This time, we are going to discuss “how to fix iPhone that is stuck in recovery mode”. But, before we go any further, we are going to clear some terms.
In some cases, you may hear people suggest you to try “Restore in Recovery Mode” method in order to fix your iPhone issues. It is usually listed after “Erase All Contents and Settings” as one of the resetting processes. Actually, people are using different terms for the same reset method. It can confuse many users and lead them choosing the wrong method when trying to fix iPhone problems. So, instead of fixing the iPhone, they face additional issues.
What is the difference between reset and restore?
These two terms are quite confusing. You may also hear the other related terms for resettings. For example, someone uses “reset iPhone to factory settings” for “Erase All Contents and Settings” method. Apple uses the term “Restore to factory settings” to format the device back to its factory default. So, does these methods do the same things?
Performing Erase All Contents and Settings on the iPhone is different from restoring the device. It sounds the same because, after both processes, you have to set up the iPhone as a new device. But technically, resetting and restoring process are different. Resetting will only erase all of iPhone’s contents and settings in user account level. It doesn’t remove the OS.
Restoring iPhone means you format your device and install the latest iOS to make sure there is no “trash” or any “thing” left in OS level. The process will wipe all the things on the device, including the OS and firmware itself.
“Erase all contents and settings”, is the first option for troubleshooting iPhone. You can also perform this method if you are going to sell your iPhone. If your iPhone has software issues, they will still exist on your device after you resetting the device. That’s why the last effort in troubleshooting iPhone in Software level is performing the restore method.
What Is Recovery Mode?
When it comes to restore process, it always needs the help of Mac/PC to open iTunes. It’s a simple method. You can just connect your iPhone to Mac/PC using lightning cable >> open iTunes. Once iTunes detects your iPhone, click Summary tab and click Restore. But, in some cases, you have to put your device in Recovery Mode before performing the restore process.
Apple develops the Recovery Mode for iOS to prevent the iPhone or the other iOS devices from more damage. It’s part of iPhone’s bootloader, called iBoot. The function of iBoot is to check, scan, and search for errors. When there is something wrong with the iOS firmware or upgrade on your iPhone, the device will enter the recovery mode automatically to load iBoot.
When to use recovery mode?
You can put your device in Recovery Mode in order to perform the restoring process using iTunes. Here are the situations in which you might need to bring you device to Recovery Mode:
- In the restoring process when the iTunes cannot detect the device or it says that your device is in recovery mode.
- If you have a “Connect to iTunes” message on the iPhone’s screen
- Your iPhone gets a black screen with Apple logo for more than a minute without progress
- iPhone won’t turn on
- iPhone touchscreen issues
- You forgot your passcode
- You can’t update iOS and your iPhone is stuck in a continuous restart loop
- The OS update or restore process fails
How to enter and Exit recovery mode
If you are having one of the issues that I mentioned above and want to restore your iPhone as new, you have to enter the recovery mode first.
Enter recovery mode
- Make sure you iPhone is fully charged.
- Make sure you have the latest iTunes version installed on your Mac/PC.
- Connect your iPhone to your Mac/PC.
- Launch iTunes.
- Force restart your iPhone while it’s connected to your computer by pressing and holding the power and home buttons at the same time for a few seconds. Once the Apple logo appears on your iPhone screen, release the power button but keep holding the home button until you see the iTunes and cable signs shows up on the screen.
- Stop right here. You are in the recovery mode.
Important to notice:
If you just want to enter the recovery mode you don’t always need to connect your iPhone to the computer. You can also just plug the device to the power source and do the last two points above. But, usually, we enter the recovery mode to restore the iPhone, which is needed to connect the iTunes on the computer. After you have successfully entered the recovery mode, iTunes will automatically detect the device and a popup will appear. You will be given three options: Cancel, Update, or Restore. It’s important to notice that if you hit the “Restore” button, you will lose all data. So, if you want to restore, make sure you have backed up your data beforehand.
Exit recovery mode
To exit the recovery mode you can just do the force restart process by pressing the power and home buttons altogether for a few seconds until the Apple logo appears.
Solution for iPhone that is stuck in recovery mode
Restore your iPhone in recovery mode can be the last solution to fix your iPhone problems. But, if you didn’t do it properly or didn’t follow the instruction well, you can cause more issues. For example, iPhone stuck in restore mode. I have experienced this issue a long time ago. My iPhone 4 stuck in recovery mode when I tried to restore it. In the end of this discussion, you can read some tips and trick to avoid this issue. If you are facing this issue right now, here are some methods to kick your iPhone out of recovery mode.
If your iPhone is stuck in recovery mode, don’t restore it directly. Maybe, you don’t need to restore your iPhone, so you don’t have to lose your data. Try to hard reset your iPhone. In some cases, this simple solution can resolve iPhone that is stuck in recovery mode. To do so, press and hold the power and home buttons altogether for a few seconds until you see the Apple logo on iPhone screen.
Use a Software to exit the recovery mode
If the hard reset doesn’t help you to exit recovery mode, try to use a third party software. This software can help your iPhone to out of recovery mode. One of these software options is RecBoot. Besides helping iOS devices to get out of recovery mode loop, it also can fix the iTunes 1015 restore error. How to get out an iPhone out of recovery mode? You can follow these steps:
- Install RecBoot. You can download Mac version here, and Windows version, here.
- Launch RecBoot application once it’s ready.
- Connect the iPhone to your computer using USB cable.
- Let RecBoot detect the iPhone.
- Click the Exit Recovery button.
- Let iPhone restart and exit from recovery mode.
Restore iPhone in iTunes
If the third party Software doesn’t help, you have to restore your iPhone. The restoring process will erase your iPhone. It seems the issue is related to the broken iOS. You can restore iPhone using iTunes by following these instructions:
- Launch iTunes in your Mac/PC.
- Connect your iPhone to Mac/PC using a lightning cable.
- On the “Summary” tab, click “Restore”
- iTunes will download the firmware first.
- If the process is done, set up your device as new.
Restore iPhone in DFU mode
DFU is the abbreviation of Device Firmware Update, a condition in which the iPhone cannot load iOS or bootloader but can be detected by iTunes. This mode can be used to restore the jailbroken iPhone safer.
You can rely on this technique if restoring iPhone didn’t work. Restore iPhone in DFU mode is the last method that you can do by yourself.
Steps to enter DFU mode and restore iPhone
- Make sure you have the latest iTunes version that is installed on your Mac/PC.
- Make sure you have a stable Internet connection.
- Connect your iPhone to Mac/PC using a lightning cable.
- Enter the DFU mode by pressing and holding the power and home buttons together at the same time for about 10 seconds. Then, release only the power button, but keep holding the home button.
- If your iPhone has succeeded entering DFU mode, the black will remain black and a pop-up message will appear.
- Click “Restore” on the popup message.
- iTunes will download the firmware for your iPhone. Let the process to complete.
Claim the warranty
How to get iPhone out of recovery mode if the restoring iPhone in DFU mode doesn’t work? Contact Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider is the next option. If your iPhone is still covered by the warranty, you can claim it. But, if it’s expired, you can consider the solutions that they offer.
All the solutions above are found effective to fix iPad / iPhone that is stuck in recovery mode on iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPad, iPad Mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro.
If you tried the solutions above, and nothing worked, contact Genius Bar or the nearest Apple Authorized Service Provider.