iPhone Connects and Disconnects from Mac – 6 Easy Fix

Damn, I miss those good old days when connecting an iPhone to the Mac was just a matter of plug and play. Pity that those days are long gone! With tons of updates on both Mac and iOS, things are really complex nowadays. One of the most irritating results of this development is that the iPhone connects and disconnects from mac pretty rapidly. 

It’s like you can’t even click the files on the iPhone or even open the iPhone directory on your Mac. It will disappear before you get to click it. Now, that’s a problem I have faced so many times and tried out multiple ways to solve. 

If you are also desperate like me to get rid of this annoying glitch, let’s find out what you can do! 


Why Does My iPhone Keep Connecting and Disconnecting from Mac?

Reasons Why iPhone Keep Connecting and Disconnecting from Mac


The scenario is this- you connect your iPhone through the USB to lightning port with your Mac, and you can see that little iPhone logo and name on Finder. But before you can even click on it, it’s gone! Like, literally, the icon blinks. It’s there, and it’s not there – giving you zero space to click and open it. 

Why does this happen? Well, the primary reason can be a faulty cable, or if that’s not the case, a glitch in the system. You can go for a number of solutions, both physical and settings-based, to make it work. Let’s find out the proper solutions that you need to go through. 


How to Fix? 

Here are some easy and simple ways to solve the connection issue of your iPhone to the Mac. If a single solution doesn’t seem to work, try multiple at the same time. 

Physical Solutions 

First, let’s go through some physical solutions. 

  • Check The Cable for Fault 

First things first, check the cable to see if it is physically okay. Sometimes, the lightning cable can get worn out, and this stops it from being able to establish the connection between two devices. The easiest way to check the cable’s health is to connect it to a power brick and check if it can charge your phone. 

If the cable is able to recharge your iPhone, this means the cable is perfectly fine, and you can use it to connect your Mac to your iPhone. However, if it still doesn’t work, you need to go through some physical inspection. 

For this, you need to check the 8-pin lightning connector and carefully examine if there’s any burning on any of the pins. Overcharging or oversupply of electricity can sometimes burn the cable’s connectors, and thus, the issue with connections occurs. If there’s actually a physical fault like this, you need to change the cable. 


  • Check for The Cable’s Authenticity 

How to Fix iPhone Connecting and Disconnecting from Mac - Check Cable’s Authenticity 


Are you sure you are using an original Apple-Certified cable? This is something that happens to users all the time. If you have got your charging cable from an after-market shop rather than an Apple Store, it’s possible that you have got a counterfeit or uncertified iPhone charging cable. Here’s how you can tell if your iPhone charging cable is original

If you can ensure that you have an authenticity issue with the cable, then this is probably the reason for your iPhone getting rapidly disconnected from your Mac. What you can do, is get an original charging cable or a certified cable from Apple Store.  

Once you get an authentic cable, you can rest assured that your connection problem will be solved right away. 


  • Change the Cable 

If everything looks good with the cable and port, but somehow, it’s still not working, you need to go for a different cable. If you have another cable in your grip, simply use it. You can also try someone else’s cable for experimenting. If the new cable works, this means your cable has an internal problem that you can’t solve. 

This means all you have to do is buy a new cable try that. It’s going to work, for sure. 


  • Check Mac’s USB Input 

How to Fix iPhone Connecting and Disconnecting from Mac - Check Mac’s USB Input


Okay, so you’ve got a fully functional, authentic lightning to USB cable, but it’s still not working! Well, this means you need to run checks on your Mac’s USB port, as well! Yes, sometimes, the USB port itself can be faulty, which can cause this headache. 

First of all, use any other USB devices to check if the port is working fine. After that, use a flashlight to sneak a peek inside the USB port and see if there’s any dust and dirt that can block the connection. If you can find something hanging out in there, use a pair of forceps or even a toothpick to clean it up. Then use a regular toothbrush to further clean the dust. 

If the port was jammed, this might solve the issue then and there. 


Software-Based Solutions 

Okay, so those were the physical solutions that you can go for. If you are confirmed that there’s no physical problem with the cable, nor with the Mac USB port, it’s time you went for some software-based solutions. 

1. Reset Location and Privacy Settings 

How to Fix iPhone Connecting and Disconnecting from Mac - Reset Location and Privacy Settings


If you are someone who rarely connects the iPhone to the Mac, you will probably face this connection problem more than anyone else. That’s because your iPhone won’t recognize your Mac as a trusted device. So, you need to reset the privacy settings to default, and it should make it work. 

To do this, you need to go to the Settings > General > Reset > Reset Location & Privacy 

Click on the Reset Settings button. The settings will be set to default, and you can now easily connect your iPhone to the Mac. 


2. Stop USBD Process 

How to Fix iPhone Connecting and Disconnecting from Mac - Killing USBD Process Through Activity Monitor 


Although this solution doesn’t guarantee that you will get a definitive result, the fact of the matter is, some users have got a positive result from this. Closing or killing the USBD process of your Mac can reset the USB program on your computer, which can get a fresh start for a new connection. 

