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iPod Touch / iPhone Software Update Problem with Error message:

The application "app-name" was not installed on the iPod "ipod-name" because its resources have been modified.

I created this page because I was fed up with iTunes sync with my iPod Touch giving me this error and couldn't find any proper answers about it, and didn't want to pay out a support call fee, so this is how I fixed it.

It might not be the answer you want to hear, but at the end of the day it might be the quickest/simplest solution rather than wasting hours searching around, or waiting for Apple Support.

On a couple of occasions now when I've had iTunes notifying me that the latest version of the iPhone/Touch firmware is available for download, I've thought, "Uh-oh! Here we go again! What's this update going to screw up?".

The app was not installed on the iPod because its resources have been modified

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Before I go any further, let me make it plain that I am NOT an expert in Apple software, it confuses the heck out of me, and annoys me that every time Apple release a new version of the firmware it messes up my apps. I'm just telling you what I found to be the simplest(!) method of getting everything going again.

Also you might want to read all of this page before deciding exactly what you want to do, because even after getting my apps to work with 3.1.3, I found another bug which made me decide to restore back to 3.1.2 after all, and which I describe how to do it further below.

Short Answer: Restore and tell iTunes to "Setup as a new iPod". This takes everything back to square one, clean and fresh, and your apps should Sync across fine. Otherwise you will go through all the standard things suggested on the Apple support pages, e.g. reset the iPod, de-authorise/re-authorise your computer, de-install and re-download apps, and even then without any guarantee it will work at the end.

The unfortunate thing with setting up afresh is you will LOSE ALL YOUR SETTINGS (we will not be restoring from a backup)!!

Basically you've got to make a decision between;

  • spending ages searching for answers on forums, or trying to contact Apple support, possibly having to pay support fees, faffing around and getting more annoyed, or
  • clean install your iPod, and re-sync all your apps and music and stuff, then setup your various settings manually again, which may take just an hour or two.

Really it depends on how many apps you have on your iPod which actually hold data and personalised or special settings.

Music, videos, podcasts, photos, contacts, calendar and the apps themselves are all dead easy to sync across again from your computer after a clean setup of the iPod.

But you will have to re-setup all other things as if you had bought your brand new iPod and were using it for the first time, e.g. Wi-Fi settings, personalisations like wallpaper, email connection settings, and any other special settings for all the sundry apps you might have downloaded. So for some people this might be fairly straightforward, but other people might need to do a lot of work afterwards, in which case it may be worth hassling Apple for a resolution to the problem. Me? Well its going to be a long time before I trust an iPod update again, and hopefully by then they will have sorted out these blasted problems.

Important: If you often download apps or music, etc directly to your device rather than your computer (eg. by phone or Wi-Fi), then you should make sure to sync those things to your computer before you start, otherwise you will lose them and definitely have to re-download from iTunes store again.

You should also make sure iTunes has done a recent backup (it usually makes one each time you disconnect then reconnect your iPod and do a Sync), but how useful the backup is I don't know because with version 3.1.3 of the firmware Apple really seems to have screwed up, and despite trying to restore from backups prior to the 3.1.3 upgrade this has not helped me resolve the "resources have been modified" error.

iPod Touch - Firmware Update Error 14

By the way I have Windows Vista Home Home Premium SP2, with iTunes

My problems all started out with Apple releasing a new version of the firmware (not necessarily a new iTunes version, although that might need updating too). When you go to do a Sync of your music, contacts, applications or whatever, iTunes checks your iPhone or Touch to determine if you've got the latest version of the firmware (the firmware is the software or operating system contained on the iPod itself, which is different to the iTunes software on your laptop/computer).

When you connect your iPod it should show the Devices section in the nav menu at the left hand side of iTunes screen;

When you click that you get the normal iPod Device screen which shows the Software Version (this is the version of the firmware).

And if iTunes says that a new version of the iPod Software is available for download, THINK LONG AND HARD BEFORE DECIDING TO DOWNLOAD IT !!!! You could be in for a rough ride. The past two upgrades (3.1.2 and 3.1.3) have both screwed up for me with problems requiring restores, messing about and re-downloading apps. I'm not impressed, but it might just be the Apps that I have purchased. I don't really know or care, the point is something is screwed and its made me very wary of doing Upgrades again. As they say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!".

Anyway, I'm a computer geek, and I normally have faith in software developers to improve things, so I thought what the heck, let's update it - more fool me.

During the upgrade process I got the following message;

The iPod could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (14).

According to the Apple support site, error 14 apparently relates to possible USB connection problems. USB can sometimes be a bit flaky, particularly when you have several devices connected via USB hubs, or with mixtures of USB versions 1.0 and 2.0.

And it seems I usually get this error when I'm doing the iPod Software Version (firmware) update. Why it only happens when "updating" the software, but will otherwise Sync perfectly well hundreds of times, god only knows. So I usually find the best thing is to un-plug every other USB device.Then re-try, but now because it failed half way through its gone into the recovery mode giving another error;

iTunes has detected an iPod in recovery mode. You must restore this iPod before it can be used with iTunes.

No kidding sherlock! That's what I thought you were trying to do!

Sometimes you can disconnect/reconnect the cable and restore in one step, but sometimes you need to disconnect and reset/power-off the iPod, then reconnect again before iTunes and the iPod will recognise each other again (the iPod seems to get stuck).

iPod Update Foul-up

And its after doing this restore, and the firmware has been upgraded to the new version, and attempt to sync everything over again that I discovered the Resources have been modified error, as shown below...(click the image to view full size, then Back when done).

