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How to fix 'iTunes Store unavailable' error on Apple TV

One of the biggest things that complicates Apple TV — and iTunes in general — is the content delivery networks that serve up all the movies, TV shows, music, apps, and podcasts. Which individual server has what and when can lead to search results not populating and purchased content not showing as available. It can even lead to the dreaded 'iTunes Store currently unavailable' for some TV shows when it's perfectly available for others. Here's how to fix it.

How to work around an 'iTunes Store not available' error on Apple TV

If you go to the purchased section of iTunes TV shows and try to play an episode, and you get the above error, try this instead:

  1. Scroll up to "See more on iTunes"
  2. Click to go to the show listing in the iTunes Store
  3. Click on the same episode there
  4. Play away

Nine times out of ten, it really is that simple. The episode is there, and it's available, it's just having trouble in the purchased section.

And yes, this is the same solution to playing episodes you've been notified are available but just aren't showing up in the purchased section.

Hopefully the next Apple TV update update will fix this, and the "Network connection" false-positives as well.

Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

4 Comments
  • When in doubt, restart. Sent from the iMore App
  • I find it will not even start up unless I turn the power off, then back on. Another bug. Sent from the iMore App
  • This works in a similar way when I encounter the problem on my iPhone or iPad. Like right now Casino Royale doesn't show on my purchased list in the videos app, but I can download or stream it when visiting this movie directly in the iTunes movie store. Thanks for the tip Rene! Sent from the iMore App
  • I spent an hour on the phone with Apple last week concerning this very problem. I was told to find the content I want to watch via SEARCH, and it works. For instance I bought a season pass for the Vikings about a month ago, tried to watch the latest episode and was told "iTunes Store in not available, try again later". Once I located the episode I wanted via SEARCH it worked. I have to say Tech Support at 1-800-MYAPPLE was great, the guy really worked with me until he was sure I was satisfied.