Errors can occur at any time in mobile devices including Apple’s new flagship device called the iPhone 7 Plus. Some of these errors are not really isolated on the iPhone itself but actually triggered by other software like iTunes. Many users of iPhones and iPads would opt to manage their respective devices using Apple’s patented media library application popularly known as iTunes. It is a computer software that allows users to keep their iOS devices more optimized, stable and updated. Aside from updates, iTunes also integrates an option for system restore, allowing users to restore to a previous iOS backup should a new update messed up their device’s normal functions.
Generally, iTunes is regarded as a better and more secure method in performing iOS updates and restore processes. It has simple and user-friendly interface that even newbies can easily manipulate. But just like any other computer programs, iTunes also has its own share of flaws. Thus not all iOS users have the same positive feedback from using iTunes. While others were able to obtain success, some ended up in a loop of program errors including iTunes error 9 or iPhone error 9. This error code is associated with an error message saying that, “The iPhone (iPhone name) could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (9).” As the message implies, users won’t be able to proceed or complete the iOS restore through iTunes. While iTunes error 9 is tagged among other rare errors, when it occurs your device will suddenly become unresponsive or dysfunctional.
What is iTunes error 9 and what causes it to occur on the iPhone 7 Plus?
Before you jump into troubleshooting, it’s better to know first about what does iTunes error 9 denotes. Doing so will help you understand why it occurs and from there, get some hints on how to get rid of it.
By definition, iTunes error 9 is an error code that depicts an issue with the hardware. It is tagged among other iTunes errors that rarely occur. This error can occur on various iOS devices including the new iPhone 7 Plus while going through specific system operations through iTunes. Users who have dealt with this error have found out the main triggers including faulty hardware, defective USB ports or damaged USB cables. These are among the key components used to connect the iOS device to the computer when performing iOS update or system restore. Using a damaged USB port or USB cable can cause possible interruption in the later process, which then triggers iTunes to prompt you with the error 9. It’s iTunes way of letting you know that it can’t be able to proceed or complete the process. This happens because iTunes is no longer able to communicate with the iOS device due to a loss of physical connectivity.
Meanwhile, there are also other cases where users encounter the same error while using iTunes to manage their iPhone 7 Plus even without any damage to the key components mentioned above. At this point, the iTunes error 9 is triggered by security software or firewall installed in the computer.
To help you understand how each of these factors can trigger iTunes to prompt you with error 9, here’s a detailed explanation.
Defective USB ports or damaged USB cable connectors
Your iPhone needs to be properly connected to the computer for iTunes to recognize your device and operates accordingly. To establish a proper connection between the computer and your iPhone, you will need to use a USB cable connector. To prevent any conflict, it is highly recommended to use the original or Apple-supplied USB cable. Another thing you need to make sure is working properly are the USB ports on the computer. The computer and/or iTunes won’t be able to detect or recognize your iPhone if the USB port is damaged. Both devices won’t be able to establish proper connection in the first place and therefore iTunes won’t be able to recognize your iPhone as well. Or it may be able to recognize it but not for long. As a result, there is a higher chance for the update or restore process to get interrupted at any time. And when it does, that is when error 9 is displayed
Unstable network connection
Another factor that can interrupt iTunes operations with your iPhone is on network connectivity. Typically, iTunes would need to communicate with the Apple servers especially when getting iOS updates. A stable connection is necessary for iTunes to complete the operation properly. But with network issues, iTunes operations or connection between iTunes and the Apple servers will be interrupted and therefore iOS update or restore could not be completed. And to let you know all about this, iTunes prompt you with error code 9 along with a message.
Security software or firewall denies access to iTunes
Security software or firewall are installed to keep the computer system safe from various forms of security threats, either from online or offline culprits. When you connect your iPhone to the computer, your phone will be recognized as an external device attached. If the security software or firewall perceives a potential threat from your phone or considers your phone as a potential security threat, access will be denied. This is likely the case if you keep getting an error prompt saying that your iPhone is not recognized or not detected even if everything in the physical connection is properly secured. Depending on how the security software is configured, it might allow your iPhone to access the computer system but access to iTunes might be restricted.
Jailbreaking iOS/iPhone jailbreaking
While jailbreaking offers a lot of benefits to iOS users especially when it comes to access to many features, it can also yield major downsides especially if the process gets interrupted or not completed successfully. If the jailbreak did not finish, you are likely to end up having a bricked iPhone. And if that happens, iTunes won’t be able to help bring it back. However, there also some who were lucky enough to get their iPhones back up and running after ending up bricked from jailbreaking. And most of these people had resorted to a DFU restore. But then again, it’s not a guarantee that DFU restore helps all the time. Unfortunately, Apple usually won’t just offer support for cases of iPhone problems caused by jailbreaking.
How to deal with iTunes error 9 on the iPhone 7 Plus?
Considering that the underlying cause is not a faulty hardware, you still can try some workarounds in an attempt to fix the error by yourself and get things done in iTunes with no more errors. Please note though that these are just generic solutions and so ultimate fix is not always guaranteed. But then again, it wouldn’t hurt if you take your chances and solve the problem on your end before escalating the problem to Apple Support. Your chance of getting the iTunes error 9 fixed through the subsequent methods is higher if it’s software-related.
