All my iOS related downloads (firmware updates and app downloads) are incredibly slow in iTunes. Right now, a single 70 MB app is an estimated 3 hours download making the transfer rate lousy 52 Kbit/s on an 8 MBit/s ADSL.

When I download my .ipsw firmware updates (400 - 600 MB) in a browser from a direct download link (appldnld.apple.com) the transfer rate is normal though.

I suppose my iTunes is connecting to geographically "wrong" servers. Changing Google's DNS servers ( / to my ISP's DNS servers doesn't solve the issue.

Is there a way to improve iTunes download rate?

  • Did you clear your DNS cache after switching DNS servers?
    – jmlumpkin
    Apr 16, 2011 at 19:02

3 Answers 3


It sounds like the itunes servers are still cached in your DNS cache after changing from Google's DNS severs to your ISPs.

Once you change the DNS servers, clear your DNS cache using terminal

dscacheutil -flushcache

I would also quit the iTunes Helper process (via Activity Monitor) and restart iTunes.


After almost a year of experiencing this strange behavior, it seems that the issue is solved without my intervention.

Since last week (end of November 2011) all my iTunes downloads are fast(er). I'm not sure if it's related to Apple's new datacenter(s) or if my ISP changed something.

  • Did you apply a Software Update recently that fixed the WiFi issue? Dec 4, 2011 at 15:18
  • @Global nomad It had nothing to do with my WiFi connection. I always plug in an network cable (directly attached the Internet router).
    – splattne
    Dec 4, 2011 at 16:43
  • Interesting. Thanks for sharing. Glad to hear it's fixed. Dec 4, 2011 at 16:59

If you disable "Simultaneous Download" checkbox … the download speed will be significantly increased :)

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