Fix for iPad 'Error 14'

[Updated with Windows 7 File location]

The update of my iPad to version 3.2.1 of iOS failed last night. iTunes reported that an 'Error 14' had occured (Not very helpful) Subsequent attempts at un-docking and re-docking resulted in iTunes trying and failing to restore the device. Here’s how I fixed the problem.

I eventually took a scroll through the crash dump which iTunes was suggesting I should send to Apple for analysis. It appeared from the logs that the updated OS image was failing a checksum verification i.e. it had been corrupted during the download. A few minutes of searching provided the information needed to fix the problem:

  1. Un-dock and shutdown the iPad (Note: You will not see the 'Red' power down slider in this state)
  2. Shutdown iTunes
  3. Delete the previously downloaded software update file which you will find in these location depending on your system:
    1. Mac Location: /users/<user name>/Library/iTunes/iPad Software Updates
    2. PC Location (Pre Windows 7): \Documents and Settings\<User>\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPad Software Updates
    3. PC Location (Windows 7): \Users\<User>\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPhone Software Updates
  4. 'Empty Trash' to be on the safe side.
  5. Restart iTunes
  6. Dock iPad
  7. Follow the prompts to have iTunes download the OS upgrade again
  8. Once downloaded iTunes should automatically upgrade the iPad with the new OS and bring it out of restore mode.
  9. This will restore the iPad to factory settings
  10. Once the factory restore is complete iTunes will let you further restore the iPad from the most recent backup of the device before it encountered the problems. This should recover your apps, data and user settings.

I believe this fix will also work if you get 'Error 14' during an iPhone update. The download files will be found at the same locations except in the 'iPhone Software Updates' directory.

I hope this helps if you been trying to recover from this very annoying and frustrating problem.

40 responses

  1. Hi Jonathon. I’ve had this error for last few days, and resigned myself to a visit to local Apple branch. I gave it one last try on google this morning and found your post about this issue. I’ve since followed your instructions and Ipad is presently happily updating and restoring. Thanks so much for this. It’s made my day.

  2. It worked perfectly! Congratulations for your post and thanks a lot! It’s really a shame that Apple’s website is completely useless to help with this «error 14».

  3. had to go through these steps 4 times (the first three times it was '14' again), but in the end it worked. everything is fine again. thx!

  4. After 4 hours of frustration, I finally came across your blog… and a thank you is in order! Very little help from Apple, but your simple technique worked perfectly, thank you very much!

  5. About to try your fix, I rang Apple this morning and they assured me this was a problem they have not heard of and I was the first with this error. Rofl

    • Sanjeev,

      I’m sorry this has not worked for you. As you can see from the comments on this thread the steps I outlined seem to work for most folks with the same problem. Can I suggest that you try once again and confirm that you have followed every step precisely as I outlined. The most important thing is to make sure you have deleted the old, corrupt, system update files from the locations indicated.

      Try it again and if that does not work send me a mail at JM (at) and indicating whether your iPad is connecting to a Mac or PC.

      Good luck,


  6. Your suggestions are really helpful! I have also redownload and reinstalled the itunes to make it work.

    Thank you very much!

  7. Thanks so much Jonathan for your solution to iPad error 14. You have saved me a great deal of time. I’m very grateful for your post.

  8. I tried this, exactly to the T, and when verifying the software, gave me Error 6. Why? I have an iPad 2 on a PC.

  9. I am not seeing an iTunes Download folder in the location you are noting, all I see is something called iTunes Plug Ins. There is one file there and its not an OD download. Would you be able top provide screen shots of the path I should be following? Thanks.

  10. Hello, i use windows 7… but i cant find the directory you r talking about… is it ok if u give me the one for windows 7? please reply to my email thank you! =D

  11. Wow,

    Amazing, just that simple… After a lot of errorcodes at the end I received code 14.

    Been busy for days…

    Updating now, looks good :-)

  12. Hi,

    I got this problem several weeks ago. Have taken it to 3 apple stores and various other people and have had no luck. This sounds hopeful but I can access the software update location as I am on windows 7 and there is no longer a documents and settings. I have searched everywhere and can’t get to where you have said. Any suggestions?

  13. I have tried to do this about 7 times now and it is not working. I keep looking around on the internet and this seems to be what everyone is suggesting to do. Very frustrating. May just go back to the apple store and demand a new phone (will be my second replacement in 5 months). Very angry really overall.

  14. Holy Cow! You are the most awesome person ever! You totally saved my butt! Thank you, thank you, thank you… and thank you again! πŸ˜€

  15. Johnathan,
    Thank you for the solution! It did not work on my 1st attempt… I then realized that I had «iPad Software Updates» under 2 different user accounts on the laptop. Once I deleted those files your solution worked perfectly. Thank you and Happy New Year!

  16. I am extremely inspired along with your writing skills as well as with the structure to your weblog.
    Is that this a paid subject or did you customize it your self?
    Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it is uncommon to peer a great weblog like this one today.

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