How to Fix iPhone Error 4013

Everything you need to know to resolve this common error

The last thing you want to see on your iPhone when you restore it or update the operating system is error 4013, which tells you the device cannot be restored. This may seem like a major problem, especially because you cannot use your phone until it is fixed, but it's a relatively easy problem to solve. Read on to learn what causes iPhone error 4013 and seven ways you can fix it.

The information in this article applies to all iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models with recent versions of the iOS operating system.

Looking to solve a different iPhone error with number codes? We've got articles on how to fix iPhone error 53, how to fix iPhone error 3194, and how to fix iPhone error 3259.

The iPhone error 4013

Causes of iPhone Error 4013

Error 4013 is commonly referred to as iPhone Error 4013, but that's not technically correct. This error can strike the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch—any device that runs iOS.

The error occurs when there is a problem updating iOS or restoring an iPhone from a backup. That problem may happen when the device disconnects from iTunes, or when iTunes is unable to prompt the device to finish the update or restore process. In most cases, this is the result of a software bug, though, in a few cases, it may be due to a hardware failure.

You'll know you're facing this error when you get the following message from iTunes:

The iPhone [device name] could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (4013).

You may also see errors 9, 4005, and 4014. All four errors are closely related to each other, so the steps in this article can be used to fix all of these.

How to Fix iPhone Error 4013

Working around this error doesn't have to be a huge headache. To fix an iPhone error 4013, follow these steps, in this order:

  1. Update iTunes to the latest version. The most common cause of iPhone error 4013 is software. Because iTunes is essential to both restoring and updating, you must have the latest version of iTunes. You could be running into this error because your version of iTunes is out of date. A simple, free software update may solve the problem. Update iTunes and try again.

  2. Force restart the iPhone. A seemingly difficult problem with an iOS device is solved by restarting it. Sometimes the problem is a temporary software glitch that the restart will fix. In this case, you want a force restart or hard reset, which is a more complete reset. Then try the restore or update again.

  3. Connect the device to iTunes and download and install the latest iOS update. If the error hasn't been fixed after the first two steps, connect the device to a computer using a USB cable. When you do this, iTunes should ask whether you want to update or restore your device. Select Update.

    It's crucial that you select Update during this step. This reinstalls the operating system but leaves your data untouched. If you select Restore, all your data is deleted.

  4. Update your Mac or check for and install updates on your PC. Just like an older version of iTunes may have caused error 4013, there could be software updates you need to install on the Mac or PC. Check for any available operating system updates, install those updates, and then try again.

  5. Try a different USB cable. The iPhone error 4013 can be caused by a hardware problem. It's possible that the iOS device is disconnecting from iTunes, or iTunes can't communicate correctly with the device, because the cable connecting the device to the computer is faulty. Swap out the cable for another cable that you know works and see if that solves the problem.

  6. Restore using a different computer. This is the other scenario in which a hardware problem may cause the error. If it's not the USB cable that's the problem, it could be the USB port or a separate hardware issue with the computer. Because this is a difficult problem to pin down, it's a good idea to restore or upgrade your device on a new computer.

  7. Make an Apple Genius Bar appointment for tech support. If everything you tried so far has failed to fix error 4013, contact Apple. At this point, you may have a more serious problem that can only be solved by the people with access to top training and repair options.

Be careful of websites that sell software that claims to fix iPhone Error 4013. While some of these services may be able to help you, you don't need them. There are many things you can try to fix the error, and none of those involve paying a third party.

  • What does error 9, 4005, 4013, or 4014 mean on an iPad or iPod?

    You might see one of these error codes if a problem has interrupted the process of updating your device or restoring it from a backup.

  • Where can I find a list of iPhone and iPad error codes and meanings?

    If you see an error code, refer to Apple's table of error codes and links for explanations and possible solutions. Generally, the first thing to try is to update the device's operating system if it's out to date.

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