Why does my iPhone 6s unable to restore or update through iTunes, error 9 [Troubleshooting Guide]

While many people would prefer to use iTunes in restoring or updating iOS especially when resolving various iOS device issues on the software, others have failed to get the same positive result in doing so. In fact, several iPhone 6s owners have had troubles when using iTunes for either purpose as they are prompted with error 9 saying that the iPhone could not be restored due to an unknown error occurred. What does iTunes error 9 means and what triggers it to occur on the iPhone 6s? These are the main questions to be addressed in this post. Read on to learn more.

But before we jump right into our troubleshooting, if you have other issues with your iPhone, make sure you drop by our troubleshooting page because we’ve already addressed a lot of issues reported by our readers. Find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you or if you need more help, fill up our iPhone problems questionnaire and give us more accurate information about your problem so we can give you the best solution.

What does iTunes error 9 mean?

Error codes are computer codes that denote erratic procedures. Each of these codes is accompanied with an error message or alert that gives end-users a hint on what went wrong and what needs to be done in order to correct it. iTunes error 9 means that something went wrong as the program attempts to restore the iPhone. Most likely this happens due to a faulty hardware like a damaged USB cable or USB port in use. Although iTunes was able to instigate the iOS restore process, it couldn’t get it completed because the communication between iTunes and your iPhone is lost. This erratic process is tagged as iTunes error 9 by the computer system.

Meanwhile, there are also other cases in which iTunes prompts users with the same error due to some software issues. As what Apple Support explicates, security software installed on the computer can also interrupt iTunes when restoring your iPhone. What happens is that the security software might have detected some possible security threats from your iPhone so it carries out its task to keep the system secure by blocking your device. As a result, communications between your iPhone 6s and the iTunes program suddenly gets lost. This is likely the case if you have antivirus or firewall installed on your computer.

Aside from security software, network issues are also among the factors that can trigger the same error to occur when using iTunes in restoring iOS. Basically, iTunes would need to access the Apple servers to carry out requests like accessing previous iOS backups through in the iCloud drives or downloading the latest iOS version for your iPhone. Without a stable network connection, the process gets interrupted more often and eventually, iTunes wouldn’t be able to complete the request as it keeps losing connection with the Apple servers. And to let you know of this, iTunes prompts you with error code 9 saying that it couldn’t restore your iPhone due to unknown error.

Incorrect date and time settings on your iPhone and the computer are also among other possible causes. To others, error 9 appeared to be a negative outcome of iPhone jailbreaking.

When iTunes error 9 occurs, your iPhone typically gets frozen and stops responding to touches. Given this condition, you won’t be able to do anything. This is one of the iTunes errors that rarely occurs but when it strikes, you’ll surely be in trouble. Nonetheless, you still can try some workarounds to deal with this error then.

How to fix iTunes error 9 on your iPhone 6s?

Highlighted below are generic solutions and recommended workarounds to deal with error 9 when attempting to restore your iPhone 6s in iTunes. These methods will only work given that there are no damage to any of your iPhone’s hardware or physical components. Before you begin performing any of the subsequent troubleshooting methods, be sure to check the following:

  • Computer’s operating system. As much as possible, use the latest version of operating system for your computer (Windows or Mac). This is to ensure that your device is able to meet the minimum system requirements to be able to work with your iPhone 6s.
  • Date and time settings. Verify and ensure that your computer and your iPhone 6s are set with the correct date and time. For some reasons, incorrect date and time settings on either device would result to a conflict when using the iTunes program. You can manually set the date and time on your iPhone 6s and your computer to make sure they are correct.
  • iTunes version. Verify and ensure that you are using the latest version of iTunes on your computer. If necessary, uninstall the current version you have on your computer, then download and install the latest iTunes software available on the Apple website. Aside from the computer, iTunes should also meet the minimum system requirements for it to work with your iOS device without any trouble.

Once you have checked and complied with the aforesaid requisites, you may then begin troubleshooting. Be sure to test your device after completing each method to find out whether or not the error has been fixed. Proceed to the next applicable solution if necessary.

First solution: Check and manage firewall or security settings on your computer.

