Resolve USB-related alerts in iTunes

If there's an issue with the USB connection to your device, you might see an alert message like "iPhone has timed out" or "error 9" or your device might unexpectedly disconnect when syncing.

If you're having issues using your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iTunes, the USB communication to your device might not be working properly. Use the steps in this article if your device disconnects during syncing or you see one of these alert messages:

  • "iPhone has timed out" when syncing
  • An unknown error occurred when syncing
  • The USB device can't operate because it needs more power
  • "This device can perform faster" if you use a higher speed USB port
  • iTunes error 9 or error 2001–2011 while updating or restoring

Check connections

Try these steps to check the connection between your device or computer. You might need to do only one of these steps to resolve the issue, so test your connection after each step.

  1. See if the cable connection at the device or computer has come loose or unplugged.
    Unplug the cable you're using to connect your iOS device from the USB port on your computer, and then reconnect it. Then unplug it from your iOS device, and reconnect it.
  2. Remove any third-party battery packs or cases from the device and ensure that the USB cable is connected directly to the port on the device.
  3. If your Lightning or 30-pin cable is connected to a keyboard, display or USB hub, try plugging it directly into a USB port on the computer instead. 
  4. Close any virtualization apps (such as Parallels or VMWare).
    These apps might interfere with your computer's ability to communicate over USB if they aren't properly configured, or up to date. If this resolves the issue, contact the developer of the app to see if an update is available.
  5. Restart your computer.
  6. Restart your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
  7. Check for software updates. You can download the latest version of iTunes from Apple. If you're using a Mac, you can check for updates to OS X and other software using the Mac App Store
  8. If you're using a non-Apple computer, check for firmware updates for your computer or USB card from the manufacturer's website.
  9. If your iOS device displays the Connect to iTunes screen, force your device to restart, and then restore it.
  10. If you're using an accessory or third-party cable to connect your device, try using an Apple cable with the device instead.
  11. Disconnect other USB devices from your computer, except for your keyboard and mouse. Then, reconnect your iOS device. If the issue is resolved, reconnect the other USB devices one at a time. Make sure your iOS device is still recognized by the computer after adding back each device. 

If one of these steps resolves the issue, but it comes back later, make sure you haven't changed how the device is connected. For example, check to see if you plugged the device into a specific accessory, or used a specific cable that reintroduced the issue.

Sync wirelessly

You can also sync with your iOS device over Wi-Fi instead of USB.

Learn more

Get help if you see one of these alerts:

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