Although all Apple products are designed to work well together, that doesn't mean you can't connect your iPhone to iTunes through your Windows-based system. Some users report communication problems between the two devices, such as the PC not recognizing your iPhone or not showing it as connected. Because you're working with operating systems for two different platforms, troubleshooting this issue takes multiple steps.

Update iTunes

Apple's iTunes enables you to update or back up your iPhone through your computer. If iTunes is corrupted or out of date, it may not recognize your iPhone when connected. Check for updates for iTunes through the Help menu for the most recent version. If that doesn't make a difference, uninstall iTunes entirely and reinstall a fresh version to ensure clean, non-corrupted files.

Double-Check Connections

A loose or damaged connection cable can prevent proper connectivity to your computer. Examine the length of your USB cable for kinks or discoloration to indicate damage. Check the connectors for bent or missing pins and ensure a secure, tight fit in the phone and USB port on your computer. Replace the cable as necessary to encourage a proper connection.

Apple Mobile Device Service Issues

Software called Apple Mobile Device Support typically installs with iTunes to enable your computer to communicate with your Apple device. If this is not installed, your phone may not be recognized when connected. Check for this software under your Control Panel, and verify that it's running by searching for “Services” and opening “Settings.” Open “View Local Services” and enable “Apple Mobile Device” if necessary.

Software Conflicts

Various software conflicts can affect the proper functionality of iTunes, including your anti-virus program. Overzealous security software can prevent iTunes from operating properly, or keep your computer from seeing a connected iPhone. Update your operating system and anti-malware software to the most recent version, to encourage proper interaction between all installed programs. Your security software may have an “Allow” list where you can add Apple products to ensure your software isn't blocking the programs.