Why Doesn’t My iPhone Show in iTunes for Windows 10?

According to Apple (and apparently all of the Google search results), backing up your iPhone to your Windows computer is quite simple: Plug in your iPhone, open iTunes, click on the phone icon that shows up, and then click “Back Up Now”.

iTunes for Windows toolbar with iPhone button
You’re supposed to see a little button with an iPhone on it in iTunes when you plug your phone into your Windows computer

But what if the phone icon doesn’t show up? What if iTunes shows no acknowledgment of your phone whatsoever? After running into this problem and going through an exhaustive Google search and troubleshooting process including restarting iTunes, restarting the computer, logging in and out of iTunes, updating Windows OS and iTunes, reinstalling iTunes, clearing cache files, clearing preference files, checking antivirus settings, and physically swapping USB cables, I finally noticed something: The version of iTunes that comes via the Microsoft Store differs from the version of iTunes that you can download directly from Apple.

Microsoft iTunes does not recognize iPhone when plugged in
The Microsoft version of iTunes may not recognize iPhone when plugged in

If you’ve tried everything listed above (and possibly more) you could try uninstalling the Microsoft version and installing the Apple version. When I tried this, the Apple version of the app recognized the phone immediately and was able to back up the device to my computer..

You can download the Apple version of iTunes here: https://www.apple.com/itunes/

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