[2024] iPhone Gets Stuck in Recovery Mode? Don’t Go to Apple Store Before You Read This

iPhone stuck in recovery mode

is your iPhone stuck in Recovery Mode? You must be looking for solutions to fix an iPhone stuck in Recovery Mode if you find this article. For old iOS versions, it shows a logo connecting to iTunes (like the left phone in the above image). Since iOS 13, it presents a cable connecting to the computer (like the right phone in the above image). Don’t worry. They are the same problem.                                   

You Can Fix iPhone Stuck in Recovery Mode by Yourself!

Firstly let me tell you why your iPhone gets stuck in Recovery Mode. This usually happens when you are updating or restoring your device because Recovery Mode is a fail-safe mode when there is a problem with your software. Therefore most of the time, it can be fixed by eliminating software glitches, which we can do by ourselves.

In this article, I will show you all the solutions that have been proven to be helpful by real iPhone users. I promise you that this is the most comprehensive guide you can find all over the internet. Since iPhone gets stuck in Recovery Mode under various situations, some solutions work for these people, but some work for other people. I recommend that you try all the solutions before you go to Apple store. All the solutions work for you if your iPhone gets stuck in Recovery Mode when updating to iOS 17.

The Simple Introduction of the Solutions

Well, let’s go straight to the solutions. I’ll start from the easiest one to the hardest one. Some only need a few minutes, some may take a little longer, but all can be done at home.

Much easier solutions:

Harder solutions:

If you have important data such as photos, messages, contacts, etc., on your device and you wish to preserve the data, just rest assured because the first 2 solutions and some of the latter 2 solutions can get your iPhone out of Recovery Mode without affecting your personal data. Just keep reading. You can ignore the solutions that you’ve already known and tried.

Solution 1. Force Restart iPhone

Let’s start with the most simple solution. You don’t need any other things but your faulty phone. The only thing you need to pay attention to is exactly following the guide below. Otherwise, the result may not be what you expect.

Check the guide according to your iPhone model:

For iPhone 6 or Earlier

Press and hold both the Power button (it is also called Side or Top button) and the Home button until you see the Apple logo. It means that your iPhone is restarting.

Force restart iPhone 6

For iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 7 has no Home button, so you will need the help of another button which is Volume Down button. Press and hold both the Home button and the Volume Down button until you see the Apple logo.

Force restart iPhone 7

For iPhone 8 or Later

The operations of iPhone 8 and later models are different from the previous models. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button and the Volume Down button. Press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo.

Force restart iPhone 12

This solution really works although it seems to be too easy. However, for some people who don’t want to do any manual operation, have failed with force restart, or have a device with malfunctioning buttons (Home button or Power button), the second solution is a good option.

Solution 2. Use Free Light Software

Software always makes things easier than manual operations. For this solution, you have to download a program that can help you exit iPhone Recovery Mode. There are many such free tools online. Just choose one that you like. Here I use Wondershare Dr.Fone – System Repair (iOS) as an example and show you how to do it step by step. It also supports iPhone 15 and iOS 17.

Download the software from the official website. Wondershare is a well-known software service provider, and I have tested it to be a safe tool, so please feel free to install it on your computer. Please note that Wondershare Dr.Fone is a paid tool, but the one-click to Exit Recovery Mode is a free feature.

Wondershare Dr.Fone is a program that integrates a variety of phone tools. After opening the software, you need to select the System Repair module. A new window will pop up, which is the interface of the System Repair tool. Select iPhone to see the interface shown below.

  • Click on the Toolbox Repair.
  • Connect your iPhone to the computer and click Next.
  • Your device has been detected. Click to Exit Recovery mode. After about 1 -2 minutes, your iPhone will exit recovery mode.
Wondershare Dr.Fone System Repair (iOS) interface 1

This solution is also very easy and suitable for people who are seeking a quick fix. If unfortunately, the above 2 solutions don’t work, keep trying the other 2 solutions.

