The 60-Second Fix to “Can’t Connect to iTunes Store” Issue

Suddenly and without warning I was unable to connect to the iTunes Store from my Vista home computer. It just hung there in the “Loading…” phase. I could access the iTunes Store from each of the other computers in my house but that didn’t help me any. How utterly annoying to lose access to the iTunes Store, podcasts, album artwork, etc. from the only computer in my house on which I keep my iTunes library…and for no apparent reason.

For DAYS I tried every conceivable internet suggestion to resolve the problem including: modifying router settings, anti-virus settings, firewall settings, iTunes settings, browser settings, uninstalling, re-installing, rebooting, doing a system restore…to no avail. And Apple’s website was pathetically useless.

Then some tech-head, aka “My Hero”, offered this 60-second solution from an online forum: delete the iTunes preferences file in two places. Here’s how:

1. Close iTunes.

2. Delete the iTunesPrefs.xml file from C:Users+user name+AppDataRoamingApple ComputeriTunes.

3. Delete the iTunesPrefs.xml file from C:Users+user name+AppDataLocalApple ComputeriTunes.

4. Launch iTunes & follow the setup prompts.

Voilà! I be iTunes happy again!

This entry was posted in The Tool Box and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

117 Responses to The 60-Second Fix to “Can’t Connect to iTunes Store” Issue

  1. James Travaglini says:

    Thank you soooooooooooooo much!!!!!!! I’ve been trying to solve this problem for weeks!! I stumbled upon your blog in a google search. Now YOU are “my hero”!

  2. Kevin says:

    Thank you!!!! Finally something that worked. I can now access the itunes store at work and make the day that less painful.

    Awesome!!!!!!

  3. Giampaolo says:

    Hey how about if i cant find that file?
    im in windows xp

  4. Irene says:

    Giampaolo – haven’t had the problem on my XP computer (yet) but I did find the iTunesPrefs.xml under C:Documents and Settings+User Name+Application DataApple ComputeriTunes. Hope this helps.

  5. huezita says:

    Thank you so much!! I have been battling this issue for a few weeks. I have spoken to the powers that be at Apple support to no avail! God Bless you and your tech-head!!

  6. Pat says:

    Can someone help me i have Vists?

  7. Joseph says:

    I can’t seem to find the iTunespres.xml files. I am operating off of Windows vista.

  8. jglenellen says:

    Try this folks if you are still stuck,worked for me after trying EVERY other option:)

    http://en.kioskea.net/forum/affich-128944-my-itunes-store-won-t-work

  9. Joel says:

    In users it only has puplic and none of the things u said. What should i do? Windown XP

    • Irene says:

      Joel – Vista & XP use different directory structures for the user data. For XP try C:Documents and Settings+User Name+Application DataApple ComputeriTunes.

  10. Joseph says:

    I followed the steps and when I opened iTunes it asked me to agree for a setup but iTunes store still will not open :(

    • Irene Taschek says:

      Sorry to hear that, Joseph. Did you agree to the new setup? What behavior do you observe when trying to connect to the itunes store?

      • Joseph says:

        Yes I agreed and a setup started. Everything looked fine until I tried to connect to the iTunes store and I still couldn’t. I checked the iTunes preference files and they were re-created with the launching of iTunes.

  11. Joseph says:

    So I got the iTunes preference files deleted but every time I relaunch iTunes after they are created again.

  12. Ozzy says:

    Tryed it, dosent work :/

  13. Cami says:

    I have Windows 7 and can’t seem to find that file. Help please!:) Thanks.

  14. jeevan says:

    Hey,
    Thanks a lot..this works.. like you I tried everything and couldn’t get my Itunes to work..
    But after following your tips above, it works again..

  15. Marc says:

    Wow, that was so easy to fix, and to think I’ve been stuck with no itunes for weeks when all it was something so smal.

    Thank you very much for your help.

  16. ed hewett says:

    This fix didn’t work for me the first time I did it. Then I tried a bunch of suggestions including:

    -Disabling Firewall
    -Disabling Antivirus
    -Configuring LAN Settings (control panel > internet options > Connections tab > Click LAN Settings > uncheck “use a proxy server)
    -resetting IE to default settings

    None of it worked. Then I decided to follow the directions in this blog except add a restart between deleting the files and relaunching iTunes. When I added the restart, the problem was resolved.

