How to fix: This device isn’t eligible for the requested build

[ 150 ] Tuesday, 26 July 2011 |
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Photo credit: B Rosen (Flickr)

One of our regular readers, @nishmyshkin recently got in touch to ask us why his iPhone 3GS wouldn’t let him upgrade his iOS to a newer firmware. Each time he tried he got the following message: “The iPhone could not be restored . This device isn’t eligible for the requested build.

Thankfully the solution is simple and falls into one of two areas:

  1. The iOS version that’s been downloaded isn’t the right one for the device.
  2. There’s an entry in your host file redirecting Apple traffic to another location.
In most cases, it’ll be the second option. As a quick test on the machine where you’re trying to do a restore put the following into a web browser http://gs.apple.com If an Apple 404 page (page not found) is displayed then you should be good to restore and therefore you should re-download the required firmware, reboot both your computer and the iPhone and try again. If an index page is displayed (like displayed below) then it means you’ve got entries in your host file you need to remove.

The process for removal on Mac and Windows machines is slightly different but we’ve detailed them below:

Mac OS X

1. On your Mac, open your Applications folder.

2. Navigate to the Utilities folder.

3. Open Terminal.

4. Type “sudo nano /etc/hosts” (without quotes) and press enter.

5. Enter your password

6. Use the down arrow key to find the gs.apple.com entries. Once the cursor is in front, make sure you comment out the line(s) by entering # in front of the text.

7. Save the file by pressing CONTROL+O.

8. Exit the nano editor by pressing CONTROL+X.

9. Restore your iDevice.

Windows

1. Press Start, then Programs, then Accessories

2. Launch Notepad or WordPad

3. Click Open from File menu.

4. Browse to Windows/System32/drivers/etc

5. In “files of type:” select all documents

6. Open “hosts

7. Delete all line that have gs.apple.com or similar

8. Hit Save

9. Restore your device

You should now be sorted and up and running! Please feel free to share your experiences in the comments section below.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Category: Apple, How To, iPad, iPhone, iTouch

About the Author ()

Architect, tech meddler, former Jailbreaker, married and father of 2. Sporadic Apple blogger who doesn't have the time to follow a tog career.
  • http://twitter.com/nishmyshkin Nishan Gonsalkorale

    It worked a treat! One thing to note is that if you use a generic non-password account sudo nano won’t allow you to logon (with no password). had to login with a passworded account and carry out the command from there.
    I know I don’t really need the iPhone update, but seeing that for once I’m not jailbroken, I figured that I would keep right up to date!
    Thanks LPOTN, very helpful and quick response!

  • http://lastplaceonthe.net Rob

    No probs – always happy to help. Don’t forget to G+1 us and thanks for your tweet!

  • Pingback: How to fix: This device isn’t eligible for the requested build | JAILBREAKI()

  • Nick

    Unfortunately your proposed solution has not worked for me. Is there anything else I can try? 
    (Kit: iPhone 4, iTunes 10.4, Lion OSX)

  • Sean

    thanks man this was a great help!

  • Guest123

    it worked on mac for me! one thing to note… once you press CONTROL+O you have to hit enter… then CONTROL+X

    THANKS!

  • Ico

    THANKS!

  • Tonymalbrough

    Holy Crap, it actually worked….  The last time I had the patience to mess with my phone, I spent 6 hours on it only to end up in frustration.  These easy ass steps just allowed me to fix the phone in 10 minutes.  THANK YOU

  • http://lastplaceonthe.net Rob

    You are most welcome.

  • http://SocialSteak.com Stephen Robinson

     ‘find the gs.apple.com’ None there :( ? http://img.ly/9htm

  • http://lastplaceonthe.net Rob

    Replace the cable with another one, reboot the Mac and the iPhone again and try over. Make sure all other USB devices are disconnected.

  • Vsbejoy

    Perfect ..this solution worked for me.. thanks guys..

  • Kuwaiti

    thanks man

  • thanks!

    Thanks man it really works!!! Now finally can use my iOS5 :)

  • Aleksandrs Freimanis

    Well this got rid of one error whilst updating my iPad 2 to iOS5, now I’ve got another the Apple Support is down. Fantastic :(

  • Guest

    I have an Imac and im running the lates version of Lion. These steps wont work for me, is anyone else having similar problems?

