Solutions to common iPhone problems & error codes

We've rounded up our tips to solve common iPhone problems & errors below.

Why does Apple make it difficult to reset / disable the Screen Time passcode -- why can't it be done via iCloud?

We believe it is to cater for users who don't set up an iCloud Family Sharing unit with their kids, but instead give them their own iPhone with their own iCloud account. Short of separately being able to register a parent on TouchID or FaceID, a secondary code is needed, as the child would have full access to their own iCloud settings.

It's also helpful to use a passcode rather than an iCloud account where these restrictions are applied en masse via MDM across many devices where there isn't a parent as such, such as on a school or company's devices. It's not just for restricting access for children using the device.

When the family are tied together in an iCloud Family share it would be possible. However, users would always need the option of some sort of passcode override for times when it matters: like being on a long journey with the family where there's no Internet. Most of the world doesn't have Wi-Fi during flights, for instance, so without a code it wouldn't be possible to change Family Sharing settings.

How can I view iMessage on a Windows PC?

The easiest way to get iMessages on Windows is by following the instructions above: iPhone Backup Extractor gives you a fully-featured iMessage viewer for Windows. It'll let you see attachments, diagrams and messages on your Windows PC, just like you would on your iPhone.

How can I get iMessages on Mac?

The "Messages" app on newer Macs integrates with the iCloud to give you access to iMessages and texts on your desktop. Setup is easy:

  1. Make sure you're signed into the same iCloud account on the Mac as on the iPhone

  2. On your iPhone, go into SettingsMessagesText Message Forwarding, and you'll see a list of the iMessage-compatible devices associated with your iCloud account.

  3. Enable or disable the devices you'd like to use text message forwarding on; you'll be able to send and receive texts on any of these iPads or Macs

Is it possible to get iMessages on Android?

There's no simple iMessage client available on Android at this point; Apple take care to protect the iMessage experience. However, we have a guide to help you migrate iMessages to Android. Reach out if you get stuck!

How can I transfer WhatsApp messages to a different phone?

We've got a neat guide on how to selectively restore WhatsApp messages to an iPhone or Android here.

Is it possible to recover lost or deleted photos from my iPhone or iCloud?

Yes: we've got a full guide to recovering lost or deleted photos. Check it out!

My iPhone won't turn on and all my data is lost, how can I recover iOS data?

If you have an iTunes backup or use iCloud, you'll be able to get data back using either this guide or our guide for iCloud. Worst case, email us and we'll help you.

How to fix “Apple mobile device USB driver missing”

The Apple mobile device USB driver is automatically installed when you install iTunes, as it’s essential for your computer and iPhone to communicate. (There’s never a need to do this on a Mac: the driver is built-in to macOS.)

To find the Apple mobile device USB driver on a PC:

  1. Press ⊞ Win + R to open the Run command.
  2. Enter devmgmt.msc, then click OK to open Device Manager,
  3. Scroll down to find and expand the Universal Serial Bus controllers section.
  4. Look for the Apple Mobile Device USB driver.

If the Apple Mobile Device Driver appears with an error symbol, try fixing it by restarting the Apple Mobile Device Service:

  1. Close iTunes and disconnect all Apple devices.
  2. Press ⊞ Win + R to open the Run command.
  3. Type services.msc and click OK. The services console should open.
  4. Right-click Apple Mobile Device Service and click Properties in the shortcut menu.
  5. In the General tab, go to Startup Type and select Automatic from the drop down.
  6. Click Stop in the Service status section.
  7. After the service has stopped, click Start, then OK, and restart the computer.
  8. When the computer restarts, open iTunes and reconnect your device.

If the Apple mobile device USB driver error persists, right-click it and choose “Update driver”.

If you don’t see the Apple Mobile Device USB driver, try connecting to your PC using a different cable. If the problem persists contact Apple Support.

What to do if iTunes won’t open on your PC

To fix this error, first try unplugging all your Apple devices, restarting your computer, opening iTunes. If this doesn’t work, you can uninstall and reinstall iTunes. These steps solve the problem in almost all cases.

If these steps don’t work, there are two other options: the Apple Community also offers a number of different troubleshooting methods for getting iTunes running again, and Apple Support are available to help.

What to do if your iPhone is not showing up on your PC

To solve this problem, first make sure your iPhone is using the latest iOS. If it’s not, update your device.

Try connecting with a different cable. If you have access to another computer, try connecting your iPhone to this computer.

If your iPhone is not able to connect to a different PC, try hard resetting your iPhone.

If your iPhone is able to successfully connect to a different PC, try the following:

  1. On your PC, go to Control PanelUninstall a program and uninstall all Apple software (iTunes, iCloud, Bonjour, etc).
  2. Restart your computer.
  3. Reinstall iTunes.
  4. Connect your iPhone.

What to do if iTunes doesn’t recognize your iPhone

If your computer recognizes that your iPhone is connected, but it’s not appearing or being recognized in iTunes, you can try the following steps.

Check for an iTunes update, reinstall, and restart your computer and iPhone. When you connect your iPhone, unlock and select Trust.

What to do if your iPhone is stuck in recovery mode

If your iPhone is stuck in recovery mode, there are a few things you can do to get it working again. Be aware that some of these methods can cause data loss, so start with the first option listed below, and if it allows your iPhone to start up successfully, make a new backup straight away. That way, if you get stuck in recovery mode again, you can try more aggressive methods without putting your data at risk.

The first option is to try a force restart on your iPhone. Sometimes, this can nudge your iPhone out of recovery mode.

If you’re still stuck in recovery mode, you can try restoring your iPhone in DFU mode. Be aware that using DFU mode will erase your device, so if you have data on your iPhone that you don’t have backed up, and need to keep, it might be better to reach out to Apple Support to see if they can help.

Before you try using DFU mode, make sure you have the latest version of iTunes on your Mac or PC, and a stable internet connection.

To restore your iPhone in DFU mode:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer.
  2. Enter DFU mode on your iPhone.
  3. Tap Restore.
  4. Keep your iPhone connected to our computer until the process has completed.

What’s the difference between Recovery Mode and DFU mode?

DFU stands for Device Firmware Update. You can put your iPhone into DFU mode to make modifications to your iPhone’s software.

DFU mode is distinct from Recovery Mode, which you can use to restore your iPhone’s settings, fix freezing and rebooting issues, or upgrade to the latest iOS. DFU mode allows you to do these things, too, alongside more advanced actions, such as downgrading your iPhone or unlocking your SIM.

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