Fix the iTunes 'session timeout' error

This error occurs even when I've just fired up iTunes

Whenever I try to buy something from iTunes or redeem a gift code, I invariably get this message: Session Timeout. Then I have to "try again," which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't.

What's particularly annoying is that this error occurs even when I've just fired up iTunes. How can there be a "timeout" when I just started the program?!

Fortunately, there's a reasonably easy fix, one involving, believe it or not, the system clock. Here's what to do (in Vista--the steps should be similar in XP):

1. In the System Tray, right-click the time and choose Adjust Date/Time.

2. Click the Internet Time tab, then the Change Settings button.

3. iTunes is balking because your system clock is out of sync. Therefore, you need to synchronize it with an Internet time server. Alas, time.windows.com almost always produces an error, so click the Server pull-down and choose one of the other options. (I've had good luck with time-b.nist.gov.)

4. Click Update now and wait a few seconds. You should see a message confirming the clock synchronization. If not, try again, or select a different server and then try.

5. Click OK to exit, then head to iTunes and try your purchase/code redemption again. This time, it should work!

So, think this is another case of Apple messing with Windows users? Somehow I don't think this problem exists on Macs. Hmmm.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags iTunes

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Rick Broida

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?