Enter & Exit iPhone Recovery Mode
Sometimes things go wrong and you need to put your iPhone into Recovery Mode to restore it and get it working again. It turns out that Recovery Mode is what your iPhone goes into when you are doing a standard iOS upgrade or restore anyway, but you may want to put your iPhone into recovery mode for other reasons to troubleshoot a device or perhaps for jailbreak purposes. Whatever the reason, you can place any iOS device into recovery mode, which allows you to restore a bricked iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with the help of iTunes. You’ll need a computer (Mac or Windows) and a USB cable to complete the Recovery Mode based restore process. You can either restore from a backup, or set up the device as new, that is your choice.
Remember, Recovery Mode is different than DFU mode because DFU mode bypasses the bootloader which allows for things like downgrading firmware. You can not downgrade firmware with Recovery Mode, you can only upgrade or restore a device. When an iOS device is in Recovery Mode, it will display the image you see here, of the iTunes logo and a USB cable telling you to attach the device to iTunes.
How to Enter iPhone Recover Mode
- Disconnect the USB cable from your iPhone, but leave the other side connected to your Mac or PC
- Launch iTunes
- Press and hold down the Home and Sleep/Power button on the top of the iPhone to turn off the iPhone
- Press and continue to hold the Home button while you reconnect the USB cable to your iPhone, this will cause the iPhone to turn on
- Continue to hold the Home button until an alert message in iTunes informing you that an iPhone in recovery mode has been detected, like the screenshot below:
Your iPhone is now in recovery mode. If you have not launched iTunes, you will see the familiar screen of the USB cable pointing at the iTunes logo signaling to connect the iPhone to iTunes to start recovery.
Once you’re in recovery mode, you can either restore the iPhone, set it up as new, recover your backups and restore it to functionality again, or adjust the firmware as necessary (you can download iPhone firmware here if need be).
After a successful completion of restoring or upgrading firmware, your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch will automatically reboot and exit recovery mode on it’s own.
How to Exit iPhone Recovery Mode
You can typically exit recovery by doing the following:
- Hold down the home and power button for about 15 seconds, this shuts off the iPhone
- Press the power button to boot the iPhone
If you are stuck in recovery mode (or DFU) and you do not want to do a restore or firmware upgrade, you can use a tool like TinyUmbrella or RecBoot to escape too. If you are still stuck that usually means you must re-install iOS firmware.
Entering and exiting recovery mode is the same on all iOS devices regardless of the version of iOS software. Using recovery mode to restore a device is also the same regardless of using a Mac or Windows PC, and it’s the same with all versions of iTunes.