How to Fix “A device attached to the system is not functioning” on Windows

The problem: I can’t import photos from my iPhone to my Windows PC. Every time I do it, there is a popup that says “Error Copying File or Folder. A Device Attached to The System is Not Functioning.”

Is there a solution? Yes! 

This error occurs when your Windows computer is having a hard time communicating with your iPhone. It could be that the connection between the two devices has been interrupted.

Solution #1: General fixes

  1. Disconnect your iPhone from the computer and re-connect it. Pay attention to your battery icon; is it getting charged? If not, the lighting cable is not working. Find a different lighting cable before connecting to the USB port again.
  2. On your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Shut Down. You should also restart your computer.

Solution #2: Modify Photos Settings

  1. Tap to open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and select Photos.
  3. Under Transfer to Mac or PC, select Keep Originals.
  4. Now you can try to import the photos again.

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  1. I’ve upgraded from my old iPhone 8 to the new iPhone 11 Pro a few days ago. I’ve always copied photo and video files from iPhone to my Windows PC’s (Win7 and Win10 using file explorer or Windows Import) without any issues using this setting: Settings – Photos – Transfer To Mac or PC – Automatic.

    As expected, it would convert files from the High Efficiency Formats to compatible formats, and the transfer would run without any problems, as well as the reproduction of such transferred files.

    Now with the new iPhone 11 Pro, it doesn’t work anymore. I can’t transfer files, let alone reproduce them.

    Eventually the copy process starts, but (I guess) as soon as it encounters a file with High Efficiency Format, it stops and shows this error message: “A Device Attached to The System is Not Functioning”

    The only way I can get the transfer to happen is to change the setting to: Settings – Photos – Transfer To Mac or PC – Keep Original

    This is obviously not optimal (well, at least for me) because then the files saved with High Efficiency Format will not display or play in Windows. Then the option is to disable High Efficiency Formats on the iPhone… which presents another set of problems/limitations, such as not being able to use the highest resolution/fps for video and Slo-Mo recordings, and also excluding the option to enable certain features with photos such as Capture Outside of Frame and possibly it might interfere or actually deny access to the upcoming Deep Fusion feature (one of the best things on the iPhone 11 Pro!).

    So… my questions are: Why is this “Automatic” conversion setting not working? Am I doing it wrong?

    Does it affect everyone? Will this be fixed?


    • If other devices works fine with the Wi-Fi, it is likely an issue with your device. Make sure you have the wifi password, then go to settings> general> reset network setting. Restart your device and try to connect to wifi again.


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