iPhone Stuck On Apple Logo? Here’s The Real Fix.

Everything was fine until your iPhone rebooted and got stuck on the Apple logo. You thought, “Maybe it’s just taking longer this time,” but quickly realized something was wrong. You’ve tried resetting you iPhone, plugging it into iTunes, and nothing works. In this article, I’ll explain why your iPhone is stuck on the Apple logo and exactly how to fix it.

I’m A Former Apple Tech. Here’s The Truth:

There’s a lot of information about this topic out there, and that’s because it’s a very common problem. All of the other articles I’ve seen are either incorrect or incomplete. As an Apple tech, I have first-hand experience working with hundreds of iPhones, and I know that iPhones get stuck on the Apple logo for a variety of reasons. Knowing why your iPhone got stuck on the Apple logo in the first place will help you prevent it from happening again.

Click here if you’d like to skip right to the fixes. Keep reading if you’d like to learn what your iPhone is really doing when it shows the Apple logo on the screen so you understand what went wrong. Next, I’ll help you identify what caused the problem in the first place. Sometimes it’s obvious, but a lot of the time it’s not. After we know what caused the problem, I’ll recommend the best way to fix it.

What Really Happens When Your iPhone Turns On

Think about all the things that need to happen before you’re ready to get going in the morning. You might think of things like making coffee, taking a shower, or packing a lunch for work, but those are high-level tasks – kind of like apps on your iPhone. We usually don’t think about the basic things that happen first, because they seem to happen automatically. Even before we get out of bed, we stretch, pull down the covers, sit up, and set our feet on the floor.

Your iPhone isn’t much different. When your iPhone starts up, it has to turn on its processor, check its memory, and set up a slew of internal components before it can do anything complex, like check your email or run your apps. These startup functions happen automatically in the background as your iPhone displays the Apple logo.  In case you were wondering, that’s why the main image for this article is an iPhone in bed.

Your iPhone is stuck on the Apple logo because something went wrong during its startup routine. Unlike a person, your iPhone can’t ask for help, so it just stops. Dead. Apple logo, forever.

Diagnose The Problem

Now that you understand why the Apple logo is stuck on your iPhone, it’s helpful to state the problem a different way: Something changed in your iPhone’s startup routine and it doesn’t work anymore. But what changed it? Apps don’t have access to your iPhone’s startup routine, so it’s not their fault. Here are the possibilities:

  • iOS updates, restores, and data transfers from your computer to your iPhone have access to its core functionality, so they can cause a problem. Security software, defective USB cables, and faulty USB ports can all interfere with the data transfer process and cause software corruption that can cause the Apple logo to get stuck on your iPhone.
  • Jailbreaking: A lot of other websites (and some Apple employees) cry “Jailbreaker! Serves you right!” whenever they see this problem, but jailbreaking is not the only thing that can cause your iPhone to get stuck on the Apple Logo. That being said, the potential for problems is high when you jailbreak your iPhone. Not only does the jailbreaking process require a complete restore, but its name comes from the fact that it breaks apps “out of jail”, bypassing Apple’s safeguards and allowing them access to your iPhone’s basic functionality. This is the only scenario where an app can cause your iPhone to get stuck on the Apple logo. Psst: I’ve jailbroken my iPhone in the past.
  • Hardware problems: We mentioned before that your iPhone checks in with its hardware as part of its startup routine. Let’s use Wi-Fi as an example: Your iPhone says, “Hey, Wi-Fi card, turn on your antenna!” and waits for a response. Your Wi-Fi card, having recently drowned in water, doesn’t say anything back. Your iPhone waits, and waits, and waits… and stays stuck on the Apple logo, forever.

Why Is My iPhone Stuck Or Frozen On The Apple Logo?

I’m writing this article because all the others I’ve seen offer one or two solutions (a hard reset and a DFU restore)  and a lot of readers won’t be helped by either. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this problem. The solution depends on what caused your iPhone to get stuck in the first place.

1. Hard Reset Your iPhone (But It Won’t Work 99% Of The Time)

Maybe you’re in the 1 percent, but in this case it doesn’t hurt to try: To do a hard reset on an iPhone 6S and earlier models, press and hold the Home button (circular button below the display) and power button together until you see the Apple logo disappear and reappear on the screen, and then let go. If you’re using an iPhone 7 or later model, press and hold the power button and volume down button until the Apple logo disappears and reappears on the screen.

