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iTunes: May become unresponsive when connecting iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

Symptoms

In rare instances, iTunes may become unresponsive when connecting an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to your computer. iTunes may become responsive again after you disconnect the device from the computer.

Resolution

Follow the steps below to troubleshoot the issue:

  1. Install any available software updates for your computer.
    • For Mac OS X: Click the Apple () menu, choose Software Update, and follow the on-screen instructions.
    • For Windows: Refer to the documentation for your computer for instructions on using Windows Update to update your computer.
  2. Update iTunes to the latest version.
    • For Mac OS X: Click the Apple () menu, choose Software Update, and follow the on-screen instructions. You can also download iTunes from the Apple website.
    • For Windows: Use Apple Software Update, or download iTunes from the Apple website.
  3. Test with automatic syncing disabled.
    • For Mac OS X: Click the iTunes menu and choose Preferences. Click the Devices tab and place a check next to option to "Prevent iPods, iPhones and iPads from syncing automatically." Click OK.
    • For Windows: Click the Edit menu and choose Preferences. Click the Devices tab and place a check next to option to "Prevent iPods, iPhones and iPads from syncing automatically." Click OK.
    Reconnect your device and test to see if the issue still occurs. If your device is recognized successfully, you may be able to isolate which type of data is causing the issue. Do this by deselecting all syncing options under each of the syncing tabs and then sync. After that, re-enable your sync options one at a time until the issue returns.
    Note: If the issue only occurs when syncing data from the Info tab is enabled (For example: Contact, Calendar, Mail account or Bookmark syncing), reset the Sync History (for Mac OS X instructions see this article, for Windows see this article).
  4. Check your device for podcasts. If there are any podcasts, manually delete all podcast episodes from the device by sliding your finger across the podcast episode's name and tapping Delete. Once all podcasts are removed from your device, reconnect it to the computer, open iTunes, and test.
  5. If possible, test to see if connecting your device to a different computer with the latest version of iTunes installed resolves the issue.
  6. Test with iTunes plug-ins removed.
    • Quit iTunes.
    • Navigate to the following folder, based on your operating system:
      Windows XP:

      C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iTunes Plug-ins

      Windows Vista or Windows 7:

      C:\Users\[username]\App Data\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iTunes Plug-ins

      Mac OS X:
      • ~/Library/iTunes/iTunes Plug-ins   (The "~" represents your Home folder) 

      • /Library/iTunes/iTunes Plug-ins

    • If any files are in this folder, move them to the Desktop temporarily.
    • Open iTunes and test to see if the issue is resolved. If so, you may leave these iTunes plug-ins removed. If you wish to re-use these iTunes plug-ins, consult the vendor for the iTunes plug-ins to see if any updates are available.

If the issue also occurs on a different computer:

You may need to restore your device to factory settings.

  • If your device has an internet connection, you may use email to send yourself your pictures, notes, and other data you may need to back up before you restore.
  • If you have backed up your device in the past, and you wish to keep this backup, make a copy of your backup on your computer. See this article for details on where backups are stored.
  • Follow this article to restore your device. When the restore is finished, restore from your latest backup.
  • If the issue returns, follow steps this article again, but restore your device "As new" when prompted.

If the issue does not occur on a different computer, or no other computer is available to try:

It can be useful to determine if the issue affects a specific computer user account or all accounts.
Follow the steps below for your operating system to create a new user account to test.

Windows XP

  1. From the Start menu, choose Control Panel.
  2. Open User accounts.
  3. Select Create a new account and follow the instructions to complete the account setup process.
  4. Once the new account is created, choose Log Off from the Start menu.
  5. Log in to the newly created user account.
  6. Open iTunes and determine whether the issue you were experiencing persists in this new user.

Windows Vista or Windows 7

  1. From the Start menu, choose Control Panel.
  2. Open Add or remove user accounts (If using the Classic View in Windows Vista, open User Accounts. Then open Manage another account).
  3. Select Create a new account and follow the instructions to complete the account setup process.
  4. Once the new account is created, choose Log Off from the Start menu.
  5. Log in to the newly created user account.
  6. Open iTunes and determine whether the issue you were experiencing persists in this new user.

Mac OS X

  1. From the Apple () menu, choose System Preferences.
  2. Click Accounts.
  3. Click the Add (+) button below the list of accounts.
  4. Choose a type of account from the New Account pop-up menu. Make the new account an administrator.
  5. Enter a name for the account.
  6. Click Create Account.
  7. Click the Apple () menu and then choose Log out.
  8. When the login screen appears, log in to the new user you just created.
  9. Open iTunes and determine whether the issue you were experiencing persists in this new user.

If the issue still occurs in a new user:

  1. If you use Windows, run a virus scan of your computer to check for and remove any viruses or other harmful components on your computer.
  2. Temporarily disable optional components of your computer to isolate which component may be causing the issue:
    • Windows XP: Follow this article to isolate which software may be causing the issue.
    • Windows Vista or Windows 7: Follow this article to isolate which software may be causing the issue.
    • Mac OS X: Follow this article to start up in Safe Mode. If the issue does not occur in Safe Mode, there may be login items or third party kernel extensions causing the issue.
  3. While security software is usually recommended, in some cases outdated or improperly configured security software may be causing the issue. Follow this article for more information on troubleshooting issues that may be caused by third party security software to determine if this is the case.
  4. You may need to restore your device to factory settings.
    Note: Do not do a restore of your device if it is recognized on a different computer. If no other computer is available for testing, proceed.
    • If your device has an internet connection, you may use email to send yourself your pictures, notes, and other data you may need to back up before you restore.
    • If you have backed up your device in the past, and you wish to keep this backup, make a copy of your backup on your computer. See this article for details on where backups are stored.
    • Follow this article to restore your device. When the restore is finished, restore from your latest backup.
    • If the issue returns, follow steps this article again, but restore your device "As new" when prompted.

If the issue does not occur in a new user:

  1. Test with an alternate iTunes Library.
    • Log out of the new user and log back in to the original user.
    • Create a new iTunes library by following steps in this article.
    • Connect the device to see if the issue still occurs.
    • If the issue does not occur with a new blank iTunes library, quit iTunes and switch back to the original library as follows:
      Windows: Reopen iTunes while holding down the Shift key. When prompted, click Choose Library. Navigate to and select the original iTunes library file. By default, the iTunes Library files are stored in the following locations:
      • Windows XP:

        C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\My Documents\My Music\iTunes

      • Windows Vista:

        C:\users\[username]\Music\iTunes

      • Windows 7:

        C:\users\[username]\My Music\iTunes

      Mac OS X: Reopen iTunes while holding down the Option key. When prompted, click Choose Library. Navigate to and select the original iTunes library file. By default, the iTunes Library files are stored in ~/Music/iTunes.
    • Then, rebuild the original iTunes library files by following this article.
Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Jul 24, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Jul 24, 2014
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