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If you use the iTunes Store, you may have come across this error message: “Cannot connect to iTunes Store”. Learn how to find out if this is a problem with Apple’s servers, your ISP or your device.
The iTunes Store sells millions of songs and videos and usually works without issue. Sometimes users are confronted with connection problems. The most common error message is “Cannot connect to iTunes Store”. This problem could be caused by a variety of issues. Let’s take a look at how to troubleshoot this problem…
Retry Accessing the iTunes Store
If you receive an error while trying to connect to the iTunes Store, the first thing to do is just try again. These issues are usually intermittent. I find when I retry the transaction a few seconds later, it works fine. If you are using iOS or Mac OS X, simply try to purchase or download the item again. If the iTunes Store couldn’t connect upon launch, close the application and try again.
Problem With Apple’s Servers?
Apple’s data center is very reliable, however, like any data center, it’s not perfect. Servers go down due to a variety of issues. Sometimes the telecommunications company connecting Apple’s data center to the Internet is having problems. High volume can also overwhelm servers, making it difficult to connect to the iTunes Store.
Fortunately, it is easy to check the system status of every Apple service. Simply go to the Apple System Status web page to check if the service you need is running. This web page displays the status of every Apple service, including the iTunes Store, iCloud, iMessage, Siri, iTunes Radio, the App Store and many more. The web page also has a timeline showing past issues. If there is a problem with the service you are using, you will need to wait until it is fixed. You can also contact customer support, however, if the issue shows up on the system status web page, Apple already knows about it.
Problem With Your ISP?
The most common reason for the “Cannot connect to iTunes Store” error is a problem with your Internet connection. This is easily verifiable. You can try connecting to a web page on your iOS device or computer. If you experience this issue on your Apple TV, you can try connecting to a third-party service such as Netflix, YouTube or Sky News. If you can’t connect to any other services or web pages, there is a problem with your Internet connection. Contact your Internet service provider (ISP) to help troubleshoot the problem.
I have also experienced iTunes Store problems when my Internet connection is slow. It is possible that you can access the web or other services, but your connection is simply too slow to work with iTunes. Basically, the connection is so slow that the authentication (login) process times out. This is usually a combination of a slow Internet connection and high demand on Apple’s servers. You can verify your Internet connection speed using Ookla Speedtest. Ookla also makes a Speedtest app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. There is no specific speed requirement for the iTunes Store to work. However, if you notice that your Internet connection is unusually slow, this is likely the issue.
Problem With Your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch
If Apple’s servers and your Internet connection are not the problem, it could be an issue with your device. Problems connecting to the iTunes Store are usually caused by two issues — incorrect date and time settings and obsolete software.
First, make sure that your date, time and time zone settings are correct. This will ensure that you can sync with iTunes Store servers. Tap on Settings > General > Date & Time and verify that the settings are correct. You can also toggle Set Automatically off and on, if the setting exists. This should automatically fix problems with the date, time and time zone. (continue…)
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