  • Guest

    I have an Imac and im running the lates version of Lion. These steps wont work for me, is anyone else having similar problems?

  • chickenpopper

    thank you so much i can’t tell you how happy i am

  • chickenpopper

    thank you so much i can’t tell you how happy i am

  • Calehernandez

    I think I did the same thing using tinyumbrella and not having to open terminal

    if you start tinyumbrella,
    you will see your ipod / iphone / ipad on the left side.
    select your device, and press on “Advanced” in the bottom part of the window.
    now, REMOVE the cross at ” Set Hosts to Cydia on Exit”
    if you close tinyumbrella now,
    and open itunes again you SHOULD be able to restore your device!

  • Eminemerica

    What do you mean by ‘make sure you comment out the line(s) by entering # in front of the text.’ ?

  • Joe McC

    That did it… thanks for the help

  • NoOne

    Thanks for the help. It was trying to valadate it with Cydia not apple. I would not have thought to think of this.

  • Hhgfdgdf

    i did it and it says now that iTunes can’t connect to apple in order to restore… what do i do? mi internet is working fine

  • Nathaniel Cliborne

     OMG THIS WORKED!!! THANK YOU SOOO MUCH! I’ve been trying to update to iOS 5 ALL DAY!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS!

  • Kishanpatel3490

    You are amazing.. Worked perfectly for iPad 2 wifi only from Mac Os X lion. 

  • Yvette3_2003

    thank you soooooooooo much. i can now finally download the iOS 5!

  • kinglui24

    thanks man that helped a lot

  • http://lastplaceonthe.net Rob

    That means you have entries you new to remove from your host file.

  • http://lastplaceonthe.net Rob

    Got to the start of the line and press your # key. Save the file. That line will be ignored by the computer ergo commented out.

  • mc

    thank you

  • TJH

    THANK YOU.  This article pretty much saved me from throwing all of my apple stuff out the window.

  • fifaposs

    thank youuu!! worked like a charm

  • Anonymous

    @0313d46585f8a2a929a5d4a1bd0752cb:disqus  thank you very much!

  • Twigboy_29

    Thank you. Worked like a charm! (OS X Lion)

  • Dkhaneja

    Perfect solution. Easy to understand steps helped me get rid of the problem quickly. Thanks!!

  • http://lastplaceonthe.net Rob

    At the time you were trying, Apple’s servers were taking a hammering so you need(ed) to keep trying.

  • Jeremy

    Thank you so much! I was starting to get frustrated with all of my updates not working…

  • Tsefiayeshira

    Thanks! Worked really great for me too. You’re a magician to me (-:

  • Ottorodriguez

    You saved my daughter’s ipod touch. Thanks!

  • Simon

    I had to do both method to get my phone updated ^^

    Thank you I spent so much hours to fix this problem 

  • Juanbarona

    Thaks a lot! did it and works! :D:D

  • Msaklm

    thanks so much !

  • Guest

    Brilliant!

  • candy

    OMG thx for everyone how posted coments!! i did it!!!

  • candy

    i couldnt figure that part out!!! thx a bunch!

  • girl

    Thank you soooo much!!

  • artem

    Thanks a lot. This works just perfect!

  • Wslqq

    THANK YOU SO MCUH , YOU SAVED MY LIFE!!!!!!!!!!

  • ncchick

    I just wanted to assure that this does work, did not work the first time, there was 13 numbers there so I entered 13 # signs.  I entered only 2 the second time and it worked like a charm.

  • Grateful reader

    Thank you the fixed worked like a charm!!

  • John

    Works like a charm…why couldn’t apple figure this out? ;-)

  • Anonymous

    Metaphorically saved my life today. Literally ;)

  • ton

    still not working

  • Gionicus

    Works like a charm !! Greetings from Japan !!

  • Mario

    Thanks, it works perfectly.

  • Queenbecca037

    The Tinyumbrella thing worked!  Thanks so much!

  • waimeabeach_14

    you guys are great, i just fixed the issue in a blink. Thx!

