Best Fixes for ‘Cannot Connect to iTunes Store’ Errors

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I first posted about ‘Cannot connect to iTunes Store’ errors on the iPad back in May of this year. I was getting this error when trying to update or install new iPad apps.

Since then the issue has continued to trouble many iPad and iDevice users – and thanks to our excellent readers and commenters we’ve learned a number of effective fixes for this problem.

Here are the best ones I’ve seen – each of these has proven successful for many users:

DNS Settings Change

This fix has been recommended by Apple support and has proven successful for many commenters on my previous post. The way this works is to change DNS settings on your iPad or whichever iOS device is affected – by adding Google’s DNS server/s.  Here’s how to do this:

— Go to the Settings app and tap on the Wi-Fi section in the left sidebar

— Then look at the ‘Choose a Network’ section in the main right-hand side area of the page and look for the network name that has a check mark next to it and rendered in blue text – the WiFi network you are currently using

iPad WiFI Settings

— Tap on the blue arrow at the right-hand side of the listing for that network.

— On the next screen you’ll see a section labeled ‘IP Address’ with three large buttons below it. Make sure the DHCP button is selected. Below that you’ll see fields for IP Address, Subnet Mask, and others. Tap on the DNS field (the fourth one down).

iPad DNS Settings

— This will bring up the iPad’s on-screen keyboard and place the cursor at the end of the IP address for the DNS server currently being used by the iPad. Backspace until all the numbers for that address are gone. Then type this in:

8.8.8.8

Please note the periods after the first three 8s. You can also use 8.8.4.4 – both are valid addresses for Google’s DNS servers.

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Download an App Via the Purchased Tab in the App Store

— Open the App Store app on your iPad or whichever iOS device is having this issue.

— Tap on the Purchased button in the bottom navigation bar.

App Store Purchased section

— This will show you all the apps you’ve purchased on the iPad. Those that are already installed with a greyed out label. Others will display a small download icon, showing a cloud with a downward facing arrow in it.

iPad Purchased apps

— Tap on one of the download icons and download a purchased app.

For many users this has cleared some sort of App Store queue and allowed them to resume with normal updates. Some have had to repeat the download with a few apps in the Purchased section.

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Set the Date Forward and Revert Back

— Open the Settings app and go to General > Date & Time

— On the Date & Time screen, tap to turn off ‘Set Automatically’

— Tap on ‘Set Date & Time’ and enter a date a couple of years or more in the future.

— Go out of Settings and then straight back in and turn  ‘Set Automatically’ to restore the current date and time.

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One of these methods should get you past the Cannot connect to iTunes Store errors and allow you to install new apps and do app updates without further problems.

Since this still appears to be a widespread issue, we’d love to hear your results when using any of these or other methods to fix this problem. Please share your experience in the comments.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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341 thoughts on “Best Fixes for ‘Cannot Connect to iTunes Store’ Errors

  1. Changing DNS to 8.8.8.8 worked with the apps but still can’t get iTunes music to download.

    • The fix worked for me. My only question is do I leave the IP address as the 8.8.8.8 or change it back to what was there?

  2. None of the steps above worked for me. I *had* been able to update normally until a few days ago. Then the App Store Updates tab showed 3 (I think it was) updates available. Could not update as I used to (updates tab, update all). Just have a blank screen.

    I do have the other tabs available to me and was able to update the individual programs manually from the purchased tab. What a pain!

    Have signed in and out of iTunes several times and have been on 2 different wireless networks so pretty sure it is something on my iPad (6.1.3 OS – says it’s current).

    • I’m having the same issue as Tom. Anything i can do now? I’m not sure what to do.

  3. First kudos to the different and creative approaches here, i had already gone after DNS being a PC guy that was my first stop.
    No go with DNS manipulation.
    Did the cold boot several times
    I did go into the purchased tab and pulled down an app, you are also offered teh same updates in this location I did two of those as well. No go …
    Finally I did the set the year forward trick, did not work with the year changed in the same boot. after cold boot and putting it back on automatic then when I saw the time zone populate I was able to go into apps in the usual way and get the updates.
    I recommend to go straight for the time settings trick.
    If you still cannot get any justice from the above you can go to purchased nad perform the same updates there until you find your path.

    Regards,
    Tim

  4. This started an hour ago. It has affected both my iPhone and iPad, and my daughter’s iPad, using my account details. I tried signing out of the iPad and signing back in. The iPad would not connect to sign me in. I went on the iTunes website, where it allowed me to change my password. I tried all three of the above fixes – none worked. I changed my network settings on my iPhone, and it recognised the phone for Facetime, but continues to tell me I cannot connect the the iTunes store when I try and install an app update, even though I can search the store.

