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

    • yeah.. resetting all thing but data n media works… thanks .. and done ..

  1. this is the best fix.

    make sure ur ipad has internet connectivity first and connect it to a computer or laptop now even when it shows not charging in the top right corner of ur iPad don’t worry this is normal.Now simply open the iTunes app on ur iPad and wait it should connect to iTunes after 2 or 3 times opening the iTunes app.if it doesn’t simply disconnect ur iPad from ur computer or laptop and try opening the iTunes app.

  2. For me change of DNS address to 8.8.8.8 from router address that was stored there, helped.
    BTW I have changed router several days ago

  3. The date and time one worked for me. The DNS change didn’t work, and the downloading a purchased app didn’t work. Wierd.

  4. Have changed the DNS # twice, changed the date twice. Neither worked. I have been trying to get to my purchased stuff in itunes. It has me in a never ending loop of entering my password. I don’t get a message that I have typed in the wrong password, it just keeps telling me to enter my password & when I do, it goes back to the “enter your password” screen. I have had the iPad 29 hours & I am returning it when the store opens on Monday.

    • That is exactly what is happening to me. Cannot get hold of Apple and from what I am reading they cannot fix it anyway. I have heard this same problem from all who updated to ios6

  5. None of these solutions helped; I followed the instructions to the “t” & attempted the several times, ALL to no avail. Again, HELP. I’m fixing to return this stupid iPad.

  6. Thanks Patrick,

    Date method didn’t worked !
    DNS method worked on my Ipad2. Thanks for putting it on web. I have been struggling to fix this since I updated iOS 6.0.

    regards
    Alok

  7. Neither solution worked for me. I am using an iPhone 4, brand new as of yesterday. This is ridiculous.

  8. Neither solution worked for me! I hate this iPad 2, I wish I could return it but I bought it on Aug 2011…

  9. So far so good, the best solution I’ve found to date was to change DNS as suggested to 8.8.8.8.
    After weeks of worrying struggling to work out what was wrong, rebooting this, rebooting that..multiple checks on home set for malware and generally being grumpy to all and sundry, this may have cracked. THANK YOU! Fingers and toes crossed.

    • The DND change 8.8.8.8 worked for me and saved the hair i hadn’t already pulled out!

      Thanks & Merry xmas :)

  10. Got a new iPad Mini 16Gb for Christmas. After lots of “Unable to connect…” type problems, web-searching and trying things out I have just got my new iPad working. The method which worked for me was a combination of several things, some mentioned here, but which one or ones actually sorted the problem out I am not sure, and now it’s working I don’t care!:

    1. Attach the iPad to your Mac or PC via USB or Lightning cable.
    2. Press the iTunes icon on the iPad.
    3. After a short time, iTunes should open up on the Mac or PC. It will try to sync some items and then will (hopefully!) say an update is available for the iPad. [My iPad had iOS 6.0.0 installed out of the box. The unit updated to 6.0.1 via WiFi on its own and then the problems started!. My problems seem to have gone away after installing iOS version 6.0.2, altering the DNS servers as outlined in previous posts and changing the time forwards and backwards again]
    4. Allow the iPad to update which will take (in my case) around 16 minutes. It will reboot at the end of the process.
    5. Change the DNS settings to 8.8.8.8 or 8.8.4.4 as described in other posts or this pages article and similarly follow the instructions for changing the time.
    6. Finally, unplug the iPad when all syncing and other things are complete. Turn the iPad off and then reboot. WiFi came blasting back as did access to iTunes and App Store and internet.

    I hope this works for you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

      • I finally took it in to the Apple Store and he restored to factory settings. Worked for one day. Still cannot update any of my apps or download new from iTunes. Now it is not showing any of my app purchases. I could chew nails I am so frustrated. Off to the Mac store to see if they can help. don’t want to buy a new one. sheesh

  11. tried suggested DNS change & time/date setting but didnt work. Then- YAY- ‘restoring settings’ finally worked. THANKS!!

  12. Does the effect of the changes above happens quickly or should one wait for a few hours?

  13. Yup. That 8.8.8.8 thing did it for my iPad 1.

    I was getting sick of seeing The Black Rectangle of Despair!

  14. I had this issue yesterday for the 1st time on 2 devices and tried each of the solutions proposed, not even sure which one worked. Today again the same thing so I punched in 8.8.8.8 on my ipod and it worked. however I am locked out of the itunes store on my macbook. aargh

  15. resetting all setting worked for me though i had to change the settings i preferred again :(

  16. Nope, I’ve tried everything and I still can’t get access to my App Store on my Mac, my ipad or my iPhone. Any other suggestions, apart from flushing them down the toilet?

  17. Tried changing the DNS first but no change. Then I changed the date-time settings and it worked. Lets hope it continues to work.
    Thanks

  18. I changed the date and time and it worked for me!!The update is slow but atleast it worked :D Thank you!

    • Thanks but neither of the two fixes suggested worked for me. Changed year. changed the ip address to 8.8.8.8. Have gone back to factory default. Nothing. Ever since I did update. Can download from computer and sync and that works but not always available or convenient. So frustrating.

  19. Neither method worked until I rebooted – now it’s great – thanks! (I did both of them)

  20. I tried can’t get apps – message cannot connect to iTunes. put 8.8.8.8 changed the date nothing has worked. I have been struggling with this since Christmas, went to seminar, still not easy to operate. I do what I read and hit a blank wall.

  21. None of these fixes are working for me on my brand new Ipod Mini. I still “Cannot connect to iTunes Store.” What sort of quality control do they have at Apple. This is atrocious.

  22. Cannot connect to Apple Store: One Solution recommended ‘DNS Settings Change’ has worked.

  23. Nothing worked for me. This is a ridiculous situation. An IPad that cannot be updated, an Itunes account I cannot reach and Apple, as usual in my opinion, simply ignore the problem publicly. Itunes has always been temperamental and now it is time to change from Apple and Itunes.

  24. One of the best , fast and real solution which i ever had from the internet regarding any software issue..

  25. thanks. changing the dns and time worked for me using ipad mini ios 6.1.3 thank you very musch :D

  26. This worked for me: Settings>iTunes & App Stores>Sign Out>Turn off then turn on>Sign in again

    • I just want to thank you so much. I logged out of iTunes on my iPod touch, turned it off and back on and then logged in again and now everything is working perfectly. Great resolution

  27. Simply changing the date forward 3yrs in the settings, exiting settings, going right back in and changing backed did the trick ! Thanks

  28. Was very frustrated by all of this – as it affected both ipad and iphone…tried changing the DNS and date/time…nothing. Tried the hard shut down and that seemed to get it going again.

    • Kari, try doing what I did. Go to settings and log out of iTunes. Turn off your device and then turn it back on. Log back in to iTunes in your settings. I now have everything working perfectly. Good luck.

  29. None of these suggestions worked for me! Soo Soo sad…

  30. Tried the date change and 8.8.8.8 neither worked but then i tried 8.8.4.4 which did the job all now seems ok

    • Had the problem today.
      To solve it, I just reset my ipad while holding down on the sleep and home buttons at the same time for about 10-15 seconds until the Apple Logo appears.
      Then changed the Date/Time to set it to Automatically.
      It works for me.
      Good luck.

  31. I have an ipad mini. The device had been working fine for months, then all of a sudden could not access the app store for no apparent reason. The date change did not work. The DNS change to 8.8.8.8 worked. Thank you

  32. I use iOS 6.1.3 and I have applied all the way, when I visit the AppStore and log in, It appears the line “Can not connect to the iTunes store”. Who can help me,please. I’m very upset because of this error.