How to fix iTunes error 3014 when upgrading iPhone firmware

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All error'd outPhoto credit: Simon Pow (Flickr)

GUIDE UPDATED FOR NEWER 3014 PROBLEMS – Please see bottom of post for details (March 2011)

Contrary to many of the guides and articles we post on this site, this isn’t one to do with jailbreaking your iPhone!  It stems from our experiences of helping a work colleague get their iPhone back up and running after it got stuck applying an iOS version update.  The chances are you’ve arrived here after a Google search having had similar problems – hopefully we can help you out too!

The work colleague in question had a stock O2 iPhone 4 that he’d backed up before telling iTunes it was okay to go ahead and update to the latest (4.0.1) iOS software.  After waiting over an hour for the iPhone to progress beyond a screen showing “Preparing iPhone” he gave up and hard rebooted his device.  When he did so, the “connect to iTunes” screen was displayed on his handset and no matter what he did, iTunes would then attempt to fully restore the handset but would fail to do so displaying error 3014.

We know that iTunes error numbers in the 3000s are to do with communication failing or time outs.  We replaced the sync cable, swapped USB ports and tried all the various solutions offered by Google, but in the end, we managed to get the handset up and running by doing the following:

  1. Upgraded iTunes to the latest version available and rebooted our computer (in our case 9.2.1)
  2. Downloaded the iPhone 4.0.1 firmware directly from Apple manually***
  3. Hard rebooted the iPhone (press and hold both home and the power button until an Apple logo appears)
  4. Popped the sim card out of the handset
  5. Connected the iPhone to our computer and when iTunes told us it had detected a device requiring a recovery we shift clicked restore** (held down shift on the keyboard and clicked the restore button) within iTunes*
  6. We browsed to the location where we’d saved the firmware we downloaded in step 2 and left iTunes to do its thing with the iPhone
  7. When the iPhone rebooted having successfully applied the firmware we re-inserted the sim card, waited for the iPhone to tell us it was activated
  8. We ask iTunes to re-apply the most recent backup it had to the device, thus restoring configuration and content.

*=We ensured that we were connecting the iPhone to our computer directly and not via any kind of USB hub

**=Shift clicking is a Windows process.  On a Mac you would hold down your “option” key and click restore

***=This list iOS 4.0.1 firmware is for the iPhone 4 only.  For links for the 3G & 3GS handset appropriate hardware, please click the relevant model name.

Note: This guide assumes that the computer you are going to use is connected to the Internet and is NOT behind a proxy server (for example, isn’t your work PC).  There are known problems with iTunes being able to communicate with Apple’s authentication servers from behind firewalls.

Hopefully the above steps will help you out of your situation.  If not, please feel free to ask in our comments section below and we’ll attempt to offer advice; however whilst researching our colleagues problem, we did come across a large number of people who have experienced upgrade errors and have had to get their device swapped out by Apple, who have done so in many cases without even attempting to restore problematic devices themselves since they have allegedly seen so many of them!


Some users may find that an entry has been added to their hosts file designed to point all iTunes authentication requests to a specific server. This needs to be taken out in order to assist those of you still seeing a problem after doing the above.

On Windows:

Browse to c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\

Open hosts by right clicking the file and selecting to open with Notepad

Look for an entry that looks like or

Delete this line and save the file

Try your restore again

On Mac:

Same as the Windows steps but your hosts file is in /private/etc/

  • thats a really strange one, cant see why a shift restore would make a difference over a normal one, still glad it worked out ok

  • Rob

    When the iPhone is in this stuck state it has to do a full restore anyway. I've suggested people use shift restore so that they can specify where the file they downloaded is. I've done this for two reasons:

    1. It means that they aren't relying on a copy of the firmware that iTunes has downloaded, which could be knackered and the reason why they are in this situation in the first place, and more importantly this leads to…
    2. Because by having them shift click and browse to where they save the downloaded file, I don't have to spend time explaining to them where iTunes keeps it's firmware files and have them overwrite pre-existing files, or create paths that don't already exist etc.

