Possible solutions to Apple iPhone 6 Error 9 (iTunes Restore & Update error)

The problem addressed in this post is on an iTunes error 9, which occurs while performing firmware update or restoring the #Apple iPhone 6 (#iPhone6) via iTunes. The workarounds I’ve compiled below are comprised of user-defined fixes shared by other iPhone owners through forum postings as well as standard troubleshooting procedures recommended by Apple support to deal with similar iTunes problem.


What does error 9 imply and what triggers it to occur?

Error 9 is among the error codes that prompt during firmware updates or system restores on iPhones or iPads via iTunes. As described in the Apple support page, this error has something to do with a problem with the USB connection to your device that is causing it to unexpectedly disconnect when syncing.

Error 9 is often associated with a message prompt saying, “iPhone has timeout” and then the update process through iTunes stops.

Other factors that can trigger error 9 to halt the restore or update process on your iPhone would include the following:

  • Security software preventing access to the Apple servers.
  • Firewall blocking access to the Apple servers.
  • Network settings are corrupted.
  • Jailbroken iPhone.
  • Network database on the computer that was previously used to hack or jailbreak other iOS device and was corrupted.

Other relevant symptoms and error prompts

  • An unknown error occurred when syncing your iPhone
  • iPhone has timed out when syncing
  • iTunes error 9 or error 2001-2011 while updating or restoring your iPhone
  • This device can perform faster if you use a higher speed USB port
  • The USB device cannot operate because it requires more power

Recommended Workarounds/Solutions to iTunes error 9

Below are available workarounds you can try on to deal with error 9 on your iPhone 6 before setting up an appointment with an Apple Genius or procure a new phone. In this content, I’ve segregated all applicable workarounds into two classifications – namely, manufacturer-recommended workarounds and user-defined solutions.

Manufacturer-recommended workarounds

These steps are generally recommended by Apple Support to help iOS device users deal with iTunes restore or update problems as manifested by the error 9 prompted on the iPhone 6. Be sure to test your device after completing each step to see if it has fixed the problem.

  1. Check the cable connection from the iPhone to the computer or vice versa. Ensure there are no loose connections and all cables are properly plugged in.
  2. Unplug the cable that connects to your iPhone from the USB port on your computer, and then reconnect it. Do the same from your iOS device.
  3. Ensure the USB cable is directly connected to the port on the phone. If necessary, try to remove any third-party battery packs or cases.
  4. Make sure all virtualization apps like Parallels or VMWare are closed as these apps might interrupt the computer’s ability to communicate via USB, especially if they are not configured properly, or outdated.
  5. Reboot your computer and iPhone.
  6. Verify and ensure you’re using the latest version of iTunes.
  7. Try to disconnect other USB devices from your computer except for your keyboard and mouse, and then reconnect your iPhone.
  8. Try using a different USB cable to connect your iPhone to your computer.

If none of these works, then you may consider trying any of the following methods suggested by iPhone users who have had this issue while trying to restore or update through iTunes.

User-defined Solutions

Here are a few working solutions recommended by other iPhone users who have encountered the same problem. These are suggestions posted on relevant forums in response to iPhone owners having problems restoring and updating iPhones and prompted with this error 9 on iTunes.

Note: Though it’s not a hundred percent guarantee that these solutions might work for you, it wouldn’t hurt if you’d give any of them a try before you consider buying a new one.

  1. Plug something into the iPhone’s audio jack like ear buds or anything that fits. Leave the ear bud attached to the audio jack and then try to restore or update your device.
  2. Use a heat gun and carefully heat the dock connector, battery connector, and other components in the circuit board. Just set the heat gun to a minimal heat temperature like 650 degrees Celsius or to any level good enough to warm things up. This workaround however is only applicable to those who’ve got skills and guts to take the risks.
  3. Reset the Lockdown folder on your Mac or Windows computer. This method should only be performed as directed by an Apple technician but if you’ve already tried everything to no avail, then you may consider this as your last resort. There are times when you cannot sync, back up, or restore your iDevices, and all you have to do is to reset the Lockdown folder on your computer. This workaround can help eliminate corrupted files from that folder that are causing the problem. The process of resetting the Lockdown folder in iTunes varies on the operating system of the computer you are using. You can view the steps on how to reset the iTunes Lockdown folder for OS X, Windows XP, Windows Vista, 7, 8, or 10 from the Apple support page.

More User-suggested Workarounds

  • If you think the problem is caused by some security software blocking access to the Apple servers, such as antivirus and firewall, try to disable these tools temporarily.
  • To eliminate the possibility of some corrupted network settings inflicting such trouble, performing a quick restart of the computer and your phone can help.
  • If the computer you are using was used in jailbreaking other iOS devices in the past resulting its network database to be corrupted, then you can try restoring the hosts file of the computer to its default. Here’s how it’s done on your Mac computer:
    • Go to the desktop and locate the hosts file.
    • Open Finder.
    • Select Go from the Finder’s menu bar.
    • Select Go to Folder.
    • In the box provided, type in /private/etc/hosts
    • Press the Return
    • Double-click on the file to edit. In this case, you will need to replace the newly edited file with the old one or default.
    • Delete any file with the apple.com.
    • Restart your Mac computer.
    • Try to restore your iPhone again.
  • You can also try using a different Dock Connector or Lightning Connector to USB cable, a different USB port, or a different computer (if available).
  • If the error 9 occurs after fixing your iPhone screen, you can try to disconnect the screen and then restore the phone again with the screen disconnected. Once it shows that the restore is done on the computer, you can reconnect the screen again and complete the setup.

This has worked for some, and who knows it might do well to you too.