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How to fix my iPhone SE that cannot update or restore iOS, showing iTunes errors 3194, 17 [Troubleshooting Guide]

When it comes to dealing with software-related issues among various types of iOS devices including the small yet powerful special edition iPhone (iPhone SE), iTunes restore or update usually appears to be the final resort. You too may consider opting to use iTunes and go for either iOS update or restore should all else failed to remedy a problem that is transpiring on your iPhone. Many issues can be resolved by installing the latest update especially if a software bug is to blame.

Meanwhile, for issues that are caused by faulty updates, users would usually do the opposite which is to restore to a previous iOS backup with iTunes. Aside from software update and restore, there are also a lot of other things you can do with iTunes like downloading contents and new apps for your iPhone. All these can be done in no time given that everything with your iPhone, the computer, and iTunes is good. However, that is not always the case. In fact, many users of iOS devices were having some trouble in getting a thing done with iTunes. For some reasons, some iPhone SE users couldn’t get to update or restore iOS as they are prompted with iTunes error 3194 and error 17 when attempting to carry out the process. What does these error mean and what is causing them to occur on your iPhone SE? If you are one of those who are bothered with the same iTunes error when trying to restore or update your iPhone SE on iTunes, this post might be able to help. Read on to learn what could have possibly caused your iPhone to get this error and what needs to be done in order to get rid of the error and complete the iOS restore or update process using iTunes.

Now, before we proceed with our troubleshooting, if you have other concerns with your new iPhone SE, drop by our troubleshooting page for we have already published some guides and tutorials. You may also contact us by completing our iPhone issues questionnaire. This is a free consultation servicer we offer and all we need is information about the problem. So please give us that so that we can help you better. 

What do iTunes errors 3194 and 17 mean and what is prompting them to occur?

Fortunately, this is among iTunes errors that are not associated with a faulty hardware. This means you can find ways to fix the error on your end or without having to take your iPhone to a technician for service.

The error codes 3194 and 17 denote that something is interrupting the connection between your iPhone and iTunes or iTunes and the Apple servers.  In short, the connection is lost and therefore iTunes could no longer be able to finish the update or restore process. Several factors can possibly interfere with the connection between your iPhone and iTunes or iTunes and the Apple servers. Among the common culprits are security software like firewall and antivirus, apps glitches, network errors, or connectivity issues. Here’s how each of these factors triggers these errors to occur while attempting to manage your iPhone iOS through iTunes.

Security software

Firewall and antivirus programs that are installed and enabled on the computer are the usual triggers in these cases. What usually happens is that while your iPhone has access to the computer, it won’t be able to access iTunes because the security software is denying it. There are also other instances where your iPhone is able to access iTunes but suddenly lost communication with iTunes because the security software has interfered.

The reason why this happens is that the security software might have sensed your iPhone as potential threat to the computer system’s security. Given the fact that your iPhone will be tagged among other external devices the moment it is connected to the computer through USB cable/connector, it is very likely for any security programs or firewall not to grant full access to your iPhone. Security programs and firewalls are made for such purpose.

As remedy, you can temporarily disable or uninstall any security program installed on your computer until you’re done using iTunes to manage your iOS device.

Apps glitches

Just like any other computer programs, iTunes can also suffer downtimes. The same thing with other iTunes components. If any of the iTunes components get corrupted, it’s possible for iTunes to glitch, misbehave, and not work as intended. This is where errors occur. When this happens while you’re updating or restoring your iPhone SE with iTunes, you are most likely to get errors 3194 and 17. As a result, you won’t be able to complete the iOS update or restore process. Most of the time, apps glitches especially those that are inflicted by minor bugs in iTunes or any of its components, can be remedied by quitting the app and rebooting the computer. After the computer reboot, try to use iTunes again to update or restore your iPhone SE.

Network errors and connectivity problems

Another possible reason as to why you encounter these iTunes errors and won’t be able to update or restore your iPhone SE in iTunes is due to a transpiring network error or problem with connectivity. Everything is good with your iPhone and the computer but the problem is that iTunes won’t be able to communicate with the Apple servers due to network connection lost. In this case, you will need to deal with the network problem first so you can proceed with iOS update or restore through iTunes with no more errors. Possible causes of network connectivity issues are outages, misconfigured network settings on the computer, as well as security software. Outages can be due to scheduled maintenance or sometimes, unexpected. In either cases, you can’t do anything but to wait until the outage is over. Once the outage is over, network services will be back up and running. Communication between iTunes and the Apple servers are also expected to resume to normal operations. In the case where security software is to blame, it’s possible that an antivirus or firewall on the computer has barred the network connection or prevent iTunes from accessing the Apple servers or vice versa. Some firewalls may block the Internet connection or prevent access from certain online sites for security reasons. In this case, you will need to work on the security software settings and manage permission to website access. If you are not well-versed with the security software interface, then you can just disable the software temporarily. When you’re done using restoring or updating your iPhone through iTunes, you can have it enabled again.

Once you’re able to determine the underlying cause of the problem, you can start working on what you suspect is triggering these iTunes errors to occur. This way you can save time and effort in troubleshooting. Should you need further assistance, please refer to the subsequent solutions and suggested workarounds to deal with iTunes errors 3194 and 17 on your iPhone SE.

Potential Solutions and Recommended Workarounds

These highlighted solutions are comprised mainly of standard procedures and applicable workarounds for iTunes error 3194 and error 17. While there is no guarantee that these methods will be able to offer ultimate solution, it won’t hurt to take your chances and then see what you can get.

