Transferring Photos from an iPhone to Windows – “A Device Attached to The System is Not Functioning” or “Windows Media Player Cannot Play The File”

If you’re trying to transfer your photos from your iOS Device (iPhone, iPad, etc.) to a Windows PC, you may receive the error:
“A Device Attached to The System is Not Functioning” or “Windows Media Player Cannot Play The File”

Here are 6 easy troubleshooting tips you can try at home to resolve this issue.

Option 1: Update Transfer Method

This method is simple and is typically the resolution.
Note: To be able to fully view, edit, or duplicate HEIF and HEVC media on your device, upgrade to the latest version of iOS 11 or later. If you’re on an iOS that’s earlier than 11, you will not be able to access these settings.
Need help updating your iOS device? See here:

To start, simply open your device and go to the Settings App.
Go to Photos, then scroll down to the bottom of the page to the TRANSFER TO APP OR PC section, tap “Keep Originals to prevent the media from being converted to JPEG or H.264 when importing”.

This means it will keep the original format and not convert them during transfer.

Option 2: Reconnect the Device

For this you can simply try to unplug the cord from your phone and the computer to reset the connection, however, this is best if you try a different cord. Be sure you’re using a cord that support data transfer. Typically this will be the cord your device came with or any others that are from your manufacturer.

Option 3: Restart the Computer

As many users know, turning something on and off again can help resolve many issues.
If you’re missing updates or if files are corrupt, this can cause the device not to be recognized.
Reboot your PC and this can solve some of those issues.

Option 5: Update the Driver

If your Driver needs to be updated, this can cause problems with Windows being able to recognize the device. If you’re comfortable with updating drivers, simply go to:
Device Manager > Portable Devices > Right click Apple iPhone > Update driver.
Need help learning how to update a driver? Go here:

Option 6: Run SFC Scan and Update Windows

If Registry Keys on the computer are corrupt, this can cause all kinds of issues on your computer as your computer uses these to run its OS. Windows Updates can cause a whole host of issues as well, namely incompatibility with software and external devices. Resolving any registry errors or missing updates can resolve this.
Note: Running either one of these can take up to hours, be prepared to give your PC the time to complete these entirely before shutting down.

Need help running Windows Updates?
Hit the Start button > Type in Settings > Select Update & Security > Windows Update, then select “Check for updates”.

Learn how to run an SFC Scan here:

Windows still can’t recognize device? Try here:

Still need help? Reach out to HelpCloud Technician by-the-hour.