12 Replies Latest reply: Jan 31, 2016 1:05 AM by cool1o
Tgara Level 4 (3,545 points)

I posted this in the iPhone forum, but my guess is that the issue is more related to iTunes.  So I am posting it here as well.


My iPhone doesn't show up in the sidebar of iTunes anymore, even though the iPhone is connected to and works over my wifi network.  I had it set to sync over wifi and open iTunes when the iPhone was connected (e.g., checked these two boxes on the Summary Pane).  But now, the phone doesn't show up at all.  Oddly, my iPad shows and syncs fine.  And, despite not being seen by iTuens, my iPhone is connected to my Wifi network and works fine.


I've tried unchecking and rechecking the box for wifi sync, but it doesn't hold.  The phone will show up after I "reset" the check boxes with the phone attached to a cord and then disconnect the cord.  After doing this, I can shut down iTunes and restart it, and the phone shows as being connected.  Fine and good.  But after I restart my iMac, the phone doesn't show anymore in iTunes.  My guess is that this is an iTunes problem and not a problem with the wifi or the phone.


Any ideas on how to get my phone to stay showing in iTunes?

iPhone 4S, iOS 5.1, 64GB
  • McQ14 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm having the same issue. Hope someone posts an answer. Sorry I can't help, but I'm in the same boat.

  • Tgara Level 4 (3,545 points)

    I figured it out.


    Basically I had to reset the wifi sync using a cable.  Try connecting your iPhone to your computer using a cable.  Uncheck the wifi sync box in iTunes, sync, then re-check the box.  Hit apply, then disconnect the phone from the cable.  This worked for me and the phone shows up in the sidebar consistently now.

  • McQ14 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Tgara,


    Glad you got it figured out. I though that would work for mine too, but for some odd reason, it's not fixing the issue. I've rebooted the iMac and phone, reconnected, done the USB Sync, unchecked, rechecked, etc. darn thing is being really stubborn!


    I may uninstall and reinstall iTunes if nothing else works.

  • Yokohamian Level 1 (0 points)

    Had the same problem. Fixed the problem by turning off my wi-fi connection on both my MacBook and the iPad. Then, I turned the wi-fi connection back on on both devices. Problem solved. Hope this helps other users. 

  • danaschwartz Level 1 (0 points)

    I also had it temporarily fixed by unchecking and rechecking the Sync over WiFi, but always a few days later it's not found by iTunes any more.  This doesn't seem to be a permanent fix, at least for me.

  • Jasony2000 Level 1 (0 points)

    your iphone needs to be pluged in (charging) with a wifi connection, if not itunes will not connect or sync over wifi

  • Spediteur Level 1 (5 points)

    Your iOS device only has to be powered for wifi backup to iCloud. Synching to iTunes can be done over wifi without the device being powered if both are connected to the same network.


    I have spent a lot of time reviewing posts similar to this and experimenting. My finding is that iTunes seems to eventually forget about your iOS devices. This has occurred on both my PC and MacBook, so seems to be a problem with iTunes and not the OS. It is totally at random. Sometimes iTunes will show both my iPhone and iPad, sometimes one or the other, sometimes neither.


    I have found that after trying a dozen or more scenarios of powering, cabling, rebooting the computer or the iOS device, turning wifi on and off on the device, etc., that simply plugging the device into the computer seems to refresh connectivity between iTune and the device - for a time, until it fails again. I am using a MacBook with Mountain Lion and iTunes 11 with an iPhone 4S and iPad2 with iOS 6.1.


    This is a similar discovery to Tgara above, but I didn't need to change any tick boxes as suggested. I had done this before, of course, in order to synch, but the end result of my experimentation is that the wifi link to iTunes is restored for a time after it is done.


    I you cannot get a cabled synch then try the Apple suggestions at: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1591

  • danaschwartz Level 1 (0 points)

    I see the same thing, and confirm all the behaviors you describe

  • papejack Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the same problem as described before, tried many things, even apple support for an hour, deactivated the Anti-Virus as recommended for the sync period, iTunes seems to see the phone for a short amount of time but then it disappear , need to close and reopen iTunes, after a while (5-10 minutes) the iphone sufddenly appear and disappear few minutes later. restarting the router and all other solutions are a temporary fix for the problem.


    Can we propose to have "Search iphone/ipad over Wifi" button in iTunes, it seems to be the solution

  • mjteng Level 1 (0 points)

    I don't think itunes will discover the iPhone without "sensing" some kind of activity.  When I was playing on the iPhone for a little bit, itunes discovered my iPhone.

  • pavan_bkv Level 1 (0 points)

    Perhaps one reason could be that you are on a VPN like I was. That would make your devices un-detectable as they are on different networks although they share same WIFI connection.

  • cool1o Level 1 (0 points)

    I had the same issue and a different root cause.  I tried to synch using a USB cable with a lightning adaptor normally used just to charge a phone.  The Lightning adaptor fits in the iPhone but was only supplying a charge and carrying no data.  Smacked forehead, switched to a proper Lightning cable, and it works as expected.