Things to check beforehand:
There are also other factors that can cause problems to occur when performing iOS updates and restore through iTunes. These include but not limited to the computer’s operating system, iTunes version, as well as system date and time settings on either devices. To make sure none of these is causing you such trouble, then you better check on them first.
- Verify and ensure that the computer you are using runs the latest version of the operating system, either Windows or Mac. Doing so will prevent from having issues on meeting the minimum system requirements.
- Verify and ensure that iTunes is updated. Some users who have dealt with pertinent error code while using iTunes to update or restore iOS have also found a link between the error and iTunes version that is already obsolete. And they were able to fix it by updating the iTunes program.
- Verify and ensure that date and time settings are properly set on both devices. Although this may sound a bit bizarre, there were a few cases of iTunes error 9, which were tied to incorrect date and time settings on either the computer or iPhone itself. Thus, it would be better to rule out this possibility.
Solutions and Workarounds to fix iTunes error 9 on iPhone 7 Plus
The following solutions are based on the possible causes such as security software or firewall, faulty USB ports, and damaged USB connector. To help you get started, let’s work on these matters first.
First Solution: Try to disable security software or firewall on the computer.
Disabling security software or firewall temporarily will help you isolate whether or not the iTunes error 9 is triggered by it. If the error disappears after doing so, then it means that something must be done on the security software or firewall settings to allow your iPhone to access iTunes or the computer system without any restrictions. Also verify the level of permission granted by the computer to external devices or storage media attached. Again, your iPhone is considered one when you connect it to the computer so it’s possible that the system is imposing some restrictions to your iPhone for security purposes. However, if you are not sure of which settings or options to configure, then you’ve got another option and that is to temporarily disable firewall or security software on the computer as you attempt to use iTunes for iOS update or restore. Once you’re done , you can just enable it back anyway.
After you reconfigure the firewall or security settings on the computer, reboot the computer and then reconnect your iPhone to re-attempt iOS update or restore with iTunes.
Second Solution: Try using another USB port and ensure there is proper physical connection.
In order to rule out the possibility on a damaged USB port causing problems when using iTunes to manage iOS, you can try to switch to other USB ports available. Do this especially if your iPhone is not recognized or won’t be detected by the computer. It’s possible that the USB port you are currently using is damaged or not working, thus the computer won’t be able to detect your iPhone even if it’s already connected.
Alternatively, you can also try using other compatible USB connectors or cables to connect your iPhone to the computer. This will help you determine whether the problem is on the USB cable or not.
And lastly, if available, try to use another computer to use. If the error does not show up when using a different computer, then it clearly indicates that the previous computer is at fault.
Third Solution: Reboot your iPhone 7 Plus
You may have done it already but just to make sure you don’t miss anything try doing it again for at least three times. The standard reboot may not be applicable in this case because your iPhone will likely become unresponsive or frozen as iTunes prompted you with the error 9. That means you have to do a force restart. Here’s the proper way to do it on your iPhone 7 Plus:
- Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button or Power button and the Volume Down button simultaneously for at least 10 seconds and then release both these buttons when the Apple logo appears.
- Wait for your iPhone to complete the reboot process and once it’s done, try to reconnect it to the computer.
Retry doing iOS update or restore through iTunes once the reboot completes and see if it will go through with no more errors.
Fourth Solution: Perform a DFU restore
DFU stands for Device Firmware Update, an interface on your iPhone system which allows the device to communicate with iTunes without loading the operating system or bootloader. With DFU mode, you can use a customized firmware necessary for updating, SIM unlocking and also when jailbreaking. Firmware downgrades can also be done in this mode. Consider this your last best resort should all else failed to fix the iTunes error 9 and you still couldn’t get to update or restore iOS on your iPhone 7 Plus through iTunes.
The proper way to put your iPhone 7 Plus in DFU mode is done through the subsequent steps:
- Plug your iPhone into your computer and open iTunes. It doesn’t matter if your iPhone is turned 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.
- Hint: 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 and will allow it to be restored.
- Restore your iPhone 7 Plus using iTunes.
Timing is necessary when entering DFU mode so if you don’t get it at first, then just give it another try.
Other alternatives to consider
If a DFU restore doesn’t work, then you may consider using an iOS recovery software or repair tools for your iPhone 7 Plus. There are actually a lot of software made for the same purpose. All you have to do is pick the most credible and then take your chances in using it to fix the iTunes error you’ve been trying to get rid of.
You can download any of these iOS recovery tools for free or through purchase. Make sure you pick the one that’s compatible with your computer and iPhone devices.
Seek more help
If the problem persists after trying all the recommended solutions and workarounds and you’ve ran out of options, then it would be best to escalate the problem to Apple Support for further assistance and recommendations. Or you can just take your iPhone 7 Plus straight to an authorized service center for thorough assessment. It is also possible that physical or liquid damage is present on the iPhone and the main reason why you’re getting into this trouble.