iTunes 5002 error blues cured

October 27th-2008 Update: Celebrating the 3rd aniversary of this post with an advice from one of my readers, John: try to retype all of your iTunes account information, that worked for him.

September 11th-2008 Update: It seems that the iTunes 8 update has resulted in a number of people experiencing the 5002 error, related to updating of iPhone Apps.

Please check this thread on the Apple Forums for possible solutions: Topic : ITunes 8 Upgrade Results in 5002 unknown Error when trying to update Apps

Some of my users has been kind enough to provide possible fixes to the issue:

July 1st-2008 Update: A regular trick when you have strange errors on Mac OS X, is to perform a “Repair Disk Permissions” using the “Disk Utility” application. You should also try this if you encounter iTunes error 5002. Thanks to David from for making that suggestion.

May 15th-2008 Update: The most recent comments points to a problem with missing credit card security codes, so please review your iTunes account information.

April 2nd-2008 Update: It seems that a recent update to iTunes has made this error much more common, look to the bottom of the comment-stream to get the latest.

There’s no clear solution to the problem, but re-registering with iTunes Music Store, and/or contact iTunes can,sometimes, fix the problem.

April 4th-2008 Update: Concensus is building around something we’ve been focusing in on for a while, that is DON’T EVER USE saved shopping carts. Due to an error in iTunes, you’ll get the 5002 error, if a product you’ve added to the shopping cart, is removed from iTunes Music Store, before you go to check-up.

iTunes Music Store seems to revise their catalogue a lot, especially tail-coating a new product launch, this is why it seems to be related to new versions of iTunes.

This blog-post is, by far, the biggest driver of traffic to my website, and if you read the comment-stream, you’ll notice a lot of frustrations, Apple, PLEASE recognise this problem, and FIX it – I’ll teel it in words you MIGHT understand: YOU’RE LOOSING BUSINESS!

Kim Bach, April 2nd and 4th 2008
I recently made my first purchase on iTunes, but I kept getting an error 5002 when trying to authorise my PowerBook. After trying again and again I gave up on it, and sent an e-mail to Apple Support, and they promissed an answer in 72 hours. Two weeks later, still no answer, so I turned to the support pages in iTunes Music Store, and there’s no useful information on error 5002.

When all else fails, FGI. So Googling “itunes computer authorization problem 5002” I found a promissing thread on MacNN Forums.

The user who started the thread on the 19th of october, finally solved his problem today. His solution was to shorten the name other computers on the subnet can use to access the computer. This setting can be changed by going to System Preferences/Sharing (in Danish: Systemindstillinger/Deling). After changing my computername and subnet name, I was able to authorise my computer with iTunes and listen to the audiobook I purchased.

I suspect that quite a few users have this problem, since the installation procedure of Mac OS-X allows you to enter whatever, ridiculously long, computername, and mine was indeed very long.

But I’m NOT impressed with the (lack of) support I got from Apple iTunes support. They MUST have heard about this problem before, so why the solution isn’t featured on the iTunes FAQ, beats me!

I wrote iTunes support to let them know about the solution, I really hope they return with an answer.

114 replies on “iTunes 5002 error blues cured”

Apple gives me a good answer and now it’s working well.
Be patient with them and they do it.
In French they advise its better to create Playlist rather than using the shopping cart…
Merci d’avoir contacté le support iTunes Store et veuillez nous excuser pour le retard dans notre réponse. Durant certaines périodes, nous recevons plus de demandes de support qu’à l’accoutumée et nous nous retrouvons dans l’impossibilité de répondre dans des délais acceptables, j’en suis sincèrement désolée.

Nous vous prions de bien vouloir nous excuser pour la gêne occasionnée par ce problème. Vous devriez maintenant être en mesure de vous connecter à l’iTunes Store et d’accéder à votre panier d’achat.

Remarque : il était nécessaire de vider le contenu de votre panier d’achat pour résoudre le problème que vous avez rencontré.

Si vous utilisiez votre panier d’achat comme liste de souhaits, créez plutôt une liste de lecture avec la liste des titres que vous souhaitez acheter sur l’iTunes Store. Vous pouvez ajouter des extraits de morceaux à une liste de lecture existante ou créer une nouvelle liste de lecture iTunes pour constituer votre liste de souhaits.

Pour en savoir plus sur les listes de souhaits, consultez l’article suivant :

Création d’une liste de souhaits iTunes Store

Si vous rencontrez toujours un problème avec votre panier d’achat, répondez à ce message électronique en fournissant une description précise du problème ainsi que le texte des messages d’erreur que vous avez éventuellement reçus.


