Can’t connect to the iTunes Store

itunesiphone

Symptoms

If iTunes cannot access the iTunes Store, it might display this alert message: “Cannot connect to the iTunes Store. An unknown error has occurred.”

Resolution
Read the description below that most closely matches your iTunes Store situation:

  • I have been unable to connect to the iTunes Store…
    • for less than 24 hours.
    • for more than 24 hours on a Mac.
    • for more than 24 hours on Windows.
  • I have never been able to connect to the iTunes Store on this computer.

I have been unable to connect for less than 24 hours
Try quitting iTunes and reopening it. If the issue persists, it’s possible the store is temporarily unavailable for maintenance. Try again in a few hours. You might want to check the iTunes Store discussion board to see if a connection issue is impacting many other iTunes Store customers.

I have been unable to connect for more than 24 hours on a Mac
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. Click here to find out which ports and servers need to be allowed for iTunes Store access.

  • Your copy of the iTunes application may be out of date.
    If iTunes is out of date, it will not be able to connect to the iTunes Store. You can download the latest version of iTunes from our website:
    http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/
  • You may need to reset your keychain.
    Connection issues are occasionally caused by keychain issues. Click here to find out how to use Keychain First Aid to resolve this issue.
  • You switched to a new ISP.
    If you didn’t install new networking hardware, your ISP may be blocking access to the iTunes Store. Let your ISP know about article TS1629 which can help your them configure their servers to allow iTunes Store traffic through.

I have been unable to connect for more than 24 hours on 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. Click here to find out which ports and servers need to be allowed for iTunes Store access.

  • If you have not done so, try the steps in this article to troubleshoot iTunes Store connectivity in Windows.
  • Your copy of the iTunes application may be out of date.
    If iTunes is out of date, it will not be able to connect to the iTunes Store. You can download the latest version of iTunes from our website:
    http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/
  • You upgraded to Windows XP Service Pack 2.
    Windows XP Service Pack 2, by default, enables the Windows Firewall. As with a third-party firewall, you will need to configure Windows Firewall to allow iTunes to access the iTunes Store. To do so:

    1. From the Start menu, choose Control Panel.
    2. If the Control Panel is in Classic View, skip to step 3, otherwise open Security Center.
    3. Open Windows Firewall.
    4. Click the Exceptions tab.
    5. Select the iTunes checkbox to enable it as shown here:

itunes-fix

Reset hosts back to the default
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 but may also use it to block iTunes Store.

To create a copy of your hosts file and replace it with an empty hosts file, follow the instructions for your operating system below.

Instructions for Windows XP:
Find your hosts file. The hosts file is normally found in the following locations:

Windows XP: C:WINDOWSSYSTEM32DRIVERSETC

  1. Select the hosts file. Then click the Edit menu, and choose Copy.
  2. Then, click the Edit menu again, and choose Paste. There should now be a duplicate of the hosts file named “Copy of hosts”.
  3. Drag the original hosts file to your desktop.
  4. Right-click the “Copy of hosts” 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, click the Edit menu and choose Select All. Then click the Edit menu, and choose Delete.
  6. Click the File menu, and choose Save. Close Notepad.
  7. Right-click the “Copy of hosts” file, and choose Rename. Type “hosts” (without quotation marks) and press Enter.
  8. Restart your computer and try connecting to the iTunes Store.

Instructions for Windows Vista and Windows 7:

I have never been able to connect to the iTunes Store on this computer.
Follow the troubleshooting steps below. If these steps don’t resolve the issue, contact AppleCare Technical Support.

  • Make sure that your computer meets the iTunes minimum system requirements.
  • Make sure that your operating system is up to date:
    • For Mac OS X, use Software Update to determine if you need to update your system.
    • For Windows, go to Microsoft’s Windows Update webpage.
  • Make sure that you can access the Internet on your computer.
  • You may have firewall or other security software that is preventing your computer from connecting to the iTunes Store. Click here to find out which ports and servers need to be allowed for iTunes Store access.

Additional Information
If you’re still not able to connect to the iTunes Store, your security software or firewall may be blocking the port iTunes uses to communicate with the Internet. For information about how to resolve this, see iTunes for Windows: Troubleshooting security software issues.

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