I have an old iPhone 4 with iOS 7.1.2 that I want to backup and sync the photos off of. I have a macOS 10.12, 10.13 and 10.15 device that I was hoping to backup to (if I have to I can try to dig up some older macbooks that might have an older version of OSX on them). For some reason when I plug the iphone 4 in to any device then the iPhone doesn't show up in Finder or iTunes (tho it does draw power from the mac), so I'm not able to make a backup or import the photos.

I'm wondering why the iphone doesn't show up on any macOS device that I plug it in to, and what I need to do to make a backup and/or import the photos?

  • Is it possible your cable has a break in the data lines?
    – WGroleau
    Commented Nov 14, 2022 at 17:20

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately, any iPhone with an iOS lower than 13 cannot back up their photos onto a Mac through a USB connection. However, you could try using Google Drive and then accessing your drive on your laptop (although, I am not sure if google drive works for iOS 7).

  • 1
    With an older version of OSX it must be possible to backup thru USB, so I wonder what version of OSX I would need to do this (then hopefully I might have an old mac with that version of OSX).
    – erikvold
    Commented Oct 23, 2020 at 16:02
  • This does not make sense. Every single iPhone synced over a cable and on the computer it was always USB connection. Are you saying newer OS won’t talk to old phones?
    – bmike
    Commented Jul 8 at 16:17

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