When it comes to iOS restore and update, iTunes is highly recommended. But for some reasons, iTunes has been plagued with various problems and errors. One of the many errors that you might encounter when performing iOS update or restore through iTunes is the iTunes error 9 or iPhone error 9. This error code typically comes with an error message saying that, “The iPhone [Device Name] could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (9).”
Your iPhone then freezes, not responding and you can’t do anything. Although this is a rare error, when it occurs you’ll definitely be troubled. Neither you will be able to continue nor finish what you’re doing, which is to restore your iPhone via iTunes since this error is preventing you from doing so. What does iTunes error 9 or iPhone error 9 means and how to get rid of it? These are the questions that this post is trying to address. So if you happen to land into this page while searching for some help in dealing with the same error while attempting to restore your iPhone 6s Plus through iTunes, then I suggest reading further. This content should serve as free reference for anyone who needs it.
What is iTunes error 9 and its causes?
Error codes generally serve as key identifiers or return codes for certain errors caused by faulty hardware, software bugs, or incorrect user inputs. These codes are used to give users hint on what went wrong and how to fix it.
As the error code name implies, the iTunes error 9 is tagged among other errors that occur while using iTunes for iOS update or restore. In some cases, the error is tied to a faulty hardware while in other cases it is software-related.
Based on the given description from the Apple Support page, the iTunes error 9 or iPhone error 9 pertains to a security issue. What happens is that something is blocking or preventing the computer or iTunes to communicate with your iPhone. As a result, iTunes could not continue the iOS update or restore process.
Among other identified triggers for iTunes error 9 would include network error, faulty cable connections, damaged USB ports, security software/firewall, and jailbreaking. There are also some very rare cases in which the error is tied to an incorrect date and time settings on the iPhone.
Faulty cable connections or damaged ports
A secure connection between the computer and your iPhone is required for iTunes to work properly. If USB cable or USB ports are damaged, then most likely the physical connections are not secured or no stable connection is established between the two devices. In this state, there is a higher chance that the update or restore process in iTunes gets interrupted at any time or whenever the physical connections break. As a result, iTunes will prompt you with the error 9 and as it could not proceed with the system upgrade or restore.
One of the key requisites when performing software update is stable network connection. When performing iOS update or restore, iTunes may need to access the Apple server to access necessary resources. Without stable connection, iTunes wouldn’t be able to establish connection to the Apple server and therefore couldn’t continue with the process. Again the iOS update or system restore is interrupted and can’t go through.
Security software or firewall
Among other causes, security programs or firewalls are considered the most common triggers of iTunes error 9 on iOS devices including the iPhone 6s Plus. These tools are primarily designed for such purposes, blocking or preventing any security threats from infiltrating the computer system. So what happens is that when you connect your iPhone to the computer, the computer will recognize it as an external device or storage media. External devices connected to the computer may pose security threats to the computer system. This is why security programs are installed and activated. With a firewall or security program enabled on the computer, your iPhone can be a potential security threat. Thus, security software or firewalls do their job that is to block it. iTunes access to your iPhone will then be denied or interrupted and so you’re prompted with the error 9.
While jailbreaking can bring lots of benefits to iOS users especially when it comes to access to more features and apps, you too might end up having a bricked iPhone from doing it incorrectly. This is likely the case if something goes wrong during the jailbreak process or it did not finish successfully. So no matter how hard you tried to restore or update iOS, iTunes is still not able to carry out the entire process because your iPhone has been bricked. In this case, you may need to perform a deeper restore procedure through DFU mode.
Potential Solutions and Recommended Workarounds
The following workarounds are considered generic solutions to deal with iTunes error 9 on the iPhone 6s Plus. These methods are based on the identified culprits above. You may opt to try only the methods you think best applicable to your situation or try all of them if necessary.
Your chance of getting the problem fixed by doing any of the subsequent procedures is higher if no hardware damage is present on your iPhone. This means that there were no prior instances of dropping or liquid exposure on the iPhone.
Before you begin, check and ensure the date and time settings on your iPhone are properly configured. You can set the date and time automatically so as to ensure they are correct. Doing so will rule out the possibility of incorrect date or time causing the error to occur while attempting to update or restore iOS on the iPhone 6s Plus with iTunes.
Also ensure that you are using the latest version of iTunes program on your computer. If necessary, update iTunes to the latest version available. Doing so will prevent any issue to arise due to software incompatibility.
