Update and restore error messages on iPhone and iPod touch

posted May 4, 2009, 12:02 PM by Kenny Wright


When trying to update or restore your iPhone or iPod touch with iTunes, you may see an error message in iTunes that stops the update or restore process. You may also see the "Connect to iTunes" screen on your iPhone or iPod touch:

The error message in iTunes may also include one of the following numbers (but is not limited to): 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 13, 19, -18, -48, -50, 1002, 1011, 1013, 1601, 1602, 1603, 1604, 1608, 1609, 1611, 1612, 2003, 2004, -9808

Products Affected

iTunes 7 for Windows, iTunes 7 for Mac, iPhone, iPod touch, iPod touch (2nd generation), iTunes 8 for Mac, iTunes 8 for Windows, iPhone 3G


Many restore errors can be resolved using the troubleshooting steps found in this document.

Update to the latest version of iTunes

To see if you have the latest version of iTunes, open iTunes and:

  • Windows: Choose Help > Check for Updates
  • Mac: Choose iTunes > Check for Updates

If there is an update to iTunes available, install the update and try to restore again. If you do not have an active connection to the Internet, or your Internet security settings are configured to prevent iTunes from communicating with Apple, iTunes will alert you that the iTunes update server could not be contacted. Resolve your Internet issues and attempt to update again. If you are using Windows, see this article.

Restart your computer

Simply restarting the computer can clear up certain issues that could prevent iPhone or iPod touch from being restored. After restarting, try restoring the device again in iTunes.

USB Troubleshooting

Connect iPhone or iPod touch to a different USB port on your Mac or Windows PC. USB 2.0 ports that are built-in to the computer are preferred over a hub. If iPhone or iPod touch were connected to USB ports on the front of the computer, try connecting them to rear USB ports. After doing this, try to restore the device in iTunes.

If the issue continues:

  1. Remove all USB devices except the keyboard, mouse, and iPhone or iPod touch. Remove all USB hubs and connect directly to the computer.
  2. Connect iPhone or iPod touch directly to the included USB cable, bypassing the dock.
  3. Restart the computer.
  4. Try to restore the device again in iTunes.

See "Troubleshooting USB connections" for additional tips related to USB connections and try to restore again after following those steps.

If the issue persists and you are using a Mac, try resetting the USB connection by following the steps in this document and then try restoring the device again.

Restore on a different computer

If the issue is not resolved with the above steps, try to restore on a different computer. Ensure that the computer you are restoring on has USB 2.0 ports, the latest version of iTunes, and that you are connecting directly to the computer.

If another computer is not available, proceed to the Advanced Steps below.

Note: Error 1013 is caused by attempts to downgrade the iPhone or iPod touch's software. This can occur when you attempt to restore from an older .ipsw file. Downgrading to a previous version is not supported.


Advanced Steps

Make sure you have admin access

To perform some of the steps in this article you need to be logged in as an administrator on the computer. If you need to review the steps to restore, click here. If you are not sure if you have administrator access, contact the owner of the computer or system administrator.

Stop the Classic environment

If you're using a Mac with a PowerPC processor, stop the Classic environment if it is in use.

To stop the Classic environment:

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences.
  2. Choose View > Classic.
  3. Click the Stop button to stop the Classic environment.
  4. Try to restore iPhone or iPod touch in iTunes.

Restore using a new user account

Create a new user account on your computer and try to restore while logged in as the new user. iTunes will download a new version of the software restore file. After creating the new user, log in to that account and open iTunes and attempt to restore to see whether the issue persists in this new user.

Use these steps if you're not sure how to create a new user

Windows Vista and Windows XP

  1. From the Start menu, choose Control Panel.
  2. Open User Accounts.
  3. Select Create a new account and follow the instructions to complete the account setup process.
  4. Once the new account is created, choose Log Off from the Start menu.
  5. Log in to the newly created user account.

Mac OS X

  1. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  2. Choose View > Accounts.
  3. Click the "+" (you may need to authenticate to be able to click this).
  4. Give the new user a name and short name and enter a password.
  5. Select the checkbox for "Allow user to administer this computer". This makes the user an administrator user.
  6. Click Create Account.
more can be found @ / content was found on: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1275