This way, you can try connecting your iPhone through the port again and see if it works. Now to kill the USBD process, you have two routes. The first route is by using the Activity Monitor of your MacBook. The second route is using the terminal. 

  • Killing USBD Process Through Activity Monitor 

Step 1: First, go to the Finder and then select Application. Now, scroll down to find Utilities

Step 2: Now, Expand Utilities, and find the Activity Monitor.app.

Step 3: On the Activity Monitor, click on the CPU option and go to the search bar. 

Step 4: Type ‘USBD’ on the search bar. It will pop the USBD Process up. 

Step 5: Select the USBD Process and click on the small ‘X’ on the top to cancel the process. 

This will stop the process, and you check if the USB port is functioning correctly. 


  • Killing USBD Process Through Terminal

Step 1: Press command + space to bring up the spotlight. 

Step 2: Now type Terminal, and it will pop up below. Click on it and start the terminal. 

Step 3: On the terminal, type killall -STOP -c usbd, and this will stop the USBD process right away. 


3. Simply Restart Your Devices 

Sometimes, the hardest problems come with the simplest of solutions. This is true for any problem Apple devices come up with. If your iPhone is constantly getting disconnected from the MacBook, you can try restarting both devices to see if anything improves. 

To restart the MacBook, go to the Apple logo on Mac to the top left and select Restart from the drop-down menu. It will reboot the device within minutes. 

Similarly, go to the Settings > General > Shut down on your iPhone and click the Shutdown option from there. Once the phone gets turned off, you can turn it on by pressing the side button for 3-4 seconds. 

Hopefully, this simple solution can solve your connection problem.


4. Reset NVRAM and PRAM 

How to Fix iPhone Connecting and Disconnecting from Mac - Reset NVRAM and PRAM 

If that didn’t work, you could try resetting the NVRAM and PRAM of your Mac. Now, if you are lucky enough to have a MacBook with M1 cheap, you don’t need to worry much about resetting it. 

That’s because MacBook devices with Apple Silicon M1 cheap can reset the NVRAM just by restarting the device. Simply go to the Apple logo on the top left and click Restart to reboot the device. 

If you are not using a MacBook with an M1 chip, you need to go through a little bit of process to reset the NVRAM and PRAM. Here’s what you need to do. 

Step 1: Disconnect the iPhone from your MacBook by removing the cable. 

Step 2: Go to the Apple logo on the top-left corner of your MacBook and choose Shut Down to turn the Mac off. 

Step 3: When the MacBook is completely turned off, then use the power button on the keyboard to turn it on again. Now, when it is turning on, press and hold the Option/alt + Command + P + R keys together. Don’t lift your fingers for 20 seconds. 

Step 4: When you hear the starting chime, release the buttons and wait for the device to start completely. 

Now, check if the iPhone is getting disconnected from the Mac if connected through the cable. Hopefully, this will solve the issue. 


5. Create a New Admin Account 

Another way to make sure that the connection between your iPhone and the MacBook is well-established, you can try with a new admin account. Your Mac will create a completely new directory with all-new settings for the new ID. This way, you can start afresh without hampering your current settings with the current ID. 

As the settings get renewed and rebooted, this can fix any glitch that may have been the reason for the frequent connection and disconnection problems with your MacBook and iPhone. 

To create a new admin account, follow this procedure. 

Step 1: Go to the Apple Logo on the top left corner of your MacBook. Select System Preferences

Step 2: Now go to Users & Groups

Step 3: To make any changes here, you need to click on the lock icon on the bottom left corner of the Users & Groups box. You will need to put your MacBook password here to unlock it. 

Step 4: Once unlocked, you can click on the Plus (+) sign under the Login Option on the bottom left side of the box. It will prompt you to create a new account. 

Step 5: Select the account type as Administrator beside the New Account field. Then fill up the remaining information, including the Passwords and Password Hint

Step 6: Once set up, click Create User to create the new administration ID. 

Now, use this new ID and try to connect your iPhone to the MacBook. Hopefully, no issue of disconnection should be there. 


6. Update Software 

How to Fix iPhone Connecting and Disconnecting from Mac - Update Software


The last resort you can adopt is updating the software version on both your iPhone and MacBook. Of course, software versions can have glitches and bugs that may cause different issues, including the said cable connection problem. So, updating the software version on both devices can easily solve the problem right away. 

To update the OS version on your iPhone, go to the Settings > General > Software Update. 

Here. You will find the available iOS versions that you can upgrade to. Simply click on the Download and Install option, and you will see that the device will start to update. 

As for the MacBook OS, go to the Apple logo on the top left corner and select About This Mac. You will find an information box with the internal details of the MacBook. Click on the Software Update button on the bottom right. 

This will show you the available software version that you can upgrade to. 

Simply click on the Update Now option, and the device will start to update itself. 

Hopefully, this will solve the connection problem once and for all! 


Final Words 

If nothing above works, there should be an internal issue either on your iPhone or on your MacBook. I would recommend you to visit an Apple service center nearby to run a full check-up on your devices and get it solved. You can find details about Apple service and repair here.

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