How to enter and exit Recovery Mode on iPhone

When it comes to fixing firmware problems on iOS devices, there are two commonly used modes: Recovery Mode and DFU Mode

Why Recovery Mode?

While using iOS devices, users may accidentally encounter some issues like their device getting stuck in a restart loop (the Apple logo shows up, holds for a while, then disappears and this circle repeats infinitely), or it completely stuck in the start logo screen. This is where Recovery Mode comes to play.

Recovery Mode allows iTunes to restore your device to the original factory settings with the greater or equal firmware version. So if updating your iOS device through Software Update under the Settings app does not work, you can try this method as well.

Another mode that I mentioned at the top of this post is DFU Mode. Differing from Recovery mode, DFU Mode can help you bypass the iBoot, which is the bootloader on iOS devices, so you can downgrade to a prior firmware and operating system. Here I have already written a guide on how to put your iOS device in DFU Mode, check it out if you want to learn more about this mode.

Before we start with the tutorial, note that you will lose all the data on your iPhone/iPad when restoring it. So I recommend you to take a backup using iTunes or iCloud then you can use that backup to retrieve your data after the restoring process is done.


For iPhone 7 owners: Since the Home button on iPhone 7 isn’t a mechanical button anymore, performing hard resets, entering recovery, and entering into DFU mode no longer works the same way on iPhone 7. Therefore, owners of iPhone 7 should consider all mentions of the Home button in the below steps to indicate when the lower volume button should be held down instead.


How to put your iPhone or iPad into Recovery Mode

1. Connect a USB cable to your PC with iTunes running, but don’t plug it into your iPhone or iPad just yet.

2. Turn off the device: Press and hold the Power button until you see the ‘Slide to power off’ slider. When the slider appears, swipe to the right to confirm.

3. Press and hold down the Home button. While holding, connect the USB cable to your device.

4. When the Connect to iTunes screen appears, release the Home button. If you don’t see this screen, try again from the first step.

The Connect to iTunes screen

5. Now iTunes should inform you with an alert saying “iTunes has detected an iPhone (iPad) in recovery mode…”

iTunes informs you that your device is in recovery mode

6. Click on the Ok button and you can then start to restore the device.

How to exit Recovery mode

Exiting the recovery mode is quite simple:

  • Press and hold the Home button and the Power button together until the Connect to iTunes screen disappears.
  • Release the Home button but keep holding the Power button until you see the starting logo screen.

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