How to Fix Error 14 on Your iPhone – Guide

Did your iPhone fail while updating or restoring with a computer? If so, you’re probably looking at the pop-up “an unknown error has occurred (14)” on your computer. To make matters worse, chances are you won’t be able to boot to iOS either. But do not worry. Working with the solution below can save you a trip to the Apple Store. Let’s start.

What causes error 14?

the pop-up “an unknown error has occurred (14)” (or simply error 14) occurs while updating or restoring an iPhone that is running out of storage space. But that’s not the only reason. A faulty USB cable, an outdated version of iTunes or Finder, or a corrupt IPSW (iPhone software) file can all contribute. Error 14 usually ends up forcing your iPhone into a boot loop. To fix the problem, you must enter recovery mode. You then have the option to perform another update or restore and make the device work properly again.

Using recovery mode

As its name implies, recovery mode is a recovery environment you can use to update or restore a failed iPhone. However, it requires a somewhat confusing set of button presses to arrive. You can find all about how to log in and use recovery mode in our separate post. We recommend checking it out as you work through each fix. In some cases, encountering error 14 forces the iPhone to boot into recovery mode. If you see a screen displaying an image of a computer and a USB cable, you don’t need to enter recovery mode manually. Just connect it to your Mac or PC. Recovery mode has two different options. The first option (Update) allows you to update your iPhone without losing your data. The second option (Reset iPhone) resets the device to factory settings. If you have a backup, you can restore the iPhone backup later.

Change USB port or cable

The most likely reason for error 14 on iPhone is a worn or defective Lightning cable. Try changing USB ports or use a different cable (preferably from another iOS device). You can also use a third-party USB Lightning cable. Just make sure it’s MFi (Made for iPhone) certified.

Disable third-party security software

Third-party security software can interfere with iTunes or the Finder and prevent the software from communicating with your iOS device. Try disabling all security software applications on your PC or Mac and see if it helps.

Update iTunes or Finder

If the issue persists, you should update iTunes. You can do this through the App Store (Mac) or the Microsoft Store (PC). However, if you use a Mac with macOS Catalina or later, you need to use the Finder to interact with your iPhone. The only way to update the Finder is to update your Mac’s system software. To do this, open the Apple menu and go to About this Mac > Software Update.

Delete the IPSW file and try again

iTunes and Finder download an IPSW file while updating or restoring your iPhone. It is what contains the data needed to update or reinstall iOS. However, a corrupt IPSW file can also result in Error 14. Deleting it should force iTunes or Finder to redownload a fresh copy of the file the next time you update or restore your device.

How to Delete an IPSW file on macOS

Open the Finder. Then select Go > Go to Folder from the menu bar and run the following path: ~ / Library / iTunes / iPhone Software Updates Control-click the IPSW file in the directory and select Move to Trash.

How to Delete an IPSW file on Windows

Open File Explorer. Then copy and paste the following path into the address bar and press Enter: % appdata% Apple Computer iTunes iPhone Software Updates Right-click the IPSW file within the directory and select Delete.

Try DFU Mode

If you still encounter error 14, try putting your iPhone into DFU (Device Firmware Update) mode. This is an advanced recovery environment that helps you reinstall system firmware and software.

Final note

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