iPhone not showing up in Finder on Mac? 8 quick fixes of 2024

In this article, get all possible iPhone not showing up in Finder. Fix Finder not recognizing iPhone. Finally, Apple Removed iTunes from Mac running MacOS Sonoma, Ventura & Earlier and Start a New way to organize your iPhone/iPad on Mac. Access Your iPhone under Finder’s Locations Sidebar and Start Backup/Update/Restore right away more easily than earlier. the great collection of updates for Apple Devices is available to download. However, you cannot download iOS Software update directly on your iPhone, this time you will have to update Mac to macOS. And then only with the help of macOS, you will be able to update iPhone to iOS/iPadOS or Backup. Certain Questions and Get fixed in this tutorial, Where is my iPhone/iPad in Finder on macOS.

But since Mac not Showing iPhone/iPad for Restore, Backup, what should we do to fix this error? Unless macOS Catalina or later shows iPhone, you can update the iPhone. Try these tricks to fix the problem and get the newest features of iOS 15 or later on your iPhone.

Note: If you don’t have Mac, then wait for a while until Apple shows us a way out to update iPhone without Mac. We will definitely update this article as soon as Apple tells us the solution.

Solutions iPhone doesn’t Show Up in finder on iMac, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac Mini

  • You should wait more compare to the previous time Because Mac is Freezing in Finder, So your iPhone or iPad not showing on your Mac Screen, Because Apple testing few settings or Features until public release.
  • Hard Reboot your iPhone and Hard Reboot iPad and Try Again.

Video Tutorial on iPhone not showing in finder Catalina, iPad not showing up in finder, locations not showing up in finder & iPod

Also read, Fix Finder Sidebar Missing on Mac Computer

Solution #1: Enable iOS Devices Finder Sidebar Under the Locations

This is the latest macOS-specific solution, which you will never get on macOS Mojave or earlier versions. Follow the steps and see if iPhone appears on the sidebar of Finder. If it does, then update to iOS 17 or later. Unexpectedly or Deliberately, you have disabled these options under the Finder System preference settings. Let’s Reenabled and Show iOS devices under the Locations.

  • Step #1: Open “Finder” on macOS.
  • Step #2: Go to Finder and go to “Preferences/Settings [macOS Ventura]” in Top Apple Mac Menu.
Finder Preferences on Mac-2
Finder Preferences on Mac

Step #3: Click on the “Sidebar”, Find the custom options for What you show or hide in Finder Sidebar, Uncheck External Drive and Check the settings. [Keep Selected Cds, DVDs and iOS Devices]

Step #4: Re-launch Finder on Mac. Also, Re-connect your iOS device. Look for the iPhone in the sidebar of Finder’s Locations section.

Add iOS device iPhone and iPad under the locations in Sidebar on Mac
Add iOS device iPhone and iPad under the locations in Sidebar on Mac

Click on iDevice Name and Start Options for Backup iPhone/Back iPad, Restore iPhone/ Restore iPad. After that, we can Sync iPhone/iPad with macOS Catalina.

Fix problem!

  • Still not showing then Restart your Mac to fix the internal macOS software glitch. Also, Hard Reboot your iPhone works to fix the issue like your iPhone disconnecting itself or disappearing from the Finder sidebar on Mac.

Locations Not Showing iPhone or iPad


Once you enable iOS devices enabled under the Location from Finder preference, your Connected iPhone, iPad will see them under the locations section. But you can’s see below the section is collapsed. then Expand the section by hovering it and Click on Arrow to Expand & see.

  1. Open finder on Mac, See the Locations section that’s not showing device.
  2. Hover on location and See the Arrow.expand-location-to-see-connected-iphone-ipad-in-finder-sidebar
  3. Click on Arow to expandd locations section and get External iOS device connected there.iphone-is-now-showing-on-finder-sidebar
  4. That’s it.

Re-Built Finder Plist File on Mac

is your Mac’s Finder unable to sync the device? and sometimes Finder keeps Crashing or Quit Unexpectedly. Some internet software MacOS Glitch creating the problem for that. So here are the simple quick steps on Find Plist file, Delete and Re-create new one on Mac. Follow the below step, Make sure the first solution is performed on Mac.

  1. Open Finder on Mac [Use Spotlight Search (Command + Space) type Finder].
  2. Now From Top Mac Menu, Go > Go to Folder Or [Shift + Command + G].

Enter this command ‘~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist‘ and Click on the go button.


Here’s the list of Plist file, Use List format that easy to spot finder plist file “com.apple.finder.plist“.

Backup this file on the Mac desktop, And Delete the file from the Preferences folder. That’s it.

  • Now, Force quit finder from Mac, Go to the Apple logo > Force Quit > Select Finder > Force Quit and Relaunch.

Now Restart your mac – Go to the apple Logo > Restart, Mac will create a new Plist file during reboot mac. So hopefully it will fix your problem. Now, Connect your iPhone again to see on finder sidebar

Important:- Sometimes you might be getting issues with iPhone Keeps disconnecting on Mac automatically. also, Check if any Pending MacOS and iOS updates are available on Mac and iPhone/iPad.

