What Is iTunes Error 3259 and How to Fix It

iTunes error -3259
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The error messages that iTunes gives you when something goes wrong aren't very helpful. Take error -3259. When it occurs, the messages iTunes supplies include:

  • "iTunes could not connect to the Store. An unknown error occurred (-3259). Make sure your network connection is active and try again"
  • "There was an error downloading your music (-3259)"
  • "Cannot connect to the iTunes Store. An unknown error has occurred."

    These messages don't explain much about what's going on or how to fix it. If you're getting this error, you're in luck: This article can help you understand what's happening and how to fix it.

    Causes of iTunes Error -3259

    Generally speaking, error -3259 is caused when security software installed by the user on their computer conflicts with iTunes' performing functions like connecting to the iTunes Store or sync with an iPhone or iPod. There are dozens (or hundreds) of security programs that may interfere with iTunes, so it's difficult to isolate the exact programs or features that cause problems. One common culprit, though, is a firewall that's blocking connections to the iTunes servers.

    Systems Affected

    Error -3259 can affect basically any computer that can run iTunes, whether it's running Mac OS X or Windows.

    How to Fix iTunes Error -3259

    To resolve error -3259, try the following steps. Try connecting to iTunes again after each step.

    If you're still getting the error, move on to the next option.

    1. Confirm that your computer's settings for date, time, and timezone are all correct. iTunes checks for this information, so mistakes there can cause problems
    2. Make sure you're using the newest version of iTunes that's compatible with your computer. Learn how to update iTunes here
    1. Make sure you're running the latest version of the Mac OS or Windows that works with your computer. If you're not, update your computer
    2. Check that the security software installed on your computer is the latest version. Security software includes things like antivirus and firewall. Update the software if it's not the latest
    3. Confirm that your internet connection is working properly
    4. If your internet connection is fine, check your hosts file to make sure connections to Apple servers aren't being blocked. This is a little technical, so if you're not comfortable with things like the command line (or don't know what that is), ask someone who is. Apple has a good article about checking your hosts file
    5. Try disabling or uninstalling your security software. If you have more than one security package installed, make sure to remove/disable all of them. If the error goes away with the security software off, there are a couple of steps to take. First, if you turned off your firewall to solve the problem, check out Apple's lists of ports and services that are required for iTunes. Add rules to your firewall configuration to allow connections to them. If the problematic software is another kind of security tool, contact the company that makes the software to have them help you fix the issue
    1. If none of these steps fixed the problem, you should contact Apple to get more in-depth help. Set up an appointment at the Genius Bar of your local Apple Store or contact Apple Support online.