    • Brooke says:

      Thank you so much Ed! I read this entire chat and nothing worked and went back to your suggestions and as soon as I unchecked the proxy server button, my store was back! Thank you thank you!

      • Uche says:

        Thanks Brooke for the emphasis on Ed’s explaintation…it worked for me finally. The main problem was the:

        -Configuring LAN Settings (control panel > internet options > Connections tab > Click LAN Settings > uncheck “use a proxy server)

        You have to uncheck “use a proxy server”

        Wow!!!

      • Brent says:

        ED! YOU ROCK! Hopefully this fixes the issues I’m having with the Steam store as well!

  17. nic says:

    wow you are my hero too! i have been trying to fix this for weeks and weeks!

  18. Ribbits says:

    Yeah!!!!!

    I couldn’t find the iTunesPrefs.xml file. I finally did a search and deleted them. I reopened itunes and the store works!!!!

    THANK YOU!!!

  19. beelzebomb says:

    This Is Genius!
    I suspect that after changing service provider & hardware, the Apple stored preferences were not clever enough to realise this – deleting the “prefs” forces iTunes to reconfigure these & connect!

    Some clever people out there…!

  20. Roy says:

    Hi

    Tried it but didnt work for me I’m still getting make sure your internet connection is active when it is. This is so annoying ive tried everything ready to launch my system threw the window!

    What annoys me is that it worked fine beofre so someone somewhere has fiddled with something to make it not work wish people would leave things alone

    Anyway do you have anymore tips?

    Thanks

    Roy

    • Jeff says:

      Roy,
      Didn’t work for me either on Vista-64.
      The long time it takes to fix, the more stupid the cause.??

      Jeff

  21. Roy says:

    also everytime I delete the files as above they reappear :-(

  22. Robert Flores says:

    This worked for me…thank you!! (I have Windows 7 Professional [64-bit].)

    By the way, for those who have trouble finding the files, note that AppData is a hidden folder. You can “unhide” hidden folders, files, etc., as follows (for Windows 7 — earlier versions have different ways to do this):

    1. In Windows Explorer, click on Organize
    2. Choose Folder and search options
    3. Click of the View tab
    4. Navigate to Files and Folders | Hidden Files and Folders
    — this should already be visible
    5. Enable Show hidden files, folders, and drives

  23. dasthehat says:

    You have no Idea how much I appreciate this. I have wanted to fix this problem for weeks!!!!! Apple should be paying you a gazillion dollars for this seriously.

  24. mikey mitol says:

    Thanks so much. Your instructions were easy to use and the process worked like a champ! All is well now, thanks again.

  25. dutch says:

    Tried this and no luck ? I can see the file i deleted it but i still get the ‘cant connect’ message and my internets working grand.

  26. GRM says:

    THIS WORKED,
    Thanks so much!!!
    G

  27. Linda says:

    I have vista and went thru each step you mentioned Irene but they were already deleted off my pc….so now what?

    I did all the uninstalling and reinstalling several times and I still can not open the iTunes store. I revoved the Trend Micro Security too..

    HELLLLLPPPP!!!!

    I really miss my iTunes store.

  28. Chris says:

    Fabulous! After a couple of hours of no luck… I stumbled across this and within 60 seconds its working again! Thank you :-)

  29. hjdx says:

    You are a genius!!! That’s fixed it for me! I’m on WinXP and I looked in

    C:Documents and SettingsMYUSERNAMEApplication DataApple ComputeriTunes

    and there was the file!

    I’ve tried EVERYTHING!!! Thank-you so much for posting this!

  30. Gaz says:

    Thank you for this information, I resolved the issue on both xp and vista laptops!

    If I didn’t stumble across this I would still be stuck!

    Thanks man!

    Gaz

  31. Leonardo says:

    I have to say this fix was spot on….
    My real concern is why apple have not published this simple solution on the trouble shooting pages..
    Also how did it happen in the first place ?
    I have 3 PCs in my home all running different operating systems and all crashed at the same time.

  32. Rachel says:

    I deleted the preference files but it still doesn’t work. I’ve had this problem ever since my computer got some virus that I got rid of before it got too serious. I even repaired my system afterward. I’m at a loss here. I’ve tried every idea I’ve found so far.

