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iPod: Appears in Windows but not in iTunes

Symptoms

If you see your iPod in My Computer (Windows XP) or Computer (Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8) but not in iTunes under Devices, try these steps. Start at the top and work your way through the steps until iTunes recognizes your iPod.

Resolution

Important

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1. Try the iPod troubleshooting assistant:

If you haven't already done so, try the steps in the iPod Troubleshooting Assistant (choose your iPod model from the list).

If the issue remains after following your iPod's troubleshooting assistant, follow the steps below.

2. Restart the iPod Service

Windows XP

  1. Close iTunes and disconnect the iPod.
  2. Choose Start > Control Panel.
  3. Inside the Control Panel, open Administrative Tools.
  4. Open Services.
  5. Scroll down, select iPod Service, and click "Stop the service."
  6. After the service has stopped, click "Start the service."
  7. After the iPod service has started again, open iTunes and connect the device.

Windows Vista or Windows 7

  1. Close iTunes and disconnect the iPod.
  2. Click the Windows Start button .
  3. In the Start Search field, type Services.
  4. In the Programs section of the search results, click Services.
  5. Scroll down, select iPod Service, and click "Stop the service."
  6. After the service has stopped, click "Start the service."
  7. After the iPod Service has started again, open iTunes and connect the device.

Windows 8

  1. Close iTunes and disconnect the iPod.
  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. Scroll down, select iPod Service, and click "Stop the service."
  7. After the service has stopped, click "Start the service."
  8. After the iPod Service has started again, open iTunes and connect the device.

3. Restart the Apple Mobile Device Service

This service is used by:
  • iPod shuffle (3rd generation and later)
  • iPod nano (3rd generation and later)
  • iPod classic

If you don't have one of the devices listed above, this step doesn't apply to you. If you do have one of the above model iPods, restart the AMDS service as follows.

Windows XP

  1. Close iTunes and disconnect the iPod.
  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."
    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 iPod.

Windows Vista or Windows 7

  1. Close iTunes and disconnect the iPod.
  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."
    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 iPod.

Windows 8

  1. Close iTunes and disconnect the iPod.
  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."
  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.

4. Empty your Temp directory and restart

For Windows XP

  1. Choose Start > My Computer.
  2. Open Local Disk C:. If Windows is installed on a different drive, open that drive letter instead.
  3. Open "Documents and Settings."
  4. Double-click the folder that has your user name.
  5. If you see a Local Settings folder, skip to step 9. If you don't see a Local Settings folder, proceed to the next step.
  6. Choose Tools > Folder Options.
  7. Click the View tab.
  8. Select "Show hidden files and folders."
  9. Click OK.
  10. Double-click the Local Settings folder.
  11. Right-click the Temp folder and from the shortcut menu, choose Delete.
  12. In the confirmation dialog that appears, click Yes.
  13. If you are unable to delete the Temp folder, close all programs, especially any of those in the Notification area (system tray) of the Windows Task Bar (shown below). Then, repeat step 10.
  14. Restart your computer.
  15. Install the latest version of iTunes and connect your iPod.

For Windows Vista or Windows 7

  1. Choose Start > Computer.
  2. Open Local Disk C:. If Windows is installed on a different drive, open that drive letter instead.
  3. Open the Users folder.
  4. Double-click the folder that has your user name.
  5. If you see an AppData folder, skip to step 9. If you don't see an AppData folder, proceed to the next step.
  6. Choose Organize > Folder and Search Options.
  7. Click the View tab.
  8. Select "Show hidden files and folders."

  9. Click OK.
  10. Open the AppData folder.
  11. Open the Local folder.
  12. Right-click the Temp folder and choose Delete from the shortcut menu.
  13. In the confirmation dialog that appears, click Yes.
  14. If you are unable to delete the Temp folder, close all programs, especially any of those in the Notification area (system tray) of the Windows Task bar (shown below). Then, repeat step 11.
  15. Restart your computer.
  16. Install the latest version of iTunes and connect your iPod.

For Windows 8

  1. Move the cursor to the upper right corner to open the Charm bar.
  2. In the search field, type Computer and press the Return key.
  3. Open Local Disk C:. If Windows is installed on a different drive, open that drive letter instead.
  4. Open the Users folder.
  5. Double-click the folder that has your user name.
  6. If you see an AppData folder, skip to step 9. If you don't see an AppData folder, proceed to the next step.
  7. Click the View tab and click the Options button, on the far right.
  8. In the Folder Options window, click the View tab.
  9. Select "Show hidden files and folders."

