How to Fix “Device Unreachable” When Copying from iPhone


Hello! Let’s not get overwhelmed and get down to business right away. So, today I urgently needed to transfer a lot of videos and photos from iPhone to computer. It would seem, what could be the problem? I take an iPhone (computer, wire), with a refined movement I combine all this stuff, on the phone I confidently press “Allow device access to photos and videos”, select the necessary files, copy them to the folder I need and …

This is where such troubles begin, for which life has not yet prepared me. In short, this is what happens – everything hangs tight, files are not copied, and the best (as Microsoft tells us) Windows 10 operating system shows a “red cross” and a “wonderful” error “The device is unreachable.”

I think, okay, maybe Windows 10 is “buggy” – I’ll deal with the computer later.

In the meantime, I’ll get a laptop with the good old “seven” and throw the pictures there – no, but a solution to the problem.

I connect my iPhone to my Windows 7 laptop, start copying files and … of course! History repeats itself! However, the error text has changed slightly “The device connected to the system does not work.” But the meaning, as you understand, does not change much from this.

Time goes by, but photos and videos need to be dropped.

I take another wire – everything is the same.
I transfer files via AirDrop to iPad and try to copy photos and videos through it. But with the iPad, everything is the same – either “The device is unreachable” (Win 10), or “The device connected to the system does not work” (Win 7).

went to the Internet to look for the reason …

And here, as modern teenagers say, “burned out”.

There is one article for the entire Internet (only written in different words on different sites). In which it is assumed that everything is to blame:

“Curve” version of iOS (!).
Compatible versions of Windows and iOS (!!).
Wrong choice of data transfer function (!!!).
Agree, the arguments are simply amazing.

It’s a fiasco, bro! © Young man with a dog.

I must say right away that none of the above, of course, is the cause of the “Device unreachable” error.

So what’s the deal?

The whole hitch is in the new file format that Apple introduced with iOS 11 and which, accordingly, smoothly flowed into the next firmware versions.

So, we are interested in two options on the iPhone or iPad:

  1. Settings – Photos – Transfer to PC and Mac. The default is “Automatic”.
  2. Settings – Camera – Formats. The default is High Efficiency.

What happens in this case?

iPhone (iPad) captures photos and videos in the new HEIF / HEVC formats (for high efficiency), and when transferred to a computer converts them to a compatible format. But if the size of the files is large, then at the stage of this conversion there is a slight freeze and, as a consequence, the appearance of the error “Device unreachable”.

What need to do? Change just one setting:

Open “Preferences – Photos – Transfer to PC and Mac”. We select “Transfer originals”.
Everything. After that, there will be no problems when copying photos and videos from iPhone.

You ask: “What about the second option, the one that is” Camera – Formats “?” Here, proceed as you wish.

If you want “standard” JPEG / H.264, then select “Most Compatible”.
If you want “newfangled” HEIF / HEVC, then leave “High Efficiency”.

I chose “Most Compatible” just in case. Still, not all programs work with HEIF / HEVC formats, so let it be better to shoot my iPhone in the old fashioned way. It will be calmer 🙂

P.S. Did the instruction help? Do not be lazy to “scribble” a couple of lines in the commentary and tell your story. Too lazy to write something? Then just like it 🙂 Thank you!


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