Solution 3. Use iTunes (3 Ways Offered)

As I mentioned above, iPhone being stuck in Recovery Mode is a problem with iPhone software, so it is a good solution to flash iPhone OS via iTunes. Using iTunes to get iPhone out of Recovery Mode is also a recommended solution by Apple.

You just need to connect your device to a computer, a Mac or a Windows computer is all right. The most important thing you need to check is whether you’ve installed iTunes or whether your iTunes is the latest version if you have it installed on your computer. Make sure that your iTunes is the newest version. Otherwise, the fix may fail.


For Windows users, if you haven’t installed iTunes, you can download it from Microsoft Store or from the official website. If you have installed it, open the software and click Help at the top left corner. Choose Check for Update to see if there is any newer version. If there is, update it before you try the solutions below.

Update iTunes

For Mac users, things will be different. If you have updated your Mac to macOS Catalina or later, you have to use Finder because some of iTunes’ features such as backing up, restoring, and syncing iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch are included in Finder since macOS Catalina.

If you use iTunes, just open App Store on your Mac. You will see Updates at the top of the window. Click it and check if there is any update for iTunes. If there is, click Update and wait for the process to complete. If you use Finder, you have to update your macOS to the latest version.

It was reported by some users that they always failed to update some components of iTunes. I recommend that you uninstall iTunes and all its components. Then restart your computer and install the latest version from scratch.

Use iTunes to Update iPhone (Keep All Data)

Once you get the iTunes software ready, you can now get a USB cable. Use the original cable as much possible as you can because this will also influence the result. Since the process will highly depend on the internet, make sure you have fast internet speed and a stable connection. Please note that the iOS version will be updated to the latest version (iOS 17 for now) during the process. Below are the steps.

  1. Open iTunes and connect your device to the computer. If it is not connected, unplug your device and plug it in again.
  2. Once your iPhone is detected, you will see a similar message like this: “There’s a problem with the [your device name] that requires it to be updated or restored.”
  3. As you can see, you are offered 2 options: Update iPhone or Restore iPhone. Of course, you should choose Update here because the Restore option will erase all the data on your device.
  4. Once you click Update, confirm the option and follow the guide on the following a few pop-up windows. Then iTunes will start to download the latest software for your device. iOS 17 is only compatible with iPhone XR/XS or later models. Earlier models will not install iOS 17.
  5. Once the software download finishes, it will start to install the software on your device without affecting your personal data.
  6. Wait for some time, your device will restart with a progress bar. When the progress bar is full, you will see your device rebooting as normal. Your data will be the same as before.
Update frozen iPhone through iTunes

The time for the whole process is different in different situations. Sometimes it takes hours, but sometimes it takes less than 30 minutes. Keep patient.

Use iTunes to Restore iPhone (Erase All Data)

If you followed the guide for updating the iPhone in Recovery Mode through iTunes in the previous part, but it unfortunately failed, you need to try this method – restoring the device to factory settings using iTunes. If you back up your iPhone regularly, this may not be a problem because you can restore your latest backup to the iPhone after the device exits Recovery Mode. If you have precious data in the iPhone that you cannot afford to lose, I recommend you try the last solution, a paid software that offers a method that fixes iPhone stuck in Recovery Mode while also keeping the data on it.

Restore frozen iPhone through iTunes

When you finally decide to try this solution, you just need to repeat the steps listed in the previous part – “Use iTunes to Update iPhone”. The only difference is to click the Restore iPhone button. Then just follow the on-screen instruction, iTunes will also download the latest software and then erase all the data on your device when reinstalling the latest iOS. When this process finishes, the iPhone will restart automatically and you have to enter your Apple ID and set up your iPhone as a new device.

One Last Try with iTunes

If the above methods don’t work, you still have one last option with iTunes. That is putting iPhone into DFU Mode and then restoring iPhone using iTunes. So what is DFU Mode?