Audrey Leray,
Support iTunes

Thank you Narvut. The list of possible fixes to the problem is long, and difficult to get an overview of reading the comments here. You’ll see that the advice to use playlists instead of shopping carts has already been mentioned. I find it strange that Apple can’t fix the problem.

Me too Kim,I think there’s not enough people complaining.Someone posted a message and I thought it was a good one;They said why can’t apple retrieve the cart info in a text format and give it to the people that request it?With all the smart tech’s they have you would think this would be possible.I think it’s very hard to make a playlist after the fact. (can’t access you’re cart)

Hi, all. I just thought I’d join in the fun. I am running the latest version of iTunes on Windows XP SP2. I have been able to publish multiple iMixes, but get the 5002 when I try to update any of them. I also downloaded iTunes to my laptop, where I have Windows Vista running. Same exact issue there. I will try some of these tricks, as well as contact Apple support, and report back with my findings. Wish me luck… (Ugh!)

Spoke to another Apple Support person yesturday they were able to tell me exactly how much songs were in my cart but not the content (Hmmm) so they still can’t give me a list. Well hope they figure it out soon!!!!!

My new message on the forum:

Well I’m **** MAD right know after talking to two support person and telling them that i would wait till they fix the bug of 5002 these incompetent people took it upon themselves to delete my cart without my permission.I have been bragging about how better APPLE is than the rest but it stops now,you might think that this is a small mistake and I’m being over the top but I don’t.They’re songs I was looking for for months and found some i had forgotten about and now the reality of starting over, THIS REALLY ***** !!!!!!! So forum be prepared this their solution DELETE your cart without your permission if you’re having problems accessing it.BE PREPEARD !!!!!!!

Notice;they even auto delete the word damn and sucks

I finally got it to work after I went to my settings (your email at the top right of the iTunes store) and changed my address. For some reason, at a random time since I bought music before, it didn’t like that my address had a . after Ct. like that. My address had a period and I changed it because it wasn’t a valid “United States Address”. That one damn period was hours of frustration. Worst of all, it RANDOMLY didn’t like it. All I did was Changed Ct. to Ct and voila it worked.

Well, it looks like I’m all out of luck. (I am receiving the 5002 error whenever I try to update one of my iMixes.)

iTunes Support: “I would have to be physically at your computer to recreate this error, and since I cannot do that, your only recourse is to remove the iMIx completely and resubmit the new one.”

No big deal, I guess. It just makes the whole RSS function totally worthless. TTFN.

I just fixed my 5002 error. I went into “View account” and re-entered my credit card security code.

Hope that helps someone out there.

Jay: Thanks! That was exactly the problem for me too. It’s annoying that Apple are so incompetent they can’t just say “sorry your credit card has expired.”

Yes, it seems we’ve found one of the main reasons for the 5002 error. and I’d like to use the opportunity to thank all of you for the feedback on this frustrating problem, and I really need to write that summary article now, since comments now are running 60+ 🙂

I am having the same issue when I try to open my shopping cart. I updated my ipod and itunes today, as well as entered an itunes gift card I got for my birthday. I’ve done everything I know possible to fix this. I’ve deauthorized and authorized my computer, entered a NEW credit card, entered the OLD credit card, changed my password, changed it back, changed it again, etc.

I really do NOT want to lose my shopping cart! I had TONS of music saved in there! Ughhhhhhh stupid stuff.

I’m facing the same issue as Amanada, also after an update to the latest iTunes version on my Win XP Toshiba laptop. So, I guess it might be a problem with this iTunes release…

Amanda and SholVa: When Apple does a new release of iTunes, I think that they also have the habbit of “shifting” the inventory, unfortunately I know of no other way to fix the problem with the saved shopping carts, than contacting iTunes Store support, and have them delete it ;-(

Hi all, i am getting the messege error 5002 when i try to open shoppiing cart. I’ve try most of the suggestions here and still having problems ….Somebody PLEASE HELP ME! 😉

I’d love to help you, but I’m afraid that you need to contact iTunes support and have them delete your shopping cart, maybe some of my other users can help, but it seems that we keep drawing blanks 🙁

Hei Kim

Jeg er fra Norge så jeg snakker på norsk til deg, tror du forstår.. 🙂
Jeg får error 5002 når jeg prøver at logge på iTunes…. Og jeg finner ikke noe som heter systeminnstillinger/deling på pc-en min. Jeg har Vista om det betyr noe. Håper du kan hjelpe!!


Hej Fredrik,

I sure understand Norwegian, but I hope that you don’t mind me answering in English.

My tip regarding change of the computer name is for Mac OS X, that’s the resean you can’t find the Systempreferences/Sharing. I do have experience with Windows as well, so I’ll try to suggest something.

