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Solving iTunes Error 50

written by: C.D. Crowder•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 3/30/2011

No one likes error messages, especially when they don't know the cause. The iTunes Error 50 message occurs when your player cannot download a music or video file successfully. Learn how to solve iTunes Error 50 and prevent it in the future.

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    iTunes Error 50

    iTunes Usually, the iTunes Error 50 message appears after you try to download music or videos you've purchased from the iTunes Store. When you try to download, you'll receive a message similar to the following: “There was an error downloading your purchased music. An unknown error occurred (-50)." The basic cause is a connection timeout while trying to complete your download. Note that this error occurs on both Mac and Windows systems.

    Image Credits: iTunes Logo / iTunes Version

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    Possible Causes

    One possible cause of this iTunes error message is a connection timeout with your Internet connection. You may have lost your connection temporarily or the connection slowed enough to cause a timeout. If this happens frequently, contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for help on fixing this issue. A connection timeout means that the remote server doesn't respond after a set amount of time.

    The most common cause of iTunes Error 50 is interference from another program. Another program can slow your connection, causing a timeout, or block iTunes from downloading content altogether. The programs most commonly at fault are web accelerators, anti-virus software, firewalls and ad filters. For the most part, these are applications you don't want to stop as they help keep your computer safe. Luckily, there are ways to prevent future error messages, while still maintaining a safe system.

    If you have problems logging into the iTunes Store, you may receive iTunes Error 50 when trying to download files you've recently purchased to your device. This can also happen if you suddenly cannot connect to the iTunes Store, even after logging in.

    If the iTunes error message only happens when you download videos, the problem is due to cached video files. This problem is easy to diagnose and fix. You can restart your download after removing the cached files.

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    Solve iTunes Error 50

    If you suspect a program is causing the problem, close your Internet browser and any other applications that use the Internet except for iTunes. Close the suspected application, such as your anti-virus or firewall. Try re-downloading your content. If you do not receive the iTunes Error 50 message, the program you closed is more than likely the cause.

    You can fix this error by adding an exception to your application's list. Consult the Help section of the suspected software for the exact steps on adding exceptions. The following addresses or domains need to be added to the exceptions list in order for the iTunes store to send and receive data:

    If you cannot add exceptions to your program, the easiest way to solve the problem is by closing the program before downloading content from iTunes. You can restart the program as soon as the downloads are complete. To keep your system safer with a firewall or anti-virus program closed, do not browse the Internet while these programs are closed or stopped.

    To delete cached video files, navigate to the following folder:

    Mac Systems: /Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Downloads

    Windows Systems: \Users\username\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Downloads\

    Open the folder containing your video downloads. Delete the file ending in tmp. Open iTunes and try to re-download the video.

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    Downloading Content

    Once you've solved the problem, you can resume your downloads at any time. Open iTunes and select Store. Choose Check for Available Downloads. Enter your login information and press Check Downloads. Press Resume or Resume All to download your content.

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