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How to fix iTunes error 3194, error 17 on Apple iPhone 6s Plus, unable to update or restore iOS [Troubleshooting Guide]

One of the widely used software that is often used by iOS device owners is iTunes. It is deemed a popular media library and mobile device management application created by Apple. Given the rapid release of new apps, multimedia contents, apps and iOS updates, iTunes is now deemed among the frequently used tools by many users of iDevices like iPhones and iPads. However, not everyone has the same positive experience with iTunes. A matter of this factor, various issues have been raised by iPhone users regarding iTunes errors that usually occur when updating or restoring iOS devices.

Appearing among the most common errors encountered by iDevice users are iTunes error 3194 and error 17. These errors usually appear when attempting to update or restore iOS software in iTunes. Along with this error code is an error message saying that the device is not eligible for the requested build in iTunes. What does this error code or message denotes on the iPhone and in what ways the user can prevent or deal with it? These are the main questions that this post is trying to address. Read on to learn what to do if you see error 3194 or error 17 when trying to update or restore your iPhone 6s Plus in iTunes.

But before anything else, if you have a different issue with your device, visit the troubleshooting page we’ve setup for the iPhone 6s Plus. We list down every problem we address each week in that page so try to see if we’ve already addressed your concern before. If we did, try to use the solutions we suggested and if they won’t work, then you may contact us by filling up this form.

Why is your iPhone 6s Plus getting an error 3194 or error 17 when using iTunes?

As the error message implies, iTunes error 3194 and 17 denotes that something is interfering the connection between your iPhone and iTunes or iTunes and the Apple server. As a result, iTunes is not able to communicate w with your iPhone or with the Apple’s update server. Unlike other iTunes error, these error codes are not associated with the hardware. This means that it can be rectified with some workarounds. But before we troubleshoot the problem, let us first try to find out what could have possibly triggered these errors to show up and interrupt iTunes operations.

There are many factors that can interrupt or interfere with iTunes normal functions and inflict various iTunes errors when restoring and updating iOS devices. In the case of error 3194 and error 17, the common culprits are firewall or security software, corrupted or damaged files, and network connectivity issues. To help you understand how and why each of the said factors can cause these iTunes errors, here’s a quick explanation.

  • Firewall or security software – basing on the error prompt or message, something is denying or preventing update or restore process for your iPhone 6s Plus in iTunes. It could be due to some security reasons or forms of random glitches on the iTunes program or other conflicting computer applications. If the error is tied to security issues, it’s probably a firewall, antivirus, or other security software installed on the computer. Given that these tools are designed for such purpose, they’ll do what they think needs to be done whenever a potential security threat is perceived. Again, you have to note that the moment you connect your iPhone to the computer, your device will be treated among other external devices like external storage media or other USB paraphernalia. The thing is, many cases of computer virus or bug transmission were tied to using external devices like flash drives. Your iPhone may also pose the same threat when it is connected to the computer with the USB cable or connector and so, any security software installed on the computer is expected to react and do some preventive measures. As a result, access to the computer or iTunes is either restricted or denied for your iPhone.  
  • Corrupt or damaged files – Aside from security software, another possible reason as to why iTunes or your computer is not able to establish proper communication with your iPhone 6s is a damaged or corrupt file. It could be within the iTunes library, iTunes components, or the computer system. Corrupt or damaged files, particularly those residing within the iTunes directory often affect the normal operations and cause errors to occur when using iTunes for its purpose.
  • Network connectivity issues – Communication between iTunes and the Apple servers is necessary for downloads, updates, and iOS restore processes to be completed. And for them to establish proper communication, a strong and stable network connection is required. If iTunes couldn’t get to communicate with the Apple servers, it will yield errors and cannot proceed or complete the process request. This is one of the reasons why downloads failed or updates couldn’t finished. As much as iTunes would want to carry out the requested process, there is no way for it to access the Apple server due to unstable or no network connectivity. This is often the case when network outages occur. It could be on the Apple server’s end or your network carrier, scheduled or unexpected.

Knowing that these factors are the usual triggers, you may now begin troubleshooting the problem by working on each of them beforehand. Doing so will help you isolate and determine the underlying cause and thereby obtain quick solution.

How to fix iTunes error 3194 and error 17 on your iPhone 6s Plus?

Before performing the standard solutions, be sure to check on the possible causes mentioned above. Among the first things you need to check are firewall or security software installed on your computer, iTunes components, and network status. Your chance of obtaining quick solution is higher if you start working on these factors beforehand. So here’s what you should do then.

  • Check and verify the security settings on your computer. If your computer has a firewall or security software installed, try to check and manage the settings for these security tools to allow or grant access to your iPhone. You may need to adjust or remove some restrictions so as to ensure normal operations can be done in iTunes for iOS device management purposes. If you are not familiar with your security software or firewall configuration, then you can try to disable it temporarily and then try to update or restore your iPhone in iTunes without any active security software on the computer.
  • Check iTunes components. If you suspect that something is wrong with the iTunes application or something is preventing iTunes to work as intended, verify and ensure that you are using the latest version of iTunes app. Otherwise, you can uninstall iTunes from your computer and then install the latest iTunes version that is compatible with your computer. You can download the latest iTunes app on the iTunes directory of the Apple Support page.
  • Check your network connection. Downloads, update and restore processes in iTunes won’t go through without a stable network connection. As explicated earlier, iTunes needs to communicate with the Apple servers in order to carry out these tasks. Without a stable connection to the network, iTunes won’t be able to access the Apple servers. You can head over to the Apple Support page and check for scheduled network outages affecting Apple services at the moment.

