iPad Recovery Mode Not Working? How to Troubleshoot

  1. Published on Jun 21, 2022
  2. Updated on Jun 21, 2022
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Recovery mode remains the best way to fix system issues that may affect your iPad. Without it, it would be impossible to update the iPadOS on the device. But what can you do when recovery mode doesn’t work?

If you are unable to put your iPad in recovery mode or the Recovery mode doesn't work for you, the solutions we will look at below should help.

But before we share with you these solutions, let’s first examine why recovery mode is not working for your device.

Why is iPad Recovery Mode Not Working?

While there are very many reasons why your iPad recovery mode is not working, these are the most common:

  • There may be something wrong with iTunes or it may fail to function normally
  • The firmware on the device may not be installed properly
  • The device may be unable to connect to the server
  • Hardware issues such as liquid damage or broken hardware components can also cause the problem

Try the following solutions to see if you can get recovery mode to work again:

Troubleshooting Steps When iPad Recovery Mode Doesn't Work

Update Your iTunes/Finder and Try Again 

The first thing you want to do when recovery mode won’t work is to make sure that iTunes/Finder is running properly and the only reason iTunes/Finder may be causing problems is if you are using an outdated version.

Therefore, you want to update the version of iTunes/Finder running on your device to make sure it is up to date. Here’s how to do that on both Windows and macOS:

Updating iTunes on Mac:

Step 1: Open the App Store app on your Mac.

Step 2: Click on the “Updates” section and macOS will check if there are any pending updates for Finder.

Step 3: If an update is available, click on the “Update” button to begin updating Finder.

Updating iTunes on Windows:

Step 1: Open iTunes on your PC and click on “Help > Check for Updates.”

Step 2: If an update is available, click on “Install.”

Please note that if you had installed iTunes from the Microsoft Store, updates will be automatic.

Most iTunes issues will usually go away after an update. So, reconnect the iPad and try to restore it in Recovery mode again.

Updating iTunes on Windows:

Delete Corrupt iOS Downloads and Try Again

You may be unable to restore your iPad in recovery mode because the iOS update files on your computer are corrupt.

The best way to fix this problem is to delete the corrupt software files, thereby forcing iTunes to download new update files from Apple servers.

Here’s how to do that on both macOS and Windows:

On Mac:

Step 1: Open Finder.

Step 2: Hold the Option Key and select “Go > Library” from the menu bar at the top.

Step 3: Go to “iTunes > iPhone Software Updates” and delete the update files you find there.

On Windows:

Step 1: Open the File Explorer on your PC and enable the “Hidden Files” menu.

Step 2: Then g to “Users > [Your Name] > App Data > Roaming > Apple Computer > iTunes.

Step 3: Delete all the update files that you find here.

Once you have deleted the files, try again to put your iPad in Recovery Mode.

Delete Corrupt iOS Downloads and Try Again

Restore Your iPad in Recovery Mode without iTunes

If iTunes still work and you can’t restore the device in recovery mode, you can use a third-party iOS system repair tool to restore the iPad to normal function without using iTunes.

TinyFix is a good option as it can easily restore the iPad to normal function without causing data loss.

It is also so easy to use, that you can fix your iPad in a few minutes even if you don’t have any technical skills. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Download and install TinyFix on your computer.

Step 2: Connect the iPad to the computer using a lightning cable and open TinyFix.

Step 3: If the problem is that your iPad cannot enter recovery mode, try using the “Enter Recovery Mode” mode. But if you are unable to restore a device that is in recovery mode, click on “iOS System Repair” and then click “Standard Mode.”

 main screen of TinyFix

Step 4: In the next interface, click “Download” to download the firmware that you need to repair the device.

get the appropriate firmware

Step 5: When the download is complete, simply click “Start” and TinyFix will begin to fix the iPad. Keep the device connected until you are notified that the process is complete.

repairing the device

Try DFU Mode Instead

If you don’t want to use a third-party solution and recovery mode still won’t work, you can try to put the iPad in DFU Mode.

Follow these steps to restore an iPad with Home button in DFU mode:

Step 1: Use a lightning cable to connect the iPad to the computer. Then if you are using Windows PC and macOS Mojave or lower, open iTunes. For macOS Catalina, open Finder.

Step 2: Now on the iPad, press and hold both the Power and the Home Buttons at the same time and continue to press both buttons until the screen goes black.

Step 3: After 3 seconds of seeing the black screen, release the Power Button, but continue to press down the Home Button.

Step 4: Continue to hold the Home Button until the iPad appears in iTunes or Finder.

If the iPad doesn’t appear in iTunes/Finder or if the screen is not completely black, then the process was unsuccessful and you’ll have to start all over again.

For iPads without a Home Button:

The process is slightly different for iPads without a Home Button. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Turn off the iPad and connect it to the computer.

Step 2: With the device off and connected to your computer, press and hold the Power Button. After a few seconds, press and hold the Volume Down Button without releasing the Power Button. Hold both buttons for about 10 seconds.

Step 3: After 10 seconds, release the Power Button, but continue to hold down the Volume Down Button for another 5 seconds.

If the iPad shows up in iTunes and the screen is still black, you have successfully entered DFU mode.

Once the device is in DFU mode, click “OK” to close the popup box that appears, and then click “Restore iPad.” Finally, click “Restore and Update” to confirm that you understand that all data on the device will be erased.

Restore iPad in DFU Mode

Make an Appointment at Your Local Apple Store

One of the most common reasons why your iPad will not restore in recovery mode is hardware problems. Hardware issues can be very difficult to fix, which is why we recommend getting help from Apple Support.

Make an appointment at your local Apple Store or use the mail-in service to send them your device. The technicians should be able to determine the cause of the problem and fix it for you.

Wrap Up

Recovery mode can be a great way to fix a wide range of software issues on your iPad. But sometimes restoring the device in recovery mode can go wrong or the device can get stuck in recovery mode.

The solutions we have outlined here should be able to help you fix the problem and get the device working normally again. TinyFix is particularly helpful if the issue is caused by a software issue as it can repair the iPad without causing data loss.

Aaron Roussey

Aaron is tech-savvy and enjoys writing technical articles about phones, computers, games, and the internet!
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