How to fix iTunes error 3194 on Apple iPhone XS, unable to update or restore iOS

You’re trying to restore or update your iPhone XS in iTunes but couldn’t get it done because you’re getting error 3194. Read on to find out what this iTunes error means, what triggers it to occur and how to fix it.

When iTunes prompts an error code 3194, it simply denotes that it failed to process your requests as it cannot establish connection to the Apple server. Oftentimes, this error occurs to jailbroken iPhones and other iOS devices with obsolete firmware.

Before you begin troubleshooting, remove all other external devices from the computer’s USB port except for the keyboard and mouse. Also close all programs on the computer to prevent them from butting into iTunes or relevant system functions. Moreover, check and ensure that iTunes and your computer’s operating system are up-to-date. Begin troubleshooting if the error persists after complying with the said requisites.

First solution: Quit iTunes then reboot your computer.

Just like smartphone apps, computer programs also run into random errors thus they can also act up and fail to work as intended. And Apple’s very own iOS management software iTunes is no exception. On the positive note, these problems are easily remedied by a restart. Restarting a computer can yield to positive outcomes like a soft reset does on an iPhone. Random system errors on the computer that might have interfered with iTunes operations are cleared out in the process. You can restart your computer using the standard method (through menu options) or via shortcut key combos. Menu options and controls vary depending on the operating system your computer is running on.

Second solution: Disable security software on the computer temporarily.

Check and ensure that your Internet is working perfectly and is not blocked by some firewall. You can try disabling security software on your computer then try updating or restoring your iPhone XS in iTunes without any security software activated. If the error does not occur, then you just identified the trigger. In that case, you can manage your security software settings and adjust it in a way that grants full permission to your iOS device. Or you can just keep it disabled until you’re done updating or restoring your iPhone XS on your computer through iTunes.

Third solution: Refresh Wi-Fi Internet connection on your computer.

Network connectivity issues are also among the factors to consider. If your computer or iOS device is experiencing any sort of network problems from slow or intermittent connection to no Internet connection, then that could be what’s causing an error. In this case, iTunes wouldn’t be able to establish connection with the Apple server, therefore it wouldn’t be able to update or restore your device. There are many ways for you to refresh Internet connection on the computer. Among the highly recommended methods are as follows:

  • Reboot/power cycle the router/modem. If you can access the router/modem, turn it off then unplug its AC adapter from the power source for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. After the elapsed time, plug it back in and turn it on again.
  • Disconnect Wi-Fi then reconnect. Select your Wi-Fi network name (SSID) then choose the option to disconnect for a few moments then reconnect.
  • Delete/forget Wi-Fi network then set it up again. Corrupted networks are usually remedied by setting it up as new. This also denotes the need to delete the network first. To do this, simply navigate to your computer’s Wi-Fi folder/menu and then choose the network you want to delete or forget. After deleting the network, toggle Wi-Fi off and back on. Then select to Wi-Fi network to connect to.

Try and see if that puts a stop on the iTunes error 3194.

Fourth solution: Edit or configure hosts file on your computer.

This is an explicit solution recommended by Microsoft and Apple Support to deal with iTunes error 3194 during iOS restore or update. It’s a bit technical but not impossible to apply. If you wish to give it a shot, then here’s how to edit hosts file on a Windows and Mac computer:

  1. Start by closing  iTunes on your computer if it’s still open or running.
  2. On your Windows computer, navigate to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc. Once you get to this directory, double-click to open the hosts file on the computer then select Notepad from the list of available programs.
  3. If you’re using iTunes on Mac, navigate to Utilities-> Terminal folder and then type in sudo nano/etc/hosts and press the Return/Enter key on your keyboard. Doing so will open the hosts file in a text editor.
  4. Navigate towards the bottom of the hosts file then look for an Apple address. It should look something like an IP address with a gs.apple.com code at the end. To be exact, search for a 74.208.105.171 gs.apple.com entry. Doing so will route you to the signature verification process to the Cydia servers.
  5. If you see the Apple address at the bottom of the hosts file, add a hashtag or pound sign (#) to the front. So it has to be #74.208.105.171 gs.apple.com afterwards.
  6. If you don’t find the Apple address at the bottom of the hosts file, type in  74.208.105.171 gs.apple.com to the bottom of the hosts file.
  7. Save the recent changes you’ve made by clicking the File menu then select Save on your Windows computer, or press Ctrl+O on your Mac computer.
  8. Quit the text file then open iTunes then try to connect your iPhone to your computer and attempt to restore or update through iTunes.

Be sure to enter the exact codes including space bar and other characters to prevent errors.

If you need more help in configuring the hosts file on your Windows computer, contact Microsoft support or Apple Support if you’re using a Mac.

Fifth solution: Soft reset/force restart your iPhone XS.

To clear out minor software glitches on the iPhone XS that might have caused conflict and prevented it from syncing to iTunes, performing a soft reset or force restart can help. A simple restart on your device can do a lot of wonders. Aside from rectifying random glitches and application errors, it also clears out unwanted files cached in the phone memory. Before performing a soft reset, unplug or disconnect your iPhone from the computer. Then proceed with these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. Release the buttons when the Slide to Power Off command appears and then drag the power off slider to the right.
  3. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until the phone reboots.

Alternatively, you can do a forced restart to abruptly clear all suspended inactive applications including those that have gone rogue or corrupted. Like a soft reset, this method effectively rectifies random app errors and minor system glitches including those that caused conflict with iTunes. To force restart an iPhone XS, simply follow these steps:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Then, press and hold the Power/Side button on the side of the phone and then release when the phone restarts.

Wait for your iPhone to boot up. After it reboots, plug it back into the computer then retry updating or restoring in iTunes. If iTunes still prompts the same error code 3194, then you may have to consider other options.

Other options

  • Bypass your Internet connection. Network issues are also among the factors that would interfere with iTunes operations. Another effective trick you can try on would be to bypass your Internet connection. This means you will connect your computer directly from the network equipment (router/modem) via Ethernet cable.
  • Use a different computer. Should this be an isolated problem with iTunes on the computer you’re using, then switching to a different computer will likely be an ultimate solution. Just be sure to use the latest version of iTunes and your computer’s operating system must be a later, if not the latest version.

For further recommendations and more advanced solutions, contact Apple Support (to troubleshoot iTunes on Mac) or Microsoft Support (to troubleshoot iTunes on Windows). Just let them know of how you end up getting iTunes error 3194 on your iPhone XS as well as the workarounds you’ve done in an attempt to fix the problem on your end.

I hope that we’ve been able to help you fix the problem with your device. We would appreciate it if you helped us spread the word so please share this post if you found it helpful. Thank you so much for reading!

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