What does iTunes error 9 and how to fix it on the Apple iPhone 6 [Troubleshooting Guide]

All you wanted was to restore or update your iPhone 6 through iTunes but couldn’t get it done because the process is halted by iTunes error 9. Although this error rarely occurs, when it does, it stops whatever you are doing. If you need help in getting rid of this error prompt on your iPhone 6, then you might as well consider reading this entire content. What does iTunes error 9 mean and how to deal with it?

This error usually occurs while performing an iOS restore or update iOS using iTunes on a computer. You’ll be prompted with an error message saying that “The iPhone could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (9),” and then your iPhone stops. Often times the iPhone freezes or becomes unresponsive afterwards

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 triggers iTunes error 9 on your iPhone 6? 

This error can occur randomly to any iOS device including the iPhone 6. Among the possible triggers include security software, faulty USB cable or loose cable connections, and damaged USB port. There were also some rare instances when the iTunes error 9 or iPhone error 9 was linked to an incorrect date and time settings on the iPhone. Here’s how and why each of these factors caused this error on your iPhone.

Security software. Anti-virus, firewall, or other security suites installed and running in your computer can interrupt iOS restore or update process on iTunes. As explicated on the Apple support page, the iTunes error 9 can denote that a firewall is preventing access to certain websites or web resources including iTunes. As a result, iTunes won’t be able to access or download resources from the Apple servers.

What happens is that if you’ve set up a firewall or connecting the internet using proxy or VPN, remote access to the Apple servers might as well be barred as implemented in the firewall settings. By the time you attempt to upgrade your iOS device, iTunes will connect to Apple, check for hashes, security keys and other technical components. If sometime halts any of these processes, iTunes will automatically stop from connecting to the Apple server. So most likely, the restore or update process is halted and thus error 9 prompts.

To rule this out, you can temporarily disable firewall or any security software on your computer and then retry updating or restoring your iOS device afterwards.

Faulty USB cable or loose cable connections. Loose or damaged USB cables are also possible triggers of iTunes error 9 on the iPhone 6. Apparently, you will need to connect your iPhone to a computer using a USB cable to proceed with iOS update or restore. If the USB cable is loose or damaged, then the process won’t go through. You may be able to connect your device first but later on get disconnected.  As a result, iOS restore or update through iTunes cannot be completed and error 9 transpires.

Damaged USB port. Be sure to check and ensure that the USB port you are using to connect your iPhone to the computer is fine. Usually, the computer won’t be able to detect or recognize your iPhone since the USB port is unable to establish a secure connection on both devices. Try to use other USB port on your computer and see if there are any changes.

Erratic programs on the computer. Sometimes the problem lies with the computer program(s). Aside from firewall and security suites, other computer programs may also interrupt iTunes processes like restore or update and iTunes error 9 serves as an adverse output. Since it will be hard for anyone to determine which exactly among the computer programs installed is inflicting trouble with iTunes restore and update processes, you can try using a different computer (if available). Doing so will help you find out whether or not the problem is on that computer.

Wrong date and time settings. While this may sound a bit odd but some iPhone users have found a link between these settings and the iTunes error 9. What happened was when they’ve tried to update or restore iOS via iTunes, the date and time settings on the iOS do not coincide or differs from that of the computer. And it turned out that these settings variation has triggered the iTunes error 9 to instigate. So you might as well consider checking the date and time settings on both devices and make sure they are properly set. It is also worth noting to use or log into your computer as administrator instead of as guest user. Logging in as the latter could also mean having limited access to the entire system functionalities.

How to fix iTunes error 9 on your iPhone 6?

There are many different ways to deal with iTunes error 9. This means the need to consider the possible causes of the problem. What might have worked for others may not work for you so you really need to be patient as you try out all possible solutions to get rid of this error. Highlighted below are generic solutions and recommended workarounds to deal with iTunes error 9 on the iPhone 6. Go ahead and take your chances.

Step 1. Force restart (hard reset) your iPhone 6.

Considering that the iTunes error 9 caused your device to freeze, doing a force restart might be able to help.


  • To do so, press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons simultaneously for at least 10 seconds until the Apple logo appears.
  • Wait for your iPhone to complete the reboot process.


After the reboot, retry to update or restore through iTunes and see if there are any changes.

This method often resolves devices issues and errors caused by minor software glitches affecting certain components of the iPhone.

Step 2. Update iTunes to the latest version available.

Sometimes, it might be the iTunes program that is causing an issue due to system incompatibility with iOS 10 or later versions. Try to check the current version of iTunes installed on your computer and see if there are any available software updates or latest version you can use. Although the possibility of system incompatibility to cause iTunes error 9 is rare, it is worth a shot.

Step 3. Enter recovery mode.

You may resort to use recovery mode and restore your iPhone 6, if the standard iTunes restore or update process won’t go through. Here’s how to enter recovery mode on your iPhone 6:


  • Connect your iPhone to the computer.
  • Open iTunes.
  • When your iPhone is recognized in iTunes, do a force restart by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake button and Home button simultaneously. Keep holding both buttons when the Apple logo appears and release them when the Recovery Mode screen shows up.


  • You will then be prompted with the option to Restore or Update. Select your preferred option.  If you opt for iTunes to erase your data and restore to its factory defaults, select the option to Restore. If you want to re-install without erasing your data, select Update.

Contact Apple Support for Further Assistance 

If none of these methods is able to fix the problem and that you’re still getting iTunes error 9 while attempting to restore or update your iPhone 6, then your next best option would be to contact Apple Support for problem escalation and further recommendations. Escalating this error as a post-update issue is also recommended to give Apple a heads up on which bug to fix on their next iOS update. Or you can also escalate the problem to your iPhone carrier for other options.

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