    • nicole says:

      Yeah Rachel I am in your predicament. I put my bf’s flashdrive into my computer to help him access and update his resume. Apparently there was a virus or something on it (I deduce that because his computer had fouled up a couple months prior and we never knew what from). I ran some anti-spywares and stuff and the virus seems to be gone. My computer says there aren’t any problems. I had started up a second user account tho just so that I could stay away from any viruses on the previous account. I didn’t know that even being on the same computer, my itunes library wouldn’t transfer to the other account. But now I want to resync my ipod with additional songs and podcasts. I just don’t know what to do.

  33. jay-j says:

    im doing it but its not working?!

  34. ggthemee says:

    Absoloutley brilliant fix, many thanks

  35. thanfull says:

    LEGEND !!

  36. Craig says:

    Thank you it worked.

  37. emma says:

    You are a genious, thank you so much!!! :D

  38. Dale says:

    Did not work for me. Still times out. Diagnostic says there are no problems. Got this problem on 3 computers at two different homes and broadband connections (both on talktalk).

    Got 2 iPhones I cannot activate.

  39. dave smith says:

    i did what the thread suggested and it worked i could access itunes store however i could not download updates it still gives the error message any ideas any1?

  40. Simon says:

    absolutely fantastic – many thanks for this – bought an ipod touch for my daughters birthday on the 27th and have been stressing about not getting it ready for her. Saved my life

  41. Paul J. says:

    Irene, Thank you so much. I have spent hours trying to access I Tunes Store, and now I can.
    I run Windows 7-64 Bit and your suggestions worked a charm.

  42. John Holland says:

    Fantastic, thanks so much. Spent ages trying to get this fixed including 50 min call to Apple Technical Support. Your fix worked first time.

  43. nicole says:

    I have Windows Vista. I can’t find those preferences. I went through each and every file and still, nothing. I advance searched it, still nothing.
    I have 3 user accounts on my computer. The itunes store connects on the other two but my large itunes library is on the user account where the store is NOT working. I’ve always used that account and I want to continuing using it but all the instructions I’ve found don’t seem to be working.
    Any more advice??

  44. carole says:

    Thank You! Thank You! After days of trying to fix this and Apple trying to charge me loads of dollars this fixed it in no time. I can now access the store again!

  45. Clemulus says:

    Anyone know if you should delete the iTunesPrefs.xml file from Local Settings as well? (C:Documents and Settings+User Name+Local SettingsApplication DataApple ComputeriTunes)

    I had this file in four places

    If you have windows set up for more than one user, it will be in each of the users Application Data & Local Settings/Application Data files.

  46. samh says:

    what are the steps for mac?

  47. Pietro Meeson says:

    Like others I’ve been looking for weeks for this solution.
    Sincere thanks

  48. Noreaga says:

    On XP Pro, tried it all and still not working, any further help or advice, most appreciated.

  49. clemullus says:

    Well, I did a find/search for file iTunesPrefs.xml and found 4 of them…..I deleted all four, restarted, and it WORKED!

    Thanks!

  50. Rene says:

    Thanks very useful i never could make my istore work from the start. Even after reinstall

  51. David says:

    For XP users you may have to unhide files under folder options in tools menu in explorer to find these files (ItunesPrefs.XML)

    THanks to whoever figured this one out…LOL

    I almost lost my mind after six hours…

    I didn’t realize that there weere “Hidden files” that weren’t even located during a search.

    Thanks,

    David

  52. Maravish95 says:

    Didn’t work for me, i bought a song last time and than it said continue to itunes, a page open which say’s Loading…. and well that was all, iTunes Store didn’t open so i could get the song.

  53. GuidoRafael says:

    OMG! I worked!! Like many people here I’ve tried every online help I could find but to no avail. And just when I was about to give up I come across this and it worked!! Thank you so so so so very much, Irene! And I agree, u and your tech deserved a big reward from Apple.com!!
    -
    To all the people who can’t connect. I’m so sorry. I know how frustrating it is. I hope you can also resolver the problem as soon as possible.
    -
    Best of lucks and thank you so much again, Irene!

    XOXO

  54. Vel says:

    Will it erase all my songs and such if I do this?

  55. Sean says:

    You rock, I am back up on Itunes. I have passed this to everyone on my base here in Iraq.

  56. GuidoRafael says:

    Okay. Now I don’t know what’s going on. I tried this yesterday and it worked fine, I was able to log in to the store and download some stuff. But today, it happened the same thing. I couldn’t get into the itunes store (same message as before) and after trying this again. It didn’t work.

