How To Fix iTunes Error 3194?


Have you encountered the error 3194 when you try to restore or update the firmware on your Apple device such as the iPhone, iPod or iPad? Although it can be frustrating, this error can be easily fixed. It occurs due to the inability of iTunes to communicate with Apple’s servers, which provide the restoration and update services.

The problem is usually due to a bad ‘hosts‘ file on your computer. As this problem can also occur due to a mis-configured internet security software, firewall or router, check them to ensure that they are not blocking iTunes from communicating with Apple’s servers before you proceed to fix the hosts file. The fix for the problem depends on your operating system (Windows or Mac OS X).

Solving iTunes error 3194 on Windows computers:

1. Ensure that you have the latest version of iTunes on your computer:

Start iTunes. From the ‘Help‘ menu, select ‘Check for Updates‘. If iTunes shows that an update is available, download and install it.

2. Open your browser and go to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/972034

3. On the Microsoft support web page that loads, there is a ‘Fix It‘ button. Click the button and a download will be started and you will get a “File Download” dialog box giving you the option to ‘Run‘, ‘Save‘ or ‘Cancel‘. Click on ‘Run‘.

4. Once the wizard runs, follow the prompts and it will fix the hosts file to its default settings.

The above steps should solve the problem in most cases. Try using iTunes again to update/restore your device and check if you are getting the 3194 error or not. In case the problem persists, do the following:

1. Open Windows Explorer and go to the directory C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\Etc

2. Right click on the ‘hosts‘ file and click ‘Copy‘. Select ‘Paste‘ from the ‘Edit‘ Menu of Windows Explorer to make a copy of the hosts file.

3. Move both the hosts file and its copy to the desktop by selecting them and dragging them to the desktop one by one.

4. On the desktop, right click on the copy of hosts file and click ‘Open‘. You will be prompted to select an application to open it. Select Notepad.

5. Select the whole text by pressing Control-A. You can also do the same thing by using ‘Select All‘ from the ‘Edit‘ menu of Notepad.

6. Press the ‘Delete’ key on the keyboard to clear the text.

7. Save the blank file by selecting ‘Save‘ from Notepad’s ‘File‘ menu. Close Notepad.

8. Drag the updated ‘copy of hosts‘ file from your desktop back to the C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\Etc folder.

9. Rename the file to ‘hosts‘. (Right click on the file, select ‘Rename‘ and type ‘hosts‘ and press the enter key on the keyboard.)

10. Restart your computer and try updating or restoring your device again using iTunes. The problem should not occur. If it does, a communication problem or firewall is the likely cause.

Solving iTunes error 3194 on Mac OS X:

1. Ensure that you have the latest version of iTunes on your computer:

Start iTunes. From the menu bar, select ‘Check for Updates‘. If iTunes shows that an update is available, download and install it.

2. Open the ‘Applications‘ folder.

3. Open Utilities and then click on Terminal.

4. At the command prompt, type: “sudo nano /private/etc/hosts” and hit the Enter key. This will open the hosts file. You will be prompted for your user password before the file is opened. Enter it (password is not displayed as you type for security reasons).

5. You will see a list of entries each starting with an IP address. Check the entry against ‘localhost’ to ensure that it is ‘127.0.0.1‘. If not, use the arrow keys to move to that address and change it to ‘127.0.0.1‘.

6. Look for the entry labeled ‘gs.apple.com’. We are going to comment this out. To do that, prefix the line with ‘#‘ and a space. For example, if the line starts with ‘17.151.38.29‘, it should now start with ‘# 17.151.38.29‘.

7. Press Control-o to save the hosts file. Accept the default file name by pressing the enter key on your keyboard.

8. Press Control-x to exit the editor.

9. Restart your computer and try updating or restoring your device again using iTunes. The problem should not occur and if it does, communication problem or firewall settings are probably the culprits.

If you still get the 3194 error, despite following the above steps, the problem is probably with a firewall, internet security or similar security software on your computer that is preventing iTunes from communicating with Apple’s servers. Try disabling them and see if the problem persists. If the firewall is the problem, you will need to configure the software to allow the communication.

Contact the customer support of the software and they will help you do it. Some routers have a firewall built in. Try disabling it and check if the problem occurs. In case the router is the problem, you can either connect directly to the internet or configure the router firewall to allow the communication.

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