How to Fix iPhone Keeps Dis­con­nect­ing From Mac

Danny Maiorca

Apple iPhones and Macs usually work in sync with each other. However, many users complain about their iPhone disconnecting from the Mac and reconnecting again after a while. That can be frustrating if you're tethering data from your iPhone.

Usb mac plugged in

If your iPhone keeps disconnecting from your Mac, it's difficult to transfer data or share a mobile data connection. Fortunately, plenty of solutions exist to help solve this problem.

Keep reading to discover five ways you can stop your iPhone from disconnecting from your Mac. These tips will work on all MacBook devices, as well as desktop versions.

Reset Your iPhone’s Location and Privacy Settings

If your iPhone keeps disconnecting from your Mac, then you'll need check the settings first. Resetting privacy and location settings has worked in some cases, so it’s worth giving this a try before moving on to the more complex solutions.

Step 1: Open your iPhone’s Settings and go to General.

Iphone settings general

Step 2: Scroll down to Reset.

Iphone reset

Step 3: Select Reset Location & Privacy.

Iphone reset location and privacy

Step 4: Enter your iPhone's passcode. On the next screen, tap the Reset Settings button.

Reset settings ios

After completing the steps above, your iPhone’s location and privacy settings will revert to their factory default.

Check Your Finder Preferences

Sometimes, your iPhone might be connected to your Mac – but you can’t see it on your screen. This is an easy solution to fix and only requires ticking one box.

Follow the steps below to do this.

Step 1: Open Finder on your Mac.

Step 2: When the app opens, select Finder in the top left of the toolbar.

Finder mac

Step 3: Click on Preferences.

Finder preferences mac

Step 4: On the General tab, you’ll see a list of options that you can tick and untick. Make sure that External disks has a tick next to it.

Finder preferences external drives

Use Your Activity Monitor

As an alternative to the Mac terminal, you can alter your USB settings using your device’s Activity Monitor. To do this:

Step 1: Go to the magnifying glass in your Mac’s toolbar and search for Activity Monitor.

Magnifying glass mac

Step 2: Click on activity monitor.app.

Step 3: Tap on the Disk tab at the top.

Activity monitor disk

Step 4: Under this tab, you should see a process called usbd. Highlight this and hit the x button above it.

Activity monitor cross

Step 5: On the next window, select Force Quit.

Use the Mac Terminal

If you’ve tried seeing if your iPhone is connected but now showing and still haven’t had any luck, you can try using your Mac terminal to fix the issue. This might seem daunting, but don’t worry; you only need to use a quick code.

To stop your iPhone disconnecting from your Mac by using the terminal:

Step 1: Click on the magnifying glass in your Mac’s toolbar.

Magnifying glass mac

Step 2: Search for Terminal.

Step 3: Click on terminal.app when it shows up.

Step 4: In Terminal, type this without the full stop on the end: sudo killall usbd.

Sudo killall mac

Step 5: Press the Enter key on your Mac when asked to enter your password.

Mac sudo killall enter

Use a Different USB Port

In some cases, you might have an issue with an individual USB port rather than problems with your Mac settings. You can try fixing this by cleaning any dust or objects that have found their way into the port you normally use.

If that doesn’t work, try using a different USB port on your Mac. Should that one work, you’ll need to replace the non-working one at some stage – but you can use the other for now.

Replace Your USB Cable

If all else fails, you might have an issue with your iPhone’s USB cable. Before you buy a new one, look to see if you’ve got any spares you can use. Alternatively, ask your friends and family to see if they can lend you one.

You can always buy a new USB cable if none of the above works. And if you followed the steps in the section about your Terminal app, you should be able to reconnect your iPhone with your Mac and not have any problems doing so.

Keep Your iPhone Connected to Your Mac

Having your iPhone connect to and disconnect from your Mac at its will is annoying, but fixing it isn’t too tricky. You’ll often find that you don’t need to replace your USB; you need to tweak a couple of settings on one of your devices.

Now you’ve read this article, you should have everything you need to keep your iPhone connected to your Mac. However, you can always visit an Apple Store or contact the company’s support team if the problem persists.


The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

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Danny specializes in writing about iOS and macOS for Guiding Tech. He is a freelance writer with an extensive portfolio in the technology sector, which spans across some of the industry's biggest publications. Danny lives Copenhagen, Denmark, having been born in the UK.