iPhone Won't Restore in Recovery Mode? 8 Steps to Fix It

by Maggie Mueller Updated On Mar 6, 2024 Published On Mar 6, 2024 Basic iPhone Tips Ideal for Newbies

A recovery mode restore is one of the best methods for resolving common iOS issues with any iPhone. It serves as an ideal solution, especially when encountering situations where the computer fails to recognize the iPhone or when a normal restore attempt proves unsuccessful.

However, if an iPhone fails to restore in recovery mode, users may feel perplexed and exhausted, believing they have exhausted all available options. Fortunately, like other iOS device problems, this issue is also manageable, and below are the most effective solutions outlined in detail.

What is Recovery Mode?

Before delving into the solutions, it's essential to understand what recovery mode entails. Recovery mode is a specialized state that iPhones enter when there's an issue with the iOS.

In this state, the device cannot be used, and the only resolution is to reinstall the iOS. Recovery mode is characterized by a black screen displaying a logo that prompts users to connect the device to a computer, often referred to as the "Connect to iTunes" screen.

Recovery mode can be beneficial in various scenarios, including:

  • When a system or iOS update bug corrupts the firmware update, usually when using a beta version of iOS.
  • When restoring or updating the device in iTunes fails and the computer can no longer recognize the device.
  • When your device gets stuck in a boot loop after an iOS update.
  • When you connect the device to iTunes, but nothing happens.

iPhone 8 or later in recovery mode

8 Troubleshooting Steps When iPhone Won't Restore in Recovery Mode

If your iPhone fails to restore in recovery mode, the following are the solutions you can try:

1. Update iTunes or Finder on Your Computer

First, ensure you're using the latest version of iTunes or Finder on your computer to facilitate the restore process.

Here's how to update iTunes or Finder on your computer:

On Mac:

  • Step 1: Open iTunes or Finder on your computer.
  • Step 2: Click on the iTunes or Finder button at the top-left side of the screen.
  • Step 3: Then select "Check for Updates" from the drop-down menu and if an update is available, it will be installed automatically.

On Windows:

  • Step 1: Open iTunes on your PC.
  • Step 2: Click on "Help" from the menu bar at the top.
  • Step 3: Then click on "Check for Updates" from the drop-down menu to update iTunes automatically.

Update iTunes on Your Computer

2. Reboot Your Computer

Sometimes, restarting your computer can resolve connectivity issues with iTunes.

To reboot your Mac, click on the Apple button in the top-right corner and select "Restart" from the drop-down menu.

To restart your PC, click on the Start Menu > Power Options > Restart.

Reboot Your Computer

3. Try a Different Lightning/USB Cable, USB Port or Computer

Faulty or non-MFi-certified cables can hinder the restore process. try to use a different cable or USB port to rule out connectivity issues.

If possible, try restoring your iPhone using a different computer to rule out computer-related issues.

4. Force Restart to Get Your iPhone Out of Recovery Mode

If you find yourself still unable to restore the device in recovery mode, it's time to exit recovery mode temporarily until you can troubleshoot further.

One of the most effective methods to exit recovery mode is by force restarting the device. Here's how to force restart your iPhone:

iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X and above models: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button, press and quickly release the Volume Down button and then press and hold the Side button until the Apple Logo appears on the screen.

Force Restart iPhone 12

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: Press and hold both the Power and the Volume Down button for at least 10 seconds. Let go of both buttons when the Apple Logo appears.

Force Restart iPhone 7

iPhone SE, 6s, and 6s Plus: Press and hold both the Power and the Home Buttons at the same time for about 10 seconds. When the Apple Logo appears on the screen, let go of both buttons.

Force Restart iPhone 6S

5. Fix Corrupt iOS Downloads

An iPhone may fail to restore in recovery mode due to corrupt iOS update files being utilized in the process.

The solution involves deleting these corrupted iOS update files to prompt the computer to download fresh, hopefully non-corrupt versions.

On a Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Open Finder and simultaneously hold down the "Option Key."
  2. Click on "Go" in the menu bar, then select "Library."
  3. Navigate to iTunes > iPhone Software Updates and delete all the update files found there.