  10. Click OK.
  11. Open the AppData folder.
  12. Open the Local folder.
  13. Right-click the Temp folder and choose Delete from the shortcut menu.
  14. In the confirmation dialog that appears, click Yes.
  15. If you are unable to delete the Temp folder, close all programs, especially any of those in the Notification area (system tray) of the Windows Task bar (shown below). Then, repeat step 13.
  16. Restart your computer.
  17. Install the latest version of iTunes and connect your iPod.

5. Verify that the Apple Mobile Device USB Driver is installed

This driver is used by:

  • iPod shuffle (3rd generation and later)
  • iPod nano (3rd generation and later)
  • iPod classic

If you don't have one of the devices listed above, this step doesn't apply to you.

For Windows XP

  1. Connect the device to your computer.
  2. Quit iTunes if it opens.
  3. From the Start menu, right-click My Computer and choose Properties.
  4. Click the Hardware tab, then click the Device Manager button. The Device Manager window should open.
  5. Click the plus (+) icon next to "Universal Serial Bus controllers" to expand that section.

  6. Locate the Apple Mobile Device USB Driver in this list.
    • If Apple Mobile Device USB Driver is displayed without any "X", "!", or "?" symbols over it, then this driver was successfully installed. Proceed to the next section titled "Change your iPod's drive letter."
    • If Apple Mobile Device USB Driver isn't listed, proceed to the section below titled "If the Apple Mobile Device USB Driver isn't listed."
    • If Apple Mobile Device USB Driver is listed, but has a red "X" appearing next to the device, this device is disabled. To enable the device, right-click its entry in Device Manager and choose Enable from the shortcut menu.

    • If the Apple Mobile Device USB Driver entry is listed, but has an exclamation mark or question mark over it, continue with the next steps to reinstall the Apple Mobile Device driver.

Reinstall the Apple Mobile Device Driver

  1. Right-click the Apple Mobile Device entry in Device Manager and choose Uninstall from the shortcut menu.
  2. In the resulting dialog box, click OK.
  3. In the Device Manager window, right-click "Universal Serial Bus controllers" and choose "Scan for hardware changes" from the shortcut menu.

Windows automatically reinstalls the necessary drivers and attempts to remount the device.

If the Apple Mobile Device USB Driver entry still has an exclamation mark or question mark over it, continue with the next steps to manually update the Apple Mobile Device driver.

Update the Apple Mobile Device Driver

  1. Right-click the Apple Mobile Device entry in Device Manager and choose Update Driver from the shortcut menu.
  2. If asked to connect to Windows Update to search for software, choose "No, not this time."
  3. Select "Install from a list or specific location (Advanced)" and then click Next.
  4. Select "Don't search. I will choose the driver to install" and then click Next.

  5. Click the Have Disk button. If the Have Disk button isn't present, choose a device category such as Mobile Phone or Storage Device, if listed, and click next; the Have Disk button should now appear.
  6. Click the Browse button.
  7. Navigate to the following location: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers.
  8. Double-click the "usbaapl" file.
  9. Click Open.
  10. Click Next and click Finish.
  11. Restart your computer. Leave the device connected to the computer while restarting.

Note: During installation, if a message appears stating that the software you are installing "has not passed Windows Logo testing," click Continue Anyway to continue installing the drivers.

For Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8

  1. Connect the device to your computer.
  2. Quit iTunes if it opens.
  3. Open the Device Manager as follows:
    • For Windows Vista or Windows 7: Click the Start menu, right-click Computer, and choose Properties. In the upper-left corner, click Device Manager. The Device Manager window should open.
    • For Windows 8: Move the cursor to the upper right corner, click the magnifying glass, type devmgmt.msc, and press Return. The Device Manager window should open.
  4. Click the plus (+) icon (or disclosure triangle () for Windows 7 and Windows 8) next to "Universal Serial Bus controllers" to expand the section.
  5. Locate Apple Mobile Device USB Driver in this list.
    • If Apple Mobile Device USB Driver is displayed without any downward arrow, "!", or "?" symbols over it, then this driver was successfully installed. Proceed to the next section titled "Change your iPod's drive letter."
    • If Apple Mobile Device USB Driver isn't listed, proceed to the section below titled "If the Apple Mobile Device USB Driver isn't listed."
    • If Apple Mobile Device USB Driver has a downward arrow next to it, this indicates that this device is disabled. To enable the device, right-click its entry in Device Manager and choose Enable from the shortcut menu.

