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Iphone - unable to sync becasue device is locked

Explorer | Level 3

When I plug my phone in to my Windows 10 PC to sync my photos, I get a notification that my device is locked and to unlock it.

I am getting super frustrated as I have reset the network settings on my iPhone 8, reset the location and privacy, restored the whole phone, changed the auto play settings on my computer, turned my computer off and on, played around with the apple mobile device settings, checked th make sure my windows and dropbox app is upto date, I have even tried syncing to another computer with dropbox on it, and NOTHING is working?

It used to work fine and now I can't figure out why it wont! Please help!!

 

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions
Highlighted

Re: Iphone - unable to sync becasue device is locked

Helpful | Level 6

Hey! So I have been having this issue as well for a long time, and some of the other threads (such as this: https://www.dropboxforum.com/t5/Mobile/iphone-5-unlocked-but-dropbox-says-device-is-locked-and-canno...) have simply not helped.

This issue seems related to another one that has shown up a lot on Apple forums: The iPhone's internal storage/DCIM folder appears to be empty when plugging in the iPhone.

Here are my steps to get it to work, but this feels like a workaround because you have to sit and wait occasionally. Something seems wrong with the iPhone drivers or something. 

----

 

Before starting:

  • Make sure iTunes is installed.
  • Make sure Dropbox is working on your PC.
  • Make sure AutoPlay settings are set to "Ask Me every time" for your iPhone. (In Windows 10, press the windows key, type "AutoPlay." In the AutoPlay settings, find your iPhone and make sure it is set to "Ask me every time.

------

Steps:

  1. Open iTunes (not 100% sure if this is necessary).
  2. Open Windows Explorer, and navigate to "This PC."
  3. Plug your iPhone in (locked/unlocked, doesn't matter yet).
  4. You'll notice in Windows Explorer, your iPhone should show up.** Double click on it. It will likely show an empty folder. 
  5. The Autoplay notification should pop up on your computer by now, asking you what you would like to do with your plugged in iPhone. Click on it, and when the option to import via Dropbox shows up, DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING on your computer yet. If you click something and the Autoplay options disappear, you will need to unplug your iPhone and start again from Step #1.
  6. If your iPhone isn't already unlocked, unlock it.
  7. Now keep staring at the iPhone folder in Windows Explorer. Remember how it was empty? Well keep waiting (it takes mine up to 2 minutes after plugging my phone in), and eventually an "Internal Storage" folder should suddenly appear. This means that your PC has access to all of your iPhone content now.
  8. Now click the "Import via Dropbox" button at the top right of your screen. 

Your photos/videos should now start importing, and you should NOT get the "device locked" message. One thing that is unclear to me is if your phone has to remain unlocked during the entire import process. I don't believe it has to be, but you'll have to see for yourself.

Unfortunately, you will have to repeat steps 1-8 every time you want to import your photos. 

I don't understand why it takes the iPhone up to 2 minutes for the PC to recognize its folders. This seems to be the crux of the issue. Can anyone shed any light as to why this is happening?

Please let me know if these steps worked for you, and if you need any clarification.

--

**This is the problem. When the iPhone shows up in Windows Explorer, if you double click it immediately, it will show up as empty. Normally, double clicking your iPhone in Windows Explorer should show an "Internal Storage" folder, and inside it should be a "DCIM" folder. For some reason, it takes up to 2 minutes after plugging in the iPhone for these folders to appear. Dropbox can only import files when these folders are working properly.

View solution in original post

12 Replies 12
Highlighted

Re: Iphone - unable to sync becasue device is locked

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
Hey seaz, as it’s my understanding that you’ve already had a look at some earlier conversations on the matter & you’ve already done some troubleshooting on your own, I’ve made sure to reach out to you directly via email on my end. Please have a look at your inbox whenever you get a chance & I’ll make sure to promptly follow-up with you asap. 
 
I hope that this is helpful to you & I’m looking forward to hearing back from you via on our email correspondence! 

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support

 

Heart Did this post help you? If so please give it a Like below. 
 Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Best Answer' button to help others find it.
 Still stuck? Ask me a question! (
Questions asked in the community will likely receive an answer within 4 hours!)

Highlighted

Re: Iphone - unable to sync becasue device is locked

Explorer | Level 4

I must say, this is also an issue which frustrates the living daylights out of me. Uninstalling and reinstalling the iPhone driver (EVERY TIME) seemed to work for a while, but now nothing does. "Dropbox couldn't import photos because Apply iPhone may be locked. Unlock it and try again". It's been months. Can I also please get a personalised response? Or better yet, can this seemingly widespread problem be addressed and fixed centrally?

Would very much appreciate a response, since I would like to continue using this product.

Highlighted

Re: Iphone - unable to sync becasue device is locked

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
Sure @superjaco, I’ve also made sure to email you on my end, in order to work on issue together. Please have a look at your inbox whenever you get a chance & I’ll make sure to promptly follow-up with you asap. 
 
I hope that this is helpful to you & I’ll be awaiting your email!

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support

 

Heart Did this post help you? If so please give it a Like below. 
 Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Best Answer' button to help others find it.
 Still stuck? Ask me a question! (
Questions asked in the community will likely receive an answer within 4 hours!)

