How to fix iTunes Store and Book Store not working on iPhone, iPad, Mac, or PC

Is iTunes Store or Book Store not working on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Windows PC and showing Cannot Connect to iTunes Store or Book Store Unavailable? In this piece, we’ll go over the steps to troubleshoot Apple’s digital content store problems so you can get back up and running.

Fix iTunes Store and Book Store problems

Where can I access the iTunes Store?

On iPhone and iPad, there is a dedicated, built-in iTunes Store app. In case you deleted it from your device, download it from the App Store.

On Mac running macOS Catalina and later, you can access the iTunes Store inside the Music app by clicking it from the left sidebar. Plus, you can also open the TV app and click Store to access the movies and TV shows.

Access iTunes Store on Mac

On Windows PC (and old Macs), you can access iTunes Store inside the iTunes app, which is available on the Microsoft Store and as a direct download from Apple.

And you can browse the Book Store inside the Books app (earlier called iBooks) on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.

Common fixes for iTunes Store not working

Irrespective of the device, these are some of the fixes you may follow.

Ensure you have a good data connection

If you’re using Wi-Fi, make sure you’re connected to the correct Wi-Fi network. Also, check that you have strong enough signal strength and that you don’t need to log into the network from Safari if it’s an institution network that requires you to log into a portal.

If you’re using cellular data, make sure the signal is strong enough for a decent internet connection. It’s best to use LTE/5G whenever possible since it typically has the fastest data speeds. Besides that, go to iPhone Settings > Cellular and ensure the toggle for iTunes Store is enabled.

Enable cellular data for iTunes Store on iPhone

Make sure your wireless router isn’t having issues

You should never rule out that your wireless router may be experiencing issues. In the event that you see endless error messages, you can also try resetting your router to reset your internet connection, and this might resolve the issue.

Disable any active VPNs

If you’re using a VPN that might be blocking Apple’s digital content stores from working, then you should try disabling your VPN momentarily and see if you’re able to connect or not. If it works after disabling your VPN, then the VPN was the problem all along.

Check your date and time settings

If your device’s date and time are incorrect, Apple’s digital content stores aren’t going to like you too much. On iPhone or iPad, launch the Settings app and navigate to General > Date & Time to ensure that either your time or your selected time zone is correct. If it’s not, adjust it accordingly. You can also enable Set Automatically and let your device do the correct work.

Set Date and Time Automatically on iPhone

On Mac, go to System Preferences > Date & Time. From here, click the lock icon and authenticate using your Mac’s password. Next, check the box for Set date and time automatically.

Date and Time Settings in Mac System Preferences

Similarly, go to the main settings on your Windows PC and make sure your computer’s date and time are set correctly.

Check to see if Apple’s servers are down

To see if the problem is related to Apple’s servers rather than your device, you can visit Apple’s System Status page, which will alert you of any ongoing outages with Apple’s systems. If everything looks green, the problem is most likely with your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or PC, and not with Apple’s servers.

Make sure software is up to date

Another important thing to ensure is the device is updated.

  • You can get the latest version of iOS and iPadOS from iPhone or iPad Settings > General > Software Update.
  • On Mac, go to System Preferences > Software Update.
  • And on Windows PC, click Start > Settings > Windows Update > Check for updates.

Call your internet service provider

Believe it or not, Apple says some unnamed ISPs will actually block access to certain ports used by Apple’s digital content stores. You can contact your ISP for more information about whether or not they’re blocking the required ports.

Besides the above fixes, here are some dedicated solutions if iTunes Store isn’t working on your computer.

Specific Mac fixes

Make sure you don’t have a firewall blocking digital content stores

Mac users have access to firewall settings, but only for incoming connections. Third-party firewall software, such as LittleSnitch, will allow blocking outgoing connections. Make sure that both incoming and outgoing connections are allowing Mac App Store, Books store, and iTunes store connections.

To check your macOS incoming firewall, you can launch the System Preferences app from the  menu in your menu bar, then click Security & Privacy and open the Firewall tab. From here, you can unlock your firewall settings and click the Firewall Options button to configure what’s allowed and disallowed.

Mac Firewall Settings

Specific Windows fixes

Windows can be just as pesky, if not more so. If you’re having issues connecting to the iTunes store on your Windows PC, you can follow some of these steps and hopefully resolve your issue:

Update iTunes

Since Apple is pretty strict on keeping software up to date, the problem may be related to an unsupported version of iTunes. Check to make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed on your PC.

Make sure Windows Firewall isn’t blocking iTunes

Windows Firewall may be configured to block connections to the iTunes Store. You can check out an online support document from Apple on how to make sure Windows Firewall isn’t causing the issues and to fix it if it is.

Reset the hosts file to factory settings

Apple notes that messing with the hosts file in Windows, which was a common way for jailbreakers to perform downgrades in the past, can cause issues with iTunes connectivity. Microsoft has an online support document on resetting the hosts file so you can see if this solves your problem.

Check anti-virus software

Some anti-virus software may report iTunes as a false negative, which may block its internet access privileges. Since anti-virus software is a common thing on Windows, this is a great place to check too.

iTunes connection errors are never fun and are almost always a genuine pain. This is especially so when you’re just trying to buy a new song, rent a movie, get a ringtone, download a new book, re-download past purchases, and more. I hope this tutorial helped you understand and fix the frustrating issues related to iTunes Store and the Books Store.

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