iPhone on Windows 10: “Device is unreachable” SOLVED

You have connected your iOS device (e.g. iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) with the lightening cable and are ready to copy photos and videos that you took on your device to your Windows 10 computer. However, upon opening Windows Explorer and pasting the files to your designated location, you receive the following error:

Device is unreachable.

To solve this error when copying files from your iPhone or other device to your PC/computer running Windows 10, here are steps to follow:

  1. Disconnect your iPhone/iPad from your computer
  2. Go to Settings on your iOS device
  3. Open Photos and scroll to the bottom
  4. Under ‘Transfer to Mac or PC’, chang efrom Automatic to Keep Originals (“Automatically transfer photos and videos in a compatible format, or always transfer the original file without checking for compatibility.”)

Now connect again the device to the Windows 10 computer and copy/paste the files again; it should work fine now!

iPhone connected to Windows 10 computer. iTunes is not a necessity to be installed when copying files from one to the other.


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104 thoughts on “iPhone on Windows 10: “Device is unreachable” SOLVED

  1. Wauw, eindelijk een oplossing!!!! Super bedankt 👍🏼!! Alleen nog een vraagje, er zijn foto’s / video’s overgezet die ik niet kan openen…. Enig idee hoe ik dat kan oplossen?

  2. So it worked for the first batch of files, but now I’m receiving the “device unreachable” error again, without any change to the setting.

  3. Didn’t do a thing for me on my iPhone 11. Quite annoying. Found this “Fix” on multiple sites when trying to search for the solution, but nothing has helped.

    I was always an Android user and have loved my switch so far… but this is the biggest complaint at this point.

  4. Excellent Solution, Thomas! I suspected something along these lines, when I noticed I had trouble with mostly the mov files.

    It always amazes me how a company’s tech support know so much less than an external expert.

    1. Hello Yiren
      Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog!
      Indeed, this is in essence a quick fix, but the resolution itself it not very known by even the Apple support staff.
      Best regards, Thomas

  5. Thanks so much. I was so frustrated with photo imports bombing out and you just saved me a lot of duplicate effort (and duplicated photos on my PC!)

  6. This worked to an extent but then it copied the photos to my PC as a .HEIC file which windows cannot read which created a whole new problem. :-/

    1. My windows 10 reads all the files fine, and displays them fine. You should be able to right click file, “open With” …….and i still prefer Windows Media Player…..

  7. Thanks, not it works but: files heic and mov generated by iPhone are not read by Windows.
    The “automatic” setting converts them respectively in jpg and mp4.
    Have you a solutions also for this? I mean a “copy process” that also converts format for not having to use additional converter.

    Thanks again

    1. I just found a solution thank God!

      1. Keep ‘Automatic’ Checked in you IPhone Photos settings.

      2.Connect your IPhone to the PC with a USB cord.

      3. On your PC, open a File Explorer window.

      4. On the left side of the window, under ‘This PC’ find the ‘Apple Iphone’ icon.

      5. Right click on the icon to see a menu.

      6. On the menu it should say “Import Pictures and Videos”

      7. Follow the prompts. In the end the photos should be imported as jpgs with no hassle.

      *Note: at the bottom of the first page of the prompting window you will see “more options”. There you can make sure the photos are not automatically deleted from your phone as you upload them to your PC)

      Hope this works for you


      1. Hi, I’m having the same trouble wanting to transfer so that I have jpeg and mp4 files so want to keep the “automatic” in my settings. I have just tried to do what you suggested and thought it was working but after a while I then get the message “The following error occurred while importing. The device is unreachable.” Don’t suppose you have any more ideas do you? Thanks

  8. thank you sooooooooo much. ive been searching the web for 5 days trying to figure out why my computer wont detect the kind of format even though it was a .MOV file. you have made my day. thank you so much

  9. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent trying to get the damn videos off my wife’s phone. This worked like a charm!

  10. It does not work for me. In addition to changing the settings from Automatic to Keep Originals, I changed the Auto-Lock feature to Never (if you keep it 1 minute or any other short time, the computer will stop recognizing the device once the screen goes dark). Anyway, it did not work at all, getting the same message. To me it is absolutely ridiculous that Apple has not fixed this problem yet.

  11. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS!!!!!!! Being a teacher at this time and not being able to transfer the videos for virtual teaching was driving me insane! THANK YOU!

  12. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! Saved me the headache of sifting through 4 years of dog pics and selfies lol…and now I’ve backed them all up to my external hard drive!

  13. Wow you saved me from so much frustration !
    I dont know why it gets into this situation but your solution allowed me to download my photos again.

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