Highlighted

Re: Iphone - unable to sync becasue device is locked

Helpful | Level 6

Hey! So I have been having this issue as well for a long time, and some of the other threads (such as this: https://www.dropboxforum.com/t5/Mobile/iphone-5-unlocked-but-dropbox-says-device-is-locked-and-canno...) have simply not helped.

This issue seems related to another one that has shown up a lot on Apple forums: The iPhone's internal storage/DCIM folder appears to be empty when plugging in the iPhone.

Here are my steps to get it to work, but this feels like a workaround because you have to sit and wait occasionally. Something seems wrong with the iPhone drivers or something. 

----

 

Before starting:

  • Make sure iTunes is installed.
  • Make sure Dropbox is working on your PC.
  • Make sure AutoPlay settings are set to "Ask Me every time" for your iPhone. (In Windows 10, press the windows key, type "AutoPlay." In the AutoPlay settings, find your iPhone and make sure it is set to "Ask me every time.

------

Steps:

  1. Open iTunes (not 100% sure if this is necessary).
  2. Open Windows Explorer, and navigate to "This PC."
  3. Plug your iPhone in (locked/unlocked, doesn't matter yet).
  4. You'll notice in Windows Explorer, your iPhone should show up.** Double click on it. It will likely show an empty folder. 
  5. The Autoplay notification should pop up on your computer by now, asking you what you would like to do with your plugged in iPhone. Click on it, and when the option to import via Dropbox shows up, DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING on your computer yet. If you click something and the Autoplay options disappear, you will need to unplug your iPhone and start again from Step #1.
  6. If your iPhone isn't already unlocked, unlock it.
  7. Now keep staring at the iPhone folder in Windows Explorer. Remember how it was empty? Well keep waiting (it takes mine up to 2 minutes after plugging my phone in), and eventually an "Internal Storage" folder should suddenly appear. This means that your PC has access to all of your iPhone content now.
  8. Now click the "Import via Dropbox" button at the top right of your screen. 

Your photos/videos should now start importing, and you should NOT get the "device locked" message. One thing that is unclear to me is if your phone has to remain unlocked during the entire import process. I don't believe it has to be, but you'll have to see for yourself.

Unfortunately, you will have to repeat steps 1-8 every time you want to import your photos. 

I don't understand why it takes the iPhone up to 2 minutes for the PC to recognize its folders. This seems to be the crux of the issue. Can anyone shed any light as to why this is happening?

Please let me know if these steps worked for you, and if you need any clarification.

--

**This is the problem. When the iPhone shows up in Windows Explorer, if you double click it immediately, it will show up as empty. Normally, double clicking your iPhone in Windows Explorer should show an "Internal Storage" folder, and inside it should be a "DCIM" folder. For some reason, it takes up to 2 minutes after plugging in the iPhone for these folders to appear. Dropbox can only import files when these folders are working properly.

View solution in original post

Highlighted

Re: Iphone - unable to sync becasue device is locked

Helpful | Level 6

Hi @Jane, I posted a pretty extensive answer yesterday that I believe addresses the core issue and provides a solution, but it appears my post was deleted from this thread? I posted the same answer on this other very similar thread (https://www.dropboxforum.com/t5/Photos-and-videos/Dropbox-Unable-to-sync-Photos-amp-Videos-as-iPhone...) and it appears to be deleted from that thread as well.

Can you please help restore my posts so that others browisng these forums may find it as a useful solution?

Thank you!

Highlighted

Re: Iphone - unable to sync becasue device is locked

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
Thanks for poking me on this thread coolarj10 & for the time you devoted in reaching out to the Community with these detailed posts! 
 
You’re right, as your posts were caught in our Spam filter 🧐, though I’ve restored both on the threads you had posted under; apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused you. 
 
I appreciate your contribution- getting to experience things from your perspective, along with tips & best practices that have done the trick for you means a lot & I’d like to invite you to nudge us back again here in case you need further assistance in any way in the future. Happy uploading & a fruitful week ahead; here’s a small treat from me to kick-start your week 🍰! 

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support

 

Heart Did this post help you? If so please give it a Like below. 
 Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Best Answer' button to help others find it.
 Still stuck? Ask me a question! (
Questions asked in the community will likely receive an answer within 4 hours!)

Highlighted

Re: Iphone - unable to sync becasue device is locked

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

This actually does work. 

Dropbox you guys need to fix this so it works seamlessly, otherwise I am heading apple storage.

Highlighted

Downloading photos from iphone

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

Hi, When I plug my iphone 7 into my PC via USB cable I get an error meassge that the Phone is locked, and to unlock phone and try again.

The phone is not locked when I plug in the USB cable. It used to download photos fine.

Any help please??

Highlighted

Re: Downloading photos from iphone

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
Hey Shaun (@Shaun2), please bear in mind that I’ve moved your post under this discussion here, just in order to point you towards cooljar’s reply above, as other users have reported that they’ve been able to resolve their concern following their advice. Would you mind having a look on how you get on with this workaround whenever you get a chance? 
 
If this persists for you, please ping me back here & I’ll make sure to reach back out to you on my end. Thanks for posting us on our Community & I’ll be awaiting your next reply with the outcome!

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support

 

Heart Did this post help you? If so please give it a Like below. 
 Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Best Answer' button to help others find it.
 Still stuck? Ask me a question! (
Questions asked in the community will likely receive an answer within 4 hours!)

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