Error 3194 is one of the most challenging issues that iPhone users have to deal with while they are using iTunes. While the error, (which usually happens after an upgrade and states that the iPhone cannot be restored) can be solved, there is a large variety of options to fix it, meaning that you may have to try them all until you can actually get it sorted out. To make things more complicated, when you look for details about specific errors in Apple’s support page, you will be disappointed about the lack of information that could be really useful. This is specially true when you are trying to get help to downgrade the iOS version you are using, since this is not something that Apple us very keen on. Of course, if your iPhone has been jailbroken, you will find no support at all.
Encountering errors while updating or restoring your iPhone is not rare for those who try to repair or modify their device on their own, which is why you should leave it to professionals. If you have already been fiddling with your iPhone and as a result, you are more prone to get these errors, we will give you a list of things that you can try to solve iTunes error 3194. This error usually appears when you are trying to upgrade of update the firmware and it may be due to an issue with the hosts file. In order to get it fixed, you can do the following:
1. In the PC, find the file that is called “hosts”. For Windows, this is found in C:/Windows/System32/drivers/etc/ and in Mac, simply in etc. You will need to open the file in a text editing software such as Notepad, if you are using Windows, open it with Administrator Privileges.
2. At the bottom of the file you’ll find: 188.8.131.52 gs.apple.com. Enter a # in front of this line or remove it completely.
3. Save the hosts file and then try to update your iPhone through iTunes. This is the solution that works in most cases, ensuring that the error stops popping out. However, as we previously mentioned, error 3194 may require you to try out other fixes before it stops appearing. If you have jailbroken your iPhone or tried to repair it on your own, you may need to take other measures such as the below.
TinyUmbrella is a simple software that could help you to repair error 3194 in your jailbroken iPhone. It usually works better when the error appears as a consequence of an attempt of downgrading your iOS, although it can also be used when the error occurred while you were trying to update. This is what you would need to do in order to try this fix:
1. Download the iOS firmware that you want to use in your iPhone. This could be the latest version or an earlier version you prefer to downgrade to.
2. Get TinyUmbrella. You will be able to download it from their website. TinyUmbrella requests SHSH (secure signature hash) or unique keys and uses them to enable iTunes to continue the restore. Since Apple only lets you restore to the iOS firmwares for which they have signed the SHSHs. TinyUmbrella allows you to restore a firmware by requesting these signatures. However, it is important to keep in mind that Apple only signs a firmware for a limited time and once they stop signing it, it will not be possible to restore it.
3. Once you have downloaded TinyUmbrella, connect to your iPhone and close iTunes if it automatically opens.
4. Open TinyUmbrella and select “Start TSS Server“.
5. Make sure that your iPhone is in DFU (Device Firmware Update) mode. This can be done by switching off your iPhone by pressing the Power button and slide to power off. Then hold the button for a few seconds. Press and hold the Home and Power buttons for a while, then release the Power button and keep holding the Home button for about 15 seconds. The screen in your iPhone will remain black but the iPhone will be set in DFU mode.
6. To update your firmware, you will need to click Shift+Restore (If the computer your iPhone is connected to runs Windows) or Option+Restore is you are using a Mac. Then select the iOS file that you previously downloaded. iTunes should restore to the iOS you selected and update your iPhone with it.