iPad / iPhone isn’t eligible for the requested build

the-ipad-could-not-be-restored

If you are trying to update your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch to iOS 5 and get this message “The iPhone “iPhone” could not be restored. This device isn’t eligible for the requested build,” this post is for you.

I have had this issue a couple of times and it was most likely caused from using beta versions of iOS and jailbroken devices. The error message is also sometimes displayed as “error 3194″.

First make sure you have updated to the latest version of iTunes (10.5 in this case) before you update your iDevice to iOS 5.

1. From Finder, click “Go” and then “Go to Folder”
2. Type /etc/ and press return

3. Find the document titled “Hosts” and open it.

4. Find the address “74.208.10.249 gs.apple.com” (or something to that effect) and delete it.
5. Save As to your DESKTOP. (Make sure to uncheck “if no extension is provided, use .txt”)
6. BACK UP the ORIGINAL “Hosts” document to somewhere else on your computer, just in case.
7. Drag and drop the new “Hosts” document you saved to your desktop to the /etc/ folder.
8. Enter your password to verify, and that should work. (If not, replace the new “Hosts” document with the original one.)

All you are trying to do is remove the “74.208.10.249 gs.apple.com” from the Hosts file. Because the file is locked is why we saved it, then replaced it.

If you have any trouble editing the hosts file with the method above, you can also edit the file using Terminal. Here is a tutorial explaining how it is done using Terminal.

Windows Users

Go to: C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\ and locate hosts file.
Open and edit the hosts file in Notepad as we did above.
Note: Win 7 and Vista users MUST run Notepad with admin privileges. Right click on Notepad app and select Run as Administrator.

Now you should be able to upgrade your iOS software without getting interrupted by the annoying message.

  • gemnilocs

    thank you so much! i had been trying to update my ipad since 10am and it is now 845 pm! if i could hug i would but since i can’t i am sending virtual hugs…by the way my ipad was never jailbroken only my iphone so i guess having any device that is jailbroken can be hazardous to a device that isn’t. whew

  • Rak

    Awesome!!! Worked exactly the way you stated!!

    Thanks Dude!!

  • DollBee

    Thanks so much for this simple explanation, it worked perfectly!

  • Govinna

    hello there! i have been trying it. but why the hosts can’t be replace?
    ‘The operation can’t be completed because the item “hosts” is in use’ this appear when i try to replace it.

  • Marco

    Thank you so much!! I cannot even express.. how much even.. THANK YOU!!

  • bea

    omg thanks. this is the only thing in the internet that worked. you explained it very clear.

  • Sebastian

    Thank you so much! Did not think this would work, it really helped me out.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/UruguayoIncoherente Uruguayo Incoherente

    Hey thanks so so much!!

  • Tomas

    Big thanks for this! Totally made my day :)

  • TJ

    Really, I’m very grateful for your advice!

  • Newman

    it works! thanks!!

  • prabh

    Hi, I dont have a button in my Finder that says “GO” :-S help!!!

  • Lisa

    I don’t see the message in the host folder… this is what I have in mine:

    ##
    # Host Database
    #
    # localhost is used to configure the loopback interface
    # when the system is booting. Do not change this entry.
    ##
    127.0.0.1 localhost
    255.255.255.255 broadcasthost
    ::1 localhost
    fe80::1%lo0 localhost

    Which one do I delete?

  • http://ipadhelp.com Phil

    You should see “Go” at the very top of the page after you click on Finder. Click “Go”, then click “Go to Folder”

    Then type /etc/

  • http://ipadhelp.com Phil

    Lisa,

    It looks like it was already deleted. After, I deleted mine and opened the file again it generated another number like this “#127.0.0.1 gs.apple.com”
    without the quotation marks.

    I would close the file and try to update in iTunes, if you still get the message telling saying you can’t restore, reboot your computer and open the Hosts file to see if a number was generated.

  • Lisa

    Same thing after reboot:

    ##
    # Host Database
    #
    # localhost is used to configure the loopback interface
    # when the system is booting. Do not change this entry.
    ##
    127.0.0.1 localhost
    255.255.255.255 broadcasthost
    ::1 localhost
    fe80::1%lo0 localhost

    Any other suggestions as to how I can update to ios 5. My phone is jailbroken and I can’t get past that message screen.

  • http://ipadhelp.com Phil

    Lisa,

    I’m sure you have updated iTunes to 10.5 but I just thought I’d mention just incase. If you have another computer make sure it has iTunes 10.5 and try a “Restore” on it.

    If you don’t have another computer try removing and reinstalling iTunes.

  • Lisa

    I hit “update” instead of “restore” – it’s currently backing up… this will take a while. Hopefully it will just update to ios 5 this way. I’m not holding my breath though :(

  • Lisa

    Nope. Nothing. Same message.
    If I try to restore on another computer (laptop), will I be able to restore from backup on the first computer (desktop)?
    I only have my phone synced to the desktop – the one that I get that message on.
    Yes, I am updated in iTunes.

  • Sam

    Tried to replace it but it said it couldn’t because ‘hosts’ was in use? Im pretty sure i exited out of it and everything though

  • http://ipadhelp.com Phil

    Sam,
    I would try quitting every program that is running except for Finder and the file you are editing. If you still can not edit the file, you can make the changes in Terminal.

    Here is a tutorial for modifying the Hosts file in Terminal.
    http://iphonehelp.in/2011/09/22/tutorial-edit-hosts-file-mac-os-x-lion/

  • Sam

    Thankyou Phil! Finally have iOS 5 working!!

  • Pingback: Problem with running TU

  • http://www.supricard.com Daniel

    thanks dude! it works smoothly on my device. Great and clean tutorial

  • GIRG

    Thanks very much, followed the terminal method and worked like a charm!

  • Síle

    Thanks, works perfectly. Really helpful instructions

  • Duff

    hello there! i have been trying it. but why the hosts can’t be replace?
    ‘The operation can’t be completed because the item “hosts” is in use’ this appear when i try to replace it.

  • http://ipadhelp.com Phil

    Hi Duff,

    A few others have mentioned this issue also. Try closing everything except for Finder and the file you are editing. Make sure iTunes and Safari are not running. If you are still getting the same message you can edit the file in Terminal. Here is a link on how to edit the Hosts file in Terminal.

    http://iphonehelp.in/2011/09/22/tutorial-edit-hosts-file-mac-os-x-lion/

  • BJ

    THANK YOU tried for days tried every other fix
    Online this is the only thing that works THANKS!!!

  • Kundir

    Thanks so much!!!

  • Allen

    Thanks a lot … have been trying all day … your solution works like a miracle ..thanks again

  • Mike

    I tried to delete the address in the file “Hosts” but it will not allow me to save because it says I do not have the privileges.

  • http://ipadhelp.com Phil

    You can delete the address in Terminal also if you are familiar with Terminal and are on a Mac.

    Open Terminal and type or paste “sudo nano /private/etc/hosts” without the quotation marks.
    Remove “74.208.10.249 gs.apple.com” (your number will probably be different).
    You can navigate the file using the arrow keys.
    When finished editing the hosts file, press control-o to save the file.
    Press enter on the filename prompt, and control-x to exit the editor.

    After you exit from Terminal, you can open the host file to verify it was removed.

    You should be able to Restore in iTunes now.

    Thanks.

  • tony

    just deleted in terminal and the line is gone, yet itunes said the same thing yet again

  • fiahstatah

    Thank you so much, this was a great help. I’ve been trying for the past couple days and this is the only thing that worked. :) thank youuuu

  • http://ipadhelp.com Phil

    Tony,

    Open the file and view it from Finder to make sure the deletion was saved from Terminal. If you have confirmed it and you still can Restore in iTunes, you can try it on a different computer if you one available. If you don’t remove and reinstall iTunes and try the Restore again.

    Thanks.

  • Papucho

    This works great. Just make sure you set permissions to read and write on this file otherwise it wont let you replace the file.

    Thanks a lot.

  • Paul D

    Now my itunes says:

    ‘The iPhone cannot be restored at this time because the iPhone software update server could not be contacted or is temporarily unavailable.”

    I tried both opt+restore with an .ispw on my computer and also just pressing ‘restore’

    any thoughts? :)

  • zaid

    It worked after trying for 5 days, great instructions

  • Greg

    Didn’t work for me

  • http://www.cody-morgan.com Cody

    Thank you so much! I am working on a lot of things having to do with iOS5 and your explanation REALLY helped. Very informative – thank you!

  • yc

    Hi,

    jail-break my iPad and desperately trying to update to ios5. Tried to sudo the host file and remove the gs.apple.com but still failed…. been trying for quite a few times.

    any suggestions, pls.

  • Greg

    Found this after struggling for a couple days. Thanks!

  • dave

    I am new to Mac. how do i replace the original hosts file after i have copied and edited? is there a command i have to use to replace old hosts file? please help!

  • Jabin

    OMG…..!!!! how can i give you thank you…..Its worked for me….so much appreciate……Trillion thank you man..!

  • Dennis

    Wow! Worked like a charm after days of searching the net for a fix. Like Hot Knife on Butter!

  • Amanda

    Thanks. It worked. The power of searching the internet, and helpful people like you who post!

  • Wil

    Thank you very much, used the terminal method and worked first time.

  • Molton Brown

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you sooo much! This solution is brilliant and worked perfectly!

  • karimck

    Thank you–worked like a charm!

  • Marco Giuseppe

    Awesome! Thank you so much for the instructions. Helped a lot.

  • iPadUser

    This is awesome! Finally an article that helped resolve this “…isn’t eligible for the requested build” error.
    Thank you!

  • http://www.grantenglish.com Grant

    you, my friend, are a genius. HUGE thank you. Can I repost this and link you site off mine?

  • http://ipadhelp.com Phil

    Grant,
    Sure, Thanks,

  • Behestee

    Good solution, but doesn’t work if i use textEdit app to edit. Must have to use some non rich text editor

  • Stephan Fellinger

    Thanks!!!!!!!

  • Melanie Voelker

    I have a jailbroken iphone 4 on the 4.3.5 software. I am trying to restore and update my phone to the 5.0 but I am getting “this device in not eligible for a rebuild” I tried your steps but in hosts there is no line that says anything about apple at all the only lines in there are local cast and broadcast. Please Help!

  • William Chiang

    i can’t replace the hosts file…..once i drag and drop the edited hosts file into /etc/…it mentioned “The operation can’t be completed because the item “hosts” is in use.”
    PLEASE HELP….

  • alexy

    Sorry for my bad english but for me nothing of the internet solution had esolved my problem. So I started my ipad connected to my computer in DFU mode :
    Shutdown your ipad
    Push 5 second start button
    Do not release the start button and press the home button during 15 sec
    release the start button and continue pressing the home button 10 sec
    now you itune will say your device is in recovery mode dans now you can restore your device

  • Toby

    worked perfectly! iphone 4, was refurbished and had a problem couldnt fix for weeks!

    THANKS!

  • A.LooN

    Hey, this worked perfectly thank you. For you guys who are getting an error that the file is in use, delete the hosts file located in etc and then copy the one you made there. so basically delete the original then drag and drop the duplicate you made.

  • martin

    Thank you so much. I spent days trying to look for a solution. This worked like a charm.

  • Vanessa

    I get this error message when trying to update my iPhone4 software and cannot find any address remotely close to “74.208.10.249 gs.apple.com” in my host file. In fact, there is nothing that says “gs.apple.com” at all. Any other ideas? Thanks.

  • logofer

    Vanessa!
    Possibly you got blacklisted iPhone, or something similar. One of my iToys (brand-new iPhone 4, never jailbroken) refuses to update no matter what. There is still a way to do it.
    1. – Download update 5.0
    2. – Download update 5.01
    3. – Download RedSnow 0.9.9b8
    4. – Put your iPhone in DFU mode
    5. – Connect it to iTunes and alt-restore to downloaded 5.01 (it will break at some point saying again “..not eligible bla..”)
    6. – Close iTunes and fire up RedSnow. Go to “Extras”. Go to “Select IPSW”. Chose downloaded update 5.0. Go to “Recovery Fix” and do what they ask you to.
    7. Kiss your mom-cat-bf if available. Enjoy 5.01 on your iToy.

  • logofer

    uhmm.. Do not forget to sync before and after.))

  • dannyboy

    After upgrading to ios5, my jailbroken iPad 2 was in dire straights. I tried blackra1n, tiny umbrella fixes suggested on You Tube and the web…hours later I found ipadhelp.com. I am so thankful. This is the only thing that got me out of the spinning circle of death, reboot loops and recovery mode. Been there for HOURS. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I cannot express how thankful I am!

  • Andy Alfonso

    I can’t find the “etc” file or “host” file. Can anyone help me with this?

  • ben

    you have saved my life!

    thanks so much!!!!!

  • james

    so i did all of this and then after i moved the “host Copy” folder off my desktop and into the ECT folder i delete the original “Host” folder? so all that is left in the ECT file is the ‘Host Copy”? is that right or did i do something wrong?

  • andre chambers

    A TRUE LIFE SAVER!!!!!!! I WAS IN FULL PANIC MODE LO BUT THANKS TO THIS POST I CAN NOW SMILE!! THANKS

  • Anon

    YOU’RE A GENIUS!

    Just FINALLY upgraded my Verizon iPhone 4 that was stuck at iOS 4.2.x to iOS 5.0.1. First upgrade EVER with this iPhone. Thank you!!!!

  • Adolfo

    Great! thanks a lot! your a Genius!

  • daniel

    i don’t see the “74.208.10.249 gs.apple.com” on the files ‘hosts’. still, i am getting the same error shown in your title here – requested build bla bla.

    frustrated and desperately looking for help.

  • http://ipadhelp.com Phil

    Daniel,

    If you have another computer try the restore from it. You can sync with the other computer when it’s done. If you don’t have a different computer you can remove and reinstall iTunes then try the restore again.

  • Bubba

    Thanks so much!

  • joe

    i don’t leave many comments on posts in the internet world, but this one definitely deserves some major props. i’ll be telling my grandchildren about this one.

  • homesick0004

    Thank you very much, it really works perfectly, just follow those instruction above. Cheers! Happy New Year To All!

  • dasotter

    Definitely major props and thanks for this.

    I wonder if I put that entry into hosts file back when Cydia was authorizing IOS versions. Never would have figured this out without this post.

    Thanks again,
    Scott

  • Enrique

    Hey I tried this and I save it and everything and I still get the same number “74.208.10.249 gs.apple.com” in my Host file

  • lala

    You are my HERO!!!! thanks sooooooo much!

  • josh

    thank you soo much for the help and how clear the instructions are thank you so much !!!

  • laura

    One question, after everything is done do I need to replace the new host file I made with the old one again?

  • EbonyAmbitions

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I used and it worked!

  • Rajesh Natarajan

    Thanks a lot. That worked! :)

  • http://www.circlesoffireproductions.com Emily Millay Haddad

    Thank you so much — made an honest mistake of forgetting my new passcode on the iPad and was being blocked from restoring the machine by this error. Thank you for the workaround! I was able to restore the machine and start over.

  • Apul

    Thanks the restore info from the apple store was not enough. This actually worked and did what I needed to get it to restore my iphone 4S back without corruption from it’s battery drain issues.

  • cc

    Genius!!!! Thank you!!!

  • dsn

    Thanks man!

  • Loophaiti

    Thanks man, may God bless you.

  • Skysyr

    This is PURELY genius. How the hell did you figure this out? You spared me a ton of effort and grief. THANK YOU!!!

  • Skysyr

    For those unable to modify HOSTS file in Mac:

    1.Right-click [ETC] folder and click [Get Info].
    2.On the lower-right corner of the Info window, there’s a lock icon. Click it and UNLOCK it – it will ask for admin password.
    Enter your password then, on the privileges section, make everyone able to ‘Read & Write’. Close the Info window.
    3.Now, go one folder above, and you’ll see [private] folder, where [ETC] folder is under. Do the same thing you did in Step 2.

    4.Now you can modify/edit/copy/paste/overwrite HOSTS file.
    5.Make sure you LOCK those two folders back again as it was – and with previous read&write settings.

  • Sherif Isaac

    I LOVE U! i have been struggling to work it out i was getting depressed.. many thx.. u r a genius!

  • stuart

    Tried everything just can’t get it to work I upgraded to 5.0 On my ATV2 mistakenly from my old Jailbreak,tiny umbrella won’t even show my past SSH blobs ATV2 not even showing up in the sidebar of Tiny Umbrella so damn frustrating . I tunes Isn’t eligible for build even after I changed host files on my Mac what the heck can I do.

  • casserole

    logofer- I tried what you suggested and it still didnt work.
    There is nothing listed in my hosts file about apple.

    After trying the restore process you suggest The phone froze and I had to restore to apples settings.
    Im going to try this on a PC.
    Please advise

  • zack

    thank u!!!!!!

  • Cheryl

    YOU ARE AMAZING!!!!!!

  • Trevor Myers

    Bro, virtual high five. Thank you so much

  • http://www.danielpyle.com Daniel Pyle

    Worked like a charm. Thanks a million!

  • Ronnie Rivera

    Thanks is the best Genius

  • Mark

    Worked like a charm. I was getting the “Not Eligible…” message every time I tried to update an iPad 2 and 2 different iPhone 4Ses. I previously had an iPhone 3g that I had unlocked and jailbroken. IOS 10.7.3 and iTunes 10.6.1.

    Thanks!

  • sue

    Wow–that was awesome! My phone went into recovery mode during a failed software update. I tried using Tiny Umbrella to save some photos. It didn’t work, and I guess by doing that I jailbroke my phone? Anyway, I’ve never really done anything like this before but I followed your instructions and got around the dreaded ‘not eligible’ message. Thank you!

  • Grace

    I also had this issue when trying to update my iphone to iOS5 – works like a charm now after following your instructions! THANK-YOU SO MUCH!

  • John

    Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Spent hours trying to restore before finding your method!!!

  • Victor

    Thank you!

  • Dean

    This is huge. Thank you so much. Cheers, Dean

  • Zahra

    Well, I can’t find the “Go to Folder” icon in my Finder. I clicked everywhere!

    Would be glad if you helped me?
    Thank You.

  • Zahra

    Well, I can’t find the “Go to Folder” button in my Finder. Any suggestion? I clicked everywhere but nothing!

    Please help me,
    Thank You ..

  • Zahra

    Can’t find the line that i have to delete it =(

  • Michael

    Thanks so much! You are an absolute lifesaver or at least an iPad saver… Luckily for me I found your method fairly quickly too.

  • Olivia

    You are awesome! Sold my iPad on eBay and was practically going insane trying to restore it!

  • Nguyen

    My file hosts :

    ##
    # Host Database
    #
    # localhost is used to configure the loopback interface
    # when the system is booting. Do not change this entry.
    ##
    127.0.0.1 localhost
    255.255.255.255 broadcasthost
    ::1 localhost
    # fe80::1%lo0 localhost

    I do not find \”74.208.10.249 gs.apple.com\”.Help me.Thanks