Error 1604 when upgrading your iPhone to version 1.1.1

iPhone Yellow Triangle of DeathI set out to upgrade my iPhone software yesterday. After buying the phone, I followed Alex’s instructions for cancelling my AT&T service, so now it’s an iPod Touch with a SIM card slot. I’ve been using the iPhone as a testing platform. I have not performed any of the hacks against it.

So, I thought the upgrade would be a breeze. I was wrong.

After connecting my phone to iTunes on Windows XP, iTunes prompted me to upgrade. It downloaded the new software and applied it to my phone. Somewhere in the process (I wasn’t really paying attention), I received the infamous yellow triangle of death. The instructions on how to fix this are after the jump.

After searching long and hard throughout the Internets, rebooting WindowsXP machine several times, here’s what I found. These instructions are for WindowsXP running iTunes 7.4.3.

  1. Don’t Uninstall and Reinstall iTunes!!! Most of the instructions I found told me to do that, I never had to.
  2. If iTunes is open, shut it down
  3. Connect your iPhone to your computer via the supplied USB cable.
  4. Open up Windows Explorer and navigate to the following directory.C:Documents and Settings**YOUR USERNAME HERE**Application DataApple ComputeriTunesiPhone Software Updates. Be sure to replace your username with the appropriate directory. If you can’t find the Apple ComputeriTunes folder, you are probably in the wrong users directory.
  5. If you’ve received the 1604 error, you would have already downloaded the iPhone 1.1.1 update. There should be a 150Mb file in the iPhone Software Updates folder that contains the update.
  6. Double click that file. iTunes will open, and it should begin the process of updating your iPhone into working condition

Given that you are working with an expensive little device, I feel I need to state that I am not providing any warranty for these instructions. Please perform them at your own risk. I sincerely hope they work for you.

Mick McCormac wrote in explaining that switching the USB port his iPhone was plugged into helped him get past the 1604 error. Sounds crazy, I know, but it worked for him. YMMV.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Anthony Saint James

    Well it’s 3am and I just did the same as you…thought I could get away with a painless upgrade of my iPhone…back at midnight! I spent a too much time squeeking through the Apple site and even tried to call them at 1am. No luck! Google searched for Error 1604 (I also got an Error -50) and your blog came up with just the tidbit I was looking for. I just got the confirmation that it’s restoring! Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.


  • iphone challenge

    And what happens if you are running on a Mac? I too have the 1604 error.


    In response to to the comment by “iPhone Challenge” above:

    If you are running on a Mac you can find the same file and force the firmware update manually by opening a Finder window and navigating to /UserName/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates/ then double-click the most recent .ipsw file.

    Or, try 1.1.2, released this morning.

  • Shaun Thomas

    I cant re update my phone like you say… Every time i click the update itunes pops up and says i have to recover my iphone first… but at the end it just errors.

    How can i update the iphone without itunes asking me to restore my iphone?

  • mikehostetler

    What version of the iPhone Firmware are you trying to update to?

  • Smitty

    Hello not that I am an expert at this by any means but I used ibrikr v0.91 to boot my phone after it was stuck trying to get the upgrade to 1.1.2 Rebooted the PC and ran the update again, this time it appears to be booting and updating without a problem. Hope this helps.


  • Star

    i have a problem with my iphone i cant seem to unlock it ive tried everything when i turn it on what appears on the screen is the charger and a cd with a music sighn on it from there i cant do anything please help

  • Anonymous

    Okay. Big problem. I have downloaded the Installer app., and didn’t update the firmware for a while on my iphone. Well, I had some kind of idiotic relapse of sanity, and decided to try for the update. When I tried, the orange triangle comes up and says the phone is in recovery mode, and I need to restore it to proceed. Problem number two is that when I click restore, a terrifying red octagon appears with error message 1603. Now I just have to stare at the screen that says “connect to itunes” all the time on my iphone. Somebody please help!

    Thank you

  • Anonymous

    i jst got an iphone & it just locked up on me & i dont have the lock code & i cant reset it… anyone who can help me please

  • Chas

    Another big THANK YOU, THANK YOU.
    Your method worked great. Why can’t Apple’s support web pages advise the same method you just did. So damn frustrating.
    I’m back up again and I didn’t loose anything.

  • Ryan in North Florida

    Thank you for putting up this page. It only took me 36 minutes from “aww damn it” to “finally restoring iphone”. I tried to update iTunes+Quicktime and the iPhone firmware at the same time which was a bad idea in hindsight. I got an error that said that I had to restore iPhone, which was a bummer, but then I got the error 1604 which really pissed me off. I navigated to the documents and settings folder and ran the previous driver update which was 1.1.2 and it seems to have worked. Now I have to import all my contact info and settings, but it could have been worse. Thanks again.

  • Anonymous

    thanks for the page

  • greg

    i tryed to boot my iphone with ibrick and it s get stuck something i have same screen repeetingfor 2 days!!!i cant even turn off sometimes!!!it s black screen with text!!!what to i do???????

  • Claire


  • Joe

    THANK YOU!THANK YOU!THANK YOU! That worked! Your site comes up 2nd when you google ‘iphone error 1604’!

  • Carlos

    Just got the phone and was tryng to update phone at the synchronization menu prompt and I got error 1604 on the upgrade and repeatedly at the resore menu.

    Changing USB port worked for me just me fine. Thanks so much!

  • Anonymous

    i keep getting an error 1604 message on my iphone

  • JK Entertainment Trinidad

    hey I got the error 1604 as well, kept me up for the whole night, when i got up in the morning, I just tried using ibrickr 0.91 and click on boot downgrade to 1.02 and the program put the iphone in a dfu mode, then I used Itunes to Restore, it worked like a charm….Hope this helps someone 🙂

  • Emma

    Help my baby’s broken! Hello I have been reading all of the above messages and still I’m unable to find a solution that works. I tried to download software update 1.1.4 and it told me that it was unable to load the file because it was corrupt. That can’t possibly be right! Please if this has happened to anybody or if you have a possible solution, I shall not rest until my baby is fixed. Thanks . Emma

  • Dhanish

    hi, i tried to update to beta 2.0 it didnt work …. but for trying i tried to jailbreak with 2.0 update …… that didnt work either …. finally i wanted to restore back to 1.1.4 which i had working fine … but hell …. its not restoring …. its giving me error 1604 and now i m sad … please help me

  • Anonymous

    Well, I am using vista 64 bit, and I have an alternate solution. I looked on google forever and everybody suggested methods that DID NOT WORK (dumb stuff like dfu mode and replugging cable) This is my solution:
    Ipod gave me error 1604 when attempting to restore to 1.1.1 from 1.1.3
    Tried DFU, did not work
    Messed around with OS;
    right clicked on itunes and ran as admin on admin account.
    Un-plugged ethernet, disabled firewall+antivirus completely
    Tried to restore, and worked after a few attempts.
    Restored to 1.1.1 by using DFU mode, works.
    Must be a bug in 1.1.3

  • Anonymous

    User name?
    Sorry but what user name?

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