When you’re attempting to restore or update your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch using iTunes, you might sometimes face several errors that will immediately put you in a panic mode. One such example is error code 21 which usually happens when you’re in the middle of a restore process in iTunes.

If you’ve encountered error 21 in iTunes and are looking for a way to fix it then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will show several methods that can be used to get rid of error 21 in iTunes and successfully restore or update your device.

How to Fix iTunes Error 21 When Restoring or Update iPhone or iPad


Method 1: Update iTunes

Sometimes the problem arises when iTunes hasn’t been updated to the latest version. It’s important that whenever you want to update or restore your iOS device, you have the latest version of iTunes installed.

Step 1: Launch iTunes

Step 2: On Mac, select iTunes from the menu bar and click on Check for Updates. In Windows, open Help from the menu bar and choose Check for Updates.

Step 3: If there’s an update available then proceed with installing and updating your iTunes to the latest version.

Method 2: Reinstall iTunes

If the previous method didn’t work for you, consider removing iTunes from your computer and reinstalling it again. You can download and install the latest version of iTunes from Apple’s website.

Method 3: Disable/Remove Security Software

In some cases, your security software such as antivirus could be causing the issue with your computer’s connection with iTunes. To fix the issue, consider disabling any security and antivirus softwares temporarily or remove them. Some security softwares might not be uninstalled completely so you will need to use a cleanup utility for them to be removed completely.

It’s also a good idea to temporarily disable Firewall to see if it fixes the issue.

Method 4: Check Hosts File

Your host file might be preventing iTunes from contacting Apple’s update server. In such a case, make sure that it is not blocking the communication. This can be done by removing the ‘’ line in the hosts file. Go to Microsoft support site to see how you can check the host file on Windows or if you’re on Mac, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Launch Applications and go to Utilities folder

Step 2: Open Terminal

Step 3: Type in the command shown below:

sudo nano /private/etc/hosts

Step 4: If it asks for a password, type in the password you use to sign into your Mac and then press the Return key

Step 5: Terminal will now display the hosts file as shown below. Scroll through the file and see if you can find an entry containing “”. If you don’t find this then the host file isn’t creating any issues. Otherwise if you find this entry, then remove the entire line that contains “”.

Hosts File Mac

Method 5: Replace USB Cable

Sometimes your USB cable is faulty and isn’t allowing your iPhone to be connected properly with the computer. In such a case, unplug the old USB cable and connect your iOS device using a new USB cable that works properly. It’s also best to remove all other USB cables and devices that are not being used.

Method 6: Use Another Computer

If the problem persists, it is a good idea to try restoring or updating your iOS device from a different computer. In such a case, find another computer with the latest version of iTunes installed and check to see if you can successfully perform a restore or update using it.

Method 7: Use Dr.Fone Toolkit

dr.fone toolkit is an iOS system recovery toolkit that helps you to solve the issues on your iOS device. It helps you fix restore issues, bootloop problem, stuck on Apple logo issue, and more. With this, you can bypass the error 21 message in iTunes and restore successfully.

By following the methods outlined above, you should be able to successfully solve error 21 problem in iTunes and update or restore your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch without any issues. If the problem still persists, please let us know in the comments section below. If you used another method for solving the problem then consider sharing it with us as well.

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