How to Fix an iOS 14 Update Bricked iPhone or iPad

Sep 19, 2020 - 12 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

12 Comments

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  1. Jonathan Pachla says:

    Went to update mini 4 to 14.6 and it bricked. Tried all recovery options. I get message due to unknown error Previously as NO issues with this device

  2. Phil says:

    I updated my iPad and all was well. I plugged it in overnight, as I always do. There was still plenty of charge but I like it on 100% in the morning as I use most of that during the day. But this morning, nothing. It didn’t wake up and had a black screen. I tried to force reboot it and that brought up the white apple logo on a black screen. This remained on screen for at least an hour so I tried again. Same thing. So I tried yet again. This time the white apple logo disappeared after a few seconds and went back to a black screen. So this time I force rebooted it but just kept holding the power and home buttons until the ‘connect to a computer’ screen appeared. Upon connecting it to my Mac, it prompted me to either perform an update or reset to factory settings. I tried the update first. This failed due to an unknown error. So, I tried the factory reset. This also failed due to an unknown error. And now absolutely nothing works, not even the forced reboot. It is completely dead. As a last resort I tried to hold down the power and volume down buttons to get the ‘connect to a computer’ screen but with no luck. So, Apple, it would appear you have introduced a Trojan horse into my iPad with the latest update and screwed me.

    • Baloa says:

      Sounds like you will need to put it into Recovery Mode or DFU Mode and restore from a backup. Sometimes the updates brick, but it is rare – very annoying when they do!

  3. Judith says:

    Apple iOS 14 has bricked a perfectly fine device, iPad mini 4th gen. Went through every step, I know them well as this happens with every update on family devices. Nothing, but nothing worked. Stuck on “verify” in recovery mode. Prior to that, stuck on “waiting for iPad” when updating. Finally caved and brought to Apple authorized repair shop – they too were defeated.- no device. Apple, how do I hate thee, let me count the ways.

  4. Dennis J Brown says:

    IPhone 11pro max ticked while doing GG a simple iTunes back up. ITunes says the iPhone disconnected during back up. That was false. I have tried everything above and multiple times. So I bought android galaxy for use while this is resolved I have my old iPhone 7plus but never could back it up bc it was out of memory m?! I have 17009 pictures I have sent trying to get them off but all roads end with error, we’ll I out a sim card in old iPhone with a new line I opened with att so I cN access some of my apps (haven’t had time to login to EVERYTHING. so iPhone was fine this morning now I pic it up and it’s on apple logo?! What’s going on? I’m royally screwed I was passed about looking the last 6months of data who knows what I lost now. Can this be a virus?

  5. Fiona says:

    I have tried all of these steps but my phone is still stuck in the restart loop. :(

    • Joseph Jackson says:

      I’m still stuck in a infinite boot loop think my phone is bricked🤷🏽‍♂️🤦🏽‍♂️ And Apple still isn’t even giving specific info on how to fix it🤦🏽‍♂️

      Think i should go to android again

  6. Ann says:

    This helped me save my iPad. 🙂🙂

  7. Jen says:

    Same here!! Thank you so much!

  8. 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. :-)

  9. 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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