    • If Apple Mobile Device USB Driver is listed but has an exclamation mark or question mark over it, continue with the next steps to reinstall the Apple Mobile Device driver.

Reinstall the Apple Mobile Device Driver

  1. Right-click Apple Mobile Device USB Driver in Device Manager and choose Uninstall from the shortcut menu.
  2. In the resulting dialog box, select "Delete the driver software for this device" and click OK.
  3. In the Device Manager window, right-click "Universal Serial Bus controllers" and choose "Scan for hardware changes" from the shortcut menu.

Windows automatically reinstalls the necessary drivers and attempts to remount the device.

If the Apple Mobile Device USB Driver entry still has an exclamation mark or question mark over it, continue with the next steps to manually update the Apple Mobile Device driver.

Update the Apple Mobile Device Driver

  1. Right-click the Apple Mobile Device entry in Device Manager and choose Update Driver Software.
  2. Select "Browse my computer for driver software."
  3. Select "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer."
  4. Click the Have Disk button. If the Have Disk button isn't present, choose a device category such as Mobile Phone or Storage Device, if listed, and click next; the Have Disk button should now appear.
  5. Click the Browse button.
  6. Navigate to the following location:  C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers.
    Note: If using a 64-bit version of Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8, navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers.
  7. Double-click the "usbaapl" file.
    Note: This file will be called "usbaapl64" if you have a 64-bit version of Windows. If you don't see "usbaapl64" here, or if there is no Drivers folder, look in  C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers.
  8. Click Open.
  9. Click Next and click Finish.
  10. Restart your computer. Leave the device connected to the computer while restarting.

Note: During installation, if a message appears stating that the software you are installing "has not passed Windows Logo testing," click Continue Anyway to continue installing the drivers.

If the Apple Mobile Device USB Driver isn't listed

  1. Open the Device Manager in Windows, as follows:
    Windows XP: Click Start > Run. In the resulting dialog type devmgmt.msc and press Return.
    Windows Vista or Windows 7: Click Start. In the dialog, type devmgmt.msc and press Return. If Windows needs your permission to continue, click "Continue."
    Windows 8: Move the cursor to the upper right corner, click the magnifying glass, type devmgmt.msc, and press Return. The Device Manager window should open.
  2. Expand the following sections (not all sections may be listed):
    • Disk Drives
    • Imaging Devices
    • Other Devices
    • Portable Devices
    • Universal Serial Bus Controllers
  3. Reconnect your iPod. Look for any entry that appears when the iPod is connected.

If only Unknown Device appears

  1. Right-click the Unknown Device entry and choose Properties from the shortcut menu.
  2. Click the Details tab. In the drop-down menu, choose Hardware IDs.
  3. See if the listed hardware ID starts with "USB\VID_0000&PID_0000". If it does, Windows cannot read the hardware IDs of the device, and has replaced them with all zeros. This is typically caused by a faulty USB connection or an incompatibility with your USB chipset drivers. 
  4. Disconnect your iPod and unplug all USB devices from your computer.
  5. Shut your computer down and then power it back on.
  6. Open the Device Manager and reconnect your device, testing each USB port for approximately 30 seconds to see if your device is recognized.
  7. Test with an alternate USB cable that you know works if one is available.
  8. Temporarily disable USB 2.0 root hubs by looking for any "USB Enhanced Host Controller" or "USB 2.0 Host Controller" (or similar) entries in the Device Manager under the USB Controllers section. Right-click on each of these entries and choose "Disable."
    Note: This may temporarily disable your USB keyboard or mouse. If it does, disconnect your USB keyboard and mouse. Or, if you are using a portable PC, connect an external keyboard and mouse.
  9. After disabling USB 2.0, reconnect your device.
  10. If your device shows up in iTunes, try re-enabling your USB 2.0 root hubs by right-clicking on their entries in the Device Manager, and choosing Enable. If the issue returns, you may disable the USB 2.0 hubs as a temporary work-around, keeping in mind that syncing will occur slowly (at USB 1.1 speeds). Then, consult your computer manufacturer for any updates for your USB 2.0 chipset.
Note: If Unknown Device appears in Device Manager when connecting your device to more than one known-good computer with more than one known-good USB cable, your device may require service. Contact Apple. Wherever you live in the world, you can find your device's service options at the Online Service Assistant. You may have questions about servicing your device, and you can find answers to frequent questions in this FAQ. If there is an Apple Retail Store nearby, find the closest store and then make a reservation through the online Apple Store Concierge. Reservations are strongly recommended.

