Can’t Connect to the iTunes / App Store from your Apple Device – check this first!

I was confronted one morning recently by a very frustrated daughter of mine who was complaining that the home WiFi was playing up again, and that she couldn’t connect to either Apple App Store or the iTunes Store from their iPad. The symptom was quite curious, because the applications appeared to display correctly momentarily, and then the message “Can’t Connect to the App Store” (or iTunes store) appeared after that. Very strange.

In typically careless fashion she hadn’t backed up or synced her iPad in months, and the system software was 2 versions out of date, and so I suggested she do all of that housekeeping and once that was all done, come and see me again. Well she had to go out to do some shopping, so it fell to me to go through all of these remedial actions, none of which appeared to resolve the issue. My other Child’s iPad was working fine, so the mystery deepened.

I referred to the Apple support article Can’t connect to the iTunes Store, and at first didn’t see anything out of the ordinary; The device software was now updated, internet connectivity was fine, the other issues mentioned did not apply.

But in the second section headed “Fix issues on your iOS device”, the first item I came to seemed interesting. “Make sure your date and time are correct.” Well of course the time and date will be correct I thought, but I checked anyway.

You can imagine my consternation when I found that the date and time was no longer set to automatic but was now set to manual, and was showing a date about 2 months ago! Here then was the problem. I set it back to automatic, and voila, problem solved. Both iTunes and App store applications now opened flawlessly – presumably they suspect when the date of the device is incorrect that some attempt at corrupt behaviour is being attempted – not sure?

It turns out that setting the date back allowed my daughter to take advantage of some situation in a game she was playing – it allowed her to get “extra energy in a game she was playing”. Suffice to say, she won’t be setting the date and time back on her iPad again. She understands that isn’t a very good idea, given the amount of time wasted trying to sort out these other issues.

So my advice if you’re experiencing this symptom on your iOS advice, in addition to ensuring your iOS software is all up to date etc is, ensure the device time and date is correct, and the easiest way to ensure that, is to have it set to automatic, and on the correct time zone for your region.


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