How to Fix an iOS 14 Update Bricked iPhone or iPad

Sep 19, 2020 - 4 Comments

How to Fix an iOS Update Bricked iPhone or iPad

Is your iPhone stuck on the Apple logo screen after attempting to update iOS to the latest version? Or maybe you see the ‘connect to computer’ screen on the device? If considerable time has passed and the device is stuck on the  Apple logo or connect to computer splash screen, there’s a fair chance that a failed update bricked your iPhone. But don’t panic, as this can be usually resolved with some troubleshooting and patience from your end.

Although updating the software on an iPhone or iPad is a pretty simple and straightforward procedure, things don’t always go as smoothly as it should sometimes. If an update fails, or gets interrupted for any reason, the device will typically not boot to the home screen. Instead, it’ll be stuck on the Apple logo screen or a black screen, never leaving that screen even if the device is let to sit for a long time. Fortunately, there’s more than just one way to try and resolve this issue.

If you’re one of those iOS or iPadOS users who were unfortunate enough to run into this issue, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll guide you through the necessary steps to fix your bricked iPhone or iPad.

How to Fix an iOS Update Bricked iPhone or iPad

Before you go ahead with the following step-by-step instructions, you’ll need to make sure you have access to a computer with iTunes installed. If you’re using a Mac running macOS Catalina or later, you can simply use Finder instead. It’s also a good idea to make sure you have a full iPhone or iPad backup ready, just in case things go wrong.

1. Force Reboot Your iPhone or iPad

We don’t need to get to the hard part just yet. First, let’s try force restarting your device and see if that fixes the issue. Keep in mind that a force reboot is different from a regular restart. We’re doing this just to make sure that your device is actually bricked and not just frozen or unresponsive.

If you’re using an iOS device with a physical home button, this can be done by simply holding the power button and home button simultaneously until you see the Apple logo on the screen.

If you’re using a newer iPhone or iPad with Face ID, you’ll need to click the volume up button first, followed by the volume down button, and then hold the side/power button until you see the Apple logo.

Regardless, after you have forcibly rebooted the iPhone or iPad, let it sit for a while to see if it will boot has expected. It’s not uncommon for a device to sit on the  Apple logo for a few minutes sometimes, but if it’s been stuck on an  Apple logo for an inordinately long time, like a half hour or more, then you may have a bigger problem.

2. Connect to iTunes or Finder, Update

Sometimes simply connecting the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to a computer and going through the updates on there is enough to resolve the issue. This is particularly true usually when the ‘connect to computer’ screen is what you see, rather than just an Apple logo.

  1. Connect the impacted iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to a computer with a USB cable
  2. Open iTunes (Windows PC, and MacOS Mojave and earlier) or Finder (Catalina, Big Sur, and later), and choose “Update” – this may allow the device to complete the iOS update process
  3. If “Update” is not available or fails, choose “Restore” instead *

* Note restoring a device from backups can result in data loss. If there is no backup available to restore from, the device will be cleared and setup as new instead.

Sometimes even this process of updating and restoring fails, which then leads to the next option to use Recovery Mode.

3. Enter Recovery Mode

If you weren’t lucky enough to fix your device with a force reboot, or a regular update/restore, you’ll have to move on to the more advanced method here. Once again, you’ll be using a computer to recover your iPhone or iPad using iTunes or Finder. The steps to enter recovery mode may vary depending on the iPhone model you currently own.

  • If you use an iPhone 8, or newer iPhones/iPads with Face ID: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Now, quickly press and release the Volume Down button. Then, press and hold the Power button until you see the recovery mode screen. You’ll have to do this in quick succession to get to the recovery mode screen.
  • If you own older iPhones or iPads with Home button: Press and hold the Power and Volume Down buttons at the same time. Keep holding them until you see the recovery mode screen.

How to Fix an iOS Update Bricked iPhone or iPad

Once you’ve seen the above recovery mode screen, you’ll need to connect your iPhone to iTunes on your computer. If you’re on a Mac, you can use Finder to do the same. Your iPhone will now be detected in iTunes and you’ll be prompted to update or restore your device, as shown in the screenshot below.

How to Fix an iOS Update Bricked iPhone or iPad

Try updating your iPhone first and see if it fixes the issue. If the update fails, you’ll need to restore your iPhone.

Keep in mind that choosing Restore will erase all the data on your iPhone, but if you have an iCloud or iTunes backup, you can restore the backup on to your device.

There you go. You’ve most likely successfully fixed your bricked iPhone or iPad. Hopefully this wasn’t too challenging, and too much of a nuisance, though it can certainly be alarming when a device update goes wrong.

If the steps we discussed above didn’t un-brick your iOS or iPadOS device, you may want to contact official Apple Support or figure out how to talk to a live agent at Apple for further assistance. Official Apple support will also try to get your device fixed by running through a series of steps, some of which you’ve already done by following the tips on this page. Rarely, device problems could be a hardware-related issue requiring the iPhone or iPad to be serviced.

We hope you managed to get your iPhone or iPad working as intended, without going through too much trouble. Which of the troubleshooting methods that we discussed here worked for you? Did you find another resolution to the issue you were experiencing? Did you get in touch with official Apple Support? Share your personal experiences in the comments section down below.

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Posted by: Hamlin Rozario in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

4 Comments

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  1. Ann says:

    This helped me save my iPad. 🙂🙂

  2. Jen says:

    Same here!! Thank you so much!

  3. Mark says:

    iPhone 8 was bricked during the iOS 14 update. This article saved the day. Thank you!

    Be sure to backup those devices before updating, boys and girls. :-)

  4. Damon says:

    Apple Configurator 2 on MacOS Catalina bricked its first iPadOS 14 update for me yesterday, even when the iPad was in Recovery Mode.

    Downloading the update through Finder as per the instructions you posted seemed to do the trick.

    I note that Finder indicated it needed to perform an update on the device first, whereas Configurator 2 did not. I also note that there has since been an update to Configurator 2 via the App Store.

    Just in case this helps anyone else here using Configutator 2…

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