Potential Solutions and Workarounds

Once you’ve done all the abovementioned requisites and the error persists, try the following standard solutions. Be sure to test your device or connect your iPhone 6s Plus to iTunes after completing each method and see what happens.

First Solution: Restart your computer and iPhone 6s Plus

Given that the possible triggers are software-related, restarting everything might be able to rectify the glitch. That being said, try to quit iTunes and then reboot your computer. Minor software bugs, corrupt files and random apps glitches are usually eliminated after the reboot. Just power off your computer for a few seconds and then turn it back on. Reboot your iPhone 6s Plus and then try to connect it to the computer and see if iTunes download, update or restore process is already working.

Second Solution: Power cycle your wireless modem or router.

Do this if you are having network connectivity issues, which could be the main reason as to why you couldn’t proceed with iTunes download, update or iOS restore as depicted by the error code 3194 0r 17. All you have to do is power off the modem or wireless router, unplug it from the power outlet, wait for at least 30 seconds, plug it back in and then turn back on. Doing so will erase all corrupt files within the router or modem system that might have inflicted troubles on your network connection.

Third Solution: Reset your hosts file.

Make sure that you are using the latest version of iTunes on your computer, otherwise update iTunes. After making sure that iTunes is updated, check the hosts file. This is to ensure that your computer can contact or communicate with the update server. The process may vary depending on the computer operating system you are using.

If you are using a Windows computer, refer to the instructions provided on Microsoft Support page about how to reset the hosts file back to the default. The steps also vary depending on the Windows OS version you are using. Software services that rely on hosts file redirects will be affected by resetting the hosts file. If you are using Windows on a business computer, consult your system administrator to make sure that apps work correctly after you reset your hosts file.

If you are using a Mac computer, follow these steps to reset your hosts file:

 

  • Launch the Finder tool.
  • Navigate to Applications-> Utilities.
  • Open Terminal.
  • Type this command sudo nano /private/etc/hosts and press Return.

 

    • Enter the password you used to sign into your computer and press Return. The hosts file will be shown in the Terminal. Be sure to use a non-blank administrator password or no password admin account. If necessary, add a password to your admin account in the Users & Groups preferences section. Also note that Terminal does not show your password as you type it so make sure you type in the correct password. Terminal will ask you to enter the password again after entering the wrong one.

 

  • Use the arrow keys to navigate the screen and look for an entry that contains “gs.apple.com“. If you don’t see any entry that contains the said label, it denotes that hosts file is not causing the problem. Close the Terminal and proceed to the next applicable solution.
  • Add or insert the # symbol and a space (# ) to the beginning of the gs.apple.com entry.
  • Press the Control-O to save the file.
  • When prompted to enter the filename, press Return.
  • Press Control-X to exit the editor.
  • Restart your Mac computer.

 

After the restart, try to update or restore your iPhone 6s Plus in iTunes again.

Fourth Solution: Manage TCP/IP filtering, firewall, or security software.

If you are using TCP/IP filtering, firewall, or security software on your computer and prompted with this iTunes error, try performing the following:

 

  • Configure your security software, disable or  uninstall it temporarily.
  • Verify and ensure that your network/Internet connection is good. Contact your Internet service provider if necessary to resolve network Internet problems.
  • Bypass your router. Some routers are configured in such a way that blocks iTunes from accessing the update server. This is usually the case if you are using a non-Apple router. To rectify this problem, try to disconnect from your wired or wireless router and directly connect your computer to your modem or router using an Ethernet cable. After doing so, restart your router/modem and computer.

 

Once you have confirmed that your Internet connection is working, try to update or restore your iPhone 6s Plus again.

Fifth Solution: Use another computer to restore or update your iPhone 6s Plus with iTunes.

If you have another computer available, you can try to restore or update your iPhone on that other computer with a different Internet connection. Doing so will ensure that there are no issues with your computer that might prevent iTunes from communicating with the update server. Network settings, proxies, firewalls, and other network security measures can also cause these iTunes errors to occur. Using a different computer can help you isolate and resolve the underlying cause.

Seek More Help

The iTunes error 3194 or 17 are usually remedied by any of the aforementioned procedures. If none of these is able to fix the problem and that you still couldn’t get to update or restore your iPhone 6s Plus, then you need to escalate the problem to your device carrier or Apple Support. There might be some other options or more advanced troubleshooting procedures they can recommend to help you solve the problem.

Connect with us

We are always willing to help fix your problems with your Apple device. Browse through our existing troubleshooting posts or you may contact us directly by completing this form and hitting the Submit button. Make sure you provide all the necessary information about your phone and the problem so that it would be easier for us to help you.

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