How to Enter Recovery Mode on iPad Pro (2018 & Newer)

Feb 10, 2019 - 6 Comments

How to enter and exit Recovery Mode on iPad Pro

Rarely you may need to enter into Recovery Mode on an iPad Pro in order to restore iPadOS/iOS or update iPadOS/iOS software. The latest iPad Pro models without a Home button make the typical process of getting into Recovery Mode impossible however, so if you have a new iPad Pro 11 inch or 12.9 inch model without a Home button you might be wondering how to enter into Recovery Mode on the 2018 iPad Pro and beyond.

We’ll show you how to enter into Recovery Mode on the newest 2018 model year iPad Pro 11 inch and 12.9 inch devices, and also how to exit out of Recovery Mode on the same iPad Pro models.

How to Enter Recovery Mode on iPad Pro 11-inch or 12.9-inch (2018 and newer models)

You will need a USB cable and a computer with iTunes. Be sure you update to the latest version of macOS system software or iTunes for Windows PC before beginning this process. You will want a backup of the iPad Pro handy before starting this process, as restoring may result in data loss otherwise.

  1. Connect the iPad Pro to a computer with a USB cable
  2. Open Finder, or iTunes on the computer (Mac or Windows)
  3. Press and release Volume Up
  4. Press and release Volume Down
  5. Press and hold the Power button until the iPad Pro is in recovery mode
  6. Finder or iTunes will alert that a device has been found in Recovery Mode

Once in Recovery Mode within Finder or iTunes, you can update the iPad Pro or restore with iTunes as usual. You can also use IPSW if necessary, though the IPSW file must be signed and matching the iPad Pro model as usual. You can find find IPSW files here if needed.

Remember that restoring any iOS or iPadOS device may result in data loss, you will want to be sure you have a backup available to restore your data from, otherwise you may have data loss.

How to Exit Recovery Mode on iPad Pro

If you want to exit out of Recovery Mode on iPad Pro without restoring or doing anything to it from Finder or iTunes, simply force restart the iPad Pro:

  • Disconnect iPad Pro from the computer
  • Press and release the Volume Up button
  • Press and release the Volume Down button
  • Press and hold the Power button, hold until you see the  Apple logo appear on screen

iPad Pro in recovery mode

Remember that Recovery Mode is not as low-level as DFU Mode, but for most troubleshooting issues requiring a device restore, Recovery Mode on iPad Pro will do the job. DFU Mode is really only necessary when a device is completely stuck in an unusable or bricked state like during a failed iOS update or something similar.

Note this only applies to the iPad Pro models without any button on the front of the device (the home button), meaning the 2018 model year onward, but only for the iPad Pro. The normal iPad continues to have a Home button, and the 2018 base iPad with a Home button can enter into Recovery Mode and DFU Mode the same as all prior iPad models with a Home button did.

Recovery Mode and DFU Mode can be helpful for troubleshooting iOS devices that are not functioning as intended. These other articles on the topic but for other iPad and iPhone models may be helpful in that regard:

While this process may seem new and different from prior iPad models, it’s standard on all the new iOS devices that have no Home button. Other changes have come to the latest iPad Pro models as a result of removing the Home button too, including taking screen shots on iPad Pro as well as forced rebooting and entering DFU Mode on the device too.


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting


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  1. Anabelle says:

    ugh. these instructions are too vague. Is the ipad on or off when I start this? This is for my kid’s iPad, soo….when I log into itunes on the Mac, does it need to be logged into HIS Apple ID account or it doesn’t matter (I’m logged into mine)? It’s disabled, he changed his passcode and now he cannot remember it, so this is where we are. If it needs to be on when I start this process, do I have to wait for the iPad to NOT be disabled? or I can start this while it’s disabled? All of the videos that I have seen with this problem, the iPad is NOT disabled and is actually unlocked.

    But my problem is that the iPad is locked and disabled. Any guidance is appreciated. Thanks

    • Paul says:

      You can enter into Recovery Mode from the iPad Pro being either off or on, but most people do it when the device is already on. It’s basically just a hard reboot but continuing to hold down the power button, until the computer detects that a device in recovery has been found. An alert pops up on screen when that happens, either in Finder or iTunes, depending on the system software and version.

      Does his iPad have a backup available? If the passcode has been forgotten, the device will need to be erased.

      Do you know what iPadOS version it is running? If the iPad is running 15.2 or newer you can just reset it from the locked screen after several failed passcode attempts, but remember this erases everything on the iPad. The advantage to that is it avoids recovery mode.

      You can use your own Mac with your Apple ID to reset and erase someone else’s device, but you may need to enter their Apple ID to disable things like Find My or iCloud, or to restore from their backup.

      Hope that helps, troubleshooting tech stuff is never fun!

  2. Apkarc says:

    Tell me how to do it on iPad mini 4?

  3. Himanshu Patel says:

    can you explain how to do it on iPad mini 4?

  4. the procedure is same for iPad Mini 4? as i am not able to do so. am i doing something wrong? is there any other way?

    • Paul says:

      No, this procedure is for entering Recovery Mode on the new iPad Pro models, without a Home button, introduced from 2018 onward.

      Other iPad models including the iPad Mini that has a Home button must use the older procedure for entering recovery mode (holding Home and Power while connected to iTunes until you see the message on screen)

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