What is error code 4013 when trying to restore iPad?

Error code 4013 is a common issue that can occur when trying to restore or update an iPad using iTunes or Finder. The 4013 error specifically indicates that the iPad “is not eligible for the requested build.” This usually happens if you are trying to install an iOS version that is older than the version currently installed on the iPad.

What causes error 4013 when restoring iPad?

There are a few potential causes of the 4013 error when trying to restore an iPad:

  • Trying to downgrade to an older iOS version – If you are trying to restore an iOS version that is older than what is currently on the iPad, you may get the 4013 error. Apple’s firmware prevents downgrading to older iOS builds as a security measure.
  • Corrupt firmware files – If the IPSW firmware file you are trying to install is corrupted or improperly downloaded, it may trigger the 4013 error during the restore process.
  • iTunes/Finder issues – Outdated or buggy versions of iTunes or Finder can sometimes cause errors with the iPad restore process, including the 4013 error.
  • Jailbroken iPad – If you are trying to restore a jailbroken iPad, the modified firmware can trigger the 4013 error when trying to install the stock, unmodified IPSW firmware file.
  • Hardware issues – In some cases, underlying hardware problems with the iPad itself may be causing the 4013 error during restore.

How to fix error 4013 when restoring iPad

If you encounter error 4013 when trying to restore your iPad, here are some steps you can take to try and fix the problem:

  1. Update iTunes/Finder – Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes (for Windows) or Finder (for Mac). Older versions may not fully support the iOS version you are trying to install.
  2. Try a different USB port/cable – Sometimes connection issues during the restore process can trigger the 4013 error. Try a different USB port and cable.
  3. Hard reset the iPad – Do a hard reset by holding the Home and Power buttons for at least 10 seconds until the Apple logo appears. Then try restoring again.
  4. Delete the IPSW file and re-download it – The firmware file itself may be corrupted. Delete the IPSW file from your computer and re-download it directly from Apple.
  5. Restore using recovery mode – Put the iPad in recovery mode (press and hold Home + Power buttons together until you see the recovery screen) and try restoring again while in recovery mode.
  6. Factory reset the iPad – Erase the iPad entirely by going to Settings > General > Reset and choosing “Erase All Content and Settings”. Then attempt the restore again.
  7. Take it to an Apple Store – As a last resort, bring the iPad to an Apple retail store and have them attempt the restore. They can rule out any underlying hardware issues.

Detailed troubleshooting steps for error 4013

Here is a more detailed look at how to troubleshoot some of the common causes of error 4013 when restoring an iPad:

1. Update iTunes or Finder

As a first step, make sure you have the latest version of iTunes (Windows) or Finder (Mac). Apple is continually updating these apps and older versions may not fully support the most recent iOS builds. Go to the App Store or Apple website to check for and install any iTunes or Finder updates.

2. Try different cables and USB ports

It’s worth trying different Lightning cables and USB ports on your computer to rule out any connection issues. Problems with the USB port or cable can sometimes interfere with the restore process and generate error 4013. Swap out cables and plug into different USB ports if possible.

3. Hard reset the iPad

Before attempting the restore again, do a hard reset of the iPad by holding the Home button and Power button at the same time for at least 10 seconds until you see the Apple logo. This will clear any temporary glitches and start the iPad from a fresh state.

4. Delete and re-download IPSW firmware

The IPSW firmware file itself may have become corrupted, especially if downloaded from a third party site. Delete the IPSW file from your computer and re-download it directly from Apple’s servers. The official IPSW can be found at https://ipsw.me. Be sure to select the correct IPSW for your iPad model and target iOS version.

5. Put iPad in recovery mode before restoring

Press and hold the Home button and Power buttons simultaneously for 5-10 seconds until you see the recovery mode screen. This will load a recovery partition. Then attempt the restore process again while the iPad is in recovery mode. This sometimes resolves error 4013 issues.