  • http://lastplaceonthe.net Rob

    No worries. You’re most welcome.

  • etzen99

    thanks for the help! mine works now…thank you

  • Dastardly Dick

    Thank you so much! 

  • Jona

    Thanks a lot!

  • Rajesh

    Nice.. Thanks !!! helps a lot

  • Francesco Cipo

    thank you finally my phone is alive again :D

  • Craig Butler

    Tried TinyUmbrella to change, tried adding in two ##s in front of GS lines, tried restarting, tried using on MBPro and MB, still no joy.  MBP gives message “The device is not eligible to be restored” and on MB it gives a different error, that the servers are not available. 

  • Gee

    Hi, thanks so much for this website!!
    I have tried to follow your explanations and made it all the way until entering my password. Id would not take the password at all?? I tried just hitting ENTER and it said – sorry, try again? 
    Could i please get some help? Thanks a lot. 

  • brett

    I bought an iPhone 4 a couple of weeks ago, but then I forgot my password.  I kept trying it until on the front screen, it read “Iphone is disabled, connect to iTunes.”  The problem is that I am away from my computer where I store all of my music and stuff is and am using my girlfriend’s computer for the weekend.  My question is that is there any way I am able to unlock my passcode? I tried to restore it on iTunes but the problem is that that iTunes isn’t my iTunes, it’s my girlfriend’s.  I would really appreciate your help.

  • http://lastplaceonthe.net Rob

    You’ll have to restore it. You can do that by putting it into DFU mode an then plugging Into iTunes. You’ll lose anything you have on the device though. You can restore your data when you return home (unless you are using iCloud, in which case you can do now).

  • Anonymous

    Hi! I have an iPhone 4S that got wonky after 5.0.1 update. 

    trying to downgrade from 5.0.1 to 5.0 and am getting this error. gs.apple.com isn’t there.I tried changing the usb cable, and did a reboot as well. nothing has worked. could this be an iPhone4S thing?

  • http://lastplaceonthe.net Rob

    Once you update there’s no going back on iOS 5. Apple only sign the latest release. No downgrade path with TinyUmbrella yet. Blobs aren’t used in 5

  • Bertoelectronic

    if you start tinyumbrella,you will see your ipod / iphone / ipad on the left side.select your device, and press on “Advanced” in the bottom part of the window.now, REMOVE the cross at ” Set Hosts to Cydia on Exit”if you close tinyumbrella now,and open itunes again you SHOULD be able to restore your device!!! works 100%!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    doh. yeah. I found that out a little after I posted this. ah well… here’s hoping for a quick 5.0.2. :O thanks!

  • <3 this site :D

    <3 searched on the entire internet (at least it felt like that…) and now FINALLY somebody AWESOME helped out :D

  • MostThankful

    I think you just prevented a heart attack….. THANK YOU!!!

  • Joka

    Soooooo helpful.
    Thank you so much!

  • susiladnyana

    MAN YOU ARE AWSOME ……THANK YOU

  • Crazytigger101

    doing it now its working! THANK YOU!!! i just bought a used iPhone and i didn’t know the password to enter it! THANKS

  • your.moms.face

    You are amazing! Thank you so much for the help!!!!

  • Josh Hamilton

    thank you so much for this tutorial it saved my iPhone. i tried installing h1siri and it worked some but i went to uninstall it then my phone wouldn’t turn on and the option key wouldn’t work either but this fixed it. funny thing tho hitting that link took me to cydia home page. but phone is restoring now and i will soon be back in business.

  • http://lastplaceonthe.net Rob

    Great job. Don’t use the Siri port you mention. They could abuse your data and info!

  • Martin

    thanks a lot! i was trying for hours to update until i found your solution

  • Junior

    Doesnt work, does not work, still get the error.

  • http://usb3gvn.com/ USB 3G

    Well, interesting post,
    thanks!

  • http://lastplaceonthe.net Rob

    Sorry to hear that. It works for most of our readers. You must have a different issue.

  • NotANoob

    Worked perfectly on ipad1 using OSX. Thanks so much. This has had me stumped for a while. 

  • Wsripor

    Wow!!! very helpful!!!!