If only "iPod" appears

For Windows XP

  1. Right-click the iPod entry in Device Manager and choose Update Driver from the shortcut menu.
  2. If asked to connect to Windows Update to search for software, choose "No, not this time."
  3. Select "Install from a list or specific location (Advanced)" and then click Next.
  4. Select "Don't search. I will choose the driver to install" and then click Next.

  5. Click the Have Disk button. If the Have Disk button isn't present, choose a device category such as Mobile Phone or Storage Device, if listed, and click next; the Have Disk button should now appear.
  6. Click the Browse button.

     
  7. Navigate to the following location: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers.
  8. Double-click the "usbaapl" file.
  9. Click Open.
  10. Click Next and then click Finish.
  11. Restart your computer. Leave the device connected to the computer while restarting.

For Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8

  1. Right-click the iPod entry in Device Manager and choose Update Driver from the shortcut menu.
  2. Select "Browse my computer for driver software."
  3. Select "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer."
  4. Click the Have Disk button. If the Have Disk button isn't present, choose a device category such as Mobile Phone or Storage Device, if listed, and click next; the Have Disk button should now appear.
  5. Click the Browse button.
  6. Navigate to the following location:  C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers.
    Note: If using a 64-bit version of Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8, navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers.
  7. Double-click the "usbaapl" file.
    Note: This file will be called "usbaapl64" if you have a 64-bit version of Windows. If you don't see "usbaapl64" here, or if there is no Drivers folder, look in  C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers.
  8. Click Open.
  9. Click Next and then click Finish.
  10. Restart your computer. Leave the device connected to the computer while restarting.

6. Change your iPod's drive letter

In some cases, changing the drive letter assigned to the iPod may resolve this issue.

7. Remove and reinstall iTunes

If you haven't already done so when following the Troubleshooting Assistants linked at the beginning of this article, remove and reinstall iTunes.

Note: Songs you purchased from the iTunes Store or imported from CDs are saved in your My Music or Music folder by default and aren't deleted when you remove iTunes.

8. Disable conflicting System Services and Startup Items

Installed background processes can sometimes prevent the iPod Service from running. You may be able to resolve this by disabling some items with the System Configuration Utility.

9. Update, Reconfigure, Disable, or Remove Security Software

Some antivirus, firewall, or other security software can prevent iPods from displaying in iTunes. Updating, reconfiguring, disabling, or removing your security software may resolve the issue.

Note: For the best computer security, disconnect your computer from the internet prior to disabling or removing your security software. After testing, reinstall security software before reconnecting to the internet.

10. Deleting damaged or incorrect registry keys

If you are using Windows XP, damaged registry keys may prevent Windows from recognizing a variety of USB storage devices, including iPod. To troubleshoot this issue for Windows XP, refer to the Microsoft knowledge base article: A computer that is using Windows XP cannot detect a USB thumb drive, an Apple iPod, or an external hard disk drive.

 

Additional Information

If your iPod is recognized successfully on a different computer, and the steps above didn't resolve your issue, there is likely some other system issue on your computer that is the cause. This may require you to repair or reinstall Windows. If you need assistance with this, contact whomever supports Windows on your computer. In most cases, this will be the computer manufacturer.

Important: Mention of third-party websites and products is for informational purposes only and constitutes neither an endorsement nor a recommendation. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance or use of information or products found at third-party websites. Apple provides this only as a convenience to our users. Apple has not tested the information found on these sites and makes no representations regarding its accuracy or reliability. There are risks inherent in the use of any information or products found on the Internet, and Apple assumes no responsibility in this regard. Please understand that a third-party site is independent from Apple and that Apple has no control over the content on that website. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Jan 28, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Jan 28, 2014
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