Fixing iTunes error 9809

Fixing iTunes error 9809

I’ve been seeing a curious set of errors in iTunes lately. One of the symptoms is that iTunes would ask me for to login to my iTunes Store account at random times. After I entered my user id and password, it would ask for them again and then take me to the user account screen in the Store. It was also forgetting which podcasts I had selected to be automatically synched to me iPhone. Annoying but not a fatal flaw. However, a more serious symptom cropped up yesterday.

The App Store told me that there was an updated version of EA Sports’ Madden Football game for the iPhone, but when I tried to download, I got a message that the Store was unavailable now and to try later. As you might guess, it didn’t matter if I tried later, still the same message. Then today, I wanted to download a new app from the store and got this message: “An unknown error has occurred. (-9809)”. I did some searching online and the only references I found in Apple’s support forums was to people using iTunes on Windows Vista. Not helpful for me.

So I looked in OS X’s to see if there were any telltale indicators of the problem cropping up there, but there was nothing. I thought the problem might be in OS X’s Keychain, so I opened it up and ran Keychain First Aid, but no problems there either. So I resorted to basic troubleshooting techniques: Erase caches and preferences and if that doesn’t work, delete and reinstall. 

I quit iTunes and then found the caches for iTunes in the Home folder (the folder inside the Users folder that likely has your name on it). The exact location is (Home)/Library/Caches/ Inside the folder was two files, cache.db (which was 159mb!) and goog-phish-shavar.dat (only 262k). No idea what the latter file is, but if it’s in caches, it’s toast. I deleted both and, presto!, iTunes was working fine again.

Bottom line: If you get error -9809 in iTunes on Mac OS X, delete the cache files in (Home)/Library/Caches/, and try again.

  Posted via email  from Domenico’s posterous 


Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • Seems that file (goog-phish-shavar.dat ) is part of the Google Safe Browsing Protocol specification. Remember, iTunes is essentially a glorified Web browser.


    As with the previous protocol, the new protocol supports many different blacklists or whitelists. List names are in the form “provider-type-format”, e.g. “goog-phish-shavar”. Each item in a list will represent an expression that will match a malicious url, but the exact format depends on the list type and how the content is used is application-specific. Note that the rest of the specification will generally talk about lists in terms of blacklists but the protocol itself is agnostic to the content of the list.

  • I was getting this same error too with iTunes for awhile, I managed to fix it by reinstalling iTunes completely, but I guess your method saves a lot of time and energy. I’ll remember that for next time