    Basically, keeping it simple.

  • Pulpi

    Will I be able to use my work laptop with a connection from outside the company? My home PC only has up to Service Pack 2!

  • Gavincuthbert

    successful resore – many thanks Rob!

  • Rob

    You are most welcome!

  • Im still having many issues, I think its due to the connection not going out, I did once edit a file on my pc that related to connections to apple but cannot for the life of me remember what it was

  • CoderHead

    Following the instructions here (which seem reasonable) just swaps my error 3014 for an error 3194. I can't get this thing to work. Thanks for the help anyway.

  • Thanks for the advice, i'm still having problems but hopefully i'll be able to get it fixed sometime soon!

  • dmytro

    I was constantly getting 3014 after installing firmware as well under Win. At some point I tried to switch off proxy in windows internet connection settings (I know it sounds stupid) but it helped 🙂 I looked through other forums – and I feel it might be the problem of Itunes interent connection.



  • Alex

    No way … same error. 3014. Thanks anyway!

  • Ukpostie

    Got my iphone working again thanks mate. Its still on the previous version though,3.0.1., can live with it and not going to attempt upgrade again,Many thanks to you.

  • Rob

    I’m sorry that’s not worked out for you. When you get fixed, could you reply back and let me know what it was in case there’s additional information I can add to the article.

  • العنزي هههههههأأي

    السلام عليكم ورحمه الله وبركاته

  • Hmw123

    I did a Shift-Restore and it wants a file with an .ipsw extention.
    BUt all I see are files with .img3 and .dfu

  • nick

    my iphone freezes on the apple logo when restoring and when i try to restore in dfu or recovery mode error 3002 comes up

  • Rob

    Are you connected directly to the PC or Mac using your sync cable, or
    are you connected through a USB hub?

    Have seen a few times where people have had issues where they’ve needed
    to disconnect other USB devices from their computer too.

    On Wed, 05 Jan 2011 11:50:08 -0000, “Disqus”

  • nick

    i am connected directly yo my pc using a sync cable

  • Rob

    Which version of the firmware are you using? Apple only sign the
    latest version and therefore if you’re attempting to install older than
    4.2.1 you’ll need to use something like TinyUmbrella to restore
    (assuming Cydia has SHSH blobs saved for your device).

    On Wed, 05 Jan 2011 11:58:48 -0000, “Disqus”

  • nick

    im just pressing restore on itunes so assuming the latest version but i tried with firmware 4.1 and i had the same problem

  • Rob

    Restore with iTunes will indeed use the latest it’s aware of. It
    sounds like the IPSW file your iTunes has might be corrupt. Are you on
    a Mac or a PC? (So I know where to tell you to browse to in order to
    delete your 4.2.1 firmware file).

    On Wed, 05 Jan 2011 12:28:23 -0000, “Disqus”

  • nick

    im using a pc with windows 7

  • nick

    so when i try using a 4.1.1 firmware file the same thing happens

  • Rob

    Go to Documents and SettingsApplication DataApple
    ComputeriTunesiPhone Software Updates

    Delete the firmware file that’s there.

    If you now tell iTunes to restore your iPhone it’ll have to re-download
    the files from Apple.

    Alternatively, you can download the firmware file directly from Apple
    yourself (links below) and then Shift Click the Restore button and
    browse to the location you’ve saved your downloaded firmware file to

    Good luck and please, let me know how you get on.

    On Wed, 05 Jan 2011 13:17:33 -0000, “Disqus”

  • nick

    if i upgrade to 4.2.1 will i be able to unlock my iphone 3gs

  • Rob

    Yes but ONLY if you preserve your baseband. Will get you a link with details of how to do so shortly. Only have my iPhone to hand currently.

