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

  1. THANK YOU. THANK YOU A MILLION TIMES AGAIN. I’ve reset, reinstalled, settings after settings after settings. I was about to bite the bullet and just purchase flash drives of my own pictures in mass from a photo site. So again, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!

  2. Bro!!! Thank you for taking the time to publish a solution to a problem that I have had to deal with for way too long.
    Thanks again! You have my gratitude – :)

  3. Thank you so much! Other sites wanted you to download their software. I didn’t want to do that. I’m so glad to have come across this. It worked fast and easy, and just by changing a simple setting on my iPhone!

  4. I followed the directions and when transferring the pictures, all the .jpg files were changed to .HEIC files which my computer can’t seem to open.
    Following further prompts landed me on a Microsoft page where they wanted to sell me some kind of software that I didn’t recognize.

      1. Hello Irene and c
        You can use any online converter to make the heic file a jp(e)g file.
        Let me know if you need any recommendations for online conversation websites.

  5. Thanks a million!!. Every week I was spending hours to transfer some video files from my iPhone to my PC.Today I did it in 5 minutes. Thanks again!!

  6. WOW! Thank you for this simple fix, I have been pulling my hair out trying to remove the photos from my phone to back up on my NAS. I even brought a portable hard drive and my iPhone to work to try on my work computer and had no success until I found your site. Thank you so much!

  7. When doing this and transferring videos it only transfers the audio and no video. Any idea on troubleshooting that? I deleted a few thinking they transferred and in playing back it was only audio! Ugghh!

    1. Yes, it works, but, system will transfer the “raw” format HEIC for photos and HEVC/HVC1 (.3GP) that is not supported by Windows by default. Now you must convert those files to JPG or MOV or install some kind of CODEC or player to handle it. For me both conditions suck…. Still angry with Apple….

  8. ok ive done that. i still have 700 or so that will not transfer to computer. got any other tips?
    i had done a few things, including this, to get the first several thousand to work.. and then it just wouldnt work anymore for the last 700ish.

  9. Worked for me. Iphone xr. Saved me a lot of extra work!!! Great advice. I did have trouble with not finding the dcim folders after plugging back in. But it finally showed up and no hitches after that on 2 dcim folders of 2 GB each. copied from iphone to a external drive connected to usb on my W10 PC.

  10. It solves the issue – but if you are using iPhone 11 you’ll then get all photos in HEIC format. It must be set to Automatic to get the photos in JPG format.

  11. Great stuff and a million thanks!! Search all over to find a solution.
    Worked on this for more than a week to find work around. Changed computers, Tried smaller files copy. Nothing worked except your great solution

    Thanks a lot!!!

  12. Years. Literal YEARS I have dealt with this problem. I cannot tell you the hours I have wasted the money I have spent on other programs (that still never gave me the best possible file)… I changed settings, I cried. I reinstalled. I bought A NEW IPHONE. I BOUGHT A NEW PC. Nothing mattered. I would have to arrange all of my videos from smallest to largest and piece meal them together. It would take me an entire day to do this and as a documentarian this was just a nightmare.

    I could write a book on everything I’ve been through and this ONE, TINY, CHECKMARK fixed it.

    how the hell?


  13. Thanks. Unfortunately the problem moves forward in the pipeline. The “originals” are not easy to view in a Windows 10 – needs plugin – and “the orginals” totally messes up Adobe Premiere and can not even be viewed in Corel Videostudio. It vould be nice to know where to adjust the timeout in USB-transfers in windows. I guess the transfer timeouts when waiting for iPhone to convert its “originals” to something that non mac people can use.

  14. Thank you!!!!!!!!! I thought I would smash the IPhone today! Troubleshooted for some time, never had the time to finally crack it and unable to properly transfer photos until now, took me minutes, very grateful.

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