For a PC, the process is as follows:

  1. Open File Explorer and enable "Hidden Files."
  2. Go to Users > [Your Name] > AppData > Roaming > Apple Computer > iTunes.
  3. Delete all files found in this location.

Fix Corrupt iOS Downloads

After removing the damaged files, follow the right steps to restore your iPhone again.

6. Consider Using an iOS System Repair Tool

TinyFix is an iOS system recovery program designed to resolve an iPhone stuck in recovery mode without compromising any of the device's data. It offers a highly functional solution that is user-friendly, enabling users to fix the device within minutes.

It is a highly functional solution that is also very easy to use, allowing you to fix the device in a few minutes. If you're still encountering the problem, it's time to use this iOS system repair tool to restore your iPhone.

To use TinyFix, install the program on to your computer and then follow these steps:

Step 1: Launch TinyFix on your PC or Mac and use a USB/Lightning cable to connect the iPhone to the computer.

Step 2: Select "iOS System Repair" > "Standard Repair" in the main window and confirm the action.

 main screen of TinyFix

Step 3: The next step is to download the firmware package you will need to fix the device. Just click "Download" to begin downloading the software.

get the appropriate firmware

Step 4: When the download is complete, click "Fix Now" to begin the repair process. Your iPhone will be fixed in a matter of minutes.

repairing the device

7. Restore Your iPhone in DFU Mode

If none of the previously mentioned steps resolve the issue, there may be a problem with the firmware. In such cases, placing the device in DFU (Device Firmware Update) mode and restoring it via iTunes could potentially fix the problem.

You can confirm that your iPhone is in DFU mode when the screen remains completely blank. The steps to enter DFU mode vary depending on the iPhone model. Here's how to do it:

For iPhone 8, iPhone X, iPhone 11, or later:

  • Step 1: Connect the iPhone to the computer using the original USB/Lightning cable and open iTunes or Finder.
  • Step 2: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Do the same with the second volume button.
  • Step 3: Press and hold the Side button and when you get a blank screen, press and hold the Volume Down button (without releasing the Side Button).
  • Step 4: Hold both buttons for about 5 seconds and then release the Side button.
  • Step 5: Keep holding the Volume Down button until the device appears in Finder or iTunes. Then follow the prompts on your computer to restore the device in DFU mode.

For iPhone 7 and 7 Plus:

  • Step 1: Connect the iPhone 7 to the computer using its original USB/Lightning cable and then open iTunes of Finder.
  • Step 2: Hold the Side and the Volume Down button for about 8 seconds.
  • Step 3: Let go of the Side button, but continue to hold the Volume Down button until the iPhone appears in iTunes.
  • Step 4: Follow the instructions in iTunes or Finder to restore the iPhone in DFU mode.

iPhone 6s, iPhone SE (1st Generation) and earlier Models:

  • Step 1: Connect the iPhone to the computer and then open iTunes or Finder.
  • Step 2: Press and hold the Power and Home button at the same time for about 8 seconds.
  • Step 3: Release the Power button after 8 seconds, but continue to hold the Home Button until the device appears in iTunes or Finder.
  • Step 4: Follow the on-screen instructions to restore the device in DFU mode.

If you see anything on the screen such as the Apple Logo or Connect to iTunes screen, the process has failed and you need to start all over again.

 restore iPhone in DFU mode

8. Contact Apple Support

If your iPhone continues to be stuck in recovery mode despite attempting all the solutions mentioned above, your device may have experienced some form of hardware damage.

In such circumstances, it's necessary to schedule an appointment with Apple to have the device repaired. It's important to note that even if the device was fully functional before being put into recovery mode, the process of attempting to update the device may have inadvertently caused hardware damage.

To address this issue, contact Apple Support to arrange an appointment at your nearest Apple Store for the necessary repairs.

Wrapping Up

Recovery Mode can be a valuable tool for troubleshooting iOS issues, but when the iPhone gets stuck, it can be a challenge. By following these steps, you have various options to exit recovery mode and restore your device's functionality.

Maggie Mueller
Meet Maggie Mueller, a seasoned technical writer whose passion for technology is matched only by her commitment to helping others navigate the digital landscape. With an infectious enthusiasm for unraveling the complexities of iOS, Android devices, and software, Maggie is your friendly guide in the world of tech, providing clear, concise, and accurate insights.
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