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.

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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.

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

    • all i did was go to my credit card settings for iTunes and put in the 3 digit security code and bam it worked for me and my wifes iPad 2, i did it twice actually it worked, and does work whenever cannot connect to i tunes pops up… let me know

  1. None worked for me but this is how I fixed it, go to App Store app, tap the featured tab so that the “canot connect to ITunes” comes up, while on that page click the stand-by button on top of device, ipad in my case, then press the standby again and iTunes should be back

  2. my ID was created under singapore country. Till now I still got problem to connect the app store.
    I used ipad1 and just upgrade to IOS 5xx.. none of above step working. please help.. now almost 2 weeks didn’t installl new apps..

  3. Nothing has worked for me! But my problem is that it keeps asking me to set 3 security questions and answers for my apple ID every time I try to download an app. When I set the q&a’s it says ‘session timed out. Try again’ I am going round in circles. Any suggestions appreciated. Just bought iPad4 today and not impressed by this!

    • I had the session timed out issue as well.
      settings > general > reset > Reset all settings

      Worked for me.

  4. Just thought I’d check in to say I received iOS6 update messages on iPhone 4S & iPod 4th Gen with bug fixes and so on… Will check in again & let all know how it goes & if they’ve sorted the problem… From what I’ve seen so far, I’m afraid there was & IS NO FIX for this problem as it was an Apple iOS 6 problem all along that only Apple would be able to resolve so here’s to hoping they now have with this latest update… So, all of you struggling with it, watch & wait for this latest update to reach you!

  5. I actually tried all three without getting any results. I decide to try the first solution again but with the second number choice and then everything started working! Thanks for the help!

  6. Tried first 2 sugestions did not work. Tried date and time WOW worked great. THANKS SO MUCH. Been trying for over a week to get itunes store back.

  7. Changing dns works for me for a while. Problem goes back after a few days and will have to change dns again.

  8. I cannot update anything or upgrade to ios 6. Have tried all the above but no luck! :(
    Going to try calling customer service tomorrow..

  9. Pingback: Latest Cannot Connect to iTunes Store Errors: Apple Techs Working on It | iPad Insight

  10. I tried all your suggestions but they didn’t work, so I turned my ipad4 off and then turned it on again, and voila! Thanx Mw!

  11. I keep on having this problem. Before the latest software update changing the date worked but now this doesn’t work. I have now changing the dns server settings and so far so good :) thanks!

  12. Thank you Patrick! The “Date set forward and revert back” worked for me but I had to do it two times. Before I did it the second time I closed the App Store app first

  13. I posted my possible fix in the wrong section, so pending it being moved by a moderator, here goes the essence of it again…………. Having said that, I tried # separate things, and didn’t check Apple Store access after each, so don’t really know which sorted out the issue. The process I did took only a few minutes, and for what its worth, none of the other suggestions worked ( DNS was already using Google, tried “date/time” change etc )
    A/ I was logged in on the desktop ( Windows) to iCloud so I “logged off” that.
    B/ I switched on “Airplane mode” on the iPad to disconnect from WiFi
    C/ I then turned off Airplane mode, then tried my 2nd WiFi ( a ‘guest access, provided from my router) and all was good ( I had access to all functions including Apple Store. I then went back to my primary WiFi and all remained normal, with the Apple store available. Maybe luck, or maybe I tripped over something……….but I’m back now _ Im a total newbie to iPad, having just picked up an iPad mini – great machine so far ( had a BlackBerry Playbook previously) David

  14. The thing that worked for me was I went to settings and signed out of the AppStore and signed back in closed out AppStore from appswitcher respring the device and went back to the AppStore and viola it worked like a charm!! Maybe I had luck on my side but that worked for me nonetheless(-;

  15. Tried all the above methods, the only thing that worked was “reset all settings”. Ipad 2 ios 6.0.1
    Apple nowadays becomes more like microsoft :(((

  16. The way I fixed it was by changing the DNS to 8.8.8.8 , downloading an app,pausing it, and then changing the DNS to what it was before.
    Have an nice day :D

  17. I tried all of the fixes I could except one. My issue is that I click on “report a problem” from an app that my 6 yr old granddaughter managed to purchase. It asks me to open in the iTunes Store and then I get the error message that I can’t connect. I can actually open iTunes but can’t get a list of my purchased apps (to try one of the fixes above). It hangs on “loading” for a good 5 or more minutes and then says it can’t connect to the Store. I’m at a loss….

  18. Thanks a lot, I first tried the quad triple 8 but it didn’t work, but then the comments said 8.8.4.4 also works and that did! I can’t believe it, my first day with the iPad mini and this is what apple does :( anyways thanks a lot everyone:*

  19. It’s Divij again, sorry for my last comment, the 8.8.4.4 just made me sign in but the cannot connect to iTunes message remains on attempting to download any new apps, what the hell:(

  20. I had to delete the app that needed updating before I could connect. App was iBooks, which is sad since I actually used it occasionally. None of the other fixes fixes worked for me.

  21. I just updated my iPad to 6.01 and now my iTunes is working. It was just messing up today, considering I downloaded some apps yesterday. I tried everything everyone else said, but no luck, downloaded the new patch and it works fine now.

  22. None of the above worked for me. Here’s what did work. First I went to settings and synced my iPad to iCloud. Then I connected to iTunes and synced. I noticed there were a lot of apps trying to update and they were all stuck on “loading” – but they weren’t loading. So when I synced I unchecked those apps. So when my iPad was done syncing, those apps were gone. Then I COULD connect to the store. So I re-synced and added back those apps. Also now when I upgrade my apps I don’t upgrade all at once. I feel like that’s what caused an overload in the first place. I just update one at a time.

  23. it did not work – my personal iPad was “taken” from school – the school ipad will not connect – I followed your directions – happy parents want to give me money to buy new apps – but I cannot – can someone please help me? Now the message is up – no log time – cannot connect to iTUNES STORE – it is on the screen asap…. I followed directions – it seems worse because there is not time to try and connect – zip – cannot connect to iTunes Store…
    Thank you kindly.
    Jeni
    first grade teacher

  24. So, to follow up on my earlier post from a couple days ago I ended up at the Apple Store for a different reason. The tech assigned to help my daughter tried several fixes to get me to be able to connect to the iTunes Store with no success (including trying things I’d already tried). He suggested going into DFU mode, wiping the iPad clean and reinstalling everything…which I did. He said there was no guarantee it would work and it didn’t. So I still have the same problem. I can go to the Apple Store to purchase things but I can’t “connect” to “report a problem” nor can I see my purchases (it hangs on “loading” and then times out).

  25. Thank you so much for posting these tips. 8.8.8.8 worked for me on iphone 4.0 with 6.1 software. Have been going mental waiting for wifi to sync with phone (seems not to)…. Cannot connect to itunes was the message that got me here.

    Thanks for the fix. Was almost up for iphone abuse from sheer frustration. :-)

  26. Tried everything… Only the “featured” section of the App Store will load. Everything else says “cannot connect to iTunes Store”
    Also my Facebook app will not load, yet if I go to FB on safari it loads.
    I have an iPhone 4S with the 6.0.1 iOS. I should never have upgraded my software..

  27. Nothing works for me either. It’s only the iTunes Store that’s affected. I can update apps etc on app store

  28. Both my phone 4G and ipad2 got the cannot connect today, tried the time thing it didn’t work but the 8.8.8.8 and the 8.8.4.4 worked for me. I see other suggestions that I can also try. Thanks.