Fix iTunes Store -50 Error Issues

Last night, the iTunes Store was down for me for a while. I was in the middle of downloading something (the 8-hour version of Max Richter’s Sleep), and I saw that the downloads had stopped, with one file showing “Processing File.”

I couldn’t access the iTunes Store, Apple Music, or my iCloud email account for about a half hour, and when these services were available again, I found that I couldn’t restart the downloads; that I kept getting a message saying “”There was an error downloading your purchased music. An unknown error (-50) occurred.”

Interestingly, the error wasn’t unknown, and there’s a simple fix for it, but the dialog would be a lot more helpful if it explained what to do, or linked to this Apple support document.

The error was caused, it seems, at least in my case, by a bad download. If the connection times out, and the download hasn’t correctly finished, it gets corrupted. All you need to do is delete any files in the Downloads folder that’s in your iTunes Media folder. If you haven’t set this folder to be on an external drive, it will me here:

  • OS X: ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Downloads (The tilde (~) refers to your Home directory.)
  • Windows Vista: \Users\username\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Downloads\
  • Windows 7 and Windows 8: \Users\username\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Downloads\
  • Windows XP: \Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Downloads\

Just go to that folder and delete everything it contains. Quit iTunes and relaunch it, and then choose Store > Check for Downloads. Things should work again.

4 thoughts on “Fix iTunes Store -50 Error Issues

  1. If it is a simple fix they should have a button you can click on to execute the fix for you. I bet many don’t even understand what a “home director” is. Could almost guarantee a phone call from my brother to fix something simple like this.

    I’ve got 2-3 apps in the App Store that won’t update. I think a -20 error. Googling gave me many different things to try. Logging/out and back in. Deleting done preference files. Nothing works. I’m pretty knowledgeable & I find myself afraid to go in there and try. ?

    I guess what I’m getting at is there’s been too many issues lately. I hope the next versions of iOS & OS X smooth some of these out instead of focusing on new features.

  2. I had this same problem, downloadind the same album ?, on iOS. Removing the app from the multitasking list later and tapping the hung downloads twice (to pause and restart) fixed it.

  3. I’m trying to download 3 HD movies that I bought from the iTunes Store but the download is interrupted by a slow or not working internet connection. When connection is back, I need to start the download back from zero. iTunes used to start downloading were it left of.

  4. I got this error when trying to download Justice League from iCloud. It played on my computer fine, but refused to play on AppleTV. Used this tip, but it did not work at all.

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