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How to fix ‘This folder is empty’ when connecting an iPhone on Windows 10

An iPhone doesn’t connect to a Windows 10 PC the same way it does to a Mac. That said, it is still pretty simple to connect your iPhone to a Windows 10 PC and access videos and photos from the camera roll. The iPhone shows up as a simple media device. Any drivers required are installed automatically by Windows 10. That said sometimes when you connect your iPhone to a Windows 10 PC, instead of seeing images and videos, you get the ‘This folder is empty’ message. Here’s how to fix it.

Fix ‘This folder is empty’

The ‘This folder is empty’ message has a few very specific causes. If this is the first time you’re connecting your iPhone to a Windows 10 PC, you’re connecting it after resetting the PC, or after installing Windows 10 again, you need to authorize the computer on your iPhone.

Go to your iPhone, and you will see a message asking if you want to trust the computer. Tap ‘Trust’ and then enter your passcode to authorize it. Close File Explorer on your Windows 10 PC, and open it again. Access your iPhone, and the DCIM folder will appear.

If you’ve connected this phone to your PC multiple times, and you’re suddenly seeing this message check if you’ve unlocked your phone. If not, unlock it and the DCIM folder should appear. If it doesn’t, disconnect the phone but make sure you do not lock it again. With the phone unlocked, connect it again to your PC. Wait for the device to show up, and you will be able to access the videos and photos in it.

Lastly, and this is if the problem still doesn’t go away, check the cable you’re using. Try using a different cable to connect the phone. A bad cable can often cause problems you’d never imagine. The ‘This folder is empty’ message can be a by-product of a faulty cable. It seems unlikely but that usually solves a lot of problems. Check the cable, or change it out with another one. It is also worth changing the USB port that you’re connecting the phone to.

If everything checks out, you may need to uninstall the device from Device Manager. It should appear under Portable Devices. Right-click the iPhone, and select the uninstall option. Disconnect the phone, make sure it is unlocked, and then connect it again. Authorize the computer to access the device if you need to, and the DCIM folder should appear.

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