Maybe you updated to the latest iOS and decide it’s time to backup via iTunes on your mac or your windows PC. Good going! Backing up is critical to our digital lives and our device’s overall health. But then, quite suddenly and completely unexpectedly your computer shows a message, “Requires a newer version of iTunes.’ What the heck? Last time i backed up, it worked just dandy.
This is not a very common error, but we have seen few users requesting input on it. This problem impacts both iPhone and iPad users. Many people report this issue after updating to the new iOS version on their devices. It happens when you try to connect your iPad or iPhone to a computer with iTunes installed. While attempting to sync using the software on your laptop or PC, and then this annoying message come up.
“iPhone 6s cannot be used because it requires a newer version of iTunes” Or “iPad cannot be used because it requires a newer version of iTunes.”
Interestingly, the most irritating part of this problem is that your computer is using the latest version of iTunes. Here are a few steps to take in order to get rid of this issue.
Macs: How to get Rid of iTunes asking for Newer Version
Step 1: Verify Your Operating System Version
Please check the version of mac OS or OS X that you are currently running. Although the message suggests you to upgrade your iTunes, nine of out of ten times we find that users encounter this error because their operating system is not updated on their Mac or Macbook. To check your version of Apple’s operating system, just click on the Apple menu > About this Mac.
Step 2: Update Your Operating System
Upgrade your Mac’s version of macOS or OS X to the latest version applicable for your machine. Do this by going to the App Store > Click on Updates on the toolbar and then install any updates.
Please note that occasionally mac users experience problems updating their operating systems. Most particularly, folks with older macs and macbooks may discover that their machines cannot install the latest macOS updates. If you suspect you are in that category, check Apple Support’s website to see the specifications of Macs that can use the latest mac OS updates.
Step 3: Update iTunes
Make sure that you are in fact running the latest iTunes that is available for your machine. Please check Apple’s iTunes site for the latest version out there. This link provides you with both the Windows and the Mac versions. If you don’t have iTunes installed, you can always download it from here in case you have a new computer.
Tip: Set your iTunes to download the latest available version automatically with a few clicks. Open iTunes > Click on Preferences…> Go to Advanced Tab as shown in the image below and set it to check for new versions automatically.
Once you upgrade your operating system, try to sync using iTunes. For most iFolk, this problem should now go away. The key is to know that YOU need to update your Mac so that you can update your iTunes. Let us know in the comment section below if you need further assistance.
Windows PC: Important Information on error requires a newer version of iTunes
Many readers use their windows PCs to update and backup their iPhones and other iDevices. Unfortunately, iFolks with windows aren’t spared this error message and frequently see it when working with older versions of Microsoft’s operating systems. In particular, folks experience a lot of trouble connecting iPhones with Windows XP and Vista.
Officially, iTunes 12.5.1 is the minimum version that upgrades or restores iOS 10 and Apple no longer supports XP or Vista. However, some readers report success with updating their iPhone and iPads to iOS 10.0.1 or 10.0.2 and say they are still able to sync with iTunes 188.8.131.52. Apple created this 12.1.3 version of iTunes for iOS 9 and Vista, but appears compatible with iOS 10.0.2 and Windows XP. And this tip does not work for the latest models of iPhones, including iPhone SE or 7 models.
Be mindful that any restores of iOS10 require iTunes 184.108.40.206 and consequently, need a newer Windows OS. If you go this route, you need to restore via iCloud or move your iTunes 220.127.116.11 backup to a computer with a newer windows operating system (7 and beyond.)
Further bad news is that iPhones and iDevices running iOS 10.2 and higher require at least Windows 7 or above. The update to 10.2 apparently broke all backward compatibility with iTunes 18.104.22.168. So the latest versions of iTunes and of iOS for your iDevices won’t work on Windows XP or Windows Vista. We’re sorry; we know a lot of your like XP or Vista for security and many other reasons.
So What Do Windows XP and Vista Owners Do?
Sadly at this point there isn’t much to do other than upgrade your Windows OS. Given that XP and Vista aren’t supported, your options are to upgrade your computer to at least Windows 7 or use iCloud to backup and restore.
Apple does offer anyone with an iDevice to visit an Apple store use their Mac’s for your iTunes management. You need to provide your own external drive. Or another option is to treating your iOS 10 devices as standalone devices and perform all backups, restores, etc via iCloud.
If anyone knows of other solutions, please share. We know that a lot of people are impacted by this error when working with iOS10 and Windows XP or Vista. So your advice is appreciated and needed.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.