  • nick

    Thank You it worked but im still trying to unlock it

  • Keroroyoshi

    hihi~i have tried your method, but it doesnt work. Can you help me??
    My iphone is 3gs and it is now 4.0.1, i want to restore it to 4.2.1. But, i encounter the error 3014. I tried your method but didnt help. Can you help me?? thanks a lot!!

  • Edmondlord

    Hi, why this Problem Basicly happend, befor I used to update my I phone very normaly but this I saw this Strang ERROR 3014

  • Rob

    Have added a new section which should sort out your issue.

  • Rob

    It’s probably because of an entry in your hosts file pointing the authentication requests to a different server than the one that’s required. Post has been updated with additional instructions to cover off this.

  • Rob

    Have added a new section which should sort out your issue.

  • Oh thanks, i appriciate that!

  • Well, good news for me, thanks!

  • Rob

    Glad it’s worked for you.

  • Denzio_001

    Hi Rob, i have iphone 3gs and currently with ios 4.1 then i tried updating to 4.3 then it goes to recovery mode… 🙁 always prompting error 3014. i tried also restoring using 4.1 but it is still the same error… please help… thanks

  • Rob

    Have you made sure you are directly connected to the Internet and not behind a proxy server (eg not doing the restore at work or university)?

    Have you made sure you are connecting straight to the PC/Mac with a USB lead and not a USB hub?

    Have you tried an alternative sync cable?

    Have you made sure you’ve got nothing in your hosts file redirecting your Apple requests to a specific server like indicated in the latest update to the above post?

  • jullianne

    Hi I’ve tried to restore using these steps and still nothing, I have an iphone 4 and have tried reinstalling itunes and updating my software and it still doesn’t work. As for your update i cannot for the life of me find the right host file, can you give me any other tips to help me out, Thanks.

  • I must say I really like it. Your imformation is usefull. Thanks for share.

  • Rob

    Are you on a PC or a Mac?

  • Nice, that’s helpful for me!

  • Cristi

    merge prea tare :))

  • Seanwhite

    Hello, I tried the above but when i open hosts, it says:

    ” # Copyright (c) 1993-2009 Microsoft Corp.
    # This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
    # This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
    # entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
    # be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
    # The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
    # space.
    # Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
    # lines or following the machine name denoted by a ‘#’ symbol.
    # For example:
    # # source server
    # # x client host

    # localhost name resolution is handled within DNS itself.
    # localhost
    # ::1 localhost

    What should i do next? am i looking in the wrong place? im on windows 7…

  • Rob

    That host file is spot on.

    Are you connecting your iPhone straight to your PC or is there a hub in between? Also, if you have a spare Apple lead, try that instead.

  • Rob

    This is a message for “Glenn”. He emailed me via the contact form, but I didn’t get his email address so couldn’t reply back to him:

    If you can tick off all the things from the post:

    – Connected straight to the Internet with no web proxy
    – Connected to computer directly and not via a USB hub (powered or otherwise)
    – Tried different Apple cable
    – Checked and cleared Apple entries from hosts file
    – Reinstalled iTunes
    – Re-downloaded iPhone firmware from Apple

    Then it sounds like your iPhone has got stuck.

    Two things to try:

    1. Press and hold both the power and home buttons until the screen goes off, keep pressing them until the Apple logo re-appears
    2. If that doesn’t kick the phone, then there are two tools you can download and try to use in order to “kick” your iPhone out of recovery. One is called TinyUmbrella and the other iReb. Google either and they’ll offer information about how to use them rather than be outlining a guide for you here in an email.

    Good luck and be sure to let me know how you get on please?

    Apologies for the delayed email – I’ve been busy looking after my son all weekend.

  • I;ve been trying to restore my ipod for a while thanks alot!!!!!! This worked!! 😀

  • Rob

    Excellent! Thanks for letting us know.

  • Tonia Buckey

    Brilliant article…….I kept getting the 3014 error and nothing worked, then I clicked shift before pressing restore and low and behold my iphone restored itself…..thank you, thank you….

  • Rob

    You are most welcome!

