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 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.
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.
Step 2 – Run Reset command and Restart Windows
On command prompt, type the below command without quotes and press enter:
“netsh winsock reset”
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.
After the restart simply launch iTunes and you will be able to access the iTunes within a few seconds.
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