How to Fix iTunes Error 3194 When Updating iPhone to iOS 7.1 on March 10

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The major update for iOS 7 is here. If you encounter iTunes error 3194 when trying to update to iOS 7.1, let me show you how to fix it.

You’re probably trying to update your iPhone to the latest iOS 7.1 using iTunes but kept getting error 3194. If you’re new to using iPhone, one of the most important things you need to know is you can never downgrade your iOS. This is by designed, and of course, how Apple wants it to be.

One of the main reasons is that Apple doesn’t want you to jailbreak your iPhone. For example, iOS 7.0.6 and below have exploits that can jailbreak iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5s and 5c. Since Apple can no longer patch or fix previous iOS which version which has been released to public, they can only fix those issues in the next release.

Editor's note: learn more by reading our ebook on starting your own iPhone repair & unlock business

iOS 7.1 is another major update from Apple after iOS 7 was first released last September.

Now let’s go back to your iTunes restore error 3194. This is a very common error if you’re trying to restore your iPhone. Error 3194 is a response from iTunes telling you that your iPhone is not eligible to be restored to a particular iOS version.

Apple will only allow you install the latest iOS, but why are you still getting this error if the iOS version you’re trying to restore to is already the latest? Well, the problem lies with your computer’s hosts file.

iTunes uses your computer’s hosts file to “communicate” with Apple’s activation server. It exists in both Mac and PC. If your hosts file is modified, you will definitely get this error message when updating to iOS 7.1 using iTunes.

So, how did your hosts file got modified in the first place? Jailbreaking software such as TinyUmbrella and redsn0w are the culprits. If you’ve used one of these programs before, they will modify your hosts file to trick iTunes to NOT connect to Apple’s iOS restore verification server.

Why you may ask? On older devices, it IS possible to restore to an older iOS for as long as you have the SHSH saved. This is a separate topic but is related so let’s discuss about this another day while we work on fixing this issue.

How to Fix iTunes Error 3194 When Updating iPhone to iOS 7.1

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Well, remember to close iTunes or reboot your computer after modifying your hosts file. If you managed to fix this problem, please share, tweet or like below.

Comments & Discussion

  1. Downgrade your version of iTunes if you're having problems. Most likely that'll fix your problems, in addition to configuring the hosts file or using TinyUmbrella as an alternative!
    I think the site is oldapps.com
    Apple wants you to use the newest version of iOS so using an updated version of iTunes doesn't let you use any firmware less than latest hence, 3194 error.




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