Now that iTunes has been removed from macOS Catalina, syncing your iPhone or iPad to your MacBook requires the use of the enhanced Finder app. Some users have reported that they are unable to sync their iPhone / iPad with their Mac after updating to macOS Catalina.
The Finder app doesn’t seem to recognize the connected iPhone or iPad.
If you are experiencing this issue, here are some tips that can use to fix this sync issue on your MacBook running macOS Catalina.
Once you have connected your iPhone to your Mac, Click on ‘Trust’ and enter your passcode on the iPhone to proceed and then check the steps below. We also suggest trying out different USB cables to connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac in order to rule out any cable related issues.
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macOS Catalina not connecting to iPhone or iPad
Please try each of these simple steps and check if the Finder App on macOS Catalina is able to detect and connect to your iPhone or iPad.
- Check Finder app preferences. Click on Finder > Preferences… at the top menu
- Go to the SideBar tab on Finder’s preferences
- Under ‘Show these items in the sidebar:’, make sure you have enabled iOS Devices.
- You will not be able to locate your iPhone /iPad on Finder’s sidebar if this is not enabled
- Using ‘General’ tab on Finder app’s preferences, disable ‘Open folders in tabs instead of windows’
- When you click on the connected iPhone, it should open a new Finder window
- Locate and delete the preference list file for the Finders app.
- Open Finder app
- Click on Go > Go To Folder from the top menu
- Type in ‘/~Library/Preferences/‘ without the quotes and press enter
- Locate the file ‘com.apple.finder.plist’ and drag it out to trash
- Restart Finder App
- Check if you are able to connect your iPhone / iPad to Finder
- If all the settings above are fine and you still cannot access your iPhone,
- Disconnect your iPhone / iPad from your MacBook
- Restart your Finder App. Press the ‘Option’ key and right click on the Finder icon on the dock and choose ‘Relaunch’
- Connect your iPhone or iPad again using the cable
- Check if Finder app is now able to detect your iPhone or iPad
- Shutdown your Mac and iPhone completely (not restart)
- Restart your Mac followed by your iPhone and then launch Finder App and see if it detects your device
If you are still having issues with your macOS Catalina detecting your iPhone or iPad, you may want to reach out to Apple Support and have them help you out. You can directly chat with Apple Support and they will be able to access your issue and provide support.
In our experience, we have found that many users had this issue because their Finder preferences were not enabled by default to show the connected iPhone or iPad.
Please let us know if you have any questions or if you would like to share a tip that helped you fix this issue on your MacBook.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.