First things for you to try:

Step 1. Manage security settings on your computer.

Should a security program like firewall or antivirus is interfering the communication between iTunes and your iPhone or iTunes and the Apple servers, adjusting the security settings on the computer can likely get the problem fixed. However, this option is only suitable for those who are well-versed with the interface of the security software. If you are and willing to take your chances in making some changes to the security software settings configuration, then you can go ahead and do so. Anyway, most computer programs including security software are designed to be as user-friendly as they could so all you need is to read the prompts and messages you will see for they can walk you through making appropriate selections.  Otherwise, you can just temporarily disable the software on your computer and re-enable it once you’re done updating or restoring your iPhone SE with iTunes.

Step 2. Manage iTunes app on your computer.

Another possible factor that can trigger errors to occur while using iTunes in managing iOS devices is system incompatibility. This is the reason why it is recommended to use the latest version of iTunes app on the computer to ensure it has met the minimum system requirements for your iOS device and the computer in use. If necessary, download and install the latest version of iTunes from the Apple Support page on iTunes directory. Just be sure to uninstall the old version on your computer before getting the later version.

Step 3. Check and manage network connection on your iPhone SE and computer.

Your iPhone and the computer must be connected to the Internet in order for iTunes to communicate properly with the Apple servers and process your iOS update download or backup requests. Also ensure that your network connection is stable to avoid any interruptions in the later process. If you are experiencing intermittent connection or no connectivity, check for any network outage, verify your account status and current network service status with your service provider.

After working on the aforementioned procedures and iTunes is still prompting you with error 3194 or error 17, proceed with the following solutions.

First Solution: Power cycle and/or bypass the router or modem.

This is one of the very first solution recommended by most network service providers when dealing with different types of network-related problems on the computer. Since network connectivity is one of the factors that can possibly cause iTunes to prompt you with these errors, working on this aspect beforehand can potentially offer you a prompt solution to the problem. Power cycle here means that you need to do hard reboot on the modem or router. To help you further, follow these steps:

  1. Power off the modem/router by pressing the On/Off button.
  2. Unplug the power cord from the power source.
  3. Wait for at least 30 seconds.
  4. After the elapsed time, plug the router/modem back into the power source.
  5. Turn it back on by pressing the On/Off button.
  6. Wait until all the LEDs or light indicators go back to their normal states.
  7. Reboot your computer.
  8. After the reboot, try to connect your iPhone SE to the computer and retry performing iOS update or restore in iTunes.

If the problem persists, try to bypass your connection or connect your computer directly to the modem or router using an Ethernet cable instead of using wireless network. If you wish to give this a try, you need to secure and Ethernet cable. Once you have that ready, follow these steps:

  1. Power off your modem/router.
  2. Connect the Ethernet cable to the computer and the other end to the modem/router’s LAN port. Make sure that both ends are properly connected and secured.
  3. Reboot your computer.

After the reboot, try to connect to the Internet. If you can connect, try connecting your iPhone SE to the computer and open iTunes to re-attempt iOS restore or update.

For more help in bypassing network connection, contact your service provider. Steps may vary by modem/router versions.

Second Solution: Reboot the computer and your iPhone SE.

Random apps glitches on the iPhone can also cause errors to occur when using iTunes for iOS update and restore. Often times these glitches are rectified by a soft reset. If you haven’t done it already, try doing it now and see what happens. To do so, power off your iPhone the usual way, and then power it back on. After the reboot, connect your iPhone to the computer again and then see if iTunes is already working as intended. If that won’t help try to reboot the computer and then your iPhone SE. After both devices have restarted, reconnect them both and retry launching iTunes. See if everything is already working fine. If not, try the next applicable solutions.

Third Solution: Reset hosts file on your computer.

Hosts files are operating system files (plain text files) on your computer that are responsible for mapping hosts names to IP addresses. Sometimes hosts files can be attacked by malware, which could result to unexpected and unauthorized website redirects on your computer. This is referred to as the host file hijack. It is possible that some of your computer’s hosts files were hijacked so instead of accessing the Apple servers or website, it’s redirected to a different sites. Now, if the latter site is unauthorized or tagged among other blocked sites on your computer’s security software, access to the site will be denied or blocked. When this happens, iTunes won’t be able to access the Apple server on your computer, thus yield to an iTunes error that prevents you from updating or restoring iOS through iTunes. Should this be the underlying cause of the iTunes error you are getting, resetting the hosts files on your computer can likely fix the problem.

The steps in resetting the hosts files vary depending on the computer’s operating system. If you are using a Windows computer, contact Microsoft support for further assistance in getting to the correct path or directory that contains the hosts files to reset.

If you are using a Mac computer, follow these instructions to reset the 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.

Other Suggestions

You can also try to use a different computer if the iTunes error 3194 or 17 persists after doing all the recommended solutions above. Doing so will help you determine whether or not the problem is isolated to the computer you are using. If the error does not show up when using a different computer, then you’re good to go.

You can also try other iOS device management tools that can be downloaded online. Just be sure to pick the compatible software for your iPhone SE. Otherwise, escalate the problem to Apple Support for other options.

Connect with us

Visit our troubleshooting page to view more solutions to other iPhone problems we have addressed in our prior posts. If you wish to reach our iOS support team for further assistance, then you may do so by filling up this form with all the required information. Be sure to provide us with the significant details of the issue that you need help with so we would be able to give you the best possible solutions and recommendations to try on.

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