iPhone Stuck On Loading Screen? 6 Ways to Troubleshoot the Issue

  1. Published on Sep 20, 2021
  2. Updated on Sep 22, 2021
  3. No Comments

It can get frustrating trying to fix an iPhone, particularly when it becomes unresponsive. Your phone gets stuck on a loading screen, and nothing seems to work or respond.

If you’re one of the many users scratching their heads in frustration, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re going to show you how to resolve this issue through multiple solutions.

But first, let’s get to know some possibilities for why your problem exists in the first place.

Why Is My iPhone Stuck On a Spinning Wheel?

A stuck loading screen is usually encountered when you boot up your device.

A lot can cause this such as a new failed update in its software, or perhaps a change in its settings that made configurations incompatible.

Whatever the case, your iPhone is rendered unusable. Even Apple’s flagship devices experience this problem.

Hard Reset or Force Restart Your iPhone

A hard reset is a process where you force your iPhone to turn off and then back on again. Hard resetting is a simple process and can help with a myriad of boot-up errors.

This includes being stuck on a spinning wheel. This is different from a normal restart and we only recommend force restarting your device when your phone screen stops responding.

To perform one, you’ll need to press multiple buttons in an order; sometimes pressing two buttons together.

The order (or type of button) you’ll need to press will depend on your iPhone model, so make sure to follow the sequence for your device only.

  1. Hard resetting an iPhone 8 and newer: Press then quickly release the volume up button, followed by the volume down button. Next, press and hold the side button for a few seconds, until the Apple logo pops up.
  2. Hard resetting the iPhone 7 Series: Press and hold the volume down and the power button at the same time, doing so until the Apple logo shows up.
  3. Hard resetting an iPhone 6 and older: Press and hold the home button and the power button at the same time, only releasing when the Apple logo appears.

iphone models

Most of the time, a hard reset can fix most of your boot up errors. It’s relatively quick and doesn’t require any outside tools or programs beyond your fingers.

Now, if resetting your iPhone didn’t resolve the issue, then you can continue reading below.

Try Removing the SIM Card and Then Restart Your iPhone

Another quick way to fix your problem is removing and reinserting your SIM card. Start by turning off your iPhone, then remove your SIM card.

Wait for several seconds, then reinsert your SIM card back into your phone. Once done, restart your iPhone.

Try Removing the SIM Card

Try Using iOS System Repair Tool

TinyFix is an iPhone system repair tool you can use to resolve your loading screen issue. It attempts to repair your iPhone by reinstalling your firmware without removing any other data.

Using TinyFix on your computer:

  1. Install and launch TinyFix on your Mac or PC.
  2. Then, connect your iPhone to your computer via a USB cable.
  3. On TinyFix, select the iOS System Repair button.
  4. Next, click Fix Now.
  5. Click the Standard Repair Mode option and begin the process.
  6. Confirm the firmware version you would like to download (preferably the latest one).
  7. Press Download to begin downloading the firmware.
  8. Once downloaded, click the Start Standard Repair button to fix your device.
  9. Once finished, exit TinyFix.

Standard Repair Mode

Your iPhone should now be back to normal. Reinstalling the firmware removes any old or corrupted data from your previous version, which will hopefully allow your iPhone to boot up properly.

Try Using Recovery Mode

Another solution is using Recovery Mode. This is a more thorough solution as it deletes all of your local data, and resets your settings back to the default configurations.

In doing so, you’ll be removing any malicious data or incompatible settings you may have downloaded.

If possible, it is recommended you back up important data such as photos and videos. Your iPhone must also be connected to a computer that has either Finder or iTunes.

Lastly, you’ll also need a different set of instructions to enter Recovery Mode depending on your iPhone model, as outlined below:

  1. For iPhone 8 models or newer: Press then quickly let go of the volume up button. Do this for the volume down button as well. Then, press and hold the side button of your iPhone. Hold this for a few seconds until the Recovery Mode screen appears.
  2. For the iPhone 7 Series: Press then hold the volume down button and the side button together until you see the Recovery Mode screen.
  3. For iPhone 6 models or older: Press then hold the volume down button as well as the side/top button together until you see the Recovery Mode screen.

iPhone 8 or later in recovery mode

After this, your iPhone should be detected by Finder or iTunes. From here, click either Restore or Update to fix your issue.

Note that Restoring will delete your data while Updating will not. However, updating will get you the latest iOS in your iPhone.

finder recovery mode notification

Wait for the process to finish and set up your iPhone. It should now be fixed, and you shouldn’t get stuck on the loading screen anymore.

Repair Your iPhone Using DFU Mode

A last-ditch attempt to repair your iPhone is to enter it in Device Firmware Upgrade (DFU) mode. One common misconception is that the DFU Mode is a “better” way to reset your device.

However, in most cases it is completely unnecessary. This only exists as an option for iPhones that cannot boot into recovery mode the usual way.

In case all the other options above did not work for you, then you can use DFU (Device Firmware Update) Mode to fix your iPhone.

This completely restores your firmware and software of your device, completely reconditioning your iPhone as if it was brand new.

The process is more complicated though, and may require a few tries to perform the button sequence correctly.

Launching DFU Mode:

  1. First, connect your iPhone to a computer with either Finder or iTunes via a USB cable.
  2. Next, launch either the Finder or iTunes app on your computer.
  3. You will need to press a sequence of buttons, which may differ depending on the model:

iPhone 8 Series or newer:

  1. Press then quickly release the volume up button, followed by the volume down button.
  2. Then, press then hold the side/top button until your screen becomes black.
  3. Once it does, quickly hold the volume down button, but keep holding the side/top button. Do this for 5 seconds.
  4. Release the side/top button, and once your iPhone shows up on your computer, release the volume down button.

iPhone 7 Series:

  1. Hold down the side and volume down button together.
  2. Wait for 5 seconds or so.
  3. Let go of the side button once the Apple logo appears then disappears. However, keep holding down the volume down button.
  4. Once your device name appears on your computer, release the remaining button.

iPhone 6 Series or older:

  1. Hold down the side/top button and the home button together.
  2. Wait for 5 seconds.
  3. Next, release the side/top button only.
  4. Once your device pops up on either Finder/iTunes, release the remaining button.
  5. Once you’re in DFU Mode, click the Restore iPhone button on your computer.

 restore iPhone in DFU mode

After the entire process is done, you can then restore your iPhone’s backup. Please remember that this should only be done as a last resort option, and it is highly recommended you perform the above options first.

Contact Apple

If absolutely nothing seems to work, then it’s probably time to call for professional help. You can always contact Apple’s online customer support for your Apple devices.

If you’re lucky, you may set an appointment to visit an Apple Store near you.

Conclusion

There are a multitude of ways for you to resolve being stuck on a loading screen. Whatever the case, we hope you’ve successfully repaired your iPhone from being stuck. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment down below.

J. Robertson Macaulay D. Young

Mako is a technical freelance writer with a passion for all things tech. Whether you're wondering about how to fix your iPhone or trying to get something to work in your settings, Mako is your go-to for professional help. He loves writing, testing solutions, and most of all, making sure his research is factually accurate.
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