DFU mode is another state of iPhone where your iPhone can interface with iTunes without loading the latest iPhone operating system or boot loader. In another word, it helps iTunes to flash your iPhone software and get it out of Recovery Mode and boot to its normal state.

How do you get iPhone into DFU Mode? For different models, the steps are a little different, but first of all, get your device connected to a computer and open iTunes. The same here, get the latest iTunes installed on your computer.

iPhone DFU Mode

For iPhone 6 or Earlier

Press the Home button and Power button (also known as Side or Top button) at the same time. Keep holding the two buttons. After 8-10 seconds, release the Power button but still press the Home button for at least 5 seconds. When do you know that your iPhone enters DFU Mode? When your iPhone screen turns black and iTunes pops up a window saying “iTunes detected an iPhone in Recovery Mode”.

For iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

Press and hold the Power button and Volume Down button simultaneously for 8-10 seconds. Release the Side button but still hold the Volume Down button. After about 5 seconds, your iPhone should enter DFU Mode.

For iPhone 8 or Later

Quickly press the Volume Up button. Then quickly press the Volume Down button. Press the Power button and hold it until the screen turns black. Now press and hold the Volume Down button together with the Power button. Keep holding the buttons for 5 seconds. After that, release the Power button but still hold the Volume Down button for another 5 seconds.

When your iPhone enters DFU mode, iTunes will ask you to restore it just like the screenshot shown below. Please note the current latest software iOS 17 will only be installed on iPhone XR/XS and later models.

iTunes has detected an iPhone in DFU mode

I hope the above guide makes it clear for you to follow. Now you can follow the steps mentioned above to restore your iPhone using iTunes and get your iPhone out of Recovery Mode.

Solution 4. Use Paid Software

If you are reading this part, I guess you’re ready to try a paid solution to fix your device. This method is offered for those who want to solve the problem in a faster way or cannot get iPhone out of Recovery Mode with the above free solutions.

The paid software I would like to recommend is still Wondershare Dr.Fone – System Repair (iOS) , the paid version. You can also try other tools. They work in a similar way. The iOS Repair function offers 2 modes. The Standard Repair preserves the data on your device. The Advanced Repair will clear all data.

Dr.Fone is very easy to use and the instruction at each step is easy to understand. The whole process is much shorter than using iTunes. It seems this tool works differently from iTunes, so I think it is worth trying because they offer a 7-day money-back guarantee. If unfortunately, this tool doesn’t help, you can get your money back. So why not give it a try before you turn to the Apple Store for help?

Well, let’s talk about how to use the tool. The process of using Standard Repair and Advanced Repair is the same. You just need to choose the right mode at the first step. For example, you want to try Standard Repair, follow the steps below.

  • Select iOS Repair on the home page.
  • Then choose Standard Repair.
  • Connect your iPhone to the computer.
  • Download firmware (software). What’s even better than iTunes is that you can choose different iOS versions here when Apple releases a new version of iPhone software because the previous version of iPhone software can still be signed. For example, when iOS 17 is released, the last version of iOS 16 is still available. You can also download genuine iOS from a trustworthy source for flashing.
  • Start the fixing when the firmware is ready. It will get your iPhone out of Recovery Mode soon.
Wondershare Dr.Fone System Repair (iOS) interface

One tip for this method is that you can try it more times if it fails for the first time. Remember to follow the instructions on the failure window. Things might be different.

Final Words

I hope your iPhone has exited Recovery Mode now. However, there could be cases where some people’s iPhones cannot be fixed with all the solutions above because their devices have hardware problems. It is usually a problem with the motherboard which can prevent the iPhone from loading the software and rebooting. If you have tried the methods I introduced above, make an appointment with the Genius Bar right now. You may have your iPhone hardware checked by them.

Michael Yang

Michael Yang

Michael is the founder of ClarifyHow and has also been a test engineer for phones and computers since 5 years ago. He gets various problems while working and fixes most of them by himself or his colleagues, so he would like to share his experience and knowledge.

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