How to Fix iTunes Error 3194 When Updating iPhone to iOS 8 this September

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The major iOS update is going to be here soon. If you are getting iTunes error 3194 when trying to update to iOS 8, let me show you how to fix it.

How time flies! It’s been a year since Apple released a new version of iOS. You’re probably trying to update your iPhone to the latest iOS 8 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 that you can never downgrade your iOS. This is by designed, and of course, how Apple wants it to be. If you’re thinking of downgrading it to an earlier iOS version, it will never work, especially for post iPhone 4S models.

Why? This is because Apple doesn’t want you to jailbreak your iPhone. For example, iOS 7.1 and below have exploits that can jailbreak iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5s and 5c. Since Apple can no longer patch or fix previous iOS versions which have been made available to the public, they can only fix those issues in the next update. iOS 8 is another major update from Apple after iOS 7 was first released in September 2013.

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

Now let’s go back to solve 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 older 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 or restoration 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 8 using iTunes. Why did your hosts file got modified in the first place? The culprit is usually because of jailbreaking. Jailbreaking software such as TinyUmbrella and redsn0w are the main causes. 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.

OK, why tricking iTunes? 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 8

[viral-lock]Scenario 1: if you need to restore to a firmware version that is currently being signed by Apple (latest iOS):

Apple OS X Snow Leopard & Leopard

  1. Open Terminal (Click Spotlight, or press Command+Space. Now type terminal.)
  2. Copy and paste the following code into Terminal
    sudo /Applications/ /etc/hosts
  3. Press Enter.
  4. Remove any line that says or similar.
  5. Save by pressing Command+S, click Save.

Apple OSX 10.4.X Tiger

  1. Open Terminal (Click Spotlight, or press Command+Space. Now type terminal.)
  2. In Terminal type, ‘sudo pico /etc/hosts‘, press Enter.
  3. Remove any line that says or similar.
  4. Press Ctrl+X, then Y to save.
  5. Type ’sudo niload -v -m hosts . < /etc/hosts’, press Enter
  6. Type ‘lookupd -flushcache’, press Enter.

Microsoft Windows 7 / Vista

  1. Click Start -> All Programs -> Accessories.
  2. Right click “Notepad” and select “Run as administrator”
  3. Click Yes on the UAC prompt.
  4. Click File -> Open.
  5. Change the file filter drop down box from “Text Documents (*.txt)” to “All Files (*.*)”.
  6. Browse to “C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc”.
  7. Select “hosts” and click “Open”.
  8. Remove any line that says or similar.
  9. Close Notepad. Click Save when prompted.

Microsoft XP/2003/2000

  1. Browse to Start > Programs > Accessories > Notepad.
  2. Click File > Open.
  3. Browse to “C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc”.
  4. Select “All Files (*.*)” from the Files of Type drop-down menu.
  5. Select “hosts” and click “Open”.
  6. Remove any line that says or similar.
  7. Close Notepad.  Save when prompted.

Scenario 2: if you need to restore to an earlier firmware version and if your SHSH blobs is saved in Cydia (Saurik) server:

You will need to add the following line to your hosts file using the same steps above.

[/viral-lock]Well, remember to close iTunes or reboot your computer after modifying your hosts file.

I hope the above steps were able to help you resolve the error.

How to Fix iTunes Error 3194 When Updating iPhone to iOS 8 this September was last modified: August 15th, 2014 by Jonathan

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