How To Put Your iPhone in Recovery Mode

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iPhone RestoreGadgets can be unreliable. Yes, even the ones made by Apple. While Apple’s penchant for perfection yields robust devices like the iPhone, it is still a machine at the end of the day and could go kaput due to reasons unknown to you.

Perhaps it freezes, it keeps restarting continuously or you were attempting to jailbreak it (or you already did) and need to restore it to its original state. Whatever is the reason, putting your iPhone in recovery mode will allow you to restore your device while at the same time getting rid of any issues that might be affecting it.

But before we continue, let’s clarify the difference between DFU mode and Recovery mode, since even experienced users sometimes confuse both terms:

  • When you put your iPhone or other iOS device into Recovery mode, it will load iBoot, a bootloader that allows it to restore the iOS device from its current or latest firmware version.
  • DFU mode on the other hand is used to bypass the standard restoring procedures and allows you to perform other, more advanced operations, such as loading custom firmware on your iOS device and even to downgrade it from its current iOS version.

Now that the difference is clear, here are the instructions to put your iPhone in Recovery mode.

Note: The process described below works for any iOS device running iOS 5 or upwards. For this process we will use an iPhone. And if the Home or Power button on your device isn’t working, you may want to check our post on how to use Recboot to force your iPhone into Recovery mode.

Steps to Put Your iPhone in Recovery Mode

Step 1: Plug your iPhone’s USB cable to your computer’s USB port. Do not plug it to your iPhone yet.

Step 2: Verify that your iPhone is fully charged. Then turn off your iPhone by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake button (located at the top right of your device) for a few seconds until the red slider to turn your iPhone off appears. Slide it and wait until your iPhone is completely off.

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Turning iPhone Off

Tip: If for some reason you can’t turn off your iPhone this way, then press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons all at the same time. Your iPhone will finally turn off. Once it does, release all the buttons.

Step 3: With your iPhone off, press and hold the Home button. While doing so, connect the USB cable to your iPhone. The device should turn on.

Step 4: Keep holding the Home button until the screen pictured below appears. Once it does, you can release the Home button.

iPhone Connect to iTunes

If iTunes is open or you opened it to use it, you will see the following message displayed on the iTunes screen.

iTunes Recovery

Your iPhone is now ready to be restored. If you run into any problems, do not hesitate to let us know in the comments.

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  • Gozie

    Please, i am trying to put my iphone4 in recovery but when i hold down the power button and plug it in, it just starts booting without going into recovery.

    • helper

      you have to press and hold the home button, not the power button.

  • blittle1

    My Iphone5 goes into recovery mode but in Windows 7/64 I get the popup “Itunes could not connect to this Iphone, An unknown error occurred, 0xE8000065.”

    I’ve reinstalled Itunes, the USB driver, restarted the proper services. I suspect a bad cable.

    • tay

      its the computer

  • jonathan

    my iphone 5 go to recovery mode by itself after an uncomplete update …. don’t know what to do ????

  • nnnbbb

    I did so but what now? How long do I have to wait until it´s done? It seems like nothing is happening

    • Dgfd

      Yes same here

  • Michael Richard Cybulak

    it wont go in to recovery mode for me iphone 5

  • dil

    my i phone has dropped yesterday since then it is on recovery mode when it connects to the i tunes keep on asking passcode which i cannot enter with recovery mode… need help

  • eryn

    the recovery message wont show up?

  • Kayy

    iphone4, broken button but gets to recovery mode and then just unplugs itself half way through update, HELPPPP!

  • tyreek

    I got this iphone but both the home button and the power button does not work and i want to put it into recovery mode

  • k_zephyr

    Instead of the iTunes icon, what my phone’s screen showed was a CD with a music note on it. Also, no message popped up in the iTunes window :/

  • Lunnly

    If you backup your data with iTunes, then you can use Vibosoft iTunes data recovery software, I used it to get backup my lost contacts. Hope it can help you.

  • Jeccia
  • hannah

    it worked, thankyou!!

  • Jamie

    I did everything, but the itunes screen never opened

  • Kat

    my phone is completely dead and will not charge even after buying a new charger. I called apple yesterday and they told me i needed to try recovery mode, but i don’t see how this would work if my phone won’t turn on to begin with! I kept explaining this to them and they just didn’t get it. Now I have to return my new phone and get a refurbished one. I hate apple products. NEVER AGAIN.

  • Kat

    Also, my phone is an iPhone 5 and I’ve only had it for 6 months. I can’t believe the battery isn’t working already.

  • Hugo

    Well it seems to be working for mine, I’m running Windows 7/64 and its now on a hard factory rest mode that is going to take 3 hours to accomplished. Took it about 1 minute and a few seconds to start up. Thank you guys for the awesome help.

  • sanad

    my iphone 5s stopped working..when it is plugged it is working but not charging more than 91%…when i tried to power on the iphone it wil appear a white screen with apple logo. but doesnt open

  • EddiePete

    My iphone 4s is jail broken and will not allow me to put in recovery mode.

  • o0okillem99

    My iphone 4 wont show up at all?

  • nate

    Every time i would connect my iphone to itunes and restore it about more than half way an error would pop up

  • Seby

    Everytime i put it in recovery mode, i get a ‘failed’ pop up that says i can’t restore it..why?

  • Seby

    Error 3194 error 17…w.e

  • h0ck3y

    I did all the steps you explained above, itunes then pops up saying the phone was fully restored and will restart. The phone goes black then shows the screen to connect to itunes again. Says it must be restored again. I’ve attempted it multiple times, same issue. I’ve updated itunes, restarted the computer, changed USB cords, changed USB outlets but still can’t get it to restore. Please help.

  • diamond

    it says that the iphone software update server could not be contacted

  • antonio

    it works good and starts doing the download but than in the middle of the download it disconnects from it and turns on normally and i cant finish doing it!

  • Andy Pollak

    i did the recovery mode but now it keeps going to the on the screen