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. Wow!!!! Had tried some other tactics that didn’t work, but changing the DNS on the DHCP worked perfect!!!!! Thank you SO much!!!!!!!!:)

    • I’ve had this problem for over a month now and FINALLY one of these fixes solved it! Changing the DNS to 8.8.8.8 worked like a charm…. THANK YOU!

  2. Pls help me out from this error…i tried all the techniques date,time or dns…i s till got the same error…i m using ios 6…

  3. The Apple Forums are fist class, but until now never had cause to use them. Your solution to being unable to connect to itunes was perfect. Thank you so much.
    Sean.

  4. Thank you so very much, I have had over a week of frustration. 88888 sorted it all in a second.

    Thank goodness there re people like you around.

    One very grateful senior iPad user.
    X

  5. I managed to get mine working by going to Settings – iTunes & App Stores, then tapping my Apple ID on the right and viewing the ID. This forced the iPad to ask for a login to the store, and from then on all was ok.

    • nothing until now worked but doing all of the above using the 8888 didn’t BUT changing to the 8844 did the trick. I LOVE YOU GUYS

  6. I came across the second fix a zillion times and tried it several times without luck. The first fix worked like a charm!

    Thanks so much…

  7. Been trying to fix this problem for the last 18hours, and it only took 2min to fix it using your solutions. THANK YOU!!!!,!

  8. It is sad that apple is not being proactive. Obviously someone screwed something up with the App store database tables.!!

    responsibility!!! Apple please step up to the plate and take responsibility!

  9. Tried them all and eventually solved it by going to apps in settings and requested to view apple I’d ! Thanks Guy

  10. None of the methods above worked for me even after repeated attempts. What did work was clicking “forget this network” trying another network (on which I still got the ‘cannot connect…’ message) then coming back to original network, reconnecting wi password to it etc. then it worked.

  11. Hey Guys I am very happy that you all are trying to fix the problems yourself and not taking your stuff to the nearest apple store….i am sure they wont help you…… Thanks

    Tim Cook
    CEO Apple inc.

  12. The 8′s worked perfectly, but do I leave those 8′s there or should I change it back to what it was before?.. Just checking :p and I’m using an iPhone 4, ios6.
    And thanks a lot!

  13. I went through these 3 solutions twice and finally it worked when I tried the download purchased app solution the second time. Thank you, this has been very frustrating. the problem started with iOS 6 update.

  14. Hi. I still cannot connect at all. If I switch wifi off and use 3G I can. I have an ipad 2 and an iPhone 4S . Both cannot connect. I do have two apple id’s as I live in South Africa and crated a USA account which I have used for many downloads. So fraustrating. Ursulla

  15. Thanks! Changing the date did not work for me.. But changing the DNS worked pretty well thank you so much!! ;)

  16. Neither solution worked for me. It started happening when I connected my iPad to iTunes on my laptop. This is happening with both iPad 2 and iPhone 4. This really frustrating. Looks like Apple does not have any clever engineer who can fix the mess created by someone from them. I am not sure if this is only specific to iOS 6,but I had connected my iPad to iTunes on my laptop earlier wit iOS 5 and never had faced this issue. I should not have upgrades to iOS 6. It sucks.

  17. NOTE!!! NOTE!!! NOTE!!!
    When doing above fix with DNS 8.8.8.8…
    YOU MUST PRESS THE “RENEW LEASE” OPTION AT THE BOTTOM OF THAT SCREEN…
    It didn’t work for me at first, but I have a bit of tech savvy, so my instincts told me something was missing in the process… went back and soon as I saw it, I clicked!!! And I am glad to say that it seems I was right. Thanx for your fix though because I couldn’t have done it otherwise. I had tried EVERYTHING else, no surprise that nothing worked!!!
    But with just a missing detail added, and your insight worked like a dream!!! Couldn’t have done it without you!!! THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU!!!
    Now if only I could post this somewhere EVERYONE would see it!!!

  18. Thanks! Changing the date did not work for me.. But changing the DNS 8.8.8.8 worked very well thank you so much!!!!!

  19. Hey fellows, 8888 worked perfect! Just keep in mind if dates dont work for you keep trying 8888 process. It took me 3 attempts to 8888 procedure and now finally i can download more apps! :D thank you for sharing! :))) love you humans

  20. Not sure if I have exactly the same problem but I have purchased two books on iBooks and the icons just show them as Downloading and they’ve been like this for four or five days. When I try and click on the Report a Problem from the email receipt I get the Cannot connect to iTunes Store message.