    So frustrated!!

    Jon

  5. Also, login to the Apple store at Apple.com and verify your login information is accurate and that all payment information and contact information is current. I had to update my credit card expiration date and cell phone area code field and that fixed it.

  6. After trying everything listed here, and various other sites…here’s what worked for me: I called Apple support and asked them to clear all pending updates from my account (you’ll have to get through to a bigger-than-usual-kahuna to do this). Once that was done, I rebooted and now I am back on track. FYI, when I called Apple today they said that this was a significant issue for many users.

  7. I tried all of the comments with no change in operation for connecting to itunes. Still the same message- cannot connect. updates do not happen- and cannot use those apps until updated. Disgusted.

    • Looks like changing DNS to 8.8.8.8 worked for me. It then asked me to verify accoun info. Then I tried to buy a TV episode I already bought, then a window said I already bought and to select “download,” then it started to download. I did this on an old iTouch which didn’t have the “automatic date” option, but I moved the date forward 3 years, then back. Not sure if the date thing worked. I’m thinking the 8.8.8.8 made the difference. Thank you.

  8. Thank you for posting this! I have been unable to connect to the itunes stores on any apple device (phone, home computer) since purchasing a new ipad mini and setting it up. What worked for me was downloading 2 purchased apps.

  9. Genius! it fixed my ipad connection problem using the process of setting the date again… thanx bunch!

  10. Setting the time and cold boot did it for me. Thank you for creating this list of solutions. I will, definitely, save them for future reference.

  11. Really! I had to come to this site in order to do some iPhone testing for my job. Why do you put up with this crap? To draw upon a joke from my past, the time will come when people forget that “stupid iphone” is two words.

  12. I used the DNS settings – it worked first time – brilliant.
    Thank you so much.
    I have saved your website!!!.
    Jim

  13. WOW…the time and date thing worked 100% !!!
    And i was so skeptical telling myself in my head that it wont work…
    i did that, the ipad crashed, restarted…and viollaaa!! It worked!!!
    Awesome man, super awesome!! thanks :)

  14. Neither my ipad nor my iphone would connect to Itunes to update apps. That is when I figured the one thing they had in common was my account. I checked my account and discovered my visa card on recored was not current. The issuing bank had recently disabled the old card for security breach reasons and issued me a new card. I had not yet updated that info on my account at Itunes Store. I updated the card and I am up and going again.

  15. I tried both methods and neither worked, so I put my IP address back to normal and put the date on automatic. I then thought it could be too many open programmes (like in a windows set up on a computer) so I went through the usual apps that automatically open, i.e. ebay and facebook and logged out of them. I then went back to download a new app and hey presto it worked. So not sure what the bug is there, but I got what I was after in the end. Hope this helps.
    AJ

  16. Pingback: Can’t Connect to the App Store in iOS 6 on Your iPhone or iPad? Try This Quick Fix - Science & Tech | Tech wikiHow

  17. I was unable to access the Itunes store with my Iphone 5 after updating to ios7. I tried a number of fixes that I found on the apple help site and nothing worked. I tried the first fix listed above (changing DNS to 8.8.8.8) and it worked perfectly. Thanks!

  18. Best solution for me has been to ditch my iPad and go with a Surface. I’ve fought this Apple ecosystem for way too long, wiped devices way too many times, repurchased songs until my albums from the ’80’s are once again at the top of the charts, and I was just done. So I’m gone. I’m not gloating or fanning flames, I’m simply offering my experience to anyone else out there who might be frustrated to the point of being able to see past the silver sheen of the ipad. This emperor has no clothes.

  19. I just purchased an iPad Air and an iPhone 5S within days of each other. Bottom line is that I have tried all of the tips and tricks above, and everything on the Apple web page with absolutely no luck. Prior to switching over i had no issues now neither of my devices can connect to the iTunes Store. I can open the iTunes app and I even purchased a random song with no issues but whenever I try do anything else, updates, downloads, in-app purchases, I get the error message “Cannot connect to iTunes Store”. Both devices surf the web effortlessly and connect to my reset and restarted and rebooted WiFi connection without any problem. Turning off WiFi and trying to use the cellular connection has also failed. Can anybody help?!? Apple tells me that I have a rather unfortunate issue that they have no solution for and they cannot fix!!!

  20. Wow, thank you! This fixed Newsstand on iOS 7 for iPad for me. My expensive-ass subscriptions are actually downloading!

  21. Thanks, this worked on my iPhone 5:
    1. Closing all apps
    2. Changing DNS
    3. Changing date manual a year ahead
    4. Hard reset on phone
    5. Changing DNS and date back to normal
    6. Login to App Store
    The strange thing is that all the time it worked on my iPad with identical settings.