Have you seen it before, the iTunes error 3194?

You try to update your iPhone or iPad, you are looking forward to seeing all the new nifty features of the new version of the software, or what’s possible with the jailbreak, or just to see it getting fixed again, and poof, you get an error from iTunes, saying “The iPhone could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (3194)

Oh my… Now what?

First, let’s take a look at what’s causing this error: Starting from the iPhone 3GS, all Apple devices that are updated with a new or old, stock or custom firmware (an IPSW file), are verifying this update-process with Apple using SHSH Blobs. You can see whenever iTunes is requesting these blobs from the Apple signing servers when this message appears in iTunes’ status bar:

iPhone restore error 3194



If iTunes doesn’t know or doesn’t like the reply it receives, it throws the error 3194: “The iPhone could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (3194)“.

Most often iTunes doesn’t get the reply it expected because of network issues (your internet connection), server overload on their side, or, your iTunes is not talking to the Applie signing servers to get its SHSH blobs, but is trying to receive these blobs from Cydia. This is most likely the case if you have ever jailbroken your iPhone or iPad before, and used TinyUmbrella to store your SHSH blobs, or if you’ve edited your hosts file manually, and pointed it to Cydia.

The solutions

If you’ve never jailbroken your iPhone or iPad, then you can be pretty sure that the problem isn’t TinyUmbrella or Cydia, and checking your network connection and retrying the whole thing should eventually solve it. Also disabling all firewalls and anti-virus scanners can be handy, as they are known to also sometimes mangle up the communication between your iTunes and the Apple servers.

If it is the first 4 hours after the release of a great new version of iOS such as iOS5, it is very well possible that Apple’s signing servers are running a bit hot and need some cool down 😉 But, else, here’s what might solve the problem:

Normally, TinyUmbrella will edit your hosts file to point to Cydia to get the blobs. However, this can be easily set to Apple’s servers again. If you don’t already have TinyUmbrella, you can download it here: The Firmware Umbrella – TinyUmbrella

After you start TinyUmbrella, go to the “Advanced” tab, and uncheck the option “Set hosts to Cydia on exit” as you can see in the screenshot below:


Next thing to do is to exit TinyUmbrella, and you’re done. Your hosts file will be restored, and iTunes will try to retrieve its SHSH blob files from Apple’s servers again.

If you don’t feel like installing TinyUmbrella, you can also edit your hosts file manually.
You can find your hosts file on Windows in this location: C:WindowsSystem32driversetchosts
and on OSX in this location /private/etc/hosts

Open the file with a text editor, and remove ALL lines that point to gs.apple.com

That should get this strange error 3194 fixed for you!

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