Given that security software like antivirus and firewall are among the possible culprits, it is  imperative to check on them first. Try to check your antivirus or firewall settings and if necessary, make some adjustments for it to grant full access to your iPhone at the moment. Doing so will ensure both iTunes and your iPhone established stable connection and be able to communicate with each other until the requested process is completed. However, if you are not sure of which settings or options to work with your security software, then you can just temporarily disable it instead. Once you’re done restoring your iPhone with iTunes, you can re-enable the security software on your computer. You may contact the security software developer or visit its support page for further assistance in settings configuration. After making necessary changes to your security software settings, reboot your computer, reconnect your iPhone 6s and then try to use iTunes again. If the error shows up again, try other applicable solutions.

Second solution: Check the physical connections between your iPhone and the computer.

To rule out the possibility that a faulty USB cable or USB port is causing this error to occur, verify and ensure that your USB cable and the USB port where it’s connected to are functional. You can try switching to a different USB port available on the computer to see if there are any changes.  As much as possible, use only the Apple-supplied USB connector or the original USB cable that comes with your iPhone to connect it to the computer. Other USB cables are just not compatible with your iOS device and thereby yields to a conflict.

Alternatively, you can use a different computer if available. Doing so will help you determine whether or not the problem is isolated to the computer you are using.

Third solution: Force your iPhone 6s to restart.

Usually, you will end up having a frozen iPhone when error 9 occurs. In this case, a force restart is needed to get your iPhone back up and running again.


  • To do so, press and hold the Power and Home buttons simultaneously for at least 10 seconds and then release both buttons when the Apple logo appears. Your iPhone then reboots.


In the case where iTunes or your computer becomes unresponsive due to the error, you will need to do a force reboot on the computer.


  • To do so, long press the Power button on the computer’s CPU until it powers off. Wait for at least 30 seconds and then turn the computer back on. When it has completely rebooted, connect your iPhone 6s again and then retry restoring it through iTunes.


Fourth solution: Perform a DFU restore.

DFU stands for Device Firmware Update, a system interface in your iPhone that allows your device to communicate with iTunes without loading the bootloader or iOS as the standard recovery mode does. You can put your iPhone 6s in DFU mode to downgrade firmware or use a custom firmware that is required for updating, SIM unlocking or jailbreaking. A DFU restore is often carried out by Apple technicians when dealing with more serious problems and errors on the iPhone software. You may consider this an option should all else failed to get rid of the iTunes error 9 on your end. Here’s how it’s supposed to be done:


  • 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. Proceed with iTunes restore if you’ve successfully entered DFU, otherwise, try again from the start.


Note: You will know if you’ve successfully entered DFU mode if your iPhone screen stays black. At this point, iTunes should already alert you that it has recognized or detected your iPhone 6s and will allow it to be restored.


  • Restore your iPhone using iTunes.
  • Follow the rest of the onscreen instructions to complete the DFU mode restore process.


You have to note though that timing is required when performing a DFU mode restore. You may not be able to enter DFU mode successfully in your first attempt so be patient and try again until you get there.

If a DFU mode restore still failed to fix the iTunes error 9 and you still couldn’t get your iPhone 6s to be restored in iTunes, then you may consider using other alternative iOS device management tools. You can download any of the iOS recovery or repair tools online and then give it a try. Just pick the one that would best suit your needs and compatible with your device.

Contact Apple Support

Your last option in case iTunes error 9 persists after performing all applicable solutions and workarounds is to escalate the problem to Apple Support or your carrier. You may request further assistance in doing more advanced troubleshooting using necessary tools to get rid of the problem. Or you can just take your iPhone 6s to an Apple Genius bar and have a technician assessed your device for possible indications of hardware damage.

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If you have other problems with your iOS device including iPhone 6s, you may visit our Troubleshooting Page or complete and submit this form to get further assistance from our support team. Just be sure to provide us with all necessary information, such as your iOS device model, as well as more details about the issue you have with your device. For example, when did the problem start to occur or what you did before the problem shows. This way, it would be easier for us to determine the main cause(s) and help you towards finding the best possible solution available.