  • adz

    i got now 3194 error argh , i am on 4.2.1 iphone4 jailbroken never saved SHSB keep gettin stuck on greenpoison logo (spinningwheel) trying to restore but either i get 3194 or 3014 . tried using other computer but nohelp ………. HELPPPPP PLEASEEEEE

  • Rob

    If you have no SHSH saved for 4.2.1 then I’d be surprised if you can install any firmware for it since neither Apple nor Cydia will be able to sign the installation for you. That said, it sounds a lot like you’ve still got an entry in your host file generating the error. Try this instead:Download the latest version of TinyUmbrella for Windows or Mac.Switch to “Advanced” tab and uncheck “Set Hosts to Cydia on Exit” option.Click on “Apply Changes”, followed by restarting your PC or Mac.Re-attempt the install of the firmware.

  • Hanna Newton

    You are an iPhone god – I thought it was gone forever! Turns out it was just jealous of the new ipad 2 addition to the house… Thanks so much for publishing this info, it’s the only thing that has worked. I hope something equally as excellent happens to you 🙂

  • Rob

    Thank you very much. It’s comments like this that keep me blogging!

  • Charles

    Hello Rob and all! I think I’ve lost my iphone!!! It’s a 3GS, and i upgraded to stock 4.3.3, was on baseband 05.16.02 which is unlockable. So i decided to upgrade to ipad baseband 16.15.00 and unlocked with ultrasnow. However, i started having issues with it. It goes off when i connect to my computer and i have to use redsn0w tethered reboot to get it back on. Then it finally went off and nothing i do could reboot it. I used tethered boot with redsn0w but it stops at “waiting for reboot. I press and hold power+home botton but nothing happens, i don’t see the apple logo, no light on the screen nothing. I tried restoring with custom ipsw made from snowbreeze but i get all kinds of errors and it cannot be restored. i don’t know what else to try just to bring the iphone back on. tiny umbrella didn’t work, i don’t have a saved SSH. I hope someone out there can help me save my phone…..what can i do????

  • Rob

    SInce you don’t have a saved SHSH blob you are stuck with needing to use the 4.3.3 firmware rather than downgrade to an older version.

    Are you able to put the device into recovery mode manually, then hook it up to a computer with iTunes. The idea being that the computer should say, “I’ve found a device stuck in recovery – it needs to be restore before it can be used”.

    FInally, you may need to manually clear out some of your entries in your host file for the connection to Apple’s server to work again. See an article on that here:

  • Charles

     Hi Rob, thanks for your quick response. I am able to put the device in restore mode and itunes tells me it needs to be restored before it can be used. But when i try to restore it stops at some point and tells me it can’t restore and the error changes all the time from 1600, 1601 etc last one was 3014 or so. I deleted the line from my host file and trying to restore but so far its been stuck on “verifying iPhone restore from apple” for the past 45 minutes..I am restoring to a custom ipws i created with snowbreeze.

  • Rob

    That’s good news that you can get it into recovery mode then.

    I have had it before where a device gets stuck on the verifying iPhone screen. I’ve moved to a different computer to progress on, even with a custom IPSW.

    Are you on a Mac or a PC and are you directly connected to the Internet say from home or are you behind a work firewall / proxy?

  • Charles

     I am on a PC and connected to the internet on a work network firewall. I disabled my firewall though. It’s still stuck on “verifying iphone restore from apple” over 2 hours now. I guess i have to stop it…

  • Rob

    Chance are that your work proxy server is blocking access from iTunes to Apple’s server in order to verify the firmware is allowed to be installed upon the machine. We’ve seen it here many times – I regularly put people on to my personal hotspot broadband to get them out of such pickles.

    When you get home and are on a clean line your custom restore should work fine.

  • Charles

     I have already tried numerous times back home. I have had this problem for 4 days now!!! Is there a way i can reboot the iPhone without having to use iTunes at all? That’s apart from holding both the power+home buttons which i’ve already tried without success? Is it possible the phone software has been corrupted and will not just come on again?

