Accustomed to what you did with your old Android smartphone, you connected your new one iPhone to the PC, you have opened the Windows File Explorer or the MacOS Finder and selected the "iPhone by" icon, in order to view the files stored on the memory of the latter. To your surprise, however, aside from photos and videos, you haven't found even the shadow of a file. No do not worry! Documents, apps, and other files on your iPhone have not disappeared - they are simply invisible from the File Explorer and Finder.
To access the files on the iPhone you have to use ad hoc solutions, such as the official iTunes and Finder tools made available by Apple or, alternatively, some third-party applications that allow you to do the same thing by offering some more functions . Finally, if you want to act directly from the "iPhone by", you must know that there are file managers designed specifically for iOS. But let's go in order.
If you want to know how to explore the iPhone, choose the solution you think is most suitable among those listed below and use it following the instructions I am about to give you. I assure you that these are all very simple and comfortable procedures to complete, so ban the chatter and let's take action. Happy reading and have fun!
How to Explore IPhone from PC
If your intent is to discover how to explore iPhone from a Windows PC, in the next lines you will find explained how to proceed both through iTunes, Apple's official software for the management of its mobile devices (as well as the historical player and multimedia store), which through some interesting third-party applications.
How to Explore IPhone with ITunes
There are several ways to explore the iPhone. The first one I want to tell you about is the standard one, for which you have to connect the iPhone to one of the USB ports on the computer and start iTunes, Apple's multimedia software.
iTunes is available as a free download for all popular editions of Windows - if you use Windows 10, you can download it directly from the Microsoft Store, by visiting the link I just provided, by clicking on the button Get and accepting the opening of the application Microsoft Store. Then click on the button Get and wait patiently for the program to download and automatically install (you may be asked to log into your Microsoft account).
If you are using a version of Windows older than 10, or for some reason you cannot use the Microsoft Store, you can download iTunes from the Apple website: more info here.
Now you just have to connect the iPhone to the computer and wait for the opening of iTunes, which should take place completely automatically. If this is the first time you connect the iPhone to the PC, you must authorize the communication between the two devices by clicking on the button Authorize that appears on the screen of the "iPhone by", then on the button Continue which instead appears on the computer desktop and, finally, by entering the unlock code on the phone.
At this point, you can freely explore the iPhone and view its contents. Then click on the icon of devices located at the top left, select the name of yours iPhone from the box that opens and choose the contents to view from the section On the device, in the left sidebar. You can choose between music, film, TV Programs, books, audiobooks, suonerie e voice memos.
Once you have selected an option from the iTunes sidebar, you will be shown a screen with the list of files of that type (eg music, movies or ringtones) currently on the iPhone memory.
If you want to manage the files on iPhone so that you can delete them or add new ones, select the item Riepilogo from the iTunes sidebar, scroll up and down the screen that opens, put the check mark next to the item Manually manage music and videos and click on the button Apply.
Then go back to the sections On device> music o On device> movies of iTunes and use the mouse to drag new files to the iPhone or delete the ones already present on it.
Please note: If you have the service ICloud Music Library active on your iPhone, you will only be able to manually manage videos.
Another way to manage files on iPhone is to turn the data synchronization with iTunes. By enabling or disabling data syncing with iTunes, you can make sure that music, film, suonerie and other contents are fully or partially synchronized between the iPhone and the computer (thus applying the changes to both devices automatically).
To activate the synchronization of music, video or other content between iPhone and computer, select one of the items found under the heading Settings in the iTunes sidebar, put the check mark next to the item relating to data synchronization (eg. sync movies for videos) and click on the button Synchronize to apply the changes.
If you do not want to synchronize all iTunes contents with the iPhone (e.g. not the entire music library but only some albums and / or playlists), put the check mark next to the appropriate item (e.g. Selected playlists, artists, albums and genres for music) and select only the content you want to copy to the iPhone.
Please note: If the service is active on your iPhone ICloud Music Library, you cannot sync iTunes music library with iPhone music library as the music library is managed in a unified way via the cloud. The same goes for photos, if you have the service active ICloud Photos.
If you want, you can also manage the files present in each app (e.g. videos saved in a video player such as VLC o Infuse): to do this, select the item File sharing from the left sidebar, choose the name of aapp and, on the right, you will see a list of all the files stored in it.
By acting on the box with the files stored in the app (Documents of [app name]) you can add new documents to it or delete those already present. To add new files, you can simply drag and drop them into the box dedicated to the app; to remove them, you have to select them and press the key cancel o backspace sulla tastiera of the computer.
As regards Photo and video, you can also do without iTunes (which however must still be installed on the PC as it contains the drivers for iPhone recognition) and access them using theFile Explorer of Windows.
To access iPhone photos and videos using theFile Explorer Windows, open the latter (the yellow folder icon located at the bottom left of the taskbar), select the item Computer / This PC from the left sidebar and double-click the icon iPhone.
Successively, I went his Internal Storage > DCIM > 100APPLE and scroll through all the photos and videos on the iPhone's memory. Alternatively, if you want, you can also import photos and videos to your PC following the standard Windows procedure, then right-clicking on the iPhone in the File Explorer and selecting the item Import images and videos give the menu to compare.
