5 Solutions to The iPhone Software Update Server Could Not be Contacted

This passage explains why the iPhone software update server could not be contacted and gives you 5 solutions to fix the connection issues.


By Dylan / Updated on June 7, 2023

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The iPhone software update server could not be contacted

The iOS 16 is just released and I am going to update my iPhone 11 in iTunes. I connect iPhone to computer, open iTunes as usual, but it can’t connect to Apple software update server. I haven’t seen this before. Anyone could help me out with this?

- Question from Apple Community

What does it mean when an iPhone update server couldn't be contacted?

Every time you plug iPhone into a computer to backup iPhone with iTunes or use iTunes to sync photos, videos, or other data, it will automatically check iOS update for you. This could be very convenient for iPhone users to save a lot of time and updating iOS in iTunes seldom causes problems.

However, sometimes when you connect your iPhone to your computer and try to update to iOS 16/15, you may receive a message saying "The iPhone software update server could not be contacted".

iPhone Software Update Server Can Not Be Contacted

When you are told the update server could not be contacted, it generally means your iPhone can't connect to the Internet, there are too many people updating their iPhones at the same time.

Besides, some configurations or antivirus software might block iTunes from contacting the server. Don't worry, you can refer to the following content, we will provide other solutions to this issue.

How to fix "the iPhone software update server couldn't be contacted"

Before we get started, it is recommended to backup the iPhone in case of any data loss because of improper operation.

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Solution 1. Test the Internet speed or connect a better Wi-Fi

It would be very simple to test your Internet. Just open your browser and see whether you could smoothly watch videos on YouTube or open another network application on the desktop to see whether it works well.

If this Wi-Fi does not perform well, you can connect iPhone to another Wi-Fi and then try iTunes again.


Solution 2. Disable firewall and antivirus for a while

There has been proved case that sometimes firewall and antivirus could isolate iTunes from the system. iTunes is treated as a threat to the PC, so that there could the problem connecting iPhone or contacting the server.

You can temporarily stop firewall and antivirus when you update iPhone via iTunes.


Solution 3. Update iOS in iPhone Settings

If the iPhone software could not be contacted on iTunes, you can try updating iOS on iPhone. After all, this method is chosen by most of iPhone users to update iPhone to the latest iOS.

Go to iPhone Settings > General > Software Update > tap Download and Install > tap update now > tap Install.

iOS Software Update

Solution 4. Edit or reset your hosts file

The hosts file is used to help you easily use all kinds of network application on computer. If it is changed from default, some website cannot be visited.

Microsoft has given the official way to reset hosts file, you can follow this guide to fix the network issue according to your OS of computer.

Hosts File

Solution 5. Manually download the update for iPhone

If iTunes still cannot connect to the server, there is the ultimate way for you. You can manually update iPhone to the latest iOS or downgrade iPhone to the previous version using this way.

If you choose this method, you will lose lots of data on iPhone. You can use FoneTool and follow the next section to backup your iPhone.

Step 1. Choose the update and download IPSW file from ipsw.me.

Step 2. Download the latest iTunes on your computer, connect iPhone to computer with USB cable, and click the device icon.

Step 3. Press and hold Shift Key and click Restore iPhone. Select the IPSW file from the folder and wait for the process complete.


Backup your iPhone before updating it to the latest iOS

No matter you try any methods to fix the iPhone software update server connection issue, it is wise to make a backup for your important data to avoid data loss. You can turn to a powerful and popular backup/transfer software named FoneTool, which is one of the best iPhone backup software. It is totally free and very easy to use. You can use it to export unlimited photos, videos, music, contacts, and messages from iPhone to PC.

This tool provides 2 provides professional backup solutions: Custom Backup and Full Backup to meet various demands. Now you can download FoneTool to computer and follow the steps to easily backup your iPhone.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7

Step 1. Attach your iPhone to the computer. And run FoneTool. Choose "Phone Backup" on the left pane. On the Full Backup, click "Get Started"

full backup

Full Backup: It will backup all data on your iPhone with one click.
Custom Backup: This feature enables you to selectively backup photos, videos, music, messages, contacts, etc to a safe place.

Step 2. Click the "Full Backup" option when the program is launched.

click full backup

Step 3. Select the storage path and click Start Backup.

Click Start Backup

Note: If want to backup some sensitive data, like Health data, fitness records, please encrypt the backup.


This issue the iPhone software update server could not be contacted is most likely caused by the bad Internet connection. You can use the 5 solutions above to solve the problem.

Before you update your iPhone, you should always make a backup of iPhone data to make sure the data is always safe. FoneTool is a free professional iPhone backup/transfer software. Besides, it also offers plenty of features, like transfer music to computer, erase iPhone, and so on.

Dylan · Editor
Dylan is an editor of mobile backup software. He likes to share the latest news about iPhone and iOS, write useful tips, and give solutions to help people solve all kinds of issues.