How to Resolve “A Device Attached to the System is Not Functioning” Problem in Windows PC

You’ve taken some great photos with your iPhone and want to copy them to your computer to view on the big screen. You connect your iPhone to your computer, but suddenly an error message appears: “The device connected to the system is not working.”

What does this message mean? It means that there is a connection problem between the PC and the connected iOS device, and Windows considers the device (iPhone or iPad) unavailable. The error can occur for a variety of reasons, but rest assured that this is a relatively common problem that can be solved very easily.

In this article, you will learn what to do if you see this error.

What causes the “Device connected to the system is not working” error message?

  • The USB cable is not working properly.
  • The USB port on your computer is not working.
  • The corresponding application is malfunctioning or damaged.
  • The external device is turned off or not properly connected to your computer.
  • The drivers of the connected device are incompatible, outdated, damaged, or defective.
  • The connected external device is physically or logically damaged, for example, sectors are damaged.
  • The operating system has corrupted system files, a virtual infection, corrupted Windows update files, etc.

How to eliminate the “Device connected to the system is not working” message?

Updating the Universal Serial Bus Controllers driver

  1. Right-click the Windows button and select Device Manager.
  2. Expand the Universal Serial Bus Controllers tab and update all USB-related drivers.
  3. To do this, right-click on the device and select Update Driver.
  4. Finally, restart your computer.

Start your computer in safe mode

  1. Press the Windows + I keys to open the settings.
  2. Open the Update and Security section and click Restore.
  3. Under Advanced Startup, click Restart Now.
  4. When the PC restarts, a screen will appear with a Select option. Select Troubleshooting.
  5. If you don’t see the startup options, click Advanced Options and select Startup Options.
  6. Select Restart and select Safe Mode from the Startup Options screen.
  7. Now login as an administrator and check if the “Device connected to the system is not working” error is still occurring.

Perform a reboot

  1. Press the Windows + R key and type MSConfig.
  2. In the System Configuration window, open the Services tab.
  3. Select the Hide all Microsoft services check box, and then select Disable all.
  4. Open the Automatic Startup tab and click Open Task Manager.
  5. Click each startup item and select Disable.
  6. Close Task Manager and click OK in the System Configuration window.
  7. Reboot the system.

Launch the System File Checker

  1. Run the command line and make sure that you select Run as administrator.
  2. Type sfc/scannow and press Enter.
  3. Allow processing.
  4. You can continue with the DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth command.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Reconnect the device.
  2. Reboot your computer.
  3. Format the device.
  4. Update or reinstall the device driver.
  5. Perform an SFC scan and a DISM command.
  6. Restore or reset Windows settings.

Many iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Windows users report receiving the error message "Device connected to the system is not working" (see illustration below). This error message occurs because your computer is not communicating properly with the iOS device.

  1. Install/update iTunes.
  2. Update the iPhone drivers in Windows.
  3. Set photos to "Store originals."
  4. Reset location and protect data.
  5. Use a different USB cable - Lightning/USB Type C.
  6. Try using a different USB port.
  7. Update iOS / iPadOS to the latest version.