Full Guide to Fix iTunes Error 10

iTunes error 10

iTunes is one of Apple’s innovative programs designed to help users manage their data efficiently. However, this program is not immune to problems. It can experience various unknown errors depending on the problem with your device.

One of the most common errors is error 10, which is mostly encountered when one attempts to update or restore their iPhone using iTunes. You will see the error message: “The iPhone could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (10).”

In order to get more insight into this problem, we interviewed a shop assistant working at the local iPhone repair shop. Below are some of the frequently asked questions as well as his replies.

Question 1: What are the factors that can cause error 10?

Answer: Error 10 might be a result of various factors such as the following.

Slow Internet

You need a fast, undisturbed internet connection in order to effectively complete iTunes-related processes. Any hindrance to your internet will result in errors.

Outdated Software or Outdated iTunes

If your iPhone has a recently updated iOS that is not supported by your computer, you might encounter iTunes error 10 when you try to connect your device to the computer. This might also happen if your iTunes is outdated or in case of Mac users when your mac software is outdated.

Security and Antivirus Software

If you try to update or restore your iPhone using iTunes and your computer security or antivirus is on, the security software will attempt to block the iTunes-related files or some running processes which will also result in iTunes error 10.

Hardware Issues

Problems with your devices may also trigger iTunes error 10. For instance, faulty USB ports and USB cable, or even some problems with your iPhone motherboard.


Question 2: How can one fix iTunes error 10?

Answer: Well, there are various solutions to this problem.

Check Internet Connection

Check your WiFi to ensure that you have a fast and reliable internet connection. When you use iTunes to update or restore your iPhone, iTunes needs to download files and communicate with Apple servers. Stable and fast internet will prevent unnecessary interruptions during your iTunes-related processes. You can test the speed. If it is slow, try another WiFi that is available. If the speed is normal, try again at another time when there are fewer people using it.

Internet connection

Disable Security and Antivirus Software Temporarily

Check to ensure that you have only installed one security or antivirus software program on your computer. Then make sure your host file is not blocking iTunes from connecting with Apple’s servers. You might also have to disable your security software temporarily in order to isolate an issue.


Restart iTunes and Computer

Restarting iTunes will help to refresh data and this program hence helping it to run smoothly. However, restart your computer too. After that, relaunch iTunes. You can also use the task manager to close the iTunes application if it is still running. After a few minutes open iTunes again.

Moreover, make sure to check your USB connections. Use a different Apple USB cable and also switch to a different USB port on your computer to rule out faulty USB connections.

For Mac Users, Update MacOS

If you ever see a message telling you that a software update is required to connect to your iPhone, then you have to tap on Install to download and run the latest software for your Mac. To update macOS you need to back up your data and follow these steps:

  • Open the Apple menu on your screen, click on System Preferences
  • On the window that opens, tap on Software Update.
  • From there select Upgrade Now tab.
Update MacOS

If the software update tells you that your mac is up to date then it means all your macOS-related applications are up to date.  

For Windows Users, Update iTunes

Outdated iTunes is also a factor of a failed iPhone update or restoration. Therefore, it is necessary to install the latest version of iTunes on your computer. On Mac, if you have followed the previous solution, then you’ve updated iTunes as well.  In Windows, you can update to the latest version of iTunes using these steps:

In case you are using a PC and your iTunes was downloaded from the Microsoft Store, then you need not worry because iTunes from this store updates automatically whenever a new version is available.  You need to check it at Microsoft Store if you have disabled Update apps automatically.

If you downloaded it from Apple website then you need to follow these prompts:

  • Open iTunes.
  • Use the menu bar on the iTunes screen to select Help and then Check for Updates.
  • Then follow the given instructions to install the latest version of iTunes.
Update iTunes

Update iPhone using Recovery Mode

For those who get iTunes error 10 when updating your iPhone using iTunes, you can put your device into recovery mode and then update it via iTunes. This is a recommended solution by Apple technical specialists. Here is how to do it:

  • Connect your iPhone to the computer.
  • If you are using iPhone 8, quickly press the Volume Up button and then the Volume Down button. Press and hold the Side button until you see the recovery mode screen like the image below. Don’t release the Side button when you see the Apple logo. If you are using other models, check this guide.
iPhone recovery mode

  • iTunes will detect your iPhone and offer 2 solutions (in most cases): Update or Restore iPhone. Choose Update iPhone.
Update frozen iPhone through iTunes

  • You may need some confirmation to finish the process.
  • Wait for around 30 minutes to get the update finished. The time may be shorter or longer depending on your internet.

If you’ve tried this method, but it still doesn’t work, you can try it more times. If it keeps failing, you may have to choose Restore iPhone at the third step or try the next solution.

Restore iPhone using DFU mode

For those who get iTunes error 10 when restoring iPhone using iTunes, it is recommended to try a DFU restore. This could be the last solution to fix iPhone software problems. Here is how to do it:

iPhone DFU Mode

  • Your device will be detected by iTunes and it will show a screen like the image below.
  • Choose Restore iPhone and follow the instructions on the screen to finish the restoration.
iTunes detects an iPhone in recovery mode

Book Apple’s After-sales Service

In case you tried all the solutions above and the problem still persists, it then means you have hardware issues. To solve these you will need to book an appointment with the Apple store next to you in order to get your device checked.

Apple store

Question 3: Is there an application or software that gets rid of all iTunes-related problems?

Answer: There are various applications that one can download to help fix iTunes-related problems. However, you should be careful to avoid installing corrupted files and programs on your devices. One commonly used program is the Tenorshare TunesCare. Follow the prompts below to use this program on your computer:

  • Download the program on your computer. It supports both Windows and macOS.
  • Tap on Fix All iTunes Issues on the Tenorshare TunesCare interface.
  • TunesCare will check if your iTunes has problems or not.
  • If your iTunes has some problems, you can click Repair iTunes to fix them. If there is no problem, you can still click Repair iTunes to optimize your iTunes performance.
Tenorshare TunesCare

Even though iTunes error 10 is troublesome, which slows down work and hinders your tasks, it can easily be solved and prevented. As such make sure to follow all the advice listed above to ensure your iTunes runs smoothly.

Joel Wilson

Joel Wilson

Joel is a fan of technology. He uses both iPhone and Android phones. Being interesting in exploring new features, he likes to share his experiences on how to use the devices in a better way. Because of his enthusiasm for technology, he becomes an "expert" to fix problems with phones and computers.

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