How to put your iPhone or iPad into Recovery Mode

How to put your iPhone or iPad into Recovery Mode

What happens when your iPhone or iPad is completely non-responsive, even when connected to iTunes? Or perhaps you need to downgrade from beta software. Any of these scenarios will require you to put your iPhone or iPad into Recovery Mode. No need to panic though, we can walk you through each step of the way!

  1. Turn your iPhone or iPad off.
  2. Hold down the Home button and plug it into your computer. Keep holding the Home button until you see a screen telling you to connect to iTunes.
  3. iTunes should show you a popup saying that there is an iPhone or iPad that is in Recovery Mode and needs to be restored before you can use it. Click OK.
  4. Click on Restore iPhone... — or Restore iPad if that's what you're using.

That's all there is to it! Just wait for your iPhone or iPad to reboot and you should be good to go again! Keep in mind if you're using Recovery Mode to downgrade firmware, this may not work if you're trying to downgrade to a version that Apple is no longer signing. Older firmwares are not supported and only the most current official version will be verified correctly in iTunes.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

How to put your iPhone or iPad into Recovery Mode


I have forgot my passcode and trying several times my passcode my iphone 4s is disabled & saying connect to itunes, I had never took backup on itunes or iclouds.

Is there any way to recover the data back atleast contacts & notes.

Please help me urgently.

You can get your iPhone out of recovery mode by connecting it to your computer and then open iTunes. Next, tap on "Restore" under iTunes and then backup your settings. Get more details from

I've never had to do this (yet). Is info lost after doing this? I think some people (including myself) sometimes get confused by all of the "restore," "recover," "reset" terms.

interesting thing in my case thou is..i cant even get the iPhone INTO recovery mode....when i plug it into the usb cable into the computer it stays on battery doesn't switch to where it is meant to show the iTunes logo etc...why is this happening??

Restoring, recovering, or resetting an iphone all means you lose everything unless you've backed up your apps to icloud (icloud does not back up your music, movies, pictures or anything besides apps you paid for or got for free from the AppStore).

You will recover all the data you had from you previous backup. This is why it's a good idea to backup regularly. I do it every night.

my iPhone wont do this I jail broke and all i see is the apple logo I tried recovery but when i plug it in it wont start or enter recovery???

what if your iphone says connect to itunes and restore but you cant unlock your phone because it doesnt have a lock screen and itune want connect because your un able to put it in

Hi. I know your post was a very long time ago but do you remember how you restored your iphone? I have an iphone 6 & its asking me to respond on the iphone but idk the passcode so I cant...? Please help!

Hey JJ How did you fix it "my iPhone wont do this I jail broke and all i see is the apple logo I tried recovery but when i plug it in it wont start or enter recovery??? HELP PLEASE :’("
I still have this problem the recovery mode doesn't show up. And i'm keep trying and trying ....!!

I got it...You have to turn off your phone first, then press the home button and conect it to the USB cable. The iphone it will turn on by itself and keep pressing the home button until the apple logo desapear and them release it.

I've jailbroken my iPhone 3GS 3.1.2 with pwnage, it has been succesfully jailbroken but then in the settings tab, I've selected to delete all the data & settings. Now I cannot start my iPhone, just apple logo appears. Can't connect to USB, cannot go to recovery mode.

i have delete all data in my iphon,now my phon is not working,when i conect for pc it see appli logo,plz help me what to do plz

OK guys n gals...maybe i'm a little jaded here but the term 'recovery' is being misrepresented here and 'restore' should really be called 'reset'...the situation i face is similar to those described - plug iphone into pc/proceed with update download via 'itunes'/watch as your son freaks out because the update bar froze up/ try in vain to help your son/ talk to the freakin''geniuses' who only smirk and calmly say 'it needs to be restored' 'have you backed up your data' - well yes...yes i have but the laptop which contains the itunes with which the back up was done fried and is in the shop on life support. The response from the 'geniuses'; "oh". That's it? "oh" The end-all-be-all-of phone/email/internet/app gadgetry and some sub-standard coding which causes the download to hiccup and there is only ONE option, to start over? We are not talking about a simplistic flash-rom drive here...engineers designed and built this thing and they damn well know how to retrieve data from an iphone in 'recovery mode' or at least get itunes to recognize the iphone so that the download can continue. i do not feel that in this day and age we should expect anything less than actual, bonafide, tech-support. tell me i'm off base...why should my son or anyone else have to reset and lose anything, ever? that is weak. someone, somewhere give me a REAL solution - i will gladly pay for services

