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How to Fix A Device Attached to The System is Not Functioning Error

“A device attached to the system is not functioning.”  You may or may not have encountered this error before but if you have and you’re panicking and wondering what happened and why your device isn’t functioning as it should be, you don’t have to worry.

This error is commonly seen while you’re making a copy of your photos or music or other files in your phone and transferring them in your computer for storing purposes and to give your phone more memory space for more files to download.

This has been a common error messaged received and reported by many iOS (of both iPhone and iPad) and Windows users. The reason behind this error is simple. It’s simply because your computer and your iOS device aren’t communicating as they should be.

The possible causes of this error are:

  • The iPhone or iPad wasn’t properly connected to the computer
  • The computer’s USB port is no longer working properly
  • USB cable may not be working

But users of the later models of iPhones and the iPad Pro who encounter this error message are more likely susceptible to another cause. The transfer file setting would be the most likely culprit for that issue for later models.

After Apple has introduced the latest iOS 11, it has switched its default media formats into HEIF and HEVC (high efficiency image format and high efficiency video codex). Due to this change in the default settings, it had rendered the devices mostly incompatible with others.

Apple was smart enough to install a setting that would automatically convert the images and videos into device-compatible formats during file transfers but it wasn’t a perfect program. There are still instances that the real-time conversion process would cause a glitch in the system that would occur during the transfer to a computer which would give birth to the common error message that most people have encountered.

How to Fix the Problem:

If you’re a user of the older models or still have an outdated iOS and have encountered this error message, here’s what you should do:

  1. Reconnect your device to your computer and try a different USB port. If the message still shows up, try another port.
  2. Restart both devices. To restart your iPhone, go to settings to general and tap on the shutdown option. Restart it and then restart your PC too.
  3. There’s a transfer to Mac or PC option in the Photos in the settings of your iPhone. Select it and then select ‘keep originals’.
  4. Switch between the 2.0 USB port and the 3.0 on your computer.
  5. Get your iTunes updated to the latest version in your PC.

As for users of the later models, it’s easier to resolve the issue by changing the default settings into original formats. For a Windows 10 user, there isn’t much to worry about because the new version of Windows is compatible with the HEIC and HEVC files so there’s not much on an issue there.

If you’re using an older version of Windows, or there are compatibility issues that continue to occur, you can download iMazing (for images) or Handbrake (for videos) to convert your media back into the JPEG and H.264 formats.

To save yourself any more hassle, you can also change the settings in your camera to shoot in JPEG and H.264 formats. Tap on the camera and then go to settings and then select ‘most compatible’. Although this wouldn’t change the older photos and videos that you already have stored in your phone but it would still help you with the issue in the future.

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