How to restore an iPhone from recovery mode

Recovery Mode is what your iPhone goes into when you are doing a standard iOS upgrade or restore, but you may want to put your iPhone into recovery mode for other reasons too.

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It may be required when:

  • Your device continually restarts but never displays the Home screen.
  • An update or restore did not complete and the device is no longer recognized in iTunes.
  • Stops responding, showing the Apple logo with no progress bar or a stopped progress bar, for over ten minutes.

Please note:

  • This should only be performed if a standard back up & restore fails.
  • You may not be able to recover data from an iPhone if you restore from recovery.
  • Your iPhone may be reset to factory settings. Perform at own risk.

You may want to know:

  • In certain situations, an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch will automatically go into recovery mode after an update or restore issue. If your device is already in recovery mode, you can attempt to restore using iTunes.
  • If iTunes displays an alert with an error code, see this article before attempting the steps outlined here.
  • Recovery Mode is different than DFU mode because DFU mode bypasses the bootloader which allows for things like downgrading firmware. You can not downgrade firmware with Recovery Mode, you can only upgrade or restore.
  • Restoring your iPhone via recovery mode will delete all data on the device (if you go through the entire process; exiting recovery mode before completing a restore leaves your data intact), so it’s best to sync the device to backup your data, if you can, before following these instructions. But if you had previously synced with iTunes on this computer, you can restore from a previous backup. For the restoring process, see this article for more information.

Steps for entering Recovery Mode:

Follow these steps to place your iOS device into recovery mode. If your iOS device is already in recovery mode, you can proceed immediately to step 6.

  1. Disconnect the USB cable from the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, but leave the other end of the cable connected to your computer’s USB port.
  2. Turn off the device: Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button for a few seconds until the red slider appears, then slide the slider. Wait for the device to turn off.
    If you cannot turn off the device using the slider, press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons at the same time. When the device turns off, release the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons.
  3. While pressing and holding the Home button, reconnect the USB cable to the device. The device should turn on.
    Note: If you see the screen pictured below, let the device charge for at least ten minutes to ensure that the battery has some charge, and then start with step 2 again.

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4. Continue holding the Home button until you see the “Connect to iTunes” screen. When this screen appears you can release the Home button:

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   5. If necessary, open iTunes. You should see the following “recovery mode” alert:

9   6. Use iTunes to restore the device. For the restoring process, see this article for more information.

   7.If you don’t see the “Connect to iTunes” screen, try these steps again. If you see the “Connect to iTunes” screen but the device does not appear in iTunes, see this articleand its related links.

Note: If your home button is unresponsive and you are stuck at the screen with the Apple logo, you may try some softwares like Tiny Umbrella or RecBoot which can bring Apple to recovery mode without the need to press home button. But if this don’t work then you must first get the home button repaired in a hardware shop and then proceed with other software junks. If this fails too, you may need to re-install the iOS firmware.