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Can't connect to the iTunes Store

Symptoms

You may be completely unable to access the iTunes Store on your computer or iOS device, or one of the following alerts may appear:

  • "Cannot connect to the iTunes Store. An unknown error has occurred."
  • "We could not complete your iTunes Store request. The iTunes Store is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later."
  • "iTunes could not connect to the iTunes Store. Make sure your network connection is active and try again." 

This article will guide you through basic troubleshooting for the iTunes Store.

Resolution

Note: If you're experiencing another issue, such as getting a different alert or making a purchase on the iTunes Store, follow these steps.

Make sure your computer is up-to-date and meets the following requirements

  • Make sure that you can access the Internet on your computer or device.
  • Make sure that your computer meets the iTunes minimum system requirements.
  • Make sure that your operating system is up to date:
    • For Mac: Choose Apple () > Software Update to determine if updates are available for your computer.
    • For Windows: Go to Microsoft's Windows Update webpage.

Troubleshoot issues on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

If you haven't been able to connect to the iTunes Store:

  • Make sure your date, time, and time zone are correct in Settings > General > Date & Time.
    Note: Time Zone may list another city in your time zone.
  • Make sure that your iOS software is up to date by tapping Settings > General > Software Update (iOS 5 or later) or connecting your iOS device to iTunes and clicking Check for Update on your device's Summary page.
  • Check and verify that you're in range of a Wi-Fi router or base station. If you're on a device with cellular service, make sure that cellular data is turned on from Settings > General > Cellular.
    Note: If connected to cellular data, larger items may not download. You may need to connect to Wi-Fi to download apps, videos, and podcasts.
  • Make sure that you have an active Internet connection. You can check the user guide for your device for help with connecting to the Internet.
  • Make sure that other devices (portable computers, for example) are able to connect to the Wi-Fi network and access the Internet.
  • Try resetting (turning off and then on again) your Wi-Fi router.
  • If the issue persists, try troubleshooting your Wi-Fi networks and connections.

Troubleshoot issues on a Mac

If you haven't been able to connect to the iTunes Store, a software conflict or your Internet service provider (ISP) may be blocking your access.

  • Update iTunes and Safari to the latest version.
  • If you have a firewall, your settings may be preventing you from connecting to the iTunes Store. Follow these steps to configure your firewall.
  • You may need to reset your keychain. Connection issues are occasionally caused by keychain issues. Learn how to use Keychain First Aid to resolve any issues with your keychain.
  • If you're receiving a specific error message, follow these steps.
  • If the issue still persists, contact your Internet service provider and confirm that these ports and servers are enabled over your network.

Troubleshoot issues in Windows

If you haven't been able to connect to the iTunes Store for more than a day (and other customers on our discussion boards aren't experiencing similar issues) a software or Internet service provider (ISP) configuration issue may be blocking your access to the iTunes Store. Find out which ports and servers need to be allowed for iTunes Store access.

Note: The hosts file may be blocking the iTunes Store.

Microsoft's article How do I reset the hosts file back to the default? has instructions and a FixIt to have Windows try to reset the hosts defaults for you.

Note: Some workplaces may put internal resources in the hosts file and may block iTunes Store. The FixIt doesn't work for Windows 8.

To create a copy of your hosts file and replace it with an empty hosts file, follow the instructions below:

  1. You can find the hosts file at: C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\ETC.
  2. Select the hosts file. There should now be a duplicate of the hosts file named "Copy of hosts" (Windows XP) or "hosts-copy" (Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8).
  3. Drag the original hosts file to your desktop.
  4. Right-click the duplicate file and choose Open. You may be prompted to choose the program you want to use to open this file. Double-click Notepad.
  5. When Notepad opens, choose Edit > Select All.
  6. Choose Edit > Delete.
  7. Choose File > Save.
  8. Close Notepad.
  9. Right-click the duplicate file, and choose Rename.
  10. Type "hosts" (without quotation marks) and press Enter.
  11. Restart your computer and try connecting to the iTunes Store.
If you still can't connect to the iTunes Store, your security software or firewall may be blocking the ability of iTunes to communicate with the Internet. Learn how to resolve security software issues.

 

Additional Information

If the steps above didn't resolve your issue, be sure that your specific alert isn't listed as a possible iTunes Store error. Then, if your issue is still unresolved, follow these steps.

Important: Mention of third-party websites and products is for informational purposes only and constitutes neither an endorsement nor a recommendation. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance or use of information or products found at third-party websites. Apple provides this only as a convenience to our users. Apple has not tested the information found on these sites and makes no representations regarding its accuracy or reliability. There are risks inherent in the use of any information or products found on the Internet, and Apple assumes no responsibility in this regard. Please understand that a third-party site is independent from Apple and that Apple has no control over the content on that website. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Dec 16, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Dec 16, 2013
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