Recovery mode in iOS 13Source: iMore

It doesn't matter if your iPhone is several years out of date or the best iPhone that money can buy; problems, both software and hardware, can happen to anyone. If you're iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch has frozen up, become unresponsive, or worst of all, stopped working during a software update, recovery mode might be just what you need to get things going again. It's painful, so it's more of an almost-last resort than a first step. It's not complicated, however, and knowing about recovery mode is important if you ever need it. But just because you knew how to use your iPhone in recovery mode on a previous model doesn't mean it works the same way on your newer phone. This process will change depending on what iPhone model you have.

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The good news about recovery mode is that it's generally set for your model of device, and doesn't change with software updates. So if you just downloaded iOS 14 on to your iPhone 11, for instance, recovery mode will be the same as it was when you had iOS 13 installed.

Here's how to use your iPhone in recovery mode.

How to put your iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone 11, or iPhone 11 Pro into recovery mode

Because iPhone 8 doesn't have a physical Home button and iPhone X through iPhone 11 Pro don't have a Home button at all, recovery mode is accessed via a series of button presses.

  1. If iTunes is open on your Mac, close it.
  2. Plug your USB to Lightning cable into your computer.
  3. Plug your USB to Lightning cable into your iPhone.
  4. Open iTunes.
  5. Press and release the Volume Up button and then the Volume Down button. Then, press and hold the Side button until you see the recovery mode screen.

    How to put your iPhone X into recovery modeSource: iMore

If for some reason, Recovery Mode doesn't work, you can also try putting your iPhone or iPad into DFU mode. Device Firmware Update mode is a little trickier to get into, but will often force a restore even when nothing else works.

How to put your iPad Pro with Face ID (2018 and 2020) into recovery mode

Because the iPad Pro (2018) doesn't have a Home button, recovery mode is accessed through a series of button presses.

  1. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake (top) and the volume up or volume down button at the same time until you see the power-off slider.
  2. Drag the power-off slider to turn off your iPad Pro.
  3. Connect your iPad Pro to your computer while holding down the Sleep/Wake (top) button.

Continue holding the top button until you see the recovery mode screen.

How to put your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus

Because iPhone 7 doesn't have a physical Home button — it has a capacitive Force Touch Home button — recovery mode functionality has moved to the volume down button.

  1. Turn Off your iPhone 7 if it isn't off already.

    1. Press and hold down the On/Off button on the right side (iPhone 6 or later) or top (all other iPhones) for 3 seconds.
    2. Swipe the slide to power off confirmation slider to the right.

      Press and hold On/Off button, swipe confirmation sliderSource: iMore

  2. Press and hold down the volume down button on your iPhone 7.

  3. Plug your iPhone 7 into your Mac or Windows PC and make sure iTunes is running.
  4. Release the volume down button when you see the Connect to iTunes screen.

    Hold volume down, plug in, release volume downSource: iMore

How to put your iPhone 6s or earlier or iPad with a Home button into recovery mode

  1. Turn Off your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad if it isn't off already.

    1. Press and hold down the On/Off button on the right side (iPhone 6 or later) or top (all other iPhones, iPods, and iPads) for 3 seconds.
    2. Swipe the slide to power off confirmation slider to the right.

      Source: iMore

  2. Press and hold down the Home button on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPhone.
  3. Plug your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad into your Mac or Windows PC and make sure iTunes is running.
  4. Release the Home button when you see the Connect to iTunes screen.

    Source: iMore

At this point, iTunes should display an alert saying it's detected an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad in recovery mode, and will let you restore your device.

Questions?

If you have any questions about how to use your iPhone in recovery mode, let us know in the comments.

Updated September 2020: Up to date for Apple's latest devices.

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