Getting err = -39 with Apple’s iTunes?

Yesterday I downloaded and installed the latest and greatest iTunes (version Since then, when I download podcasts, I occasionally receive the error message err = -39. According to Apple, the cause is incompatibility between iTunes and some web acceleration software. Guess what? I’m not using web acceleration software.

Manson2k, over at Red Kawa, suggests it may be due to ReadyBoost on Windows Vista. In my case, I already have ReadyBoost disabled.

Thinking that it is probably just a corrupted cache as the episodes were receiving the -39 error but had downloaded some of the file.  When I searched the computer for an episode name, I discovered that there were a few .tmp files in my Z:\\Music\\Downloads directory with the same names of podcast episodes that were receiving the -39 error. Deleting these files allowed iTunes to download the episodes correctly. 🙂

Obviously, there seems to be many causes of the -39 error.  I hope Apple fixes this bug or at least gives the option to clear the download cache from iTunes.

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69 Replies to “Getting err = -39 with Apple’s iTunes?”

  1. You rock, Jason! This fixed my problem as well.

    In my case, I had plugged in a USB device that crashed Windows and caused my computer to reboot right when several new podcasts happened to be downloading. After rebooting, I couldn’t get any of those episodes to re-download no matter what I tried. Since there was no trace of them in the podcasts list, I didn’t even think to look in the music folder for corrupt / tmp files.

    Many thanks!

    p.s. — There have been a couple patches since your post, so apparently Apple hasn’t fixed this yet.

  2. Thanks that helped so much, Apple support said it was an internet accelerator for dialup and i dont have dialup I have cable…And that fix fixed it right up! It really seems like iTunes 7 is a very buggy one…I mean I may have to change my lib to my Mac soon if more bugs keep popping up, like earlier this week I had a sound error then a quicktime error all fixed with reinstalls but this is getting ridiculous…I mean I love apple but cmon get it right!

  3. Fixed my problem as well which was caused by a power-outage in the middle of a podcast episode download. After the power came back on, the episodes refused to download. Deleting the appropriate folder in the Download folder solved the problem nicely. Thank-you Geek.

    (For those of you, like me, who don’t know where the Download folder is — it was in your main iTunes music library folder.)

  4. Oh man, you are a computer *stud*! This has been pissing me off for a month. I just did a search on the whole iTunes directory and deleted *all* the .tmp directories and it’s all working again. Thanks for this tip.

  5. Had an episode of Car Talk that woudn’t download after I upgraded to Vista. Your method fixed the problem. By the way, I am using iTunes 7.5.

  6. Thank you so much!!!!!!!!! Without you I would still be searching for the solution, complaining to apple and waiting for an answer. Thank you!

  7. Hi, I’m having trouble downloading some podcasts – itunes is saying err=3259. I can’t find out anywhere what that means – can you help?

  8. According to Apple docs, the error is due to either old iTunes software (old iTunes is unable to authenticate with the newer iTunes Store DRM) or because of a firewall/networking issue.

    The people over at Technology Evangelist also ran into the issue. Comment #41 seems to have the best results:

    37. Posted by: Dan on April 7, 2007 8:57 PM:

    I first posted here on Feb 6th, I finally found a fix for this tonight. My 3259 was coming from a conflict with McAfee security center. The fix was to open the run command, and type “services.msc”, find McAfee Redirector and right click it and click stop. I can now download and use iTunes problem free. Thanks to the group of dedicated individuals who found this fix, with no help from apple and mcafees incompitent tech support!

  9. Thanks a million guys. Your comments helped me to fix my iTunes problems after tearing my hair out over it for weeks!!!

    I can sleep easy now… Lol 🙂


  10. Hello, I have Windows Vista and Norton Antivirus, and keep getting the -3259 error when trying to download an iTunes podcast. Also, I checked and there are no .tmp files in iTunes. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

  11. I may sound really stupid but how do I get to the directory? I’ve tried searching but can’t get into a download folder. Thanks.