    Best thank from Thailand iPhone user

  • Cestmir Mares

    Thank you very very much!!

  • http://twitter.com/ekirt5 ekirt5

    Muchas gracias!!! Y a l’aportación de @0313d46585f8a2a929a5d4a1bd0752cb:disqus del Tinyumbrella!

    Salut!

  • Jddddc

    EXCELLENT .. I had a AppleTV2G  LOCKED and it works perfect.CONGRATULATIONS

  • http://lastplaceonthe.net Rob

    Most welcome

  • Ivo Ahlma

    You rock!!

  • bb

    Thank you!

  • Keyurpayak

    you saved my iphone man! i didn’t knew what to do..you are awesome

  • Simon

    Thank You Very Much. This worked without any problems

  • Kjhjkh

    tks!!!!!!

  • No

    worked perfectly thank you

  • Fabricio

    I Love You!!! (i’m not gay)

  • Sandra_leidelmeijer

    Thank you very much!!!

  • Zach

    Wow man thanks, nothing else was helping me and it kept me up all night glad i finally found your article

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=668241822 Line Mompremier

    Thank you so much.  You made my night easier.:-)

  • tangosierra

    Thanks worked like a charm

  • Pann_singh

    Hi, thanks so much for this website!!
    I have tried to follow your
    explanations and made it all the way until entering my password. Id
    would not take the password at all?? I tried just hitting ENTER and it
    said – sorry, try again? 
    Could i please get some help? Thanks a lot.

  • Takimyson

    Thanks bro!! your a legend!!!!!

  • iPhoneuser

    Worked like a charm! im so happy right now!!! thanks a million guys! 

  • darknight00z

    I have tried it and it still doesn’t work. Any ideas?

  • darknight00z

    I have tried it and it still doesn’t work. Any ideas?

  • Lecoqster

    Stupid Apple didin’t help, your post, however, was so helpful, I almost beileved mi iPod didn’t work anymore. Thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scott.nortz Scott Nortz

    worked a treat cheers

  • Peterkor

    it wont let me enter my password after sudo nano /etc/hosts ,its just not writting nothing 

  • happydays

    you saved my life

  • drcavada

     Thanks so much!!!! I used tinyumbrella and Now I’m updated it. Gracias!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/iErika Erika Suzuki

    Wow you’re my hero i can now sell my old iPhone 4!

  • Amir Farsad

    tnQ :*

  • membi

    uhm hi. can you tell me what this means? i used the terminal and typed what you said. and then this warning popped up.

    WARNING: Improper use of the sudo command could lead to data lossor the deletion of important system files. Please double-check yourtyping when using sudo. Type “man sudo” for more information.

    is that normal? should i stop or should i take the risk? thank you.

  • http://lastplaceonthe.net Rob

    It’s a warning to say you are about to make an admin change to the system. It’s fine.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Juan-Luis-Contreras/1190511914 Juan Luis Contreras

    Thank you very much!

  • dogguy09

    Why weren’t you the first website I found instead of the 50th?  Success.  Thank you!!!

  • http://lastplaceonthe.net Rob

    Glad to have helped!

  • SOGIMAX01

    THIS WORKED PERFECTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOUUUUUUUUUUU PLEASE THANKKKK YOUUUUU… DOMO ARIGATO MR ROBOTOOOO

  • avi-s

    your the man

  • Mardyjazz

    I have tried directions for Mac OS and can not type password (keyboard is inoperable)  I now tried instructions using tinyumbrella and can not select my device.  It said “tinyumbrella  TSS server is Not running”.  I have been at this hours… Please help

    mardyjazz

  • Mardyjazz

    I can’t select my ipad in tinyumbrella and in red wording it says “tinyumbrella is not working”  And haven’t seen advanced highlight to uncheck box.  What am I doing wrong?  I’ve been at this most of the day.  Please help!!

  • Nscharich

    Thank you!!! My iTunes has been messed up forever!

  • http://lastplaceonthe.net Rob

    No problem. Glad to have helped.

  • http://lastplaceonthe.net Rob

    Ha ha – no problem!

