix this problem is to switch to specialized third-party software that is compatible with iPhone.
  • Before trying to access files, make sure that your device is set as Trusted and that you’re using a certified iPhone cable.
  • If iPhone is not showing files on PC, be sure to check iTunes folder permissions.
can't view iphone photos on windows 10
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File Explorer usually displays connected iPhones under Devices and Drives. Then users can select their iPhones in FE to browse through their cameras’ photos and videos.

However, some users have stated on forums that their iPhones don’t appear in File Explorer. Consequently, those users can’t browse through their mobiles’ photos and videos within Explorer.

These are some of the resolutions that might fix iPhones that don’t show up in Explorer.


What can I do if I can’t browse iPhone photos in Windows 10?

1. Reinstall the Apple Mobile Device Driver

  1. Plug the mobile into the desktop or laptop.
  2. Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager.
  3. Double-click the Universal Serial Bus controllers category shown directly below.
  4. Double-click Apple Mobile Device USB Driver to open its properties window.
  5. Select the Driver tab.
  6. Then press the Uninstall Device button.
  7. Press the Uninstall button on the confirmation dialog box that opens.
  8. Then unplug the iPhone from PC.
  9. Connect the iPhone with PC again to reinstall the driver.

Reinstalling this driver helped some users fix the problem with iPhone not showing files on PC, so feel free to try it out.


2. Download Bridge on your PC and set the downloader to open automatically

Adobe Bridge

Adobe Bridge software is a powerful media manager that you may have used before. However, has it occurred to you that the quickest solution to your issue resides in downloading it into your computer?

Well, Bridge is mostly known for its flexible batch processing features, drag-and-drop file flexibility, and quick organization and stacking of panoramic and HDR images.

Installing it is a job of mere seconds, so there’s nothing stopping you. Then, set it so the downloader opens automatically when you plug in your iPhone.

If iPhone is not showing up in File Explorer, Adobe Bridge might be a great alternative, so be sure to try it out.

Adobe Bridge

Adobe Bridge

Adobe Bride is a professional tool for media management that will allow you to easily manage files on your iPhone.
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3. Update the Apple Mobile Device Driver

DriverFix-Banner

Connected iPhones might not appear in File Explorer if the Apple Mobile Device driver needs updating.

To check if the Apple Mobile Device driver is outdated, first add DriverFix to Windows 10.

DriverFix automatically update drivers

Then connect the iPhone with the PC, and launch DriverFix. The software will automatically scan and provide a list of device drivers that need updating.

Press the Update All button if the software’s scan results include Apple Mobile Device USB.

Get DriverFix


4. Select the Trust option

First, note that users need to select a Trust option that appears on their iPhones when they connect mobiles with PCs. That will give the connected desktop or laptop full access to the iPhone.

So, users need to make sure they’ve selected Trust when they first connect mobile with PC. Resetting an iPhone’s settings will ensure the Trust prompt appears when the mobile is connected.

So if iPhone is not showing files on PC, be sure to follow the instructions from above to fix this issue.


5. Connect the iPhone to PC with a lightning cable

Some useres reported that iPhone is not showing up in File Explorer if they are using unofficial USB cables.

So, connect the iPhone with an Apple Lightning cable that comes with it. The Lightning cable should also enable data transfer.

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In addition, try connecting the cable with an alternative USB slot on the desktop or laptop. It might be the case that the USB port isn’t working.


6. Add some photos to the iPhone

Note that a connected iPhone doesn’t show up in Explorer if there aren’t any photos saved on it.

Some users have stated that their iPhones showed up in File Explorer after they added photos to their mobiles.

Check if there are pictures saved on your mobile. If not, take a few snapshots with the phone’s camera and save them.


7. Install Windows Media Pack on KN and N Platforms

Some users have stated that installing Windows Media Player on Win 10 platforms which don’t include that media player can fix the issue.

Users can install WMP on Windows 10 KN and N by opening a Windows Media Pack link from this page.

Open a Win 10 build version page to download it from, and then run the Windows Media Pack installer to install its software.

This is a quick and easy solution, so we advise you to try it out if iPhone is not showing files on your PC.


8. Reinstall iTunes

  1. Open the Run accessory with the Windows key + R hotkey.
  2. Input appwiz.cpl in Run and click OK to open the window shown directly below.
  3. Select iTunes and click Uninstall.
  4. Click Yes to provide further confirmation for the software removal.
  5. In addition, users will also need to uninstall Bonjour, Apple Mobile Device Support, Apple Software Update, and Apple Application Support via the Programs and Features Control Panel applet much the same.
  6. Restart Windows after uninstalling the Apple software.
  7. Press the Get button on the iTunes UWP app page.

Reinstalling iTunes is another resolution that can potentially help if iPhone is not showing up in File Explorer.

That will at least ensure that iTunes and its related programs are the latest versions.


 Wondering why isn’t your computer authorized on iTunes? Let us help you out.


9. Check the iTunes folder permissions

  1. Open Explorer with its Windows key + E hotkey.
  2. Select Music on the left of Explorer.
  3. Right-click the iTunes subfolder and select Properties.
  4. Deselect the Read-only option if it’s checked, and press the Apply button.
  5. Select the Security tab.
  6. Click the Edit button to open the window in image directly below.
  7. Select Full Control and all the other allow check boxes under Permissions for SYSTEM. Deselect selected deny check boxes if you can’t adjust the allow settings.
  8. Select the Apply option.
  9. Then click OK to close the window.

Apple iPhones might not appear in File Explorer for users who don’t have full folder permissions for their iTunes folders.


10. Add an iPhone File Explorer to Windows

There are numerous third-party file manager software tools for Windows with which users can browse photos, music, and videos saved on their iPhones.

Users can utilize iPhone file explorer software to browse their phones’ photos and videos without even opening File Explorer. So, users don’t need Explorer to browse iPhones in Windows.

Macgo iPhone Explorer is one of the freeware iOS file managers for Windows. Click the Free Download button on the software’s page to save the installer for iPhone Explorer.

Then users can add that software to Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, and Vista with its setup wizard. Connect a phone with PC, open iPhone Explorer’s window, and click Media Files to browse photos and videos with the software.

Those fixes will probably ensure iPhones shows up in File Explorer so that users can browse their mobiles’ photos and images within Windows.

Any users who have fixed the issue with alternative methods are welcome to share their resolutions below.


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Frequently Asked Questions

  • To get photos off your iPhone without iTunes, simply download Adobe Bridge on your PC and follow the procedure detailed in this dedicated article.

  • You cannot transfer photos from iPhone to PC if you haven’t selected the Trust option or if your iPhone doesn’t show up in File Explorer.

  • To transfer photos, connect your iPhone to the PC, tap the notification that shows up, and choose the option that says Import photos and videos. If you can’t do so, refer to this detailed guide.

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I am able to browse/view pictures, but only a few pictures, not the 100s of pictures I have on my phone. Suggestions?
iPhone XS iOS 14.1
Windows 10 Enterprise – 10.0.18363 Build 18363

The real issue is your Folder Options in Windows where you can choose Always show or never show thumbnails. Nothing to do with iTunes or drivers and any of that.