I’m not really sure how to change it for Vista, but I believe that you can right-click the My Computer (or whatever they’re calling it Vista) icon, and select properties and something with computername etc. should show up, either as a tab or “something else” (this was, at least, true for XP).

Hey all, been having the 5002 error message for a couple of weeks now. I too, had a large saved shopping cart and really don’t want to have to contact iTunes to have them delete it… 🙁 Are there any updates on this topic? I’ve tried all of the above mentioned… I’m on a Mac OS X. Thanks!

Hmm.. don’t know whether I am re-assured to discover other folks have been experiencing this problem for years or not.. like Witney I suddenly started getting the 5002 error a week or so ago over the Easter w/end, I assumed the problem was a temporary issue with the iTunes servers and so wasn’t too concerned.. now I discover that its a regular problem for iTunes users and appears to be a generic error code generated by a multiplicity of causes.

So far none of the fixes have worked for me.. yet iTunes can still see my shopping cart because it can tell me if I already have a tune saved to it!.. coming hard on the heels of discovering Apple had nerfed iMovie in the 2008 version, I am currently a less than joyful Apple customer.

I strongly suspect that the source of a large number of the problems that do not respond to the fix suggestions is iTunes deleting tracks from its catalogue.

I’m going to run fix permissions om my OS and if that doesn’t work I may wait for the next version of iTunes and see if it sorts the problem; however If not then I will use 1-click and Apple can kiss goodbye to the extra revenue generated by impulse buys from my saved shopping cart list.. smart move Apple… NO CAKE FOR BAD CODING!

I would shout.. FIXED!.. WOOT!.. but in view of the effort involved it should be all lower case and in a font size so small it is indecipherable..

Ran OS 10.5 fix permissions.. made no difference.. so went into my iTunes account and went through every single box from top to bottom typing in my details again.. quit iTunes.. reopened iTunes.. shopping cart is now functioning again, with my original wish list.

So the culprit in this case appears to be a glitch in Apple’s software update to the latest version of iTunes because all those details have not changed and worked perfectly for my last purchase prior to upgrading to the latest version of iTunes.

Software upgrades.. Chaos Theory demonstrated in the comfort of your own home.. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!…

…and the saga continues.. Error 5002.. again.. I now suspect that since the upgrade to the latest version of iTunes, there is actually something in my iTunes account details that the new version of iTunes does not like.. as per Oscar Godson’s post on the 4th Feb.

However I am not going to change my name, move house, open a new bank account or be restricted to 1-click, simply to accommodate Apple’s unstable coding.. that would be rewarding shoddy work.. so iTunes goes on the boycott list until Apple fix it.

Everybody calm down. It’s your billing information. Update it. Apple wants the money, Apple wants the big big monnnnneeeeeyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!

welcome to the future of music…..all gone a bit quiet, iTunes.
spend hours trying to sort the problem or simply order a CD which arrives in a couple of days that actually sounds like it’s supposed to, not that 128kbps rubbish.

I just got this error too. Come on Apple, I just decided to start buying my media, don’t make me go back to … um.. other methods.

That is a very good suggestion Peter, I’m sure it does. On Mac OS X logfiles are easiest accessed using the Console tool, on Windows check the Logviewer under Administrative tools or look in the iTunes program directory, or the folders under the Windows folder. If any of you see the 5002 error, please try to investigate the logfiles, and help us by posting your findings here. Thank you.

I have been pulling my hair out over this too; tried everything I found in this and various forums. All I had to do was go to my itunes account information, then billing information, and enter my credit card security code. I guess I originally signed up before itunes required it.
Hope this helps!

Thanks for this useful info! Hope someone at the Fruit Company wakes up. They’re losing sales on this. Yes, my credit card was out of date. I thought I fixed it once, but maybe it didn’t take. They never were good on this stuff. Many sales on iTunes are impulse, if not whimsical, so for all those who don’t bother googling 5002 and find this answer — it’s a lost sale. Hello….

I am getting the 5002 error now. I have never ever used shopping cart or wish list, and have made about 100 purchases from the start of iTunes until just yesterday, 6/30/2008.

I get the error when trying to click on the “Buy Album” button. Might be the last straw for me. I’m already kicking myself that I’ve spent a bunch of money on stuff that is tied to Apple unless I go to extremes to “free the music” from it’s DRM chains.

If you’re on Mac OS X, you should also try the “repair disk permissions” function from the “Disk Utility”.

here is the error that appears in my log. Dont know what it means, but I thought it might helps some.[225] Child: NULL command dict read, exiting…
Please help.

just found the solution I had an application on itunes that I had not the file in application directory so I delete it and could update.

