Transferring files from your mobile phone to your computer is pretty convenient. The process is simple and can be done by connecting your devices through a USB cable. However, when it comes to copying files from your iPhone or Android to a Windows PC, you may receive an error saying, “The device is unreachable.”

The error can make transferring files from your phone to your PC quite tricky. However, the good news is that you can fix this error with just a few simple steps.

So, if you need to know what the device is an unreachable error and how can you fix it? Read this post further to find out. All these solutions may apply to both iPhone and Android users.

Why are You Facing the “The device is unreachable” Error?

This error message can occasionally occur when you copy media files from your iPhone to your PC. There are several reasons for you to get this error. However, a few common factors causing the “The device is unreachable” error are listed as below:

Faulty USB Port

If you have received the device is an unreachable error while transferring media files from your phone to your PC, your USB port is possibly faulty. This means that your port has hardware damage or dust and junk accumulated in it.

Large File or Path Name

Windows allows a file name or path of only 256 characters. So, if the files contain excessive characters than what is permissible, you may receive the “The device is unreachable” error.

A File Explorer Glitch

Technical issues or software bugs in the File Explorer of your Windows computer can lead you to receive the device as an unreachable error while transferring.

Software Bug

A bug in your Windows 10 can result in the device is an unreachable error. However, you do not need to reinstall your Windows as Microsoft has released Hotfix. It can fix the bugs you may be facing. To install Hotfix, you need to update your Windows 10 OS. In addition, you must also look to update your Apple iPhone driver.

How to Transfer Media Files When Device is Unreachable?

No matter what reason may be causing you the “The device is unreachable” error. You can resolve it quickly. Here are some easy solutions to this problem:

Adjust Mobile Settings

Your device configurations may, at times, disturb your transferring process. As a result, your PC may tell you that your device is unreachable. We recommend you have “iCloud Photo Sharing” and “My Phone Stream” turned On on your iPhone to fix this problem. Here are some steps you can follow:

  1. First, navigate to the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Then, you may open the Phone and Camera option.
  3. Next, you must turn on the Photos Sharing Feature and enable “iCloud Photo Sharing” and “My Phone Stream.”

Use a USB 2.0 Port

Using an old iPhone model, namely the iPhone 5S, may not work with USB 3.0 ports on a few Windows 10 laptops. In this situation, you’ll need to purchase USB 2.0 ports and experiment with transferring your files with them. USB 2.0, on the other hand, is substantially slower than USB 3.0, but it will transfer photos without any annoying problems.

Copy Files Directly to Your Windows PC

The “device is unreachable” problem may appear when copying files from your iPhone to the NAS drive. You can transfer and copy files directly to your computer to avoid this issue, then move them to the NAS storage. Although this is a time-consuming approach, it is a feasible solution to the problem.

Rename the Directories or Files

You may receive the device is an unreachable error for using the Calibre app to access files. This is because your file name is longer and contains excessive characters. Windows has a limitation of 256 characters for any file or pathname. You can shorten the file’s name by renaming it or changing the file path to fix this issue.

Use a New Transferring Cable

It’s possible that the USB cable connecting the two devices is damaged, resulting in an unreachable device error. So, to avoid such a problem, you can try using a new cable. Or else, you may use the original transferring cable that came with your iOS devices or Andriod cellphones.

Connect Your Mobile as a Media Device

Your Android device’s current configurations can result in connecting your phone to your computer as a camera. So, when you try to copy or transfer media files, it can result in the device being a device is an unreachable error. Here are some suggestions for resolving this issue:

  1. First, connect your device to your PC.
  2. Go to your phone’s Settings app.
  3. Go to “Storage.”
  4. Locate and tap the Connect as a Media Device option.
  5. Now, you may initiate the file transfer.

Reinstall Your iOS Device from Device Manager

Likely, your iOS device hasn’t been properly installed on your Windows 10 PC, and you may have to reinstall it to fix the device’s unreachable error message.

You can fix this problem by following these steps:

  1. First, connect your PC with your iPhone.
  2. Next, you may press the X key and Windows key from the keyboard simultaneously.
  3. Now, go to the Device Manager menu. Once reached, you may tap on it.
  4. Click the “Scan for hardware changes” icon in the Device Manager window. If your iPhone driver may not reflect on the initial scan, repeat the process until it does.
  5. You can also uninstall your iPhone from the Device Manager and scan for any hardware changes.
  6. Update your device’s iTunes app to the most recent version.
  7. Restart your computer and connect the iPhone to reflect the changes.
  8. Make the computer a trusted device to prevent the error from recurring.
  9. Make the computer a trusted device to prevent the error from recurring. Now, 
  10. Try transferring the files again. Hopefully, things will go smoothly this time. If it still doesn’t work, try reconnecting the device.

Use Third-Party Applications

If none of these above options work, you can use third-party apps to send images and data over WiFi. Although the wireless network transfer is slower than a USB transfer, it is a good alternative. You can look for such transfer applications in the Apple App Store.

Connect Your Mobile to a Different USB Port

Because your computer has many USB ports, you might be able to fix the problem by plugging your iPhone into one of them.

To do so, detach your iPhone from the port you are currently using. Then, connect it to another port before attempting to transfer files. It’s a unique solution, but it seems to work for many people. 

Avoid Copying All Files at Once

When copying or moving multiple files across devices simultaneously, you may receive a “Device is unreachable” error. You can try to copy files one by one or select a few files to fix the issue. 

Disable Image Conversion on iOS

For iPhone image files, the default extension is .HEIC, on the other hand, for Windows 10, the default extension is .JPG. This is why your iOS device may convert the picture format while transferring photos to your computer to make them compatible.

This conversion could be one of the reasons why the device is unreachable. However, you can solve it by following the instructions below:

On your iPhone:

  1. Navigate to iPhone Settings
  2. The tap Photos tab.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the Photos menu to find the “Keep Originals” option under the “Transfer to Mac or PC” section.
  4. When you select the Keep Originals option, you disable image conversion, and the images will be transmitted .HEIC.

You can attempt this by connecting your iPhone to your Mac or PC and then transferring the files from there. To see these files, you can use the default photo viewer or look for internet programs to convert HEIC images to JPG.


It’s inconvenient when you need to transfer files from our iPhone or Android to a Windows PC right away, yet problems keep appearing. However, the iPhone device’s unreachable error message might be caused by the Apple iPhone driver, Windows PCs, or the iPhone itself.

So, to resolve such errors and transfer photos to the Windows computer, you should make settings adjustments on both devices. In addition, you must have updated driver software and attempt all troubleshooting methods mentioned above. At least one of these methods may work for you.