iPhone Recovery Mode

iPhone Recovery Mode

Let’s face it, the iPhone crashes sometimes, usually you can just hold down the lock button until “slide to power off” shows up and then hold down the home button. The app will then force quit and everything will be fine. But, in rare circumstances you may need to hold down the home button and the lock button at the same time until the phone shuts itself down. If none of those fix your problem the iPhone will need a full restore, but sometimes the iPhone won’t even boot up, in this case you will need to put your device in recovery mode.
To put your phone in recovery mode follow these steps:

  • Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed.
  • Disconnect the USB cable from the iPhone or iPod touch dock connector but leave the other end connected to your computer.
  • Power the device off, either how you normally would, or forcing it to power off by holding the lock and home buttons.
  • Press and hold the home button while connecting the USB cable to your device’s dock connector.
  • If you see the low battery screen wait about 10 minutes for the device to charge and then restart this process.
  • If you don’t see the above image continue holding the home button until you see the connect to iTunes screen. You may now release the home button.
  • iTunes should now display the following recovery message, if not quit and reopen iTunes. If you still don’t see the recovery message repeat these steps again.
    iTunes Recovery Message
  • iTunes will give you the option to restore from a backup, if you do a restore it is possible that the device will still experience the problems that got you into this recovery mode, but you can always redo this process and choose not to restore from a backup.

If you continue to receive errors after recovering your iPhone I would suggest deleting the most recent firmware file which can be found in ~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates (C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPhone Software Updates\ in Windows) and repeating the process.

If you’re worried that using iPhone recovery mode will erase all of your data — never to be seen again — I suggest visiting iPhone and iPod touch: About backups. It’s a knowledge base article that lists everything that iTunes backs up from your iPhone or iPod touch.

DFU Mode

If you’re still having issues with your iPhone it might be wise to try reinstalling the firmware from DFU mode. DFU mode is a special mode in which the device doesn’t load “iBoot.” The screen will stay totally black in DFU mode and because iBoot is not loaded it is often used to downgrade firmware or load custom firmware created by various tools.

Because of the potential for bricking your device, I wouldn’t suggest installing anything but Apple-made firmware files.

To put your iPhone or iPod touch in DFU mode follow these steps:

  • Open iTunes
  • Connect the device to your computer.
  • Hold down the lock and home buttons for exactly ten seconds.
  • Release the lock button but continue holding the home button until your computer recognizes it.

Your device should be in DFU mode, If the connect to iTunes screen is present than you are in recovery mode, not DFU mode. From here you can recover the device using the process above and hopefully it will fix any problems that may exist.