  12. Thank You Jason very much, I just came across this problem today and was searching for an answer on the internet and came across your website. I also like Sarah could not find the folder but with your post, I have resolved the problem. Many thanks again.

  13. I suspected a temp file was causing my err = -39, but I didn’t know where to look. Thanks for the post and all the replies to point me in the right direction.

    My error resulted when the graphics card caused a crash during download of a video podcast. I don’t remember what else I was doing, but I don’t think I was watching a video.

    Six months now and many updates with no fix.

  14. Thanks! It help me to get the files.

    The reason I got the failure is that my SAMBA server, on which my iTunes files are, disconnects from time to time. Windows doesn’t notice it, but isn’t able to continue afterwards.
    I hope this helps others, who store the music files on another machine (Server, other Computer, NAS, SAN or juast a Harddisk in the network), to locate the problem. If the connection between the two machines disconnects, while downloading a podcast, the the already downloaded part of the podcast is in the .tmp folder. If you found the problem why your connection disconnects, you found the reason why you have trouble downloading the files.

    In my case it is a problem with the SAMBA server. See

    The Bug is still open. I hope a bug fix will help in similar cases.

  15. Thanks SO much for this – iTunes was no help at all and your solution fixed it up for me. I’m not sure why my downloads were interrupted but it was driving me mad, trying to get some of my podcasts and being thwarted. The latest version,, clearly hasn’t fixed this problem.

  16. THANK YOU! A very straight forward solution!!! I was beginning to lose my mind a bit over the continuous error message… lol

  17. I did the fix a few times, but the problem continues. I am downloading a 4 hour movie; could it be the size of the file? Any other suggestions would be much appreciated.

  18. Thank you soooo much! As with the other commenters, I don’t think I would have ever figured this out. I was sitting here screaming at the computer without realizing that a power disruption was the initial problem!

  19. I think it boils down to if there is a disruption in writing the files to disk, iTunes will simply refuse to use those partial files (possibly resume downloading them).

    It appears to be a simple oversight of Apple and I would hope that they will eventually fix the issue as it has been more than 2 years since it was first reported to them.

  20. I wish this worked for me! My download is stopping at the same point everytime – it’s a movie, and I’ve only got half of it. I’ve tried this technique – for which I thank you, at least I’m not alone! – and it works up until this one point. I’ve also tried deactivating firewalls, AV software, etcetc. I’ve now been trying to fix this for a few days, and am going slowly mad…
    Any tips?

  21. Thank you! That was so easy. I Googled err 39 and your site was the first and most helpful result. The error was driving me bonkers; I never would have figured it out.

  22. jason u are the man, the 39 error has been buging me for days. i read your fix and and it up and going again in mins, thanks for for that and keep the fixes coming.

  23. Thanks man, googled the error to find out what the problemo was. Took me straight to this page, worked a treat 🙂 thanks again.

  24. Interesting that you solved this problem three years ago and the iTunes support site still refers to the same nonsense about “Web Accelerators.” I tried your fix and it worked instantly. Too bad Apple doesn’t know how to do a Google search.

  25. …Thank you so much. You are definitely my new hero. This was posted 3 years ago but it works WAY better than that internet accelerator crap. Thanks!

  26. I guess with the new iTunes update, all these error is a history, right. But IMHO iTunes is not the best software apple develop since some of the comments are still pretty confusing.

  27. Just encountered this error yesterday, and apple talks about this web accelerator that i dont have. Luckily google directed me to this website… your tips work like a charm. thanks a lot

  28. I haven’t gotten error 39 yet myself but I’ve certainly had other issues with ITunes. Rather sheepishly though I found out that it was due to the cable I was using to sync to my iPod. Replaced that and haven’t had a problem since.

  29. Looked everywhere for a solution…Apple support talking crap about the servers are too busy or some $#!7, and yet WinAmp downloads the podcasts straight away.

    Thanks heaps mate…solved my problem….

    Also this is in iTunes 10.6.17

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