iTunes: How to remove and reinstall the Apple Mobile Device Service on Mac OS X 10.6.8 or Earlier

If your device isn't recognized in iTunes on a Mac, you may need to remove and reinstall the Apple Mobile Device Service. These steps may resolve issues with the following devices: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and iPod nano (5th generation).

This document is for Mac OS X. Follow these steps if you have Windows XP or Windows Vista.

If you haven't already, try these troubleshooting steps:

If the issue persists, follow these steps to remove and reinstall the Apple Mobile Device Service on Mac OS X. You'll need to authenticate with an administrator account and password to complete these steps.

  1. Disconnect your device from your Mac.
  2. In the Finder, locate iTunes in the Applications folder and drag it to the Trash.
  3. Move the iTunes icon to the Trash.
  4. Choose Go > Go to Folder.
  5. Enter
    and click Go.
  6. Locate the file
    and drag it to the Trash.
  7. Choose Go > Go to Folder.
  8. Enter
    and click Go.
  9. Locate the file
    and drag it to the Trash. If prompted, authenticate with the administrator password.
    Note: This file may not be present in Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard; skip to the next step if this is the case.
  10. Restart the computer.
  11. Choose Finder > Empty Trash and restart the computer.
  12. Download and install the current version of iTunes.
  13. Connect your device to the Mac again and open iTunes


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Your iOS device may not be recognized in iTunes on Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard after you restart your Mac. If you reinstall iTunes, your device may be recognized. However, restarting your Mac may result in the device not being recognized again. If this is the issue, follow these steps.

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