Resolving the “iTunes cannot read the contents of the iPhone” Error

Sometimes iTunes will throw an error saying “iTunes cannot read the contents of the iPhone”. This can be an extremely frustrating error, especially since iTunes will want to restore a device, deleting all the new media and settings since the last restoration.

This is usually caused by a corrupt database in iTunes or on the iPhone. If the problem is iTunes, a reinstall of the program will usually fix this error.

If the problem is on the iPhone, users will need to follow these steps:

  1. Download and install i-FunBox
  2. Open the folder /var/mobile/Media/iTunes_Control/iTunes or search for “iTunesDB” or “iTunesCDB”
  3. Rename the files iTunesCDB, iTunesControl, and iTunesPrefs one by one.
  4. Test if iTunes will connect to the iPhone after each rename.
  5. Delete the renamed files if the reconnection works.

Music will be lost with this method, but everything else will remain.

In my experience, these errors occur most frequently when non-Apple programs are used to modify or backup media on the iPhone.

Apple Forums