What Is iPhone Recovery Mode? Here’s The Truth!

You’re trying to update or restore your iPhone, but it’s not working. Putting your iPhone into Recovery Mode is a useful troubleshooting step when you’re dealing with a complex software problem. In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about iPhone Recovery Mode!

What Is Recovery Mode?

If your iPhone experiences trouble with its software or an app, restarting can often fix the problem. However, sometimes these problems are more severe and require you to put your phone in Recovery Mode.

Overall, this is a fail safe that allows you update or restore your phone. It is a last resort and you will lose your data, unless you’ve backed up your iPhone first (and that’s why we recommend that you back up your iPhone).

Why Would I Put My iPhone In Recovery Mode?

Some problems that may require Recovery Mode include:

  • Your iPhone is stuck in a restart loop after installing an iOS update.
  • iTunes is not registering your device.
  • The Apple logo has been on the screen for several minutes with no change.
  • You see the “Connect to iTunes” screen.
  • You cannot update or restore your iPhone.

All of these issues mean your iPhone isn’t functioning correctly and it will take more than a simple restart to get it back in working order. Below, you’ll find the steps to put your iPhone in Recovery Mode.

How To Put Your iPhone In Recovery Mode

  1. First, check to make sure you’re using the latest version of iTunes.
  2. Connect your device to a computer and open iTunes.
  3. While still connected to the computer, force restart your iPhone.
  4. Continue holding down the buttons until you see the “Connect to iTunes” screen. (See below for different methods to reset different phones.)
  5. Choose Update when the pop-up appears asking you to Restore or Update your iPhone. iTunes will start to download the software to your device.
  6. Set up your device as soon as the Update or Restore has finished.

Did something go wrong? Check out our other article for help!

Different Methods For Different Phones

There are different ways to reset the various iPhones or iPads. Follow these steps to complete the above Step 3 for your device:

  1. iPhone 6s or earlier, iPad, or iPod Touch: Press and hold the Home button and the Power button at the same time.
  2. iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: Simultaneously press and hold the side Power button and Volume Down buttons.
  3. iPhone 8 and later: Press and release the Volume Up button, then press and release the Volume Down button, then press and hold the side Power button.

iPhone: Saved!

You’ve successfully put your iPhone in Recovery Mode! If your iPhone is still experiencing issues, check out our article on DFU mode. If you have any other questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

About Author

David Lynch is an expert on cell phones, cell phone plans, and other tech. After using a flip phone into his early 20s, he learned the ropes about iPhones and Androids from a former Apple employee. Today, his articles and videos are read and viewed by millions, and he has been cited by major publications including Reader's Digest, Wired, CMSWire, Consumers Advocate, and more.

Notify of
1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

Hi Kelly
my Iphone7’s baseband is not functioning (main link short, won’t be repaired either). Before xploring this situation I did the factory reset and now I can not even activate my phone to use it as an Ipod. Yes, my world is upside down eagerly seeking a solution