How to restart the Apple Mobile Device Service (AMDS) on Windows

If an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is not recognized in iTunes on Windows, the Apple Mobile Device Service (AMDS) may need to be restarted. Alternatively, you may see the following error when connecting your device:

This [device] cannot be used because the Apple Mobile Device Service is not started.

This document explains how to restart the Apple Mobile Device Service on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. If you have a Mac, follow the steps in this document.

Restart the Apple Mobile Device Service (AMDS)

Windows XP

  1. Close iTunes and disconnect the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
  2. Choose Start > Control Panel.
  3. Inside the Control Panel, open Administrative Tools.
  4. Open Services.
  5. Select Apple Mobile Device and click Stop the service as shown below:
    Select Apple Mobile Device and Stop the service
  6. After the service has stopped, click Start the service.
  7. After the Apple Mobile Device service has started again, open iTunes and connect the device.

Windows Vista or Windows 7

  1. Close iTunes and disconnect the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
  2. Click the Windows Start button Start button.
  3. In the Start Search field type Services.
  4. In the Programs section of the search results, Click "Services".
  5. Select Apple Mobile Device  and click Stop the service as shown below:
    Select Apple Mobile Device and Stop the service
  6. After the service has stopped, click Start the service.
  7. After the Apple Mobile Device service has started again, open iTunes and connect the device.

Windows 8

  1. Close iTunes and disconnect the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
  2. Move the cursor to the upper right corner to open the Charm Bar.
  3. In the search field, type Services.
  4. Choose Settings, below the search field.
  5. Select "View local services" on the right side of the screen.
  6. Select Apple Mobile Device and click "Stop the service" as shown below:
  7. After the service has stopped, click "Start the service".
  8. After the Apple Mobile Device service has started again, open iTunes and connect the device.

Set the Apple Mobile Device Service Startup type to Automatic

Windows XP

  1. Close iTunes and disconnect the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
  2. Choose Start > Control Panel.
  3. Inside the Control Panel, open Administrative Tools.
  4. Open Services.
  5. Right-click on Apple Mobile Device and click Properties in the shortcut menu.
  6. Set the Startup type pop-up menu to Automatic and click OK:
    Apple Mobile Device Properties
  7. Restart the computer.
  8. Open iTunes and connect the device.

Windows Vista or Windows 7

  1. Close iTunes and disconnect the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
  2. Click the Windows Start button Start button.
  3. In the Start Search field type Services.
  4. In the Programs section of the search results, click Services.
  5. Right-click on Apple Mobile Device and click Properties in the shortcut menu.
  6. Set the Startup type pop-up menu to Automatic and click OK:
    Apple Mobile Device Properties
  7. Restart the computer.
  8. Open iTunes and connect the device.

Windows 8

  1. Close iTunes and disconnect the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
  2. Move the cursor to the upper right corner to open the Charm Bar.
  3. In the search field, type Services.
  4. Choose Settings, below the search field.
  5. Select "View local services" on the right side of the screen.
  6. Right-click Apple Mobile Device and click Properties in the shortcut menu.
  7. Set the "Startup type" pop-up menu to Automatic and click OK:

Remove and reinstall iTunes and AMDS

If the issue continues after restarting AMDS, then you'll need to remove and reinstall AMDS and iTunes.

  1. Completely uninstall AMDS, iTunes, and all Apple software. Click the appropriate links below for steps:
  2. Restart the computer.
  3. Download and install (or reinstall) the latest version of iTunes from www.apple.com/itunes. Installing iTunes will also install AMDS.
  4. Restart the computer.
  5. Start iTunes and connect the device. It should be recognized properly in Windows.

Learn more

If the Apple Mobile Device Service still will not start, or if it stops unexpectedly, this could be caused by third-party security software. Please follow iTunes for Windows: Troubleshooting security software issues.

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