    I’ve tried the 8888s and the date reset a number of times and have checked all the details on my Apple iD but nothing seems to help.

    Ay other ideas out there ?

    Thanks.

  21. So far i have tried everything suggested above but to no avail. iam using ipad 2 and this is just the second week. This is really frustrating!!

  22. Thanks Guys, good attempt but nada! I’ve tried the DNS change with and without “Renew Lease” and going back to the future over a dozen times so far. I’ll keep on trying but in the meantime if there’s anybody out there with another idea, please let me know. Once again thanks for the effort.

  23. thank you so much, this worked brilliant for me, i was just about to go about the long process of restoring everything when i stumbled on your gem of advice…..

  24. Wow!!! Mine solve in a few second!!! thank you for the tips n info.i try to solve this problme about a month.lucky i found ur tips.thank you so much for sharing

  25. Thanks SO much, I was starting to panic. I tried everything on this list but the 8.8.4.4 solution finally worked. Phew!

  26. i change DNS and its let me in iTunes and apps but i cant download hahaha same on my pc brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  27. I’ve tried the 8888 more than 5 times with & without lease renew, tried 8844 as many times, no change, still unable to connect to iTunes Store or App Store. Tried time change 6 times, actually my iPad cannot find my time when on automatic, it just keeps spinning – for days, literally! Time must be on manual or I have no time setting. And checking apple ID did nothing either. My ID is there perfectly, but still no App Store or iTunes Store. I don’t even get the App Store app to go – no purchased buttons or genius, etc, just white page with “loading” & spinner, then the dreaded “cannot connect to iTunes Store”. It says that for both the App Store & iTunes. It’s been like this since ios6 update.

    My iPad 3 is less then 3 months old. It was fine before iOS 6 update. My iPod gen 3 w/ iOS 5 works great, gets the App Store & iTunes every day just fine. I’m SO disappointed! I wouldn’t have updated if I’d known it would ruin my iPad. Heck, I wouldn’t have even bought it in the first place.

    Any more ideas out there? Please help!!

  28. Thanks for the tip only had I pad 2 weeks I tunes keeps going off ask apple to help but no good your a life saver great site

  29. I found a fix that worked for me! For the past week or so I’ve been trying every fix suggested to clear the “Cannot connect to iTunes Store”. Date changes and DNS alternatives didn’t work at all. I was just opening the window…… when I had an idea.. “what about rebooting the iPad”, I rebooted and hey presto it worked! I was able to update a dozen apps and downloaded another just to test the system. So if you’ve tried everything else just try a reboot, it can’t do any harm.

    • Reboot??? In lamen’s terms please… Didn’t think you would “reboot” an iDevice, just a soft or hard reset!!! Do you possibly mean restoring to original state by erasing everything and starting over? Rolling back to iOS 5 then updating again to iOS6? Please enlighten me, as it would be much appreciated. My fix with the DNS including renewing lease only worked overnight. Don’t know how or why, but my iPhone 4S is fine now… YAY!!! Unfortunately my iPod Touch 4th Gen isn’t!!! Aaaarrrrgh!!!!

      • 1. On the iPad if you press and hold the ”sleep” button until a red arrow appears on the screen.
        2. Sweep the arrow and wait until the spinning icon stops and the screen clears.
        3. Press and hold the sleep button until the small apple icon appears in the centre of the screen, release the sleep button and wait until the apple icon disappears.
        4. Start up as normal with the home button and swipe the arrow.

  30. DNS change worked fine.

    I wonder what is wrong, because everything worked fine without any changes with MY appleID and I got the error message when I signed in with MY MOMs appleID. After DNS change my moms id works fine, as it did when I used her iPad through my iPads accespoint. WIERD!

  31. @macsdragon.. Renew lease solved it for me. None of the solutions worked until I clicked renew lease. Thanks all.

  32. I can connect to app store i can search BUT i can not look individualy at an app i choose. THEN. I get the can not connect to AppStore!
    If at this point i quit AppStore and then start it up again.
    Then i find myself in the very place i wanted to come into?????
    NONE OF ANY SOLUTIONS ON ANY FORUM INCLUDING APPLES HAVE HELPED ME YET
    I am now trying to find new ideas.

  33. I have the iPhone 4S and I updated the iOS6 and the next day it wouldn’t connect to iTunes Store. The 8.8.8.8 mark didn’t work for me but he 8.8.4.4 did, thank you so much x