Method 1: Verify Firewall or security settings on the computer
To eliminate the possibility of a firewall or security program barring the connection between the iTunes and your iPhone, try to check if there is any activated security software or firewall on your computer. You can disable it temporarily and then retry to restore or update iOS via iTunes. Otherwise, configure necessary settings on the security software to eliminate restrictions for your iPhone.
If you have other computers with iTunes available, then you can try to connect your iPhone to your other computer and see if the error is gone. Doing so will help you determine whether or not the problem is isolated on the first computer you are using.
Method 2: Check and ensure cable connections are properly secured
Cable connections must be properly secured to avoid having any interruptions during the update or restore process with iTunes. That being said, be sure to check the USB cable or connectors you are using to connect the iPhone to the computer. Make sure both ends are tightly connected or securely plugged in.
You can use a spare USB cable that is compatible with your iPhone and then try to connect it to the computer to see if there are any changes. If the error is gone when using a different cable connector, then it’s an indication that the previous cable connector you used is at fault.
As much as possible, be sure to use only Apple-supplied (OEM) USB connectors for your iPhone.
Method 3: Check and ensure USB ports are working
Another possible reason as to why you are prompted with iTunes error 9 is a damaged USB port. In this case, the connection between both devices is not secured or never established in the first place. Or your iPhone might have appeared connected now but later disconnects. Thus, the iTunes process gets interrupted and could not be completed. You may need to try other ports to determine whether or not the problem is isolated to a damaged USB port.
Method 4: Force your iPhone 6s Plus to restart
The iTunes error 9 would cause your iPhone to freeze or unresponsive. You may have a chance of getting your iPhone back to life by forcing it to restart. If this is the first time you encounter this problem, then it would be worth to give a force restart a shot.
- To do so, press and hold the Sleep/Wake (Power) button and Home button simultaneously for at least 10 seconds until the Apple logo appears. Your iPhone will then reboot.
- Wait for your iPhone to complete the reboot process then try to connect it to the computer again and proceed with the iOS update or restore through iTunes.
Often times this method resolves minor glitches or software bugs but if it doesn’t work on your end, then you can proceed with a deeper system restore.
Method 5: Perform a DFU restore on your iPhone 6s Plus
Everything (USB cable and ports) is working properly and that no security software or firewall is activated on the computer but still you are getting iTunes error 9 when attempting to update or restore your iPhone. So what’s next? If you are in this same scenario, then your next hope would be a DFU restore. This means you’ll need to put your iPhone in DFU mode and then restore it through iTunes.
How to put your iPhone 6s Plus in DFU Mode?
The following steps demonstrate the correct and proper way to enter DFU mode or put an iPhone in DFU mode.
- Plug your iPhone into your computer and open iTunes. It doesn’t matter if your iPhone is on or off.
- Press and hold the Sleep / Wake Button and Home Button together for 8 seconds.
- After 8 seconds, release the Sleep / Wake Button but continue to hold the Home Button until iTunes says “iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode.” iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode
- Let go of the Home Button. Your iPhone’s display will be completely black if you’ve successfully entered DFU mode. If it’s not, then try again from the start.
- Restore your iPhone using iTunes.
- Follow the rest of the onscreen prompts to complete the restore process.
Generally, a DFU restore fixes all sorts of software issues including the ones depicted by iTunes error 9. This might be the solution you need so you might as well give it a try. Just be sure to follow the above steps so as to ensure you’re doing the right thing.
Method 6: Use iOS recovery/repair tools
Aside from iTunes, there are also other online tools for iOS recovery and repair for both Windows and Mac computers. Most of them are downloadable for free while others can be acquired through purchase. It wouldn’t hurt to give any of them a try in case you already run out of options. Just pick the one that best suits your needs and is compatible with your device.
To get started, download and install the software on your computer. Once you have it installed successfully, you can go ahead and connect your iPhone to the computer, launch the iOS recovery tool, and then follow the prompts to proceed with the iOS restore using the iOS recovery tool you’ve chosen.
So you’ve done everything on your end and tried all possible solutions recommended in this post but to no avail. What to do next?
Seek Further Assistance
If none of these methods is able to fix the iTunes error 9 on your iPhone 6s Plus, then you should now consider escalating the problem to Apple Support and request further assistance and recommendations. For as long as you haven’t jailbroken your iPhone, you will definitely get supported. Otherwise, consider other options.
If calling Apple Support is not your preferred option, then you can just take your iPhone to an authorized service center for hardware assessment and/or repair, if necessary.