iTunes Gets Stuck In Accessing iTunes Store In Windows

by Rohit Khurana on June 14, 2012


If you are one of the apple device users who uses an iPhone, iPod or iPad and you use a Windows PC to sync your iPhone, iPod, iPad etc. to sync music and applications using the Apple iTunes application, this troubleshooting tip will help you. Recently when I was working to Unlock my iPhone officially from AT&T, I had to de-activate and activate my iPhone using iTunes store online. This process needed my iTunes software to connect with Apple servers on the Internet and then complete the process. To my surprise, iTunes kept bothering me by getting stuck in the  “Accessing iTunes Store…” state for not seconds, but minutes and hours. I restarted the computer, updated the iTunes to latest version, checked all the connection settings, even checked my Windows Hosts file to see if there was any problem with any particular site or IP being blocked, but there was nothing unusual there. In this article, I share with you how I fixed this problem.

iTunes Not Connecting In Windows (6)

iTunes Stuck In “Accessing iTunes Store” – Problem and Symptoms

After lots of reading through forums and support pages of Apple, I got to know that this is a commonly faced problems with iTunes in Windows. This problems arises when the iTunes software is not able to establish a secure TSL link with the iTunes server and this prevents the iTunes from accessing the iTunes store this it gets stuck in the Accessing iTunes Store state forever. This usually happens when some other program messes up with the Windows Socket settings. Sockets are a part of the network functionality and usually installing a download manager and other similar network related softwares usually corrupt Windows Socket settings. On my Windows PC, I identified after solving the problem that it was my Internet Download Manager software which was clashing with iTunes software.

Another symptom of messed up or corrupt Winsock setting is high CPU Usage, typically use of 20 to 30% of CPU at all the times when no application has been started. This happens when the windows socket settings get corrupt, the Apple Mobile Device Service.exe process takes up high CPU attempting to connect to make the iTunes connectivity work, but it fails and it keeps on trying and using up the CPU. On my laptop, it used to turn up the heat dissipation and battery started to drain with high fan speeds. To check if your computer is also going though similar problem, start the Windows task manager (by pressing CTRL+ Shift+ ESC Key), click on “Show Processes From All Users” and check the CPU usage of Apple Mobile Device Service.exe. If its higher then 20% when you are not running iTunes, it means that the Winsock setting is messed up.

iTunes Not Connecting In Windows (2)


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In the following section, we share an easy fix to this problem.

Solution To iTunes Connectivity Problem

Before you make any changes, please make sure that your Windows computer on which you are using iTunes is connected to the Internet. In most cases, the iTunes connectivity problem is easily resolved by resetting Windows socket settings. To do the same, just follow these easy steps:

Step 1 – Run Command Prompt In Administrator Mode

To reset windows socket setting, command prompt needs to be run in administrator mode. For the same browser to Windows > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt or simply search command prompt at the windows search menu, right click on command prompt icon and click on Run As Administrator.

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Step 2 – Run Reset command and Restart Windows

On command prompt, type the below command without quotes and press enter:

netsh winsock reset”

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The above command will clear the Windows Sockets Catalog. After this simply restart your computer. In case some of your network related software like a download manager throws you an error and asks to fix the network association, say No to it, this will help prevent any changes to the Winsock default settings.

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After the restart simply launch iTunes and you will be able to access the iTunes within a few seconds.

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Hope you find the above troubleshooting tip easy to follow. Also read one of the most common iTunes related problem – Apple Mobile Device Service Not Started and Repair When iTunes Could Not Connect To iPhone, iPad Server For iOS Update

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Katherine July 30, 2012 at 1:30 am

I tried this the other day as was suggested by another website. I followed every step properly but it didn’t fix it. I can’t access the store and iTunes cannot connect to the internet to find album artwork or any other album details, for instance when importing CDs I have to manually enter each track name as well as the album title. Do you know any other solutions? I’m running iTunes version I tried another method, where you disable the store in parental controls but enable iTunes U, then reverse the proceedure. Whenever I go onto the store now it says “Accessing iTunes store” like your article said whereas before it was just blank. I would really like to fix this, but I have no clue what could be causing it. Many thanks!

Greg August 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm

I also am having the same problem with accessing the iTunes store. I tried your suggestion to reset the windows socket settings but every time I did the CMD screen prompt gave me an error saying that ‘netsh’ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file. I am running the CMD window as the Administrator and typing it exactly as its displayed here. I tried every thing and nothing has worked so far. I thought this would work for sure but I can’t understand how everybody else got it to work and I can’t. I am using Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit. Any help would be appreciated.


Stephanie September 11, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! Worked like a charm!!

Aditya Naik September 16, 2012 at 4:00 am

Thanks a lot, bro. You nailed it!

Jaya September 17, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Thank you…. At last its working… Thanx =)

Sasi October 16, 2012 at 10:43 pm

hey thanks, but didn’t work for me. i tried it but no, nothing. so yea i still don’t know what to do. but anyway, thanks for this help and i think it got a little faster in loading maybe.

Scooter October 21, 2012 at 8:45 am

thank you for info i have been every where from apple 3 hours nice lady, to dell computer out of warranty by 3 days PLEASE pay 299.00 for help with software solution for extension, with the creator of the problem WINdows (MICROSOft or MR SOFTEEEEEE) for 49. 99 we can helllllp u toooooooo. then to internet provider COMCAST with some solution to forward or open new port for router , then i GOOGLE search 1 more time and found this I am so PLEASED with the week from HELL to find the solution. I have put u in my FAVorites forEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mc November 6, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Spot on man .. nice work !
Funny thing is that i spent 45 mins on the phone to apple – 25mins of which was on hold
They tried all options to no avail .. this simple command hit the spot ..
Good on U .. party on !

Julio Tiofan December 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm

thankyou so mucchh its just simply worked!! :) x

Ankur December 4, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Sweet. This worked! Thanks :)

KJ February 17, 2013 at 11:51 pm

MAN! I have no words for this. I was on a call with apple’s customer executive for 4.5 hours. They made me uninstall and then install and uninstall again and try again and again for many times. That whole effort was in vain. I was in contact with their head in email as they asked me to re-install windows. AND HERE I GOT IT FIXED WITH JUST ONE COMMAND, ALL BECAUSE OF YOU! I am now gonna write back to their head about this problem so the community faces no more problems. Thanks a lot. This post means a lot to me and have i bookmarked you. Thanks again!

Shailesh Parmar March 20, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Thank u so much!! This is such a wonderfully written step-by-step article!! worked like a charm!! keep up the good work!!

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