  57. chel says:

    omg you save my life, i am unable to connect to the store for months, and now i can. thankyou!!!!!

  58. Bob says:

    Thank you. Worked awesome.

  59. Amanda H says:

    I tried everything that I’ve found. I was linked to another site and this finally worked.

    this is what u do
    control panel
    internet options
    Connections tab
    Click LAN Settings
    uncheck “use a proxy server”

    • kathy Picot says:

      Thank you Amanda H!!! After wasting hours trying the fixes suggested by the Apple “Geniuses”, I found your post at the bottom of a long list of replies. Your simple solution fixed the problem in about 15 seconds. Now I just have another half hour of work to undo those other “fixes”.

  60. Anna says:

    Help. I can’t find this file and I’m using Mac OS X. !!!!!

    • Irene says:

      Sorry, Ana, I don’t have a Mac to help with that question. Try googling where ro find those files on a Mac. Good luck to you.

  61. Graham says:

    how do I find the things that I have to delete.

    I have an XP

  62. Joe says:

    Worked just as described. Did update to 10.01. Nots sure why Apple hasn’t come out with this tech fix. Its costing them money.

  63. james cater says:

    i tried it and it didn’t work it keep say network is timed out and i need to check my network settings and make sure they are correct and that my network connection is active and i have vista and i did what u said and it still didnt work

    • Irene says:

      James – that sounds like a different problem. Apple just released a new version of iOS4 for the iPhone & iPad and it took me 2 days of the same errors you are describing before I was successfully download their update. Keep trying (and especially at off-peak times if you are able). If that fails, try googling the specific error msg you are getting. I read a few forums the past few days suggesting disabling anti-virus programs, etc. to work around it. Good luck to you!

  64. Meli says:

    THANK YOUUUUUUU !!!!!!!!!!!!

    It worked!!

  65. Jesse says:

    I tried this. I deleted both files and still does the same thing telling me my internet connection has timed out but everything else is working. I have been having this problem for a couple months now please help!!!

  66. David says:

    I cannot find the itunesprefs.xml file i could use some help

  67. blumuhjum says:

    Duuuuuuuuuddeeeeeee! Mine ipod touch won’t connect to itunes for getting apps. I tried almost everything. I don’t know what to do. Annd I am getting fustrated. I can’t seem to do anything else. I don’t understand the instructions, either. Do you copy and paste that into the bar to go somewheree?! Or.. idkkk. Help?! :D

  68. belinda says:

    OMG! Thank you so so much! This worked for me. I have been months without my Itunes store and couldn’t figure it out! When I followed your instructions, it still didn’t work. It gave me the error to check my network settings and make sure they’re correct. I then went in and did what Amanda H said and that was to uncheck “use a proxy server.” Those two things together worked!!! Thanks again!

  69. Christina says:

    I’m at a loss. I’ve tried all the methods: re-installing, re-starting my computer, unchecking the LAN/Proxy settings, and the 60 second fix multiple times. I’ve also tried installing an older version of Itunes and it completely installs but then won’t open when I click on it. Any ideas??
    Thanks!

    • Irene says:

      I don’t. I’m sorry! If you figure it out, share it here! Best of luck to you!

    • tiffany says:

      Im in the same boat!!
      i read this entire convo flow and did everything suggested by irene and others…STILL doesnt work
      it says
      ” i tunes could not connect to i tunes store, unkown error occured”

      DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS?
      please help

      • Irene says:

        Tiffany, my post is specific to the “Loading” message that just hangs forever. The problem you are describing is not the issue I was having and may require a different fix. Try Googling the specific error message. Good luck to you.

  70. elisa says:

    what about for mac? where can i find this file?

  71. heather says:

    I LOVE YOU! I bought an Ipad tonight and about threw the dang thing out the window after downloading the new iTunes to go thru the initial setup (ya, you can’t use your iPad till you can use iTunes..nice job on that Steve Jobs)

    Anyways, i followed your instructions and ding ding. we have a winner!

  72. caelidh says:

    I have heard a couple different things abou this file.

    Some instructions say you should rename it (copy the file)?? and then you say just delete??

    As for preferences….I listen to a lot of podcasts and regularly download the latest episodes.. what will deleting the above file do for that?

    I can currently download the latest episodes no problem.. but the I Tunes STores just times out (connects half way.. or comes up for a few seconds then goes blank)

    Why did this file become “corrupt” I used it just a few days ago and then had this problem.