Su Windows 10You can also open the application Photos (you can easily find it in the Start menu) and import photos and videos from the iPhone by clicking on the button Import, top right, and choosing the item From a USB device give the menu check if you press.
For more details on the procedure to download photos from iPhone, see my tutorial dedicated to the topic.
How to Explore IPhone Without ITunes
Now let's see, instead, how to explore iPhone without iTunes, then using software produced by third parties (which in any case require the presence of iTunes on the PC to work).
iExplorer is one of the best programs to manage iPhone from computer. It allows you to access all the files saved on the iPhone memory through the Windows File Explorer or the macOS Finder and allows you to transfer music, messages, photos and other documents between PC and iPhone.
Unfortunately iExplorer is not free, it costs $ 39,99, but you can try it for free by giving up some advanced features, such as the ability to transfer more than 150MB of data or more than 10 songs at a time (more info here). To download the trial version of iExplorer, connect to the program's website and click on the button Download iExplorer.
A download complete, avvia il file .exe obtained and, if you are offered to install the .Net Framework from Microsoft, accept by clicking on the button Accept. When the operation is completed, click on the button Install and wait patiently for all the files needed to install iExplorer to be downloaded from the Internet. At the end of the download, the setup will be automatically completed.
Now you can connect your iPhone to the computer and launch iExplorer. In the window that opens, click the button Continue in Demo Mode, to use the free version of the program, and select the name of yours iPhone from the side bar of the sinistra.
You will be shown a screen with all the information about the device (name, serial number, etc.) and a series of buttons to browse all the contents in its memory, for example music (button Music), photos and videos ( Photos & Video), applications (key Apps) and much more.
Once the contents of your interest have been displayed, you can copy them to your PC by simply dragging them out of the iExplorer window, or by selecting them and clicking on the button with the arrow going up (on the right).
If you want to "mount" the iPhone memory as an external hard drive and explore its contents via File Explorer, select the folder of your interest from the main screen of the program or from the left sidebar (eg. Music for music or Photos & Video for photos and videos) and click on thehard drive which is on the right, or right click on the folder icon and select the entry first Mount [folder name] as disk from the menu that appears and then the item Mount only this once give the riquadro che si apre.
The first time you "mount" an iPhone folder as an external disk, you need to install the necessary drivers to complete the operation. Then answer in the affirmative to the notice that appears and click on the buttons Yes e Install to authorize the installation of the drivers. If you can't see your iPhone folders in the File Explorer after the installation is complete, try restarting your PC.
iMazing is another great software for managing Apple mobile devices from PC. It allows you to transfer and save various types of data (including music, messages, videos and contacts) between computer and iPhone. It also allows you to make backups of devices connected to your computer, export WhatsApp chats, and much more. It can be downloaded for free, but has a transfer limit for various types of files (eg 50 photos, 50 songs and 10 contacts): to exceed this limit, you need to purchase a license, with prices starting from 39,99 euros.
To download iMazing on your PC, connect to the official website of the program and click on the button Free download. Then open file .exe obtained and click on the buttons Yes e forward. Then put the check mark next to the item I accept the terms of the license agreement and finish the setup by pressing on forward three times, then go on Install and then end.
At this point, to explore the iPhone with iMazing, all you have to do is start the program and choose whether to perform a backup of the device: the operation takes a few minutes but is necessary to take full advantage of all the features of the software, so I advise you to accept.
Then all you have to do is choose the name of yours iPhone from the left sidebar. You will then see the list of all the elements accessible from iMazing: Fillet, Camera, Photos, Music, TV, Ringtones, Books, Messages, WhatsApp, Telephone, Safari, Calendar, Contacts, Notes, Voice memos, profiles e File System.
To navigate through the folders on the device memory, you have to choose File System; to browse the files of the individual apps, instead, Fillet. The other contents I think are quite explanatory in their names.
Once you have identified a content to copy to your PC, you can do this by selecting it with the mouse, clicking on the button Copy your PC (below), choosing the destination path and finally pressing on Continue. Facile, see?
How to Explore IPhone from Mac
If you want to know how to explore iPhone from Mac, know that the steps you need to take vary substantially depending on the version of macOS you use: if you have installed macOS 10.15 Catalina or later, you must use the Finder. If, on the other hand, you are using an older version of the Apple operating system, you must use the good old iTunes, as seen in the chapter dedicated to Windows.
Why this difference? I'll explain it to you right away. Starting with macOS 10.15 Catalina, Apple has decided to remove iTunes from its operating system and split its functions into various applications: Music, TV e Podcasts for the management of music, videos and podcasts respectively e Finder for managing Apple devices. That said, let's take action!
Therefore, if you are using macOS 10.15 Catalina or later, connect the iPhone to the computer via any one USB port. If you have a MacBook with ports only Thunderbolt format USB-C, you may need to purchase a adapter or USB-C to USB-A hub; you don't need to install drivers or other support software, as it's all built into the operating system.