Just told Apple exactly the same thing today. They even admitted that pulling the signal from their end caused the problem initially, so I said "you caused it, you should resolve it, its unfair to expect me to accept a weeks important data loss (data that is in support of a campaign)!" I also said to them that they obviously knew how to recover, why refuse to help. I pleaded, offered to pay, but they would not help , I'm still stuck. We pay so much for these devices, but get no tech support in return. Shame on you Apple!!!

somehow my phone got into recovery mode, I cannot get it out of this mode. It shows the logo on the top of this page, but cannot get the phone to start again. Also, I cannot lose the data because I have 2 voicemails on my phone that I need to use for court proceedings. HELP.

My Iphone shows a apple logo. I hold the top power button apple appears and than disappears.. pulg it into the pc. do not regoc my iphone.. help

You will not lose any voicemail still listed on your phone through this process. You will however have to access it differently. In order to access VMs that are no longer listed, you will need to dial in to AT&T's voicemail system. This can be accomplished by pressing and holding '1' on the dial pad in the phone app. You'll find your voicemails are still there... At least I did. You may want to confirm this with AT&T before proceeding.

Hi Cindy - did you ever get an answer to this? I need to know how to do this also. User manual chapter 3 page 34: Instructions didn't work for me.

hi guys i hav got a serious trouble, i fully charged my i-phone last nite, even the alarm went off in the morning, it has just stopped working...i mean litereally not coming on or even vibrating..i tried to change the sim and re-start it jus wont start!!! help please....
I tried ringing it,,,its ringing but it doesnt show anythiing on my i-phone..please help¬¬¬¬¬!!!

worked PERFECTLY! thank you so much :)
all the others had told me to press the home and power off button but it never worked. this is ace. thank you!

samy, amanda, guess what, i thought i was the only one who had this problem... but we are in the same boat! my cell has just decided to go on strike! it wouldnt even start, or respond, even when i connect the data cable to my laptop, or to the charger. its completely dead!!! HELP.

I could not get my phone to go into restore mode either. I was updating the ROCK APP (THEY SUCK!) and it shut down and wouldn't come back up. I had my phone connected to an external battery at the time and when I tried going into restore mode with just the phone and the stock cable nothing would happen. The external battery also allows you to sync while using it, so I'm guessing there is some apple chip in it. So when I tried going into restore mode through the external battery IT WORKED!!! WooHoo! Thank goodness, a month away from the fourth generation IPhone, which I will be buying and I did not want to go without a phone for a whole month or buy some P.O.S. and pay my Iphone bill too.

Thanks to however wrote this you just saved my iphone for being returned to o2!! :D very happy boy now lol

The battery of my fone died and my fone went into recovery mode den I jail broke the fone using black ra1n because it refused to come on the jail break was successful and the fone was just about to restart then it suddenly went black and it dosnt come on anymore when i connect it to itunes it says my fone is in recovery mode and I have to restore it back to the original settings
plzzz i need help asap

did the recovery thing............. thought it was working all well, then the phone updates and it shows the key pad with emergency? any clues?? ASAP thx so much

this works perfectly. at first it was hard took me 4 hours to do this, then suddenly found this site. works perfectly just follow exact instruction.

I got a refurbished 8gb iphone in late August, I've been having troubles with the charger cord lately, I was on the phone with my boyfriend and it shut off, I plugged it in and kept trying to turn it on but it wouldnt, I plugged it into the computer hoping it would turn on, but it says it's in recovery mode, and it wont turn back on, Im very confused and don't know whats wrong.