Well at this point I looked up the error on Apple support, and the suggestion was to remove the Application from iTunes (no need to remove from the iPod because it never got synced across anyway), then re-download from the iTunes store (which recognises I have paid for these previously, so does not charge again), then re-sync across again. Nope, still no go. I try again, and with a different app. Still no go.

I browse around the net, and find various people with similar problems, including some developers debating some stuff about why it occurs and what they must do, but still no answers to the problem. I try restoring from a different older backup, still no better, and suddenly after several syncs, removes, restores, etc, it now says even more of my apps have the same problem....!!!

What the hell is going on!

So I figure that although it pains me to do so, I perhaps should try the option to Setup as a new iPod.

Setup as a new iPod

It goes something like this.....(patience is required)

Click the Restore button.

Choose option to Backup (yet again, and what the point is now I don't know)

Confirm to Restore (yes I suppose so)

Now several messages indicate progress......

Oh great! One of these again, despite not having any other USB devices connected.

Disconnect/reconnect, (maybe a power off) and eventually get back to this screen which seems to indicate the iPod is, um, well pretty empty.

Let's try again. Click Restore.

Yes, of course I'm sure, just get on with it.....

Ok, so this time its going straight to Restoring iPod firmware.

Hooray, factory settings, clean, empty, nada, zip, deceased, gone.....

Now at last we're at the screen that provides the option to Set up as a new iPod, select it. (Note: Perhaps you won't have so much trouble getting to this stage if you don't have Vista, or lots of USB devices like me).

You should get the Setup screen. Personally I prefer to untick all 3 boxes below. (Click screenshot for full size)

After clicking Done it will complete the setup and then you should have a fresh iPod as if from the factory with the bare minimum applications and basic settings.

Now at this stage BEFORE pressing the Apply button to sync everything across again, I think its wise to un-tick all the Sync options apart from Applications, because otherwise it will take an age to sync all your music, movies, podcasts, and so on, after which it might show you more errors. Hopefully it won't but I'd rather waste as little time as possible.

I discovered that all my applications now sync'ed across ok without the blasted Resources have been modified errors, and everything seems to be working again.

One final note: In order to create this page and take screenshots I went through the whole rigmarole all over again. Now that everything was all fresh and dandy I thought it would be safe to make a fresh backup, then zap everything for the purposes of this article, then restore back to my good setup again. How wrong was I. Even after restoring to a brand new good backup, then syncing it gives the Resources have been modified error again. ArrrRRRGH! What the FFFF!!! So I had to do Setup as new iPod all over again.

Now I can go through at my leisure setting up my iPod as I normally like and use it again.

Reverting to previous Software / Firmware Version 3.1.2

Well after all the above, and getting everything working again in version 3.1.3, I discovered that the standard iPod Music application now seemed to be exhibiting some problems! The index scroll bar at the right of the music selection screen was not working properly. You know how you can normally use the alphabetical index bar at the right of the Artists, Songs and Albums lists to jump to items starting with a particular letter of the alphabet. Well it wasn't jumping to the correct location. I despair!

So now I was totally fed up with these problems, so decided I was definitely going to revert back to the previous version. First we need to obtain the correct firmware to be able to restore to, so either do a Google search for "download ipod touch firmware 3.1.2", or else use this link to the following site :-


The site provides two buttons for downloading previous firmware versions for iPod, iPhone or iPod Touch, so make sure to use the correct Download button for your device. Also make sure to select the correct version of firmware from the drop-down selector, e.g. I chose iPod Touch 2G (3.1.2/7D11). Click Download to get the file which is about 250Mb).

The next thing is to use the special (hidden) feature in iTunes to restore a previous version of the firmware from the file you've downloaded.

To do this you have to put the iPod into DRM mode (Device Recovery Mode).

First you turn the iPod off by the usual method of pressing the on/off button and then sliding the confirm slider.

Next, while pressing and holding the iPod's main bottom centre Home button, reconnect the USB cable to the iPod. When you reconnect the USB cable to iPod, the device should power on. Continue holding the Home button (for between 10 and 30 seconds) until you see the "Connect to iTunes" screen appear on the iPod (it shows the USB plug + arrow + iTunes icon). When this screen appears you can release the Home button. You should see the following "recovery mode" alert displayed by iTunes:

Click Ok to dismiss the message, and the iTunes Device screen should be as shown below;


Note the Name, Capacity, Software Version and Serial have "n/a" showing against them.

Now you need to press down the Shift key on your keyboard and keep holding it down while you click the Restore button on the screen. The open file dialogue will now allow you to browse to find the location of the firmware you downloaded earlier:-

Select the file and click Open.

A similar sequence of progress messages to the ones shown earlier on this page will be displayed, until eventually it finishes with the message....

You should now be able to Setup as a new iPod back with the original version 3.1.2.

With the Firmware back to 3.1.2 I did not try Restoring from one of my older v3.1.2 backups, so I don't know whether that would have been a viable option. I figured it was better to start from scratch again.

Finally I turned off the options in iTunes to perform automatic checks for updates, so that everything will be left as it is once I've got it all working again.

Don't get me wrong. I do love my iPod Touch, and while its working it's fantastic and reliable, but these kind of problems really do need sorting out between Apple and app developers.

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