Fix “to use iPhone with iTunes, install OS X 10.11.4 (or later)”

When trying to to connect your iPhone with iTunes on Mac, you may encounter an error message reading “To use your iPhone with iTunes, you need to install OS X 10.11.4 (or later)”. This stops you from going any further with the operation. As such, you can’t back up your phone or use iTunes.

But you don’t have to worry about it so much. This guide will walk you through how to fix this problem. Just try the fixes below, one by one until the issue is fixed.

What causes the error?

Below are the possible causes for the error.

  • Technical problems with iTunes
  • A third party script or plug-in can cause the error
  • Running an outdated version of iTunes.
  • Running on an outdated OS version.

How to fix the “install OS X 10.11.4 or later” error

1. Restart your Mac

Sometimes, there could be a technical problem with your Mac. This can be the reason for the error.Restarting your device fixes the technical issues.

So, in such a case, restarting your Mac can fix the problem.

Read Also: What does the dashed circle in iTunes mean?

2. Start iTunes in safe mode

When a third party script or plugin causes the error, you have to start iTunes in safe mode to fix the problem. Below is how:

  • While launching iTunes hold down Option and Command keys on your keyboard.
  • On the pop up message click Continue

If iTunes work well in safe mode,  it is the iTunes third party add-on that is causing the error. You should therefore remove the add-on to avoid the problem.

3. Update iTunes

You can also fix the error by updating iTunes. To do so;

  • Launch iTunes
  • From the menu, select iTunes
  • Click on Check for Updates and install any available update.

4. Sign out of iTunes and back

This can also fix the error. Below are the steps to follow.

  • Launch iTunes
  • Go to the iTunes menu
  • Navigate to Store
  • Go to Sign out then quit iTunes.
  • Relaunch iTunes and Sign in by following the same steps.

Read Also: Fix iTunes has an invalid signature it will not be installed

5. Upgrade to OS X El Capitan

If all the above don’t work, you should try upgrading your Operating System to version 10.11.4 ( El Captain) or later. But, before you start the installation, ensure you back up your Mac first. Since the upgrade takes time,ensure you have a reliable internet connection.

To download and install OS X El Captain;

  • Go to the link
  • Proceed to download. The OS X El Captain file will be downloaded to your Mac.
  • Go to the file you downloaded and select it.
  • Select a file named pkg.
  • Follow the prompts to start the installation of the installer. Wait the process to complete.
  • Open the Applications folder
  • Select the file named Install OS X El Capitan.
  • Click on Continue and follow the prompts to start the installation of OS X El Captain.
  • Allow the installation to finish without putting your Mac to sleep.


That is all we had about how to fix the error. Hopefully, you will be able to fix the error with the fixes above. Let us know if you have any questions about the same.

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