OK, that didn’t work. Let’s move on to the common reasons why the Apple logo gets stuck on an iPhone:

2. iOS Update, Restore, and Data Transfer Problems Between Your iPhone And Computer

A lot can go wrong when data gets sent from your computer to your iPhone, especially if you’re using a PC. Your iPhone is just another external device to your computer, and lots of other software can butt in and interfere during critical moments of an iOS update or restore.

Let’s say you’re using iTunes to update your iPhone’s software. Your iPhone reboots (meaning it turns off and quickly back on) during the update, but to your computer it looks like you unplugged it and plugged it back in.

Your antivirus software steps in and says, “Stop! I’ve got to scan you!” and interrupts the data transfer. iTunes aborts the update, and your iPhone is left half-updated and totally unusable. Usually, your iPhone kicks into recovery mode and displays “Connect to iTunes”, but sometimes it gets stuck on the Apple logo.

If your iPhone got stuck on the Apple logo after you used iTunes to update, restore, or transfer data to your iPhone, you’ll need to temporarily disable the software that caused the problem before you continue. To learn more about problems that can occur between iTunes and other software, check out Apple’s article called Resolve issues between iTunes and third-party security software. The problem typically occurs on PCs, but data transfer issues can occur on Macs as well.

3. Check Your USB Cable and USB Port

Defective USB cables and USB ports on PCs and Macs can interfere with the data transfer process and corrupt your iPhone’s software. If you’ve had problems in the past, try a different cable or connect your iPhone to a different USB port. If you can’t figure out what’s wrong with your PC, sometimes it’s easier to use a friend’s computer when you need to restore your iPhone.

4. If You Haven’t Backed Up Your iPhone, Try This Tool: But It’s A Long Shot

Before we continue, it’s important to have a backup of your iPhone in iCloud or iTunes, because if you don’t, you won’t be able to retrieve your data. I prefer to use iCloud to back up my iPhone, especially because I’ve learned how to back up my iPhone to iCloud without paying for extra storage. If you’re interested, my article called iCloud Storage Full? Never Pay For iCloud Backup Again can show you how.

A company called Tenorshare makes software called Reiboot, which is designed to force your iPhone into and out of recovery mode. When the Apple logo is stuck on the screen of your iPhone, this usually won’t work — but it can’t hurt to try. I’m not affiliated with Tenorshare and I make no guarantees about the quality of their product, but I have used similar software in the past with some success. Search Google and you’ll find free versions of the software on their website.

5. DFU Restore Your iPhone

A DFU (default firmware update) restore is the deepest type of iPhone restore. What makes a DFU restore different from other a regular restore and recovery mode restore is that it completely reloads your iPhone’s firmware, not just the software. Firmware is the programming that controls how the hardware works on your iPhone.

Apple’s website doesn’t have instructions on how to do a DFU restore, because most of time it’s overkill. I’ve written an article that describes exactly how to put your iPhone into DFU mode and do a DFU restore. If that doesn’t fix the problem, come back to this article to learn what your options are.

About Hardware Problems

Like we’ve discussed, your iPhone is getting stuck somewhere in the startup process. When you turn on your iPhone, one of the first things it does is a quick check of your hardware. Essentially, your iPhone is asking, “Processor, are you there? Good! Memory, are you there? Good!”

Your iPhone won’t turn on if a major hardware component fails to initialize, because it can’t turn on. If your iPhone is water-damaged, there’s a good chance you’ll need to have it repaired to fix this problem.

6. Repair Options

If you’ve taken all the suggestions above and the Apple logo is still stuck on your iPhone’s screen, it’s time to get it repaired. If you’re under warranty, Apple should cover the repair if there’s no other damage. Unfortunately, if you’ve taken my suggestions above and your iPhone still doesn’t work, some form of liquid or physical damage is probably to blame.

If you choose to repair your iPhone through Apple, they’ll probably need to replace your it to solve this problem. Usually, the Apple logo gets stuck on the screen because of a problem with your iPhone’s logic board, and that’s not something Apple can swap out for a new part. If you’re looking for a less-expensive option, iResq.com is a mail-in repair service that does quality work.

iPhone: No Longer Stuck On The Apple Logo

Hopefully, by this point your iPhone is as good as new and you’ll never have to deal with this problem again. We’ve discussed a number of reasons why the Apple logo can get stuck on the screen of your iPhone, and the different solutions that apply for each one. This is a problem that typically doesn’t come back after it’s fixed – unless there’s a hardware problem. I’m interested to hear how the Apple logo got stuck on your iPhone in the first place and how you fixed it in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading and all the best,
David P.

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About Author

I'm a former Apple employee and the founder of Payette Forward, and I'm here to help you with your iPhone.