    Thanks
    Caelidh

    • Irene says:

      I can’t speak to whether or not the podcasts will stay in tact but I have no reason to believe they wouldn’t be. I have no idea why files become corrupt. All I know is that software and hardware never fail to fail. Good luck to you.

  73. Paul says:

    do you loose all your playlists after you delete the two files and then reopen?

  74. tiffany says:

    i firgured it out
    IF NOTHING IS WORKING FOR YOU
    go to parental controls in i tunes and ensure that the i tunes store is not disabled

  75. helen says:

    Hi I have windows 7 newish laptop and got the iphone tday , wont connect now spend around 9 hours trying every suggestion , cant find the files mentioned i dont even have a folder called applications ?

    Thanks
    a very unhappy bunny

    • Irene says:

      The itunespref.xml file is not in a folder called “applications”. The file is in this folder for both Vista and Windows 7: C:UsersYourUserNameAppDataRoamingApple ComputeriTunes

  76. heill says:

    error on 1015 any 1 cant help my 3g :(

  77. bad days says:

    I believe I am having the same problem as those above this posting.
    I cannot get my 3G iOS 4.2.1 to restore after having problem…
    Device “was” jailbroken and unlocked and worked well. except I could not multitask
    I found instructions how to change the code (for multitasking) and then could not open device.
    So I decided to do a restore with the custom ISPW and start again.
    I have a custom ISPW, which I can access in DFU mode, by doing a shift “click” restore in Itunes.
    The process almost finishes and I get an error message either 1015 or 1601 that restore could not complete for unknown reason.
    Device goes back to “USB to Itunes” display
    I have also tried doing a restore from Redsn0w using the custom ISPW, again seems to go through the process, When redsn0w instructs to turn device off, I (believe) the device turn off and goes into DFU mode..I have noticed that if the device is not in DFU mode redsn0w does not continue.
    I get the “pineapple man” screen and then it goes into a screen with the “apple logo” in the display and the device does not change from this point.

  78. Junk says:

    I have windows 7. I have tried everything. I deleted the itunespref.xml file, I setup the itunes promps all over again and I started getting joyfull because my itunes was going to work again so I tried to connect to the itunes store…just to find it still not loading and getting stuck on a blank screen after 90% of loading. I think I’ll go back to extracting mp3s from youtube again.

  79. Nora says:

    OK. So I did this, BUT it still isn’t working. It’s perpetually stuck in the loading ITunes store phase. I have looked at the parental controls, LAN settings, and firewall. I’m going crazy!!! I Just want my ITunes back! Any Ideas?

  80. Clemulus says:

    I just did a search for the iTunesPrefs.xml and deleted to fix mine……it found four files and I deleted all four.

  81. BEthany says:

    I love all of you. I have been tryin to fix this for a while and the combination of Trent – Ed Hewett & Irene I was able to fix this issue!

    Now I can restore my slow iphone with hopes of better operation!

  82. Philip says:

    Thanks a million:):):)

  83. May says:

    If you still can’t open iStore, maybe you have the same problem I just fixed. If I understand correctly, iStore uses your Internet Explorer settings to connect to the Internet. Well, I’ve been using Spybot to immunize IE. Recently, I’ve been unable to connect to the Internet via IE and iTunes. I followed these instructions to basically “undo” Spybot’s immunization of IE.

    Go to Start/Settings/Control Panel

    Click on Internet Options, then the Advanced tab

    Click Reset under “Reset Internet Explorer settings”

    I hope this helps someone. It was very frustrating being unable to access iStore and Apple not being all that helpful…

  84. Charlie says:

    Thanks man, this fix the issue!

  85. guest says:

    I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! THANK YOU!

  86. Ken says:

    Every so often, for no apparent reason, my Norton Internet Security’s “Firewall” settings (Programs tab) switches from “Permit all” to “Block all” for iTunes. Don’t know why this happens, but changing it back is a quick and easy fix. Ditto for Windows Firewall (get to from Control Panel). Worth trying first.

  87. Bee says:

    worked for me. thanks.

  88. Justin says:

    Wow, thank you so much. I had given up for months. Decided to retry. So far so good. Why is this not on the Apple site?

    Thanks again.

    Justin

  89. Nathan Hogan says:

    Leg-end!!

    I love hacking etc (reason this happened in the first place) but really feels much better to be back to normal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>