itunes 3194 error, how I really fixed it

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I was trying to reset to factory settings my jail broken iPhone, but the phone went on boot loop. And i wasn’t able to start it, so i had to restore the firmware. You can’t rely on iTunes to download it, because the file is almost 2GB, the connection is slow in Lebanon, and it would probably fail on 99%. I searched for the convenient iOS 8.1 firmware for my iPhone on Google, and after that i Found a link with the domain appleid.com, i downloaded the file.

error 3194 restore

And for two days I was trying to restore my iPhone (by pressing shift on the restore button in iTunes to restore from local file).But i always ended up with the  3194 error, at first I googled the error number. Basically everyone including Apple’s official support explains that the error 3194 happens when your iTunes isn’t able to reach apple’s server to verify the update, which a possible case for this error.So i tried all the suggested solutions; cleaning my “etc/hosts” file, running an antivirus, turning off my firewall, trying to update via vpn and trying to restore on other computers. Yet I couldn’t get my iPhone to work.

Then i noticed that when you ask iTunes to auto-download the firmware, the download works, and since I’ve been cracking my head off for 2 days, trying the solutions i found on Apple’s support and Google Search, I decided to get creative.

I asked iTunes to download the new software for my iPhone, and I navigated to “C:\Users\[myuser]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPhone Software Updates”.  To find out that iTunes was downloading “iPhone6,2_8.1.1_12B435_Restore.ipsw”, a much newer version than the file that I found online.

In other words, iTunes didn’t allow the restore because Apple’s servers refuse to sign old software versions, yet apple’s support page didn’t explain that on the Error’s Page. And sadly all the websites discussing this error, had the same information.