So, you seem to have found yourself having a firmware issue. What is iPhone firmware? Well, basically the firmware is like the brain of iPhone and if for whatever reason anything ends up getting corrupted in the firmware, you will not be able to install it on iPhone.
For example, when you try to update to iOS 17 or restore your iPhone using iTunes, you may see a message pop up that says “The iPhone [your iPhone’s name]could not be restored because the firmware file was corrupt”. This may seem very frustrating because you may not know what is going on and you most likely don’t know what to do to fix it.
Below you will see a few things you can try to get this issue resolved. Make sure to read all the steps carefully and do everything as instructed or you may damage your phone even further.
1. Restart iTunes/Finder and your PC
First things first, if you are trying to reset or restore your phone using your computer, restart iTunes/Finder and your PC to see if that helps fix the issue. A lot of times firmware issues happen because your computer cannot find or recognize the correct firmware files for your iPhone. If this is the case, you can simply just restart your PC and iTunes and that should resolve the “firmware file corrupt” issue. For whatever reason this does not help, move on to section 2.
2. Update iTunes/Finder
If a simple restart of your computer and iTunes/Finder did not work and you don’t understand why, it may be an issue of iTunes being out of date. If you’re trying to reset or restore your iPhone through an older version of iTunes and are getting an error message about “iPhone firmware file corrupt”, then you will need to update iTunes/Finder to the latest version.
For iTunes on Windows or Mac OS
- Launch iTunes.
- Look at the menu at the top left and click Help.
- When the drop-down menu opens up, click Check for Updates.
- Follow the given on-screen instructions to install the latest update.
NOTE: If you are using Finder, go to the app store to check if there are any available updates that you may need to install. Also, if you don’t see the “Check for Updates” button in the drop-down menu on iTunes it means that your version of iTunes is from the Microsoft Store, so you need to check there for updates.
3. Reinstall iTunes/Finder
If that still doesn’t resolve the “iPhone firmware corrupt” problem, try reinstalling iTunes/Finder. Sometimes iTunes/Finder configuration doesn’t match iPhone’s firmware files and updating them is not enough to fix the firmware compatibility problem. If this is the case, you will need to uninstall iTunes/Finder so the current files are purged from your PC. Then once the uninstallation process is finished you can begin the reinstall process. After you’ve reinstalled the latest version of iTunes/Finder, try to update to iOS 17 and restore your iPhone again.
4. Uninstall Antivirus Software
If you’ve tried everything else so far and still get a pop-up saying “iPhone could not be restored because firmware file was corrupt”, then it may be an issue with your antivirus software. Sometimes an antivirus program works so well that it ends up blocking the installation of firmware because it may perceive it as unsafe. This actually ends up being the case more times than not in scenarios such as this where you are having a problem with a firmware file being corrupt. Thankfully though, if that is the case, a simple uninstall of your antivirus program may be just the thing you need to do to finally get this issue resolved.
5. Manually Install Firmware (Tech-Savvy)
At this point, you’ve tried all the above steps but nothing is working to get rid of the “iPhone firmware file corrupt” error, you may need to just manually install the firmware directly onto your iPhone. Warning, this is pretty tech-savvy and you should think twice before trying this method if you are not a tech person. Doing this may damage your phone even further if you do not know what you are doing so, I will try my best to make the process as easy as possible to follow along so that anybody can do this. The first thing you need to do is find and download the firmware files from IPSW. Make sure that these files are meant for your specific device. For example, iOS 17 is only compatible with iPhone 8 and later, so don’t try to install iOS 17 for iPhone 7.
Here is a breakdown of the process:
- Download the correct files from IPSW.
- Connect your iPhone to your PC and open up iTunes
- When connected, your iPhone will send an alert on your screen, select the “Trust” option.
- After iTunes/Finder detects your iPhone, press and hold the “Option” key if you are on Mac or press and hold the “Shift” key if on PC.
- Then, click “Check for Update” on your computer screen.
- Find the IPSW firmware files that you downloaded and select them.
- When the files are selected you will see an “Update” button on your screen, click it to continue. This will keep the data on your device. However, if there is no Update option, you have to restore your device with everything on your device erased.
- The updates will be installed and your iPhone will be restarted.
- You will then see a “Success” message pop up when it’s finished.
If you followed all these steps correctly, your firmware issue should now be resolved.
6. Restore iPhone with DFU mode
If all else fails, the last way to fix “iPhone firmware file corrupt” would be to restore your iPhone through DFU mode on iTunes. DFU mode will restore your iPhone no matter what type of issue it may be having, including firmware issues. I left this process for last because doing it this way will wipe ALL the data from your phone. So, if this is your choice as a last resort, make sure that you back up your phone before beginning.
To start the process, the first thing you need to do is put your phone in DFU mode. A quick google search or a short YouTube video will show you how to do this fairly easily. You can also refer to this guide. Once you are in DFU mode and connected to iTunes, a message will pop up saying, “iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode”. You will then see a few options and the one you need to click on is, “Restore iPhone’. Then, you just have to wait a few minutes while iTunes does its thing and when the process is over you will end up with an iPhone that has a brand new up-to-date operating system (iOS 17 for now) on it and all your issues will have been resolved.
If you have a budget, you can try a third-party tool to update or restore your iPhone. The tool that can help you to avoid the “iPhone firmware file corrupt” problem is AnyFix developed by iMobie which is a company focusing on mobile solutions.
It is easy to use. No matter whether your iPhone is in a normal state or not, AnyFix can update or restore your iPhone.
If your iPhone is in a normal state, choose the “Upgrade/Downgrade iOS” function to update your iPhone. If your iPhone doesn’t work or gets frozen, choose the “System Repair” function which offers 3 modes.
Among the 3 modes, the Standard Repair mode can update your iPhone and fix the iOS issues with it. The other 2 modes erase all data on your iPhone and get your iPhone back to normal, which can be considered as a restore.