Apple iPhone SE iTunes Error 9: What does it mean and how to fix it? [Troubleshooting Guide]

One of the most common errors to possibly occur when restoring or updating an iOS device is the so-called iTunes error 9 or iPhone error 9. Usually, you will be prompted with an iTunes error message saying that, “The iPhone could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (9).” As a result, your iPhone gets stuck or becomes unresponsive. What does this error means on the iPhone SE and what must be done to fix it? Read on to find out the answers to these questions.


Now, before we proceed with our troubleshooting, if you have other concerns with your new iPhone SE, drop by our troubleshooting page for we have already published some guides and tutorials. You may also contact us by completing our iPhone issues questionnaire. This is a free consultation servicer we offer and all we need is information about the problem. So please give us that so that we can help you better.

Possible Causes of iTunes Error 9 on your iPhone SE

There are several factors that can trigger error 9 to occur while attempting to update or restore your iOS device through iTunes on a computer. Among the most common culprits would include the following:

Security Programs, Anti-virus and Firewall – As indicated on Apple’s support page, error 9 can mean a firewall blocking access to certain websites or web resources. For example, a firewall might have been blocking iTunes and preventing it to download something from the Apple servers.

Security programs like anti-virus or firewall are also among the possible triggers of iTunes error 9. If you’ve set up firewall or connecting via proxy or VPN, make sure that this is not preventing iTunes from connecting to Apple servers remotely. You can try to disable security suites on your computer temporarily until you are finished with iOS update or restore on your iPhone SE. What happens is that when you attempt to upgrade your iPhone, iTunes connects to Apple, checks for hashes, security keys and other technical elements. If something is interrupting during the attempt, iTunes will stop from connecting to Apple’s server. This is where it throws a bunch of error codes including error 9.

So you might as well consider checking your computer’s firewall settings ahead and make necessary tweaks so that all servers are accessible. Otherwise, disable any firewall on your computer temporarily.

Faulty cable or loose cables – Other users who have found some solutions considered this error as occurring due to hardware issues such as faulty cable, USB port or loose cable connection.

In the case where a faulty cable is the culprit, you can try using a different cable instead. A faulty or loose cable can likewise cause the iPhone to loose connection with iTunes, thus interrupt the update or restore process.

Damaged USB port – To isolate whether the problem is on the USB port, you can try changing the USB port where the cable connects. If the error 9 disappeared when using a different USB port to connect your iPhone SE and a computer, it means that the other port was at fault.

Erratic computer (programs or components) – Another possibility is on the computer you are using. It’s possible that something within that computer is causing pertinent issues, prevents iTunes from completing the iOS update or restore, and prompts you with error 9. If you have another computer available with the latest version of iTunes installed, then try to use the other computer to update or your iPhone SE through iTunes on it.

Improper configuration of date and time settings – Incorrect date and time settings are also among the factors to consider in this case. Check the date and time settings on the computer and make sure they are properly set or configured. Logging into your computer in different modes might as well matter. Be sure to use log in to your computer as administrator not guest.

Potential Solutions and Recommended Workarounds

The iTunes error 9 is not a very common error code but when it occurs, it stops whatever you’re trying to do.  Just like most error codes, there are many ways to fix iTunes error 9. What may work for others might not work for you so you’ll need to try out all the possibilities. If your iPhone SE disconnects during the iOS update or restore or if iTunes could not tell the iPhone to restore, you might be prompted with the iTunes error 9.

So here are a few options you can try on your end to fix the iTunes error 9 on your iPhone SE: 

Step 1. Force restart.

A force restart might be helpful especially if you’re device hangs as the error showed up. There are many cases where the iPhone error 9 occurs and then users are confronted with an unresponsive phone. To fix this, you can try doing a force restart.

Here’s how to force restart your iPhone SE:


  • Press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons for at least 10 seconds and then release both buttons when the Apple logo appears.


Your iPhone will then reboot. Try to update or restore via iTunes again after the reboot and see if there are any changes.

Step 2. Update to the latest iTunes version.

Sometimes, the problem can appear among other symptoms of system incompatibility. It can also be an issue with the iTunes version like an older iTunes may not be compatible with the computer version or iOS version of your iPhone. To rule out this possibility, try to check if the latest version of iTunes is installed on your computer. If not, then update to the latest version. Although this method is not a hundred per cent helpful, it would not hurt to try it.

Step 3. Restore your iPhone in Recovery Mode.

If the standard update or restore process via iTunes won’t work, then try to enter Recovery mode instead.

Follow these steps to update or restore your iPhone SE through iTunes in recovery mode with the following steps:

  • Connect your iPhone to your computer.
  • Open iTunes on your computer.
  • While your iPhone is connected, force it to restart by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons at the same time. Do not release the buttons when the Apple logo appears. Instead, keep holding both buttons until the Recovery Mode screen appears.
  • When you are prompted with the option to Restore or Update, select your preferred option. To reinstall iOS without erasing your data, select Update. Otherwise, select Restore.
  • When the Update or Restore is finished, set up your iPhone SE.

So far, these are the only available solutions that can possibly be used to deal with the iTunes error 9 or iPhone error 9. If nothing works on your end, you should contact Apple Support for further assistance.

Contact Apple Support for More Help 

If none of these methods is able to fix the problem and your iPhone SE still shows iTunes error 9 after the iOS restore or update via Recovery mode, your next best option is to contact Apple Support or your carrier for problem escalation and other options.

Connect with us

Visit our troubleshooting page to view more solutions to other iPhone problems we have addressed in our prior posts. If you wish to reach our iOS support team for further assistance, then you may do so by filling up this form with all the required information. Be sure to provide us with the significant details of the issue that you need help with so we would be able to give you the best possible solutions and recommendations to try on.