Of all the errors that pop up every time I try to update, restore or (at times) even sync the iPhone, the notorious iTunes error 3194 is the one I fear most. Not that the error hasn’t got a fix, but the fact that there are plenty of fixes for the error and that you’ll have to try each one in a variety of combinations to fix the thing.
Apple’s support page for specific errors on iTunes isn’t all that helpful. For starters, Apple isn’t all that interested in people downgrading their iOS firmware. So naturally, all the signing is already done with so if you’re trying to downgrade to iOS 5.1.1 or lesser after an upgrade to iOS 6, you’re going to have a bad time. And when you’re dealing with a jailbroken iPhone, it’s going to be even worse.
If you’re real lucky – and I mean seriously lucky – you’ll not see any errors crop up when you try to update or restore. Most users who don’t usually tinker with their iPhones are these lucky ones. For the rest of us, here’s what you can do to fix the iTunes error 3194.
Fix iTunes Error 3194 During iOS Update
You’re just trying to update / upgrade the firmware but iTunes keeps throwing up this error. In most cases, it’s because of a simple problem with the hosts file. Here’s how to fix it:
- For Windows, navigate to C:/Windows/System32/drivers/etc/ and find the file that’s named “hosts”
- For Mac, the file is in /etc/
- Open the file in Notepad (or any other text editing software) (for Windows users, open this with Administrator Privileges)
- You’ll mostly have this line at the bottom of the file:
- 126.96.36.199 gs.apple.com
- Either comment this line out by typing a single ‘#’ (without the quotes) in front of the line (before 74) or remove the line entirely.
- Now, save the hosts file and then try updating your iPhone through iTunes.
- In most cases, the error shouldn’t pop up now.
Again, if you’re lucky, this should work. To me, this method never worked but then, I had my iPhone jailbroken too many times. So that’s when TinyUmbrella comes to the rescue.
Fixing iTunes Error 3194 for a Jailbroken iPhone using TinyUmbrella
TinyUmbrella is a cool little software that you probably have heard of already.
Note #1: TinyUmbrella and this method are actually part of the 3194 error fix for “downgrading” your iOS firmware. But in some cases (like ours), it worked for an update too. It’s mostly because we had a jailbroken iPhone that wasn’t restored to factory settings. Here’s how it works:
Note #2: If you wish to downgrade, you’ll need to save SHSH blobs either to your local drive or on Cydia. Right now, Cydia has saved SHSH blobs up to iOS 5.1.1; you’ll need to save the SHSH blobs of your device (and you can use TinyUmbrella for this).
- Download the iOS firmware that you wish to upgrade/downgrade your iPhone to. (in our case, we went for iOS 6 from a jailbroken 5.1.1)
- Download TinyUmbrella
- Connect your iPhone and close iTunes if it pops open automatically.
- Open TinyUmbrella and then click on ‘Start TSS Server’
- Put your iPhone in DFU (Here is a quick guide to do this)
- Now, if you are updating your firmware, you’ll have to click on Shift+Restore (Win) / Option+Restore (Mac) and point it to the iOS ipsw file you downloaded in step 1.
- Hopefully, iTunes will restore it to the correct iOS firmware you pointed to and update your iPhone to it.