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How to Enable VirtualBox iPhone Redirection
Olga Weis Olga Weis Last updated Sep 1, 2022

How to Enable VirtualBox iPhone Redirection

Many iPhone developers rely on the virtual environment when testing their applications. However, in the standard situation when the iPhone is connected to a computer via USB, the device can function incorrectly or not be recognized at all when redirected to VirtualBox.

So, a few questions arise: is there a reliable method to connect iPhone to VirtualBox and test apps in macOS hosted on VM? And if any alternatives enable redirecting iPhones connected to non-host computers to VirtualBox?

In this article, you’ll find out how to configure the VM’s built-in tools to use iOS devices on VirtualBox, and how to redirect them over the network to a VirtualBox instance.

iPhone in VirtualBox: redirecting over the network

USB support is not fully provided by default in many virtualization solutions. In situations where VirtualBox does not recognize the iPhone, a third-party software tool can solve the problem. FlexiHub is the advanced software to establish VirtualBox for iPhone connectivity.

4.8 Rank based on 386+ Reviews
Software for redirecting USB

FlexiHub is an effective USB redirection application that enables you to use VirtualBox with any iOS device.

Redirecting an iPhone over the network means that you can use an iOS devices in VirtualBox, even if it is connected to a remote computer instead of the host, making the process much more convenient.

Flexihub works its magic with advanced port redirection technology, enabling the data transmission from USB devices to be redirected to virtual machines. Secure connections can be created with the help of FlexiHub over any type of IP-based network. Easily connect virtual environments from VMware, VirtualBox, Hyper-V, and others to iPad, iPhones, or any other device running iOS.

How to enable VirtualBox iPhone redirection with FlexiHub

Below you’ll find the steps that will help you redirect an iOS device to a VirtualBox VM:

  • 1.
    Register a free FlexiHub account.
    flexihub account
  • 2.
    Download and install FlexiHub on the computer with the physical connection to the iPhone. This machine will be known as the server.
    sign up flexihub demo period
  • 3.
    You also need to install the software to a VirtualBox instance that will access the iPhone. In this case, VirtualBox will be called a client in the FlexiHub configuration.
    Download Flexihub for VBox
  • 4.
    Launch FlexiHub on both the server and client machines. Use the same credentials to log into the application on both machines.
    Log in to connect usb to virtualbox
  • 5.
    Locate the iPhone in the list of available devices and click “Connect” next to the device.
    add usb to virtualbox
Note: May occur the problem on machines where VirtualBox is installed. After plugging a USB device into a USB port of the computer or after sharing/unsharing a USB device with FlexiHub, VBoxUSBMon.sys driver may crash causing BSOD.

To fix this issue, you can stop VBoxUSBMon.sys driver or use another virtual machine instead of VirtualBox.
If you prefer video instructions, you can check out our detailed video guide on connecting iPhones to VirtualBox over the network:

The advantages of using Flexihub to access iPhone in VirtualBox

If you are looking for a way to enable VirtualBox for iPhone connectivity, FlexiHub has proven to be efficient in redirecting USB devices to virtual machines. Connecting your iPhone to VirtualBox with this dedicated software has many advantages. Here are some of them.

  • FlexiHub provides high data transfer rates that allow you to remotely access a device with the same functionality as with a physical connection.
  • Ease of use is provided with this software, as you can connect and share your iPhone from a virtual environment with a few clicks.
  • Cross-platform compatibility can be important and with FlexiHub you can connect an iPhone to VirtualBox on a Mac, Windows, or Linux host machine.
  • Data security is provided with advanced encryption. The information transferred between the virtual environment and the iPhone is safe from access by unauthorized users.
  • FlexiHub is compatible with many virtual solutions besides VirtualBox, making it useful for anyone working with virtual USB devices.
4.8 Rank based on 386+ Reviews

The native way to mount iPhone in VirtualBox

To connect an iPhone to VirtualBox, you have to install the latest version of VirtualBox on a guest machine running either the Windows or Linux operating system. It is important to also install the extension pack that provides additional VirtualBox features.

The VM VirtualBox Extension Pack adds some key features to the versatility of VirtualBox, mainly support for USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 devices that are required for connecting your iPhone to a VirtualBox instance.

Steps for connecting VirtualBox to your iPhone

If VirtualBox does not recognize iPhone, do the following:

  • 1.
    Open VirtualBox and select "Preferences" from the File menu. Add the extensions file by navigating to "Extensions" within "Preferences".
    iPhone to VB connecting
  • 2.
    Attach the iPhone to the computer and open VirtualBox. Select the virtual machine that you will use with the iPhone and access the machine’s settings.
    Run iOS in VirtualBox
  • 3.
    In the left pane, click the "USB" option from the panel on the left. You want the "Enable USB 2.0 (EHCI) Controller" and "Enable USB Controller" to both be selected.
  • 4.
    Select the "Add" button located on the window’s right side and choose the iPhone. Then, close the settings by clicking "OK".
  • 5.
    Once the USB options have been configured, it is time to start the virtual machine. Click on the "Devices" menu located in the "Title" bar and select "USB Devices".
  • 6.
    Select your iPhone so it can be mounted in the VM. After the device is mounted, you can access the iPhone in the same way you would if it was connected to the host operating system.

With the above configuration, you can use Xcode from inside of VirtualBox to install, test, and debug iPhone apps.

Redirect iOS devices to VirtualBox
  • 4.8 overall rank based on 386+ Reviews
  • Requirements: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and Raspberry Pi.
  • 10.45MB Size.
  • Version 6.1.15025. (19 Feb, 2024).
  • Pricing starts $14 per month billed annually