How to fix iTunes unknown error 9, iPhone XS could not be restored [Troubleshooting Guide]

Unknown error codes usually appear when iTunes is unable to carry out specific task or operation like restoring iOS or installing new firmware updates on your iPhone. There are a lot of error codes that are stored on the iTunes database. Among those that are often occurring during iOS restore or update is the iTunes error code 9. This error tells you that iTunes is unable to restore or update your iPhone for some reason. To get rid of the error and solve the problem, you need to figure out the main trigger. And that also denotes the need for you to troubleshoot both your iPhone and computer system.

Highlighted below are applicable solutions to the same iTunes error transpiring on an iPhone XS device. Read on to learn how to fix iTunes error code 9 when attempting to perform an iPhone XS system restore on a Windows or Mac through iTunes.

Before anything else, if you have other issues with your device, try to browse through our troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed several issues with this device. Odds are that we’ve already published a post that tackles similar problems. Try finding issues that have similar symptoms with what you currently have and feel free to use the solutions we’ve suggested. If they don’t work for you or if you still need our help, then fill up our questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

What to do with iPhone XS with iTunes error 9?

Before troubleshooting, check the physical connections from your iPhone to the computer or vice versa. Make sure both ends of the USB cable/Lighting cable are plugged in tight. If the connection is secured but you’re still prompted with the same iTunes error, then you may begin to troubleshoot and try any of these subsequent solutions.

First solution: Force restart your iPhone and reboot your computer.

Your iPhone or computer system may be just acting up due to some minor glitches and/or application errors. The simplest possible solution to this would be a system restore. This restart doesn’t affect the internal data so creating backups won’t be needed. In this case, you will need to restart both the iPhone and computer system. On your iPhone XS, restart or carry out a soft reset to eliminate random software errors and firmware glitches with 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 button on the side of the phone and then release when the phone restarts.

After restarting the iPhone, reboot your computer either through the Start or Apple menu or using the shortcut key restart combos.

Be sure to sign in as administrator so that you’ll be granted with full access on the computer system. Sometimes, logging in as Guest would restrict you from using certain features, including major system restore through iTunes.


Second solution: Refresh your Wi-Fi internet connection.

To clear out random Internet connection errors on your iPhone XS, try to toggle Wi-Fi OFF and then back ON. Just head over to your phone Settings-> Wi-Fi menu, then tap the switch to turn Wi-Fi off. After a few seconds, tap the switch again to turn Wi-Fi back on.

Alternatively, you can apply the Airplane Mode trick. This effectively resolves minor problems affecting the phone’s wireless functions. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Navigate to your iPhone Settings-> Airplane mode menu.
  2. Then toggle the switch to turn Airplane Mode ON. All wireless features are then disabled.
  3. While Airplane Mode is on, restart/soft reset your iPhone XS.
  4. After it reboots, head back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
  5. Then toggle the Airplane Mode switch to turn it OFF again.

Wait for your iPhone to re-establish Wi-Fi internet connection and when it’s connected, connect it to the computer and retry restoring through iTunes.

Meanwhile, if both the iPhone and computer are experiencing minor Internet problems, then rebooting the wireless router or modem will likely fix them. Here’s how:

  1. Find the ON/OFF or Power switch and then press on it until the device turns off.
  2. While it’s powered off, unplug the AC adapter from the power source.
  3. After 30 seconds to 1 minute, plug it back in.
  4. Then press the switch to turn ON the router/modem.
  5. Wait until all the light indicators are stable.

Once your devices have re-connected to the Internet, attempt to restore your iPhone XS through iTunes. If your computer still throws an unknown error 9, then try the next applicable solutions.

Third solution: Put your iPhone XS in recovery mode.

There are different restore methods carried out through iTunes. If the error occurs while performing a standard iOS restore, then you can try a more advanced system restore via recovery mode. To get started, connect your iPhone to the computer and follow these steps to carry out a force restart and boot into recovery mode.

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Next, press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Then, press and hold the Side/Power button until you see the Connect to iTunes screen. This means that your iPhone has entered recovery mode.
  4. When you see the option to Update or Restore, choose Update. Doing so will prompt iTunes to check for and download the latest software for your device. The download usually takes 15 minutes (utmost). If download process exceeds 15 minutes and your device exits recovery mode, then you will need to perform the above steps to enter recovery mode again.

If a recovery mode restore still failed, then you may opt to proceed with a DFU mode restore. It is the deepest type of system restore done on an iPhone. As for the steps, we’ve got that demonstrated on one of our tutorial posts from the iPhone XS tutorials section. Just visit this site’s troubleshooting page for more detailed walkthroughs.

Fourth solution: Temporarily disable security software on the computer.

Other factors that may halt iOS restore and updates through iTunes are security software like antivirus and firewalls. If you have any of these tools installed and enabled on your computer, then you might as well consider disabling them temporarily until you’re done restoring or updating your iOS device in iTunes. To disable Windows firewall, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Select System and Security.
  3. Click on Windows Firewall.
  4. Select the option to Turn Windows Firewall ON or OFF on the left side of the Windows Firewall screen.
  5. Click to mark the radio button next to the option to Turn Off Windows Firewall (not recommended).

To disable an antivirus software,  just open the software and then navigate to its Settings menu. From there, look for the option to disable the software.

Without any antivirus software or firewall enabled, try to connect your iPhone XS and re-attempt to restore/update through iTunes. If you’re able to restore or update your iPhone, then you’ve figured out the culprit. In that case, just wait until your iPhone is done restoring or updating and once it’s finished, disconnect your iPhone from the computer and then re-enable the firewall or antivirus software.

Fifth solution: Update iTunes and computer OS to the latest version.

It is recommended to keep a device system up-to-date. That applies to both your iPhone XS and computer. New updates do offer new features and system enhancements including bug fixes. Aside from firmware updates, you can also check for new updates for your apps and computer programs, particularly iTunes. Running an obsolete iTunes version may be possible but will likely cause you trouble when it comes to efficacy and stability. Thus, using the latest version of iTunes software is likewise advised. You can update the app through its main menu options particularly from the Help section. Otherwise, uninstall the obsolete version then download and install the latest iTunes version for your computer.

To install the latest update for your computer firmware or operating system, just follow the update link that’s usually found in Windows security or system panel. If you’re using a Mac, simply navigate to System Preferences from the Apple menu, then choose Software Update from the given options.

Don’t forget to reboot the computer after updating to ensure that all new system changes are properly implemented. Doing so will likewise refresh its internal memory for smoother and better functions.

Other options

Use iTunes alternatives. If none of the prior methods is able to get rid of the unknown error 9 in iTunes and you still cannot restore your iPhone XS, then you can try using other iOS management tools or alternatives to iTunes. Just pick the most reliable and compatible software for your computer. Like iTunes, these alternative tools also offer easy-to-operate menus and controls so all you have to do is find and click on the given options and command buttons.

For other recommendations and more advanced solutions, contact Microsoft support or Apple Support to rule out tough problems on Windows or Mac system.

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!