[Editors note: This is a possible fix for an issue with iPhone/iPod Apps after updating to iTunes 8. For more information check this Apple Forum thread iTunes 8 Upgrade Results in 5002 unknown Error when trying to update Apps]

My fix for the dreaded 5002 error:

NOTE: If you screw up and wipe out your Apps, you’re SOL. You should also know that iTunes may want to reinstall all your applications on your iPhone/iPod, so it might be best to hold off doing this until you’re ready for this (and bear in mind that my experience with iPhone application remove/install hasn’t been stellar, and I’ve had to completely restore from scratch a few times).

1. Back up Mobile Applications from /Users/myusername/Music/iTunes by dragging them to another disk — simply moving them elsewhere on the same disk doesn’t work, since iTunes keeps track of their location. Duplicating the folder would likely work too, if you haven’t got anywhere else to copy them.

2. Once you have the Mobile Applications folder backed up, and have verified and reverified that you’ve got a copy and haven’t simply moved the folder, open iTunes WITHOUT YOUR IPHONE/IPOD CONNECTED and select all your applications and delete them. (if your iPhone/iPod were connected, it would now start helpfully deleting apps)

3. When they’re all gone, quit iTunes

4. Start iTunes again and verify that you have no apps listed.

5. Drag your backup Mobile Applications folder to your open iTunes window — if you have default iTunes settings (copy/manage my music), then iTunes will start re-adding your applications. The nice thing about this is that it also eliminates all the duplicate apps and renames along the way — all those updates you keep doing don’t get rid of older versions, so these just pile up as “Application 1”, 2, 3, etc. You may end up saving a lot of disk space. Many apps have gone through name changes too, so you may clear up some confusion and duplication too.

6. Read the iTunes notices carefully — you will likely get something like “an OLDER version of this app already exists, do you want to replace it” (you DO), or “a NEWER version of this app already exists, do you want to replace it” (you DON’T), or sometimes a mention that this app already exists as the same version (replace it).

7.0 Quit iTunes, then restart it to “set” the changes

You will end up with a pristine iTunes Mobile Applications folder at the end of this process, and will likely save some space too.

Your 5002 error should also be gone too.

REMEMBER THAT YOU COULD POTENTIALLY LOSE ALL YOUR APPLICATIONS IF YOU SCREW UP, so please do this at your own risk, and as always, make sure you have backups!

Thank you for your tip, it’s very much appreciated, and it has resulted in me updating my post.

So upgrading to iTunes 8 can mess things up a lot, and result in the 5002 error related to iPhone/iPod Apps? Amazing, or rather…I’m not that surprised 🙁

I’ve added a note to your comment, I hope you’re ok with that.

Thank YOU! I’ve been struggling with a 5002 error for weeks now and finally decided enough was enough! my iPhone wasn’t able to update apps for whatever reason but now thanks to Julians post I’m up and running again! Thanks!

[Editors note: This tip seems to be similar to the tip from Julian above, but it looks like it’s simpler and “safer”.]

I solved my problem by…

1. I right clicked (ctrl click) on an app in iTunes app list and selected “show in finder.”

2. Once the finder window appeared I noticed there were more apps in iTunes than in the finder window.

3. So apparently I have orphaned Apps in the iTunes app list that had no source in the finder window.

4. So I went through the iTunes app list and found the two that were not in the finder window and deleted them.

5. Once the apps in the finder window matched the apps in the iTunes app list I closed the finder window and clicked “check for updates”

6. Problem solved

7. If you are having the Error 5002 when clicking on “check for updates” in the App list in iTunes then it has something to do with the databases not matching up or possibly a corrupted app.

nothing worked until i removed the apps from the “music/itunes/mobileapplications” file.

just removed the original file copies and kept the latest in the in numerical sequence. (i.e. removed files “tap tap”, “tap tap 1”, “tap tap 1.2”, “tap tap 2”, kept “tap tap 3”)

problem solved – thanks.

After about a year locked out by 5002, I read a post saying to just go through and update all your personal information. Even if you haven’t changed anything, retype every field. It worked for me and I’m downloading an album now! Good luck!

Hi, ive been downloading music through itunes for years, however recently i have tried to purchase a movie through itunes, thats when i received the 5002 error code for the first time. im using the lastest version of itunes 8. something and a new aluminium macbook, and have never had problems before. i tried using other peoples accounts but had the same error message.

i then tried to send the movie as a gift to myself and then redeem the voucher code but the same error occured. so now ive padi £6.99 for a movie i cant even download!!!


ive tried authorising, changing password, securuty code, address, shopping cart, one click. EVERYTHING!

please help me im going mad!


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