How to Troubleshoot Problems Restoring or Updating iPhone

Not being able to update or restore your iPhone can keep you from being able to use the latest software available for your iPhone or restore your iPhone to a more functional state if the iPhone is unstable. The issue can often be resolved by updating the iTunes software or updating to the most recent Service Pack on your Windows computer, or to the most recent version of your Mac OS. Also, try using a different USB input.

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Download the latest iTunes software to troubleshoot issues with your iPhone.

Update iTunes

Step

Open iTunes and click "Help" on the toolbar at the top of the program.

Step

Click "Check for Updates." If an update is found, click "Download iTunes." Click "Install" again to begin downloading the update. The download and installation will begin. If you are using the most up-to-date version of iTunes, proceed to Section 2.

Step

Click "Yes" when a dialog box appears telling you to restart your computer. If you are still having issues updating your iPhone, proceed to Section 2.

Update Computer Operating System

Step

Click "Start," then click "Windows Update." If you are using Windows XP, make sure you are using the most recent Windows XP Service Pack. iTunes is compatible with all versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Step

Click "Express (Recommended)" then click "Install Updates." Click "Finish" when the update is complete to restart your computer and finish the update process.

Step

Click the Apple Menu button in the upper-left corner of the Mac home screen and then click "Software Update." Click "Install" after selecting the items you want to install. Type in your username and password when prompted.

Step

Restart your Mac computer to finish the update. If you are still having problems updating or restoring your iPhone, proceed to Section 3.

Restart Computer and Switch USB Inputs

Step

Unplug your iPhone from the computer and look for a different USB port to plug it into.

Step

Plug the iPhone into an available USB port in back of the computer as opposed to a USB cable on a keyboard, monitor or the front part of the computer.

Step

Restart the computer and open iTunes. If you are still having problems updating or restoring your iPhone, proceed to Section 4.

Set Up Another Administrator Account on Windows

Step

Click "Start" then click "Control Panel" if you are using a Windows operating system. Click "User Accounts," then click "Manage Accounts."

Step

Click "Create New Account." Type in a name for the account, then select "Administrator Account." Click "Create Account."

Step

Restart the computer and log in using the new account. Open iTunes and attempt to restore or update your iPhone.

Set Up Another Mac Administrator Account

Step

Click the Apple Menu button, then "System Preferences," and then click "Accounts."

Step

Click the plus sign, then click "Administrator" account. Type in a name for the account, then type a password twice to verify it. Click "Create Account."

Step

Restart the computer and log in using the new account. Open iTunes and attempt to restore or update your iPhone.