  • Rob

    If you are able to get to the point where iTunes is saying the device is in recovery mode then you should be able to recover it. It sounds like something at home is also blocking your access to Apple’s servers. Do you have a friend’s house you could take it to where no 3rd party apps have been installed for jailbreaking?

    Failing this, if you can get the device into recovery mode (so it shows connect to iTunes on screen) you could book an appointment at an Apple Store to have a Genius look at it. If they can’t restore it then they will usually swap it out for you.

    If they ask you if you’ve jailbroken it then it’s up to you – either say yes and promise never to do it again or say no and plead ignorance. Depends on the person you deal with I guess.

  • Charles

     Sadly i can’t have access to an apple store because I’m out of the US. I guess I’m out of luck now..haha

  • Rob

    Ok, no worries – wasn’t sure where you were geographically located. I’m in the UK, and have a store within 30 mins drive. Many here don’t.

    Try a friends house with a clean PC and then let me know – will see what we can do from there.

  • Charles

     Ok. Thanks a lot for your help.

  • Charles

     I ran IREB without success. Out of desperation i ran Greep0ison6.1 and
    for the first time i saw a response from the phone but it was a white
    screen and the phone never came on, just stuck on the white screen. I’m
    inclined to believe the OS is corrupt or there is some sort of hardware
    failure. I guess thats it? Nothing can bring the phone back to life?

  • Charles

    Hi Rob, I just found a fix for my problem and i wanted to let you know. It could help someone else. All this while i have been treating my phone like an Iphone 3GS when i launch iREB, i kept selecting 3GS to put the device in DFU. But before the problem i upgraded to ipad baseband!! So finally i thought why not try selecting ipad as my device instead of iphone 3GS since i am running an ipad baseband. I did and custom restored and behold the device accepted the restore and came back on!!!

  • Rob

    That’s fantastic news – so pleased you are up and running again!

  • steven

    hey, i’m having a problem with my 3gs.. it’s new, but it’s still on ios 3, when i updated it to ios 4.3.3 via manual download, it showed an error sign.. now itunes won’t read my iphone even though it’s connected to my computer.. i tried restarting but my iphone kept showing the “connect to itunes” picture.. what should i do? thanks 😀

  • Rob

    Do you have any more information about what you’ve done since please?

    Typically, if a device fails to restore, iTunes will give you an error code. Assuming it’s 3014 since you’ve arrived here via Google; however if you can let me know what remedial steps you’ve taken so far I’ll be able to offer relevant advice whilst not telling you to do something you may have done already.

  • Carrie

    I’m sorry if this seems silly. I’ve done about everything you’ve said to do, except pressed shift and selected the downloaded firmware. I downloaded it and it’s a zip file. How do I get itunes to recognize the zip file? Sorry if this sounds silly. itunes wont let me select the zipped file or anything that has been unzipped.

  • Rob

    That doesn’t sound good because it’s not a zip file. If your computer thinks it’s a zip file you’ve set your file associations for zip files incorrectly. IPSW files are iTunes files. Take it you downloaded the firmware using the provided links?

  • Ajikgeorge

    i am trying to restore my iphone 3gs
    but i am getting the error 1002

    kindly help me

  • Ajikgeorge

    i am trying to restore my iphone 3gs
    but i am getting the error 1002

    kindly help me

  • Ajikgeorge

    i am trying to restore my iphone 3gs
    but i am getting the error 1002

    kindly help me

  • Guest

    Strangely, after following your procedure, I received an error 3014… I decided then, to shut Itunes down with the device on recovery mode, and BAMM!!! it worked!
    I’d been trying to fix the damn thing for many hours now. Finally got it back to work.
    Thanks guys….

  • Rob

    Excellent – really pleased you managed to get it sorted. A lot of the error messages iTunes throws up mean pretty much the same thing.

  • Keskinshot3

    Im trying to downgrade my iPod touch from 4.3.4 to 4.3.3, right after i go into dfu mode, and it extracts the software, it says error code 3014. how do i fix this?