One a phone has been unlocked by jailbreaking it, should it be neccessary to put it into a full restore mode will that restore reverse the unlocking?

Hi, mine is iPhone 3GS. I'm really stuck with this apple-logo-only-thing. What I did before that is do the "Erase iPhone-thing" and now I'm stuck with the logo. I tried to turn it off but it just wouldn't. I waited till it all used the remaining battery-life but when I charge it again, the logo is there again. Also, my iTunes and even my computer could not recognize it anymore. I mean, it doesn't appear on the screen as an attached USB. Please Help...pretty please!

@David. I did the exact same thing with my 3G. I bought it jailbroken off of a friend but I wanted to restore it (everything he had was crap and i hate rock so it had to go) so I could rejailbreak it the way I wanted it. I did what you did not knowing you should never do that to a jailbroken iPhone. All I did to get it to shut off is hold the power and home buttons down at the same time and it shut off after a few seconds. All you have to do after that is put it into recovery mode explained in the steps above and you should be able to restore it. Worked for me so good luck to you. Hope I helped

i decided to update my iphone for the first time while i was doing this my phone cashed showing iphone symbol with a cable symbol i had photographs and vidio footage on there is it possible to retrive them by restoring the iphone

Hi. Here's how I fixed mine. I'm pretty good with a computer, but for those who aren't, I'll try to explain this in a very simple fashion.
My Iphone 4 got stuck just a few minutes ago, after doing an update from 4.1 to 4.2. It gave, I believe, an error message of 1602. It was displaying the "Connect to Itunes" logo on the Iphone screen when the download failed, and that logo was stuck on the screen, and would not come off. I tried a hard reboot by holding the home button, and the On/Off button until it rebooted, but it kept rebooting as the "Connect To Itunes" logo. When I plugged it back in to my computer, and opened Itunes, it did not recognize my Iphone at all, and no USB pop-ups appeared recognizing it as well. I am running Windows XP just to clarify. I hit the Start button, right clicked on My Computer, and then clicked Manage. Some people have to click "Start", then right click on "My Computer", then click "Properties", then click "Hardware", then click "Device Manager". Once in the device Manager, I opened "Universal Serial Bus Controllers" at the very bottom by clicking the + sign to the very left of that name "+ Universal Serial Bus Controllers", and saw that there was no USB logo followed by "Apple Mobile Device USB Driver" anywhere in the current driver listing.
I then right clicked on the main "+ Universal Serial Bus Controllers" wording (the same wording that has the + sign next to it you click to collapse it down, and show all your current drivers), and clicked "Scan For Hardware Changes". Within a few seconds it found the driver for the Iphone, and then Itunes picked it up, and then told me the Iphone was stuck in Recovery mode. Once I clicked OK, my only option was a restore back to the original setting. I clicked restore, and it worked! Back to life again. :) Once it was restored, I was able to reset to my last restore pooint, and I got all of my contacts back, but I did lose my apps, so I had to re-download them. I didn't mind as much as losing my Iphone, and having to swap it for a refurbished one, which is the only option, if you can't get out of the locked screen. Hope this helps someone else, if Itunes won't recognize your Iphone once it get's stuck in recovery mode. Regards, Travis Joles

I’ve jailbroken my iPhone 3GS 3.1.2 with pwnage, it has been succesfully jailbroken but then in the settings tab, I’ve selected to delete all the data & settings. Now I cannot start my iPhone, just apple logo appears. Can’t connect to USB, cannot go to recovery mode. pls help

Stop jailbreaking your phones and using software that damages the operating system that apple uses and you'll stop having so many issue.

jailbraking has nothing to do with "software that damages". jailbraking your iphone should not damage anything in you phone, neither you'll get any "issues".

my i phone is in recovery mode, i tunes said it was unable to back, but in devices it shows the date and time of backups. was it really back up?