  • http://twitter.com/fUnky_uZzy UZz

    Thanks.. I didnt know how to locate the host file…tried several other tutorials and none of them highlighted that bit.. Keep up the good work! (Y)

  • poly

    this helps, many thanks!

  • Daniel

    This worked wonders im on a iphone 4 verizon and tried updating to ios 6 kept getting the this device isnt eligible for request build and im like wtf itunes telling me theres an update and then not updating but after trying this my phone is now updating to ios 6

  • pepperandice

    this is not working anymore, im desperately trying to go from ios 6 to ios 5.1.1, got the ipsw for the older ios, downloaded and installed itunes 10.6.3 even, keep getting this error message, there is no gs.apple.com entry anywhere in the list in terminal, tried actually adding the whole line with # in front to see if it would work, didnt. im using osx 10.7.5 if thats of any relevance

  • http://lastplaceonthe.net Rob

    It’s not working for good reason. Apple only sign the latest iOS version. At the time of writing that’s iOS 6.0

    They do not want you to downgrade your iOS version. The ONLY way you can download your iOS version is if you have SHSH blobs saved for the old firmware. In your case, 5.1.1.

    To downgrade you need to follow these instructions: http://lastplaceonthe.net/downgrade-idevice-firmware-tinyumbrella/

  • Billy

    thanks bro! you are the man!…. it works! , but now i wondering, the icloud backup will restore the game center data too?… my notes?, i have to restore mi iphone4 using this way, because when i tried to upgrade to ios6, an error was occurred, and the iPhone seted in recovery mode, and never can get out of this state… its ok for now… i hope!

  • http://lastplaceonthe.net Rob

    If you’ve got an iCloud backup then if you restore from it then you will get your data back.

  • bob smith

    I love you!!!!!
    i deleted my system folder on my ipod and it just wouldnt restore. I tryed everything!! i was about to throw my ipod away. You saved my ipod

  • Partandposes

    You are a God

  • DiggyDog

    Worked for me. Unjailbroke my iPhone 4 from 5.1.1 and allowed me to restore it to factory settings and update it to 6.0.1 Now I can sell this thing!

  • usman

    Type “sudo nano /etc/hosts” (without quotes) and press enter.

    how to do this?

  • qume

    Wow after a whole day you saved me. Bravo

  • SamYYZ

    THANK YOU!

  • sharan

    hi Rob !! i know it will work and done before but now i m trying for my fren’s iphone 4 (ios 5.0) to update to 5.1.1 and did all that you explained but still showing same msg :( , can u help me ???

  • Agovico261

    thank you so much i was able to fix this in 5 minutes thank you so much

  • SHAN

    THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH MATE

  • sean

    Hi Im trying to restore my daughters ipod her mother changed the passcode and cant remember it. Ive tried to restore in itunes, but it states “not eligible for build” Ive just tried the information given on this site that states you go in to the terminal, but i dont know the password, i always press return when installing applications on my mac. How do i set up a password? Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/YourViewingThatOneEpicFiLiPiNoKiDsPRoFiLE Tj Suarez

    Still didnt work. :(

  • Jimbo Jones

    THANK YOU!!

  • Henry

    Thank you so much for this fix! I’ve had this problem for two generations of iDevices and have only just found the actual fix for this, I am so grateful!

  • Yatti

    Thank you, itunes would let restore my ipod. I did the instruction you told for Mac and it works. You should tell people to press enter after pressing “control o”. Because people who aren’t good with computers will not know to do that. I had to look closely and double check if it saved.

  • Dave

    Did not work for me!

  • Clara

    YES!!! It worked perfectly on my Mac, no issues after that!!
    So pleased, thank you so much. Just a few strokes of a keyboard and I was back up and running!

  • Emilio Alberto Ojeda Mendoza

    I checked on /etc/hosts and the line with gs.apple.com is not there.

    I’m not able to restore my iPhone {>_<} ..

  • http://lastplaceonthe.net Rob

    If it isn’t there then I would try the following:

    – reboot computer
    – press and hold both buttons on iPhone until it reboots and apple logo on screen – remove any Ian hub from your computer
    – use a different sub cable between iPhone and computer (direct connection)