6. Factory reset iPad before restore attempt

Go to Settings > General > Reset and select “Erase All Content and Settings” to do a full factory reset of the iPad. This will wipe the iPad back to a blank state which can help eliminate any underlying software issues before you attempt to restore again.

7. Try restoring with a different computer

In some cases, there may be compatibility issues between the specific iPad and the computer you are using to attempt the restore. As a test, try to restore the iPad while connected to a different computer. Use a computer that has never synced or connected with the iPad before if possible.

8. Restore iPad using recovery mode DFU

Put the iPad into DFU (device firmware upgrade) recovery mode by holding the Power and Home buttons together for 10 seconds, then releasing the Power button while still holding the Home button. While in DFU mode plug into iTunes and initiate the restore. This is a deeper type of recovery that may fix 4013.

What to do if nothing fixes the 4013 error

If you still see error 4013 even after trying all the steps above, the iPad is likely experiencing a serious software glitch or hardware issue that requires professional service. Here are a few last things you can try:

  • Restore iPad with iTunes on a Mac computer – Sometimes using a Mac can yield better results.
  • Take the iPad to an Apple Store – Make a Genius Bar appointment and have an Apple technician look at the iPad.
  • Contact Apple support – Call Apple support, explain the 4013 issue and explore any other options with them.
  • Third party repair – Seek out a reputable third party electronics repair shop that works on iPads and can diagnose hardware faults or reprogram the device.

As a last resort, the 4013 error may indicate a fatal flaw with the iPad that requires replacement. But try every troubleshooting option before assuming the device needs to be swapped out. With persistence, error 4013 can often be resolved and the iPad restored back to normal.

Frequently Asked Questions about error 4013

Why am I suddenly getting error 4013 when restoring my iPad?

There are a few reasons you may suddenly start seeing error 4013 when you didn’t previously have problems restoring your iPad:

  • You are trying to install an iOS version that is older than the current version on your iPad – Apple firmware prevents downgrading.
  • The IPSW firmware file you are trying to use is incomplete or corrupted.
  • There is a new bug or connectivity issue with the latest version of iTunes or Finder.
  • Some underlying hardware problem has developed with the iPad, like bad sectors on the logic board.

Can error 4013 cause you to lose data?

No, error 4013 itself does not cause data loss. It only prevents the iPad from being restored properly. Your data will remain intact on your iPad storage. However, if you end up having to fully reset or replace the iPad to resolve the 4013 issue, you could lose data in the process. So it’s wise to make an iTunes or iCloud backup before troubleshooting.

Is error 4013 something I can fix myself?

You have a good chance of fixing error 4013 yourself using the troubleshooting tips provided above. Things like updating iTunes, re-downloading the IPSW, or trying a different USB cable are easy fixes you can do on your own to potentially resolve the 4013 problem. But for hardware-related issues or serious software bugs, you may ultimately need to seek out professional Apple service.

Is there any risk of bricking my iPad when getting error 4013?

The 4013 error itself won’t brick or destroy your iPad. However, if you try to force a restore repeatedly when getting this error, it carries a small risk of bricking the device. So it’s wise to follow Apple’s 4013 troubleshooting advice carefully before trying risky DIY restoration methods. Avoid any “hacks” that could jeopardize the iPad firmware.

Should I just reset my iPad to factory settings to fix error 4013?

Doing a factory reset by erasing all content and settings from the Settings app can sometimes resolve error 4013, but not always. It’s worth trying, but don’t expect a factory reset alone to magically fix the 4013 issue. You’ll still likely need to troubleshoot other factors like iOS version, IPSW file, iTunes version etc.


Error 4013 when trying to restore an iPad is generally caused by incompatible firmware versions between the iPad and IPSW restore file. Troubleshooting steps like updating iTunes, re-downloading the IPSW, resetting the iPad, using recovery mode, and trying different cables, computers and ports can often resolve the 4013 issue. For persistent cases, professional help from Apple may be needed. Backing up data beforehand and following Apple’s 4013 troubleshooting advice carefully are recommended when dealing with this error.