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How to Fix iTunes Error 3194 While Restoring or Updating iOS

Restoring or upgrading/downgrading one’s iOS firmware is a daunting task in itself. What makes it even worse is the repeated occurrence of errors, such as, for example, the iTunes Error 3194, because of which the task cannot be completed. Buzzle provides you a step-by-step guide to resolve this problem.


Tip to fix iTunes error 3194

What is Error 3194 and When Does it Occur?It is an error message, that raises its ugly head (it is one of many others) when one is either attempting to upgrade or downgrade the firmware (iOS) on their device (iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc.) It also hinders the process of restoring one’s device. It is generated by iTunes, as a result of the software being unable to communicate with the Apple server, which can take place due to a number of reasons. Since one needs to pinpoint the root cause of its occurrence, this error is very cumbersome to fix, although absolutely possible.

Imagine being in the middle of updating the version of iOS that your iPhone runs, when at the ‘n’th moment, a diabolic dialog box pops up, that informs you that your “iPhone could not be updated because of an unknown error (3194)”. The error is commonly encountered while trying to upgrade or downgrade one’s device firmware and even while trying to perform a restore action. Yes, it is disappointing, and to most people, even frustrating, but do not fret, as this issue is not irreparable.

We have simplified the whole troubleshooting process into easy steps. However, if you have also jailbroken your iPhone, then the conventional method of fixing this error may not be applicable for you. Click here if you want to get rid of iTunes Error 3194 for a jailbroken phone.

How to Resolve the iTunes Error 3194 in 9 Simple Steps

Step 1

Open iTunes, and check whether the version you have on your computer (irrespective of whether you use a Windows or a Mac computer) is the latest available version of the software or not.

Step 2

To do this, you need to click on either of the following:
☛ In the iTunes menu bar, open the Help menu, and click on Check for Updates, or
☛ In the iTunes menu toolbar, open the Store menu, and click on Check for Available Downloads.

Step 3

If a newer version of iTunes is available, you will be prompted to download it. Download the most recent version of iTunes, and then quit the application.

Step 4

Once again, try to carry out the restore or upgrade during which you had encountered this error.

(If your firmware upgrade/downgrade or your restore action is still being obstructed by the same iTunes Error 3194, then you have to dig deeper to resolve this issue.)

Step 5You need to locate a system file called ‘hosts’ that is present on your computer.
* On a Windows PC, ‘hosts’ can be located by opening the path, C:/Windows/System32/drivers/etc/ Open it using Notepad.
** On a Mac computer, this file is located at /etc/ You can directly open the file for editing by typing

sudo nano /etc/hosts

in the Terminal, which is located in the Utilities folder inside Applications. You will be asked for the administrator password.

Step 6

As a safety measure, keep a backup of the original ‘hosts’ file before you make any changes in it, as it is an extremely important file for the smooth functioning of your computer.

Step 7

After you have opened the ‘hosts’ file in an editable format, find the line that contains the phrase ‘’ (it will be preceded by a network address), and either make it a comment, which can be done by typing “#“, followed by a space, at the beginning of that line, or if it already appears as a comment, then delete the line entirely. Save the file.

Step 8

Restart your computer.

Step 9

Begin the task of upgrading/downgrading your firmware, or the restore action, once again.

Certainly, you will not run into this particular error message again. However, if you still do, as a final measure, check your network for any firewalls that have been implemented (security measures installed by your router or antivirus software), and disable them as well. You will definitely be able to upgrade/downgrade your version of iOS, or carry out a restore action hereafter.

How to Resolve the iTunes Error 3194 for a Jailbroken iPhone

Generally, a user with a jailbroken phone would be inclined to downgrade his or her version of iOS to a lower one. However, in the event that one wishes to upgrade a jailbroken phone too, or restore it, this method is applicable.

To complete the process without being troubled by the iTunes Error 3194, one needs to operate their iPhone (or other iOS-based device) in the DFU (Device Firmware Upgrade) mode, as well as take the help of an additional software, called TinyUmbrella, which is used to back up and restore the firmware SHSH blobs so that the downgrading process can be successful.

How to operate your phone in DFU mode:

☛ Connect your iPhone to your computer with the help of a USB data cable.
☛ Switch off your phone.
☛ Hold down the Power button for 3 seconds.
☛ Keeping the Power button pressed, simultaneously hold down the Home button for another 10 seconds.
☛ Release only the Power button, but keep the Home button pressed until your iPhone opens in DFU mode.
☛ In the DFU mode, your phone’s screen will turn completely blank, but iTunes on your computer will tell you that it has “detected an iPhone in recovery mode”. If your screen has any icon whatsoever on it, including the one that indicates a phone-PC connection, it has not correctly transitioned to the DFU mode, and is probably in the standard Recovery mode.

Step 1

Before actually starting the process, make sure that you have backed up your SHSH blobs. Without them you will not be able to downgrade your firmware to a lower version.

Step 2

You need to download the iOS firmware for the version that you wish to downgrade to. This file is in the .ipsw format.

Step 3

Download TinyUmbrella from here.

Step 4

Operate your phone in the DFU mode. Close the iTunes alert that pops up on your computer.

Step 5

Run TinyUmbrella. Click on the button labeled Start TSS Server. Now open iTunes once again.

Step 6

Hold down the Shift (on Windows) key or Option (on Mac) key on your keyboard, and click on Restore. Point iTunes to the .ipsw file (iOS firmware) and this will restore your phone’s firmware.

** Note :Sometimes, for the downgrading to successfully occur, you may notice that the downgrade action requires a previous (and not the latest) version of iTunes. Accordingly, download a compatible previously released version of iTunes. If your system is not Java-enabled you may have trouble running TinyUmbrella.

Surely, once you follow these steps, your path to upgrading or downgrading your iOS firmware, or performing a restore action, will now no longer be deterred by the iTunes Error 3194. Always remember to keep backups of your system files if you plan to make any changes in them.

Author: Padmini Krishna

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