iPhone not recognized in iTunes

Yesterday I consulted a home user who asked me to sync her 3G iPhone to her 2-year-old MacBook Pro running Tiger (OS X 10.4.11). She had tried to do this herself, but ran into a barrier when she found out that her installed version of QuickTime was too old and wouldn’t support her iPhone under iTunes 8.0.2. I figured this was an easy fix once I installed QuickTime 7.6 for Tiger. To my surprise and dismay, plugging in the iPhone to either of her laptop’s USB ports did not trigger an auto-launch of iTunes. Moreover, while her iPhone appeared as a connected USB peripheral in Apple System Profiler, it refused to appear in the list of recognized devices in iTunes.

Under further review, I plugged her iPhone into my Leopard-powered laptop and found that it automatically started up both iTunes and iPhoto. I then connected my iPhone to her laptop and replicated her phone’s inability to be recognized under iTunes. I knew then that the issue was software-related and not a defect with her phone.

To address the situation, I recommended that she purchase a copy of Leopard that I would be happy to install at a follow-up appointment. Returning to my office, I researched the Apple Discussion Boards and Knowledge Bases in depth and located what appears to be a solution to my client’s problem that doesn’t require an OS upgrade from Tiger to Leopard:

iPhone and iPod touch
How to remove and reinstall the Apple Mobile Device Service on Mac OS X


I later located an online wizard designed to help with the iPhone troubleshooting process:



1 Comment

Filed under Apple Hardware, Apple Software, Phones, Troubleshooting

One response to “iPhone not recognized in iTunes

  1. Turns out that my client’s iPhone wasn’t being recognized as a device in iTunes 8 because the Mobile Device Support package that’s part of the iTunes installer had not been installed along with the iTunes application. The downloadable iTunes installer includes four package files and once I completed their installation, I was able to sync my customer’s iPhone in a normal manner.


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