Fix iTunes Network Connection Timed Out

fix itunes network connection errors

Some users report variations of a “Network Connection Timed Out” error when trying to update their iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to a newer version of iOS or even when attempting to connect to the iTunes Store. Errors include but are not limited to:

  • “There is a problem downloading the software”
  • “Network Connection Timed Out”
  • “iTunes could not connect to the Store. An unknown error occurred (-3259). Make sure your network connection is active and try again.”
  • “There was an error downloading your music (-3259)”
  • “Cannot connect to iTunes Store”
  • iTunes Error 9808
  • Variations of iTunes Error -3259

These are usually pretty simple errors to fix and we have several methods below. Before going on, make sure the following is true:

  • You are connected to the internet
  • You have the latest version of iTunes. Currently, that is iTunes 10.1 for both Mac and Windows

If you’re still having problems, here are some troubleshooting tips to fix and resolve various iTunes and iOS software update connection errors:

Fix iTunes Network and iPhone Update Connection Errors

There are numerous reasons you might encounter a network connection error with iTunes or iOS updates, try these fixes:

Disable Firewall and Anti-Virus

This is often the simplest solution and this is what you should try first. Temporarily disabling your antivirus software and firewalls often works to cease the network time outs. I can’t give specific instructions for this because there are so many different types of antivirus and firewalls out there, but it’s usually just a matter of finding the program in question and disabling it. Obviously, once the iOS update has been run successfully, you’ll want to re-enable the firewall or antivirus.

Uninstall and Re-install iTunes

This seems to be more effective for Windows users, but sometimes just uninstalling iTunes and re-installing the latest version is enough to resolve network connection errors.

Flush DNS Cache

Sometimes flushing your DNS cache is enough to resolve the network time outs, here is how to do this for Mac OS X and Windows:

Flushing DNS Cache in Mac OS X We’ve covered this before but here’s a reminder:

  • Launch the Terminal from /Applications/Utilities
  • At the command prompt, type in “dscacheutil -flushcache” and hit return
  • After the command has executed, you can exit Terminal and your DNS has been flushed

This works in Mac OS X 10.5 and Mac OS X 10.6 or later.

Flushing DNS Cache in Windows XP, Vista, and 7

  • Go to the Start menu and click on “Run”
  • In the “Run” box, type in ‘command.com’
  • When the DOS prompt appears, type in ‘ipconfig /flushdns’ and hit return
  • If the command has run properly, you’ll see a message saying DNS Resolving Cache has been flushed
  • You can now close the command.com prompt window

Note: if you encounter an error in Windows saying you do not have permissions or need authentication, make sure you run command.com as an Administrative user. You can do this by right-clicking on Run and selecting “Run as Administrator.”

Manually Download the iOS Update

If you’re having problems downloading the update file (IPSW), you can actually download these directly from Apple rather than through iTunes. This is recommended more for advanced users since there are so many versions of iOS and firmware available, but here are the repository links:

  • iPhone Firmware IPSW file downloads
  • iPad Firmware & IPSW file downloads
  • iPod Touch Firmware & IPSW file downloads

If you go this route, here is where the IPSW files are stored locally on your machine:

  • IPSW location in Mac OS X: ~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates
  • IPSW location in Windows XP: \Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPhone Software Updates
  • IPSW location in Windows Vista & Windows 7: \Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPhone Software Updates

This is where a corrupt or half-downloaded IPSW file will sit too, but you should backup the existing IPSW file before overwriting it with a new version just in case.

iTunes Error 9808

This error is usually limited to Windows users, and here’s how to fix Error -9808:

  • Quit iTunes
  • Open Internet Explorer
  • Go to the Tools menu and select “Internet Options”
  • Click on “Advanced” tab and look for the Security section
  • Uncheck “Check for server certificate revocation” (this may require a restart)
  • Close the IE options, and now relaunch iTunes, the store should access as usual

That’s it for now, try these solutions and hopefully you will no longer have problems connecting to iTunes or downloading software updates for your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.

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