If iTunes can‘t contact the software update server for iPhone, iPad, or iPod

Learn what to do if iTunes can't contact the software update server when you try to restore or update your iPhone, iPad, or iPod.

When you use iTunes to update or restore your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, you might see an alert message that says iTunes could not contact the software update server because you're not connected to the Internet. It will advise you to make sure your Internet connection is active and try again. Follow the steps below to fix the issue.

Update or restore your iOS device without using iTunes

You need to use iTunes to update or restore your iOS device if you forgot your password and are locked out, or if your device is in recovery mode.

If that's not the case, you can update or restore without iTunes using these steps:

  1. Disconnect the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch from your computer. 
  2. On the device, turn on Wi-Fi. We recommend that you connect to a network, not a personal hotspot, when you download software updates.
  3. Update the device by going to Settings > General > Software Update. 

If this doesn't fix the issue, go to the next solution.

Connect to the Internet and the iTunes Store

Open a browser on your computer and see if it can load a webpage. Then, try to connect to the iTunes Store.

  • If you can't connect to the Internet, contact your computer administrator or Internet service provider (ISP) for help. Or, try a different computer or network.
  • If you can connect to the Internet but see an error message when you try to connect to the iTunes Store, find solutions to possible iTunes Store errors.
  • If you can connect to the Internet but the iTunes store shows a blank white page, identify and remove Layered Service Provider software.

 If these solutions don't fix the issue, edit or reset your hosts file.

Edit or reset your hosts file

Your hosts file might block access to the software update server. Here's how to edit or reset your hosts file.

If you use a Mac

If you use a work computer, check with your computer administrator before you edit the hosts file.

  1. In Finder, select Applications > Utilities > Terminal from the menu bar.
  2. In the Terminal application, type the following command and press Enter to open the hosts file:
    sudo nano /private/etc/hosts
  3. When prompted, type your user password. Note that nothing appears in the Terminal window when you type the password.
  4. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move through the hosts file. 
  5. If any line includes apple.com, add a number sign (#) and a space character to the beginning of the line.
  6. To save the hosts file, press Control-O.
  7. At the filename prompt, press Enter. 
  8. To exit, press Control-X.

If this doesn't fix the issue, your security software might be out-of-date or misconfigured. You can resolve issues between iTunes and your security software.

If you use a Windows PC

On your Windows PC, reset the hosts file

If this doesn't fix the issue, your security software might be out-of-date or misconfigured. You can resolve issues between iTunes and your security software.

Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Risks are inherent in the use of the Internet. Contact the vendor for additional information. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Last Modified: