A Complete Guide to Fixing iPhone Error 4013

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Have you ever encountered an annoying pop-up message saying “The iPhone could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (4013).” when trying to update or restore your iPhone? If so, you’re not alone – the dreaded iPhone error 4013 is a common headache for many iOS device owners. But don’t panic! In most cases, iPhone error 4013 can be easily fixed by trying a few troubleshooting tips.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through exactly what iPhone error 4013 is, the most likely causes, and actionable solutions to get your iPhone back up and running in no time.

What is iPhone Error 4013?

iPhone error 4013 occurs when there is a communication issue between your iPhone and iTunes that prevents your device from being restored or updated properly.

Specifically, error 4013 signifies that iTunes is unable to send data to the device during a restore or update process – hence the “unknown error” message.

The error typically pops up when you are trying to:

  • Update your iPhone to the latest iOS version via iTunes
  • Restore an iPhone from a previous iTunes backup
  • Restore an iPhone to factory settings

Error 4013 will block the restore or update process from completing, leaving you stuck.

While the error itself simply indicates a communication problem, there are a few common culprits that tend to cause this iTunes-iPhone connection issue:

  • Outdated or buggy version of iTunes
  • Faulty or damaged USB cable
  • Dirty charging port on iPhone
  • Corrupt iOS software

The good news? All of these potential issues can be fixed with some simple troubleshooting steps.

7 Ways to Fix iPhone Error 4013

If you encounter error 4013 on your iPhone, don’t panic. In most cases, the issue can be resolved easily without data loss. Try these 7 troubleshooting tips:

1. Update iTunes

An outdated version of iTunes on your computer is a common source of iPhone error 4013. iTunes needs to be up-to-date to communicate properly with iOS devices.

Update iTunes to Fix the iPhone Error 4013

On Windows: Open iTunes and go to Help > Check for Updates to install the latest version.

On Mac: Go to the Mac App Store and check for any iTunes updates. Install the latest version.

Updating iTunes will often fix error 4013 and allow restore/updates to complete.

2. Use a Different USB Cable

One of the simplest causes of error 4013 is a faulty or damaged USB cable. The cable needs to transmit data between the iPhone and computer properly.

Check the USB Port

Try using a different USB cable that you know works well. An official Apple cable is best. This quick swap can resolve error 4013 in many cases.

Inspect your original cable for any fraying, bending, or loose connectors which could be preventing a stable connection.

3. Try Another Computer

If you’ve verified iTunes is up-to-date and switched USB cables, the next thing to check is whether the issue stems from your computer.

Attempt to connect your iPhone to a different computer and see if error 4013 still occurs when trying to restore or update.

If the restore/update works on the other computer, then there is likely an issue with your original computer – either a software glitch or USB port problem.

4. Hard Reset iPhone

Performing a hard reset (forced restart) can help clear any lingering software glitches causing error 4013:

  • iPhone 8 or later – Press and release volume up, press and release volume down, then press and hold side button until Apple logo appears
  • iPhone 7 – Press and hold volume down and side button until you see the Apple logo
  • iPhone 6s or earlier – Press and hold home and side button until Apple logo shows up

Then attempt the iTunes restore again and see if error 4013 is resolved.

5. Force Quit iTunes

Sometimes error 4013 is simply caused by a processes glitch within iTunes on your computer.

Force quitting (completely closing) iTunes and reopening can clear out this type of software bug:

On Windows: Open Task Manager then select iTunes and click End task

On Mac: Press Command + Option + Esc keys, select iTunes, and click Force Quit

Relaunch iTunes and try your iPhone restore again.

6. Turn Off Antivirus Temporarily

Antivirus software can sometimes interfere with the connection between your iPhone and computer.

Try temporarily disabling your antivirus to see if it may be causing error 4013 to occur. Don’t forget to turn it back on after the restore process is complete.

7. Update iOS Software

Finally, if all else fails, error 4013 might be caused by an actual corruption in the iOS software on your iPhone.

