If you can't import photos from iPhone/iPad using File Explorer in Windows 10 and received 'The device is unreachable' error, here is how to fix it.

Earlier, we shared you following guide to import your photos to Windows 10 from iPhone/iPad:

How To Import iPad/iPhone Photos To Windows 10

The method described in our above mentioned article was utilizing File Explorer. This means you can natively transfer for iOS device photos to Windows 10 using simple copy-paste. You don’t need iTunes software/app for doing this. Additionally, you can move only the content of your choice and no need to transfer or sync everything.

But then some users reached us with a familiar error appearing in this process. So the users reported that they some following message while transferring content:

The device is unreachable.

FIX The Device Is Unreachable Error In Windows 10

After receiving the above message, the transfer of content is terminated abnormally. So in case if you’re also facing this problem, here is how you can solve it. Before moving on to the solution, you should confirm that you’ve latest iOS version installed. Along with it, ensure that your Windows 10 version is also up-to-date. Also, try replacing the USB cable to see if makes any differences. If you continue to face the problem, here is working solution.

FIX: The Device Is Unreachable Error In Windows 10

To solve this problem, try these simple steps:

1. Open Settings app and then tap on Photos.

2. Now scroll down, until you find Transfer to Mac or PC heading. Under it, by default, Automatic option is checked. You need to check here the other option, i.e. Keep originals. When you check Keep originals, the transfers are done without checking compatibility.

FIX The Device Is Unreachable Error In Windows 10

3. Close Settings app and go back to Home screen.

Now you can retry to import your photos to Windows 10 via File Explorer, and this time it should work without any error.

In case if you still continue to see the issue, kindly drop us a comment, and we’ll try to figure out the solution for you.

Hope this helps!


  • I don’t have this option “transfer files to a MAC or PC” when I go to settings and then the photos app. I did try to reset the app. But nothing has worked. I can import a 10-20 pictures and then I keep getting the error message (in the photos app) that something went wrong. I got the message that the device was unreachable when I tried to copy and paste from file explorer.

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ What is iOS version you’re using? It got that option in iOS 13.0.

  • 13.3.1

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ In that case, I suggest you to recheck for that option. If issue still persists, you may try contacting Apple support.

  • Actually, there was something really wrong with MY brain last week. For some reason I thought you meant the settings app on my computer. I checked the settings app for my photo app on my PHONE, made the switch and now my photos have all loaded onto my computer. THANK YOU!!

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Glad you sorted it!

  • Okay, I will try this as I have the same issue with I phone 14 and trying to get photos to my portable harddrive by way of Windows 10 PC. An additional problem is that after I get the device message and then try to go back to my pictures, the pictures now are not visible……….only the mountain images are showing. How do I get rid of those mountain images and get my pics to return so I can try to upload them. I have turned off the computer as well as phone. Updates are all up to current up date. Why does that happen? It happened occasionally with I phone 5 S which I had up until a few months ago. But now it regularly happens and seems to last and last with the mountain images.

  • these solutions are not working for me.

    when it get tot he “looking for new photos and videos” it says its found over 9000 items. but i only have about 5000 photos and videos on my phone,, it should only be showing 500 new photos or so.

    iv done this method so many times and its worked in the past. but now it just crashes mid way every time.

    I try to copy the folders to my desktop it will transfer like 10 photos and then crash and stop

  • So my conclusion upto now is: Have all the latest updates, done that, In Iphone changed the settings in the photo-app (i thought also i had to change this in the Windows photo app, but finally discovered like Kelly this was in the Iphone Photo app. So changing it from Automatic to Keep Originals did solve the issue the transfer from photos and videos from iphone to pc to stop after 10 minutes, but the end-result is, now i have all these . heic pictures instead of jpg or jpeg pictures and now Windows can’t open them. Changing back to Automatic will stop importing pictures again….
    Need a solution to import pictures with coding them to readable pictures, or
    Need a solution to get all the Iphone videos and pictures to ‘normal’ format which can be used in photo book ordering and showing on a windows pc

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