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Checking the USB Cable the Connection Is Using

Check that the iPad or iPhone cable is working. For example, try using it to connect the iPad or iPhone to another computer. Or, if you have another cable, try that instead.

Reducing the Load on the USB Bus

The next place where a problem can occur is on the USB bus. This doesn't normally get overloaded, but it can happen now that so many devices use USB.

Unplug any non-essential devices, such as printers, scanners, or hubs. Don't unplug anything vital, such as the keyboard or mouse, just the things you can dispense with for a while.

Then try the iPad or iPhone again and see if iTunes can recognize it.

Updating iTunes to the Latest Version

If you're still stuck at this point, try updating iTunes to the latest version. Sometimes the new version improves iTunes' ability to detect the iPad or iPhone; other times, the process of reinstalling iTunes (by installing a new version) gives Windows or Mac OS X the kick it needs to identify the iPad or iPhone.

To check for updates, choose Help | Check For Updates in Windows or Apple | Software Update on the Mac. (You can also choose iTunes | Check For Updates on the Mac, but doing this launches Software Update, so you might as well go directly to Software Update.)

If an update is available, install it, and then try the connection again.

Restarting the Computer

Next-don't groan-try restarting the computer. A restart is a pain because you need to shut down all the programs you're using, but it can clear up a multitude of niggles.

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