How to Troubleshoot Problems Restoring or Updating iPhone

By Tyson Cliffton

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.

Update iTunes

Step 1

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

Step 2

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 3

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 1

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 2

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

Step 3

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 4

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 1

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

Step 2

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 3

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 1

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

Step 2

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

Step 3

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 1

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

Step 2

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 3

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