You can reinstall a clean, updated version of iOS to fix this:

  • Open iTunes on your computer
  • Connect your iPhone and select it
  • Click Restore iPhone which will completely wipe it and install the newest iOS version

This should resolve any deep software issues triggering error 4013. Just make sure your data is backed up first!

Also read: How to fix a variety of iOS system-related issues like cellular data not working, or iPhone boot loop, etc.

When to Contact Apple Support

If you still get iPhone error 4013 after exhausting all the troubleshooting tips above, it’s time to contact Apple.

Reach out to Apple Support online or by phone. They can run diagnostics, suggest any other fixes, or set up a repair/replacement if your iPhone has underlying hardware damage causing error 4013.

Key Takeaways: Resolving iPhone Error 4013

  • Update to the latest version of iTunes
  • Try using a different USB cable
  • Attempt restore on another computer
  • Hard reset your iPhone
  • Force quit and relaunch iTunes
  • Temporarily turn off antivirus software
  • Update iOS software version

FAQs About iPhone Error 4013

Q: Will iPhone error 4013 erase my data?

A: Attempting a restore typically won’t erase your data unless the process completes fully. Your data should be intact after getting error 4013. But it’s always smart to back up your iPhone before troubleshooting just in case.

Q: Why does my iPhone keep getting error 4013?

A: If your iPhone keeps showing error 4013, the most likely culprits are a faulty USB cable or USB port on your computer. Try swapping cables and using a different computer. If the error persists, there may be an underlying hardware issue requiring professional repair.

Q: How can I back up my iPhone before fixing error 4013?

A: You have two options to back up your iPhone before attempting any error 4013 fixes:

  1. Back up to iCloud – Go to Settings > Your Name > iCloud > iCloud Backup and tap Back Up Now
  2. Back up to iTunes – Connect your iPhone to computer > Select it in iTunes > Click Back Up Now button

Q: Is error 4013 specific to any iPhone model?

A: No, iPhone error 4013 can occur on any iPhone model. However, it does seem to be more prevalent on newer iPhone versions, likely due to iOS updates causing software incompatibilities.

Q: Can I still use my iPhone after getting error 4013?

A: Yes, error 4013 only prevents restoring or updating. All of your iPhone’s other features and apps should function normally. So you can keep using your device until the error is fixed.

Q: Is there a way to fix error 4013 without data loss?

A: If error 4013 is due to software issues, you can typically resolve it without data loss using the troubleshooting tips in this guide. But a full device restore or update will erase your iPhone. So always back up your data first.

Q: Why does error 4013 say “unknown error”?

A: The “unknown error” message simply means iTunes can’t properly identify what is causing the communication breakdown with your iPhone during the restore process. The solutions in this guide can help pinpoint the issue.

Q: Does error 4013 mean my iPhone is broken?

A: Not necessarily. In most cases, iPhone error 4013 is caused by a software glitch or connection issue that can be fixed without any hardware repair needed. But a persistent error may indicate a problem requiring professional repair.

Q: How can I avoid error 4013 in the future?

A: Always make sure you’re using the latest version of iTunes, an OEM Apple USB cable, and iOS updates are installed promptly. Also avoid force restarting your iPhone during updates. These tips help prevent error 4013.

Click to find the best solution if your ‘iTunes could not connect to this iPhone. The value is missing.’


Dealing with iPhone error 4013 can be a frustrating experience, but resolving it is usually straightforward following some simple troubleshooting.

In the majority of cases, error 4013 stems from software issues like an outdated version of iTunes, buggy iOS firmware, or a temporary connection glitch. Trying the solutions in this guide should get your iPhone successfully restored or updated again within no time.

Just be sure to backup your data, stay patient, and don’t hesitate to contact Apple Support if you can’t seem to crack error 4013 on your own. Stick with it and your iPhone will be back up and running smoothly once again.


Skilled software testing specialist with expertise in comparisons and research, passionate about blogging, reviews, and creating video tutorials.

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