iTunes Not Showing any iPhones After Update

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Kelly Heffner Wilkerson

Categories: iPhone | View Comments

For the past two mornings, I've woken up to find that none of my iPhones, iPads, or iPod Touches will appear in iTunes on my Mavericks iMac anymore. Restarting will solve the problem, but restarting is a pain, and doesn't really tell me anything about the problem.

Here's what I know so far about the issue, and what I do to fix it. (The better I get at fixing it, the more we will learn about what is causing the problem!)

  • In Spotlight search (the magnifying glass in the upper right,) type Terminal and click on the application Terminal to open it.

  • Restart the service usbmuxd which handles dispatching messages via usb. This is what iTunes uses to connect to your devices via USB. Copy paste the following two lines (one line at a time) into Terminal:

(The very first sudo command you do here will prompt you for your OSX password. It's ok to enter it, and you won't see anything in the terminal while you type it.)

sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/
sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/
  • Restart the service mdns which handles unicast DNS as well as Bonjour. Bonjour is what iTunes uses to find your devices via wifi. Unicast DNS is how your computer knows how to resolve domain names (aka translate to an address) so definitely be sure to do the second load command here to start mdns back up! Copy the following into Terminal:
sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/
sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

Unplug your iPhone if it's still plugged in, and then plug it back in. The device should appear in iTunes now. I'm going to continue monitoring my machine and see if I can find the source of the problem to get a better solution. Restarting a few services is a bit better than restarting the whole iMac at least.

If you're experiencing similar problems, leave us a comment! We'd love to help get it solved for you!

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  • Andy January 1, 2015

    Same issue! Ipad & iPhone stopped appearing in iTunes. Reboot solved issue, but got the "Trust this computer?" message.

  • John Gordon

    John Gordon December 12, 2014

    Any updates since your original post? Most analysis now focuses on usbmuxd. Not everyone is getting this bug though. It has been very annoying for me.

    • Kelly HW

      Kelly HW December 12, 2014

      John are you running Yosemite? I've been working on a similar trick for 10.10 but haven't nailed it down though.

      I haven't been spending as much time looking at this, but I will now if other people are experiencing it too.

  • Kelly HW

    Kelly HW October 10, 2014

    I'm also seeing this same behavior on my husband's Macbook Pro running Yosemite, so I will have similar commands, and more updates soon for Yosemite!

    • gigicarlo January 1, 2015

      i am stuck with that too ...

      really annoying

      • Kelly HW

        Kelly HW January 1, 2015

        Yep, I am trying to trigger it more on our Yosemite MacBook so that I can get a solution (or at least a quicker reset that rebooting) for 10.10 too. Thanks for letting me know there is interest!