iPhone Won’t Go Into Recovery Mode? Solved Now!

iPhone won't go into recovery mode

If you’re experiencing issues with your iPhone and have done all you can to fix it, the next solution could be to put it into recovery mode.

The recovery mode screen will have a picture of a cable and a laptop (for old iOS versions, it is the iTunes logo). You are not in recovery mode if you don’t see this screen.

Of course, it’s infuriating when you’ve done everything you can, and now, you cannot get into recovery mode. This article will cover what you can do when your iPhone won’t go into recovery mode.

What Is Recovery Mode?

Recovery mode is a troubleshooting tool Apple puts into iPhone software. When a user is struggling to get their phone to work and cannot sort the problem out via the phone, they can plug it into a computer to let iTunes diagnose and fix the problem through recovery mode.

iPhone recovery mode

So, even if the screen is black or the phone is frozen, you can use recovery mode to sort the issue out. All you need to put your phone into recovery mode is iTunes installed on your computer and a cable to connect your phone to the computer. It doesn’t even matter if iTunes doesn’t recognize your phone.

There may be several reasons someone may wish to put their iPhone into recovery mode. But, here are some common reasons.

  • The iPhone displays the Apple Logo but doesn’t entirely turn on.
  • After an iOS update, the iPhone gets stuck in a restarting loop.
  • The iPhone has frozen and become unresponsive.
  • The screen is black, despite the sound coming from it.

Ensure You’ve Set Up Recovery Mode Correctly

Perhaps your iPhone isn’t going into recovery mode because you’re setting it up wrong. Here are our instructions on setting up recovery mode. Try to check your operations first before reading the rest of the article because the guide you see somewhere else might be wrong or your operations might be incorrect.

1). Using a cable, plug your iPhone into your computer. If your iPhone is not turning on (being stuck on the Apple logo or something like that), your computer cannot recognize it. If it is working normally, it will be detected by the computer.

2). Open iTunes. Recovery mode works via iTunes, so it needs to be open for your phone to go into that state.

3). The third step depends on which model of iPhone you have.

iPhone 8 or later.

  • Press Volume Up.
  • Press Volume Down.
  • Hold Volume Down and the Side Button until you see the recovery mode screen.

iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus.

  • Hold the Side Button and the Volume Down button until you see the recovery mode screen.

iPhone 6s or earlier.

  • Hold both the Home Button and Top Button until you see the recovery mode screen.

Once your iPhone enters recovery mode, iTunes will detect it and offers 2 options: Update or Restore iPhone, just like the screenshot below.

Update frozen iPhone through iTunes

If you’ve followed the above steps and still cannot enter recovery mode, listed below are some solutions.

What To Do When iPhone Won’t Go Into Recovery Mode

When you cannot put iPhone into recovery mode, there could be many reasons. The problem might be your iTunes and your computer. Instead of using recovery mode, you can also try an alternative method to flash the software of your iPhone.

#1 Update iTunes

For iTunes to be able to perform all its functions, you need to make sure it’s compatible with your iPhone. An older version of iTunes might not be compatible with a newer version of iOS. So, you’ll have to update iTunes.

How To Update iTunes On A Mac

  • Open the App Store.
  • Select “Updates”; located at the top of the App Store.
  • If there are any updates available for iTunes, click “Install”.

How To Update iTunes On A PC

  • Open iTunes
  • Select “Help” in the top menu.
  • Select “Check for Updates”.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions. Usually, this will involve clicking “Update”.
Update iTunes

If it is not smooth to update iTunes, we recommend that you uninstall iTunes and then reboot your computer before reinstalling iTunes. Sometimes, there will be some problems with the update of iTunes components.

#2 Update Your MacOS

If iTunes is updated, but you still cannot get into recovery mode, the issue could be with your Mac’s operating system.

Please be aware that the following instructions are only helpful to Mac users. They will serve no purpose to PC users.

  • Click the Apple Logo. Located in the bottom top corner of the screen.
  • Select “System Preferences”.
  • Select “Software Update”.
  • Select “Upgrade Now”.
Update MacOS

#3 Alternative Method- Put Your iPhone Into DFU Mode

The final and last straw solution would be putting your iPhone in DFU (Device Firmware Upgrade) Mode. This is different from the other options above because you will not see the typical “recovery mode” screen. DFU mode can be considered as an alternative mode of recovery mode.

We say it’s the last straw because it will erase everything on your iPhone when you use iTunes to fix an iPhone in DFU mode. It will become like a brand new iPhone. Please note that the DFU mode and recovery mode themselves will not erase the data on your device. It is iTunes that does the job. Therefore, only put your iPhone into DFU mode and use iTunes if you either have backed up everything you wish to keep or don’t mind losing everything on your iPhone.

1). Plug your iPhone into a computer using a cable. Open iTunes.

2). The second step depends on which model of iPhone you have.

iPhone 8 or later

  • Hold the Side Button for three seconds.
  • Then, hold the Side and Volume Down button for 10 seconds.
  • Release the Side Button, but keep holding Volume Down for 5 seconds.

iPhone 7 or 7 Plus

  • Hold the Side Button for 3 seconds.
  • Hold the Side Button and the Home Button for 10 seconds.

iPhone 6s or earlier

  • Hold the Side Button for 3 seconds.
  • Hold the Side Button and the Home Button for 10 seconds.
  • Let go of the Side Button, but hold onto the Home Button for 5 more seconds.

3). After you’ve followed these instructions, you should see a black screen on your iPhone if you’ve done it correctly. If you see either the typical recovery mode screen or the Apple Logo, you are not in DFU mode.

iPhone DFU Mode

4). Most importantly, you should now see a pop-up in iTunes that reads, “iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode. You must restore this iPhone before it can be used with iTunes”. Yes, iTunes will say recovery mode not DFU mode.

 5). Click “OK” and then “Restore iPhone”.

iTunes detects an iPhone in recovery mode

In this way, iTunes will install the latest software on your iPhone and your iPhone will be like a completely new phone. Please note that the iCloud activation will not be removed.

#4 If The Problem Is With The Hardware Instead Of The Software

After trying the final solution, DFU mode, it’s worth checking to see if this issue isn’t with the hardware instead of the software.

You may be facing an issue with the physical phone that is preventing it from going into recovery mode.

  • Have you dropped it on the ground?
  • Did it get wet?
  • Has it overheated?

If your answer to any of these questions is “yes”, take your iPhone to a repair shop. If there is a hardware issue, it cannot be fixed with a software update or restore no matter whether you use recovery mode or DFU mode.

Apple store
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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