  • Rob

    What of the instructions and troubleshooting steps have you attempted so far?

  • help!

  • josh

    i had this problem right now updating ios 5 and this helpme  A LOT <3 thanksss

  • Mrmonaco86

    How did you fix it? I am having the same issue.

  • Jennypower

    I am also upgrading to ios 5 and am at my witts end. I am now just waiting for the ios 4.0.1 to download so i can load that on. Did anyone try the above steps with downloading the old ios?

  • Mpnbps

    thanks it work for me

  • Lau-dk

    thanks:-) you saved me…

  • Edgucci

    If I dnt see this IP in the Hosts, what could I do for that?

  • William,Gothenburg Sweden

    BIG THANK YOU from sweden, it worked like a charm

  • Watkanido4u

    I hope by the time you read this you would have resolve the problem… other to see the IPSW download file, you need to Firefox instead of IE…. something to do with Apple not recognise IE as a browser. it work for me. Good Luck

  • Keith David Bershatsky

    I spent hours trying to restore, until I read this webpage and modified the host file by deleting the lines mentioned.  You saved my bacon and freed up the rest of my day to be productive.  THANK YOU SO SO SO VERY VERY VERY VERY MUCH !!!!!!!!!!

  • Rob

    You are most welcome

  • adrian

    I got error 21 and i deleted both as of march 2011

  • I’m trying to upgrade my iPhone 4 to ios 5… I have itunes 10.5 but still didn’t work, always got error 3014 and error 3259 while connecting to itunes but i fixed it. Thanks for sharing this information.

  • I actually completely agree with your opinion. It’s so perfect. I think it’s necessary for me. Thank for help!

  • حمودي


  • fuzz

    i am having problems with restoring my iphone, it gets 3 quarters of the way through restoring and a firm ware error comes up sayong error 3014. i dont know much about computers, can you help?

  • Rob

    Have you read the article and followed it’s instructions? Your question reads like you’ve Googled the error message, arrived here then asked for help without doing anything for yourself first.

  • jose

    Hey man i have the same problem what do I do.?

  • jose

    Hey I have the same problem as seanwhite.? What do i do.?

  • essam

    I have jail breaked iphone 3g then i get bored from non updating and alot of app donesn`t work anymore so i rest phone and erase all data, then fdu mode and then restore to fail with error 3014 , itunes downloaded software by himself and i tried to do what u say but same error iam repeating this for one day now

  • Coleman

    This article is a life saver! Thanks so much! Had unlocked/jailbroken 3GS on 4.2.1 and someone tried updating it and kept running into errors. This fixed it!


    now i’m getting error(-1)

  • Endlesslove

    i had the problem 3104 and i only
    Hard rebooted the iPhone (press and hold both home and the power button until an Apple logo appears) and it works 🙂 just wanted to share my problem with you gyus

  • AdamInToronto

    I had this exact problem updating my iPhone 4 from 4.3.3 to 6.1.2. I solved it by disabling the option to “Block WAN Requests” in my WRT54G router, which is enabled by default.
    The option is in the routers web admin console, under Security->Firewall and is labelled “Block Anonymous Internet Requests”.
    Once I saved the change, no more error 3014. The update still took a while, but eventually finished successfully.

  • Val Miranda

    You have saved my life. Thank you! I was starting to become desperate…

  • The iPhone 4 is much different from its little brother the 3GS its much more compact but still weights 137g, so you get a much smaller yet compact device that feels solid. The side of the phone is stainless steel where the front and back are made out of some type of reinforced glass.

  • the most beautiful red, yellow, and especially electric blue colors are available for the iPhone 4 and 4S (among other colors). Yes, you can mix and match colors. Parts are readily available for anyone to buy. No, your chances of successfully getting the parts installed without damaging your iPhone are slim. However, if you must do it yourself, you’ll find the following tips will help you up the odds of your success.

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