Windows 10: iPad in recovery mode not recognized by iTunes

I had an iPad that was bricked and i brought it into Recovery Mode to Factory Reset it:

  1. Disconnect the USB cable from your iPad, but leave the other side connected to your Mac or PC
  2. Launch iTunes
  3. Press and hold down the Home and Sleep/Power button on the top of the iPad to turn off the iPad
  4. Press and continue to hold the Home button while you reconnect the USB cable to your iPhone, this will cause the iPad to turn on
  5. Continue to hold the Home button until an alert message in iTunes informing you that an iPad in recovery mode has been detected.

The last point did not work for me. While the iPad went into recovery mode (showing the plug to connect to iTunes), iTunes did not recognize the iPad.

iTunes reconizes my un-bricked iPhone, but it does not recognize any device in recovery mode.

The problem was that the recovery mode drivers were not installed. Here is how to fix this.

  1. In Windows 10, go to Device Manager
  2. Go to View > Devices by connection
  3. Expand and search for the entry "Apple Mobile Device (Recovery Mode)"
  4. Right-click on the entry above called "USB Composite Device" and choose Update driver software...
  5. Choose Browse my computer for driver software
  6. Browse to the path "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers" and click Next
  7. This will install the Apple driver
  8. iTunes should now recognize your device in recovery mode

21 thoughts on “Windows 10: iPad in recovery mode not recognized by iTunes”

  1. Please help! My iPad isn't being recognised by iTunes although the computer itself recognizes it. I am literally losing my mind with it like this. it's in Recovery Mode and I need it in less than hour

    1. Hi Michael

      Make sure you look under "Common Files":

      C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support

      Please also ensure that you have set "Hidden Files and Folders" to visible.

      If you still can't find the folder, try to use the option "Find Drivers on Windows Update". This seems to have worked for other commenters here.

  2. I was also not able to view the Apple folder in Common Files even with showing hidden files. I went to devices and let Windows troubleshoot the driver and it said the issue was fixed. I disconnected the iPad and held the power button to turn it off. Restarted the PC and launched iTunes. Connected the iPad and placed it in recovery mode and iTunes found the iPad. This fix was very helpful. I really appreciate the thread. Thank you.

  3. Thank you for this.
    I was absolutely losing my mind trying to fix my iPad. My fix was right-clicking and updating the drivers from the internet. Immediately after iTunes prompted the fix.

  4. Awesome - this fixed my problem - legend!!

    Albeit I just let Windows 10 find the driver online rather than navigate to the folder

  5. What if the option to select "Apple" is not there? I'm able to follow this through until I get to that part but thenthere is no option for that to follow through to "Mobile Device Support/Drivers"
    "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers" and click Next

    1. thats because hidden files are not shown, if you unhide hidden files then you would be able to view your apple device on device manager.

  6. Help me plz
    its not working for me after i did this when i put in recovery mode its only saying apple saftware saver is not found .

  7. Thank you! This worked perfectly! I appreciate your posting this fix because it saved me tons of time trying to figure out the problem!

  8. Updating the "USB Composite Device" drivers is what did it for me. I kept tying to update "Apple Mobile Device" drivers, and kept getting errors. Update completed. Thank you, Thank you!

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