Unable to Sync iPhone or iPad with mac

Solution #2: Restart Mac and iPhone/iPad

  • First of all, try to restart Mac and iPhone if macOS Catalina is not showing the iPhone, iPad. It might be possible that Mac and iPhone are not syncing correctly or facing a problem because of macOS Catalina update. So do it and check if the iPhone is detected or not. Sometimes this solution is also helpful for iPhone Keeps disconnecting and blinking continuously in the sidebar.
  1. Mac: Go to Apple Logo on Mac Screen > Restart or Press and Hold the power button until the screen goes off and Press again once,
  2. iPhone: Know how to Hard Reboot your iPhone models (iPhone XR/iPhone XS/iPhone XS Max/iPhone X/iPhone 8/8 Plus/iPhone 7/7 Plus/iPhone 5S/iPhone 6/6 Plus)
  3. iPad: Hard Reboot iPad Pro No Home Button

Solution #3: Check the USB cable or Try Another

Loose connection at on Mac or MacBook’s USB port, So Remove the USB cable from this end and plug again, make sure USB port inserted completely. also Remove Case from iPhone, because some bumper case prevents inserting 8 Pin lightning connector in iPhone charging port.

  • Many users just use their old lightning cable with the new devices or sometimes after long usage, the cord gets cut. Make sure the lightning cable that you are using to connect iPhone to Mac is not damaged. Alternatively, borrow the lightning cable from a neighbor or your friend and try to update the iPhone using Mac.

Solution #4: Allow iPhone to Trust This PC

  • First of all, unlock your iPhone/iPad using Face ID or Touch ID and Enter Passcode if your iOS device asks.
  • When you connect iPhone to Mac or any PC, the iPhone pop-up asks whether to Trust This PC or not. There, you have to tap “Trust,” otherwise PC will not detect iPhone as iPhone doesn’t permit to access the data. Reconnect and when Trust This PC appears on iPhone, tap Trust.

Solution #5: Unplug Accessories to Your Apple Mac

Except for Keyboard and Mouse, remove all the unnecessary accessories like Speakers, External Storage, etc. from the Mac. After removing them, connect the iPhone to macOS and see if macOS Catalina is showing an iPhone or not.

Solution #6: Shut Down the XCode Server and Configurator on macOS

  • Another revised trick to fix your iPhone or iPad won’t recognize in Mac Finder after Mac update is shutdown the Xcode server. Some of the macOS users with the same issue have confirmed that shutting off the Xcode server and configurator on Mac, will fix the problem. you can do this, open the Activity Monitor and close the XCode Server Builder.
Shutdown XCode Server on Mac
Shutdown XCode Server on Mac (Source: superuser)

If Activity Monitor is unable to shut down the XCode Server, then try this alternative command in your Terminal app of Mac.

  • kill $(ps aux | grep ‘Xcode’ | awk ‘{print $2}’)

Close Configurator

Next, we will shut down the iPhone, iPad in Apple Configurator on your Mac, go to Apple Configurator 2 and select your iPhone, iPad. Then, Actions > Advanced > Shut Down Device.

Solution #7: macOS Sonoma doesn’t recognize my iOS (iPhone, iPod touch) and iPadOS (iPad pro, iPad Air, iPad Mini) devices at all

This way will help you to fix iOS Sync is completely broken on your Mac.

Just you should uncheck the CD, DVD, iPod box. and then run your mac into recovery mode with the first aid on the partition “macOS base system”.
after this process is finished,
let’s reboot your Mac machine and then again check the CD, DVD, iPod box back.
Now try to connect the iOS or iPadOS devices, I hope, this trick will show you the device on Finder under the location section.

That’s it!

Solution #8: Try Alternate Mac Machine

Still, iPhone, iPad not showing on macOS Catalina? It looks like your Mac is not working correctly. I hope your friend or colleague got Mac running perfectly because I am recommending you to go there place and connect your iPhone on your friend’s Mac and update iPhone to iOS 17.

we are happy to help you if you have any queries share them with us in the comment box. Also, Discuss more troubleshooting suggestions and tips for Mac users especially using MacOS Sonoma or Earlier.

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Karly Wood

Karly Wood, a Wellington-based journalist, excels in covering Apple and tech trends. With a diverse background in public safety, government, and education reporting, her insights bridge multiple disciplines, offering readers a well-rounded perspective on today's technological advancements. Contact Her Team:- jaysukh.pharma@gmail.com [OR] admin@howtoisolve.com

5 thoughts on “iPhone not showing up in Finder on Mac? 8 quick fixes of 2024”

  1. <AC os Mohave doesn't recognize my IPAD either in Finder….The two sync but my contacts do not show up on my MAC…why?

  2. Hi, I have no issue when connecting my iOS devices via USB cable but the issue is that these won’t appear on my finder recently… (I have always had enabled the checkbox to sync via Wi-Fi) I tried removing the checkbox, syncing and then putting the checkbox back on with no luck… do you guys know if this is common or is it only me? Thanks a lot!!

  3. Hi, I have no issue when connecting my iOS devices via USB cable but the issue is that these won’t appear on my finder over Wi-Fi just recently… (I have always had enabled the checkbox to sync via Wi-Fi) I tried removing the checkbox, syncing and then putting the checkbox back on with no luck… do you guys know if this is common or is it only me? Thanks a lot!!


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