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Fix “iPhone Cannot be Restored” Error While Restoring iOS 5.1.1 IPSW

In our quest to find solutions of iTunes errors while restoring SHSH Blobs, we encountered the error ‘iPhone cannot be restored’. This error will not appear every time when you restore iOS 5.1.1 custom IPSW, but only under certain conditions. Well, no need to panic, because we found the cause and solution of this error!

Earlier today we posted the news about how to jailbreak iOS 5.1.1 on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Great news, but while working on that, we encountered several possible iTunes errors: already found iTunes error 3194 and iTunes error 11. And now, we found another error that says:

The iPhone cannot be restored at this time because the iPhone software update server could not be contacted or is temporary unavailable. Please try again later.

iTunes Error: iPhone Cannot Be Restored

Well, you can try again later, but it will not change anything.

This error occurs when you remove all entries in your HOSTS file, while having iTunes opened in the background. Since iTunes checks the HOSTS file at startup, this will result in the error message ‘iPhone Cannot be Restored’.

Solution to fix error ‘iPhone Cannot be Restored’

The solution to avoid this annoying error is surprisingly simple:

  • Restart iTunes after you changed anything in your HOSTS file
  • Just close iTunes, before you make any changes in your HOSTS file

Simple solution, but it will prevent you from hours of useless searching and trying.

Again, this error doesn’t show up most of the time. The jailbreak iOS 5.1.1 on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch using Absinthe 2.0.1 works great and normally without any errors. Big thumbs up for the genius guys from the Chronic Dev Team!

Did you encounter any other errors while performing the jailbreak with Absinthe 2.0.1. Just leave a comment and we will get back to you!

Was this solution to fix the error ‘iPhone Cannot be Restored’ useful for you?

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    Shauna7 years, 1 month ago

    I have a error on my I phone 5 a that’s says I can not restore my phone due to I cloud not deregistering and it say to try again but I have multiple times and still no luck HELP !!

    Vural8 years, 1 month ago

    It’s awful, hosts and everything. Nothing really effected. Please help, I beg!

    Kira8 years, 3 months ago

    how can I solve my problem, I have iphone 4 ios 6.1.3 same error but not fixedThank you in advance

    Jay8 years, 4 months ago

    Thank you to the person who suggested creating a new admin account. I had searched the internet, found plenty of ‘fixes’ that just made me think I was making the problem worse. I gave up on my iphone, it has been for the best part of two months a brick. I had to use a horrible nokia thing, thats buttons never worked……. now my iphone is back and working …. thank you, thank you.

    Devin B8 years, 4 months ago

    I’m still struggling with the same problem and I’m not so big on tech things I’ve tried everything but it won’t work I still recieve the same message

    Richard8 years, 4 months ago

    Thank’sssssssssssss :)))) big bos ! :)))))))))

    MarkC8 years, 5 months ago

    I called Apple Support and the solution is very simple. Make a new Admin for your Windows, login to it, plugin your ipad and it will do a proper recovery. Seems the old itunes on your old admin has corrupted the Windows Registry.

    emma8 years, 5 months ago

    What do you change when in the HOST files??

    Grettle8 years, 7 months ago

    great work, thanks soooooooooo much! works perfectly. make sure in the drop down arrow box (when locating HOSTS) you select “all files”, just for those who are unfamiliar with that step.

    Samer8 years, 7 months ago

    i cannot save any changes iv made to notepad, they said that i have to contact the admin. for changes

      Brian8 years, 6 months ago

      You need to run it with an Admin account. If you are doing that already then check for defensive programs you have installed that could keep you from saving.

      abdu8 years, 5 months ago

      run as adminmistratore

    suhail8 years, 7 months ago

    frend my iphone is in recovery mood how to out recovery mod pleasehelp me

    Moga Mooga8 years, 11 months ago

    That’s how I fixed this issue in almost all iPhone generations :- open note pad as administrator – go to file – open then browse C: > windows > System 32 > drivers > etc- open host and add “#” ( Without quotes ) – save – restart iTunes And restore ur iPhone nowI hope this helps 

      Samer8 years, 7 months ago

      how i can restart i tunes?

      josh8 years, 7 months ago

      man this worked like charm! thanks moga mooga!

    Samuel B9 years ago

    what do i change in the HOSTS file?

    Chris D9 years ago

    I’ve been trying to restore iOS 5.1.1 IPSW on my iPhone 3GS, and I’m constantly getting error codes 1600, 3194, 11 and also ‘The iPhone cannot be restored at this time etc…’. I’ve tried using different USB ports, different cables, unplugging all other devices. I’ve tried disabling anti-virus/firewall software.I’ve tried using TinyUmbrella and unticking ‘Set Hosts to Cydia on Exit’.I’ve tried deleting removing all entries in HOSTS file. I’ve it normally and in DFU mode, I’ve tried using iREB to but the device into a PWNED DFU state.Still nothing works, it just goes back and forth between these error codes seemingly at random.Any ideas or help would be massively appreciated as I am starting to lose my mind!

      danang9 years ago

      i got a very same problem with u…please let me know when u got solved the problem….i tried every possibility from every forums but the results still the same….

      Harris9 years ago

      Same problem here ! Did not found any solution!! Have you ?

      koollife8 years, 10 months ago

      Me too i did all you mention , but if i update to 6.0.1 everything is working fine,  i don’t want to update to 6.0.1 each is about to start the update i remove the cable. its working fine on 6.0.1 but i can get it work on 5.1.1. presently i am on 4.1 iphone 4 i want to restore to 5.1.1

    Trialnterror9 years, 4 months ago

    Could you to a tutorial on how to access hosts file and how to change it. I’m assuming it’s something I changed along time ago when I was trying to jailbreak 5.0.1 ? But I have forgot how to get to hosts file! Please help

      Pesmerga9 years, 4 months ago


      To locate your host file, for Windows: Windows > System 32 > drivers > etc. For Mac, simply navigate to etc.

      Hope that helps!

    Rick Wilson6889 years, 4 months ago

    I have been unable to jb with absinthe since updating. Gives me an error which says that the device is not supported, iphone4, so it is. No problem with iPad 2.