How to connect an iphone to windows 10

Just because iPhones play better with MacBooks doesn’t meant that they can’t work with Windows 10 laptops. Syncing your data requires a little more know-how on Windows 10 (as opposed to macOS’ plug-and-play syncing, or how you can just drag and drop files with Android on Windows 10), but with a couple clicks and a little patience, you’ll have everything up to date.

Copying to an iPhone

Syncing music, photos, movies and TV shows means getting comfortable with iTunes. If you’re already using it, you’re good to go. If you’re not, you can download that here (opens in new tab) and import your music by going to File > Add Folder to Library to move your current music into iTunes. Once you’re ready to sync, follow these steps.

1. Connect your iPhone to your laptop with a Lightning cable.

2. Click Continue when asked if the computer can have access to the phone.

How to connect an iphone to windows 10

3. Click the phone icon in the top bar.

4. Click Sync.

This should sync the two devices. If it doesn’t, go to the sidebar and enable the Sync checkboxes under Music, Apps, Movies, TV Shows and Photos and click Sync again.

Depending on how much data you’re syncing, this may take awhile. Get a drink or a snack and come back later.

5. Check your photos, music, apps and videos to confirm that they arrived on the phone from Windows 10.

MORE: How to Use Windows 10

Copying From an iPhone

This is where things get tricky. In an attempt to avoid piracy, syncing from an iPhone isn’t as easy and sending data to it. Luckily, there are some workarounds.

  • Music and Movies: This keeps you stuck in Apple’s wheelhouse. Though you can move non-iTunes media files to your phone from your PC, you can't send them from the handset to the computer. However if you buy media from iTunes on your iPhone, you can get it on your desktop via the cloud. As long as you maintain one Apple ID, you’ll be able to download all your songs and movies again from iTunes on your PC at no extra cost.

  • Photos: To learn how to import photos from an iPhone to Windows 10, see our guide here.

Files: The cloud is your friend for syncing files. While I personally use Dropbox, you can also use iCloud.

Here’s our guide to using iCloud on Windows. It’s great for users who like Apple’s software, including Pages, Numbers and Keynote.

It’s actually pretty easy to connect an iPhone to a Windows 10 PC. Although Apple makes iOS (the operating system that the iPhone and iPad use) and Microsoft makes Windows, the two companies have made it relatively easy to use the devices together.

However, before we start, it’s worth wondering if you need to connect the two devices. When Apple first launched the iPhone it was heavily dependent on either a Mac or PC to set up, back up and update the device. These days though you can pretty much use an iPhone independently of a desktop system.

See also:

  • macOS Sierra vs Windows 10 comparison
  • Run Windows 10 on your Mac using VirtualBox
  • How to install Windows on Mac | How to run Windows on Mac 
  • How to connect Mac and Windows 10 PC and share files

How to connect an iPhone to a Windows 10 PC: Install iTunes

To sync your iPhone with a Windows 10 computer you’ll need iTunes. Apple’s music player is also used to manage iDevices, such as the iPhone and iPad (and older iPod).

Apple’s iTunes is installed on new Macs, but on a Windows 10 computer, you’ll need to download a copy from Apple.

  1. Open your web browser (click on the Microsoft Edge icon in the Task Manager).
  2. Visit
  3. Click Download iTunes. You’ll be asked if you want to opt in or opt out of the newsletter.
  4. Click Download Now.
  5. Open your Downloads folder and launch the iTunes6464Setup.exe installer.
  6. Follow the installation instructions and open iTunes. Click Agree to the licence window. Agree in the Welcome window.

Once you have iTunes installed on your computer you can use it to manage your files, and back up your iPhone.

When iTunes first launches it’ll scan for media on your computer. It’ll collect together all the music and videos it can find on your system. These can then be transferred to your iPhone.

How to connect an iPhone to a Windows 10 PC: Sync your iPhone with Windows 10

How to connect an iphone to windows 10

Now you’ve got iTunes set up on your Windows 10 computer, it’s time to sync the computer with your iPhone.

  1. You can sync an iPhone with a Windows 10 computer wirelessly (over your local WiFi network) or via the Lightning cable. The first time you’ll need to use the cable to attach the iPhone to your computer.
  2. Trust this Computer? will appear on your iPhone. Click Trust.
  3. ‘Do you want this computer to access your iPhone?’ will appear in Windows. Click Continue.
  4. Open iTunes in Windows 10.
  5. Plug your iPhone (or iPad or iPod) into the computer using a Lightning cable (or older 30-pin connector).
  6. Click on Device in iTunes and choose your iPhone.

The first thing you should do is click Back Up Now to back up your iPhone. Make sure Automatically Back Up To This Computer is selected.

You will see many options under Settings for apps, music, movies and other content you can sync. Choose the items you want and click Sync when you are ready.

The media will be copied from your Windows 10 computer to your iPhone. Note that any music or videos on your iPhone will be replaced by ones from Windows, so be sure to transfer you media over first. An App like Copytrans can help if you have media on your iPhone that you need to copy: see 

Can I connect my iPhone to my Windows PC?

Using a USB cable or adapter, you can directly connect iPhone and a Mac or Windows PC. Make sure you have one of the following: Mac with a USB port and OS X 10.9 or later. PC with a USB port and Windows 7 or later.

Can I connect my iPhone to my Windows PC to text?

You can download text messages from your iPhone to Windows 10 by sending an email to your computer. Select the conversation you want to transfer, choose More > Forward, and then enter your email address to send the text messages from iPhone to your PC.

How do I pair my iPhone with my computer?

Use Bluetooth: To make sure your iPhone is discoverable, go to Settings > Bluetooth and leave the screen showing. On a Mac, use Bluetooth to connect your Mac and iPad. On your iPhone, tap the name of your Mac, then follow the onscreen instructions on your Mac.