Hi there!
While I was trying to update the latest software of my iPhone 4 a power failure occurs.
The update wasn't complete.
Now I can't turn on the phone, and in the iPhone screen I have the picture of the usb cable and de iTunes logo. The iPhone is connected to the iMac and iTunes is open and there is showing me this error: "iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode. You must restore this iPhone before it can be used with iTunes" and then the OK button.
It means that I need to restart it, but I'm going to loose all my pictures and my playlists, contacts, mails, etc?
My latest pictures are from my holidays and there aren't on my iMac.
Please somebody help me!!!
What should I do?

this wont work for me ihave tryed it 50 times but it just wont do it someone help please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was just like you RY but I just kept on trying it over and over. I was trying to run redsnow for a day and a half on and off but could not get it to work right. What you need to do is take a moment to get everything in order, sort out what sequence you are going to do stuff and then take your time.
First off make sure that you have the right version of itunes, then restore it to the right version IPSW and then of course the right version of redsnow.
Just dont panic about it and do things methodically and calmly, it wont matter how many times you try and use redsnow it will always work when you have the correct versions and use the right secquence.
Good Luck!
Hondez ;)

my iphone sleep/wake button doesnt work what should i do?
and i want it to recovery mode?!?!?!

Open up your phone and disconnect the cables 1-6. Reconnect them and follow the recovery mode instructions at the top.

turn ur phone off then hold the home button down and while holding home button plug in ur usb cord while i tunes is open continue holding home till u see the i tunes logo on ur phone click the restore link in i tunes and it will then restore

My network connection always times out! What is going on? this is so f*cking frustrating i have tried everything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

last i used my iphone, i was trying to load pix to facebook. something popped up asking to load itunes, so I clicked yes. It was still loading when i had to disconnect the cable from the drive, now my phone has itunes and the usb cable displayed on it with no service. when i unlock it, it says emergency call only. PLEASE HELP!

my cpu says it ha a password.. i must enter it before starting....but i dnt kno my pass word

I have an issue with my iphone 3 gs, i jailbroke it a while back and everything was working fine, then an update to the os I think it was 3.1.1 and when I did that nothing would work, it was stuck in the recovery loop and giving errors, I just went back to it and it gave me the normal message about recovery mode and would need to be restored, I restored and updated it and everything seemed to go fine.
The issue I have now is the iphone is like it came from the factory and wants me to re-activate, on the phone it tells me there is no service, and it can't reach the activation server (using wifi), when I try to activate it through itunes it tells me there is no sim card installed,
I've tried 3 different sim cards that all work on other phones, I've tried leaving the sim card out, rebooting and putting it back in, rebooting with each of them in, restoring again and I've tried to restore to a different ipsw 3.0.1 when I do it tells me can't error 3194. any ideas any one?

i have a iphone3gs... mine was stuck on the apple logo cuz i tried 2 eraze everything on it and it was jailbroken... no1 ever told me it would freeze... anyway unplug it from ur computer... hold the power and home buttonz down till the screenz black... hold down juzt the home button and keep holding it while u plug it back into ur computer... keep holding it and itunes will finally pop up and recignize it! =D hope thiz helpz some pour soul out there... ano im get F'n pissed when my iphone messez Up

hai frndss .... i have a problem wid my iphone 3g... the problem is yesterday i retore my iphone afterthat it is showing apple logo only....plz help me

I did it and it just brought me back to the same pass code issue. I can't get in it and it wont let me. I'm trying again but if it doesn't work what do I do?

if you do this does it erase all of your iphone like pictures,songs etc ? because when i have changed my iphone password i entered it wrong then locked it and do not know the password, can someone help?

Hello. I was trying to put music into mi iphone 6 plus with itunes and it didnt work any more. Now I only have the itunes sign on my iphone and I cant use it... I tried to restore it but it says error 17. I checked how to resolve this error but none of the suggestions worked. What can I do? I have my stuff on icloud so I wouldn mind losing everything.. Thanks in advance