How To Put Your iPhone Into Recovery Mode

Owners of the iPhone know that, for the most part, the device is quite dependable. You can enjoy the many apps and features, including the latest ones that Apple works on for each new generation of the smartphone that comes out. Sometimes, though, there can be bugs or glitches that paralyze an iPhone. You don’t get the full functionality, and it can be irritating. Putting your iPhone in recovery mode is a way for you to potentially get the phone working again as it should be. Let’s talk about when it’s appropriate to put your iPhone in recovery mode, and the steps that you’ll need to take to do so.

How to Put iPhone in Recovery Mode

When Should You Put Your iPhone in Recovery Mode?

Recovery mode is something that should be attempted with your iPhone if restarting it is not working. In other words, if the device is entirely unresponsive, that would be the time to pull this trick out of your arsenal. You might also need to do it if you’ve attempted a software update with iOS, and it isn’t working. This maneuver works for iPhone, and also other Apple devices, such as the various iPad models.

Before Attempting Recovery Mode with Your iPhone, Try Restarting It

Before you jump into putting an Apple device in recovery mode, it is always best to try restarting it. This is a much less disruptive thing to do with your iPhone, and sometimes that’s all it takes to get it working once more. You do not need to back up your iPhone before you do this since none of your data will be affected.

If you have an iPhone 6 or a later model than that, you can hold down the On/Off button. It is on the left-hand side of the device, or on the top in some cases. When you see a Slide to Power Off slider come up on the display, slide it to the right. You can then hold down the On/Off button again to restart the device.

If you have the iPhone X or above, then you’ll have to press and release your Volume Up button. Do the same thing with your Volume Down button. Next, you should press and hold down the Side button. When the Slide to Power Off slider comes up, slide it to the right. After the phone powers down, you can wait a few seconds, then turn it back on by pressing the On/Off button again.

If this maneuver has failed to get your phone working again, then you’ll know that putting it in recovery mode is a viable option.

How to Put the Different Models of iPhone into Recovery Mode

A series of button presses is what it takes to put an iPhone model 8, 8 Plus, X, XS, or 11 in recovery mode.

  1. Use an Apple-approved USB cable to plug your iPhone into your Mac or PC.
  2. Open iTunes, and be sure that you are running the latest version of it.
  3. Press and then immediately release your Volume Up button, and then your Volume Down button.
  4. Press and hold your Side button next until you see a recovery mode screen on the device. This screen shows a circular iTunes logo in the middle of it and a USB cable about to connect to it.
 iTunes for iPhone Recovery Mode

If you have an iPhone 7, then follow these instructions.

  1. Turn off the iPhone, and then press and hold down your On/Off button that is on the right-hand side.
  2. Swipe the Slide to Power Off slider all the way to the right.
  3. Now, press and hold your Volume Down button.
  4. Plug the phone into your Mac or PC and make sure that the latest iTunes is running.
  5. When you see a Connect to iTunes screen on the phone, release the Volume Down button. The phone should now be in recovery mode.
iPhone Plugged into Computer

Do this to put your iPhone 6 or earlier into recovery mode.

  1. Turn off your phone if you have not done so already.
  2. Press and hold down your On/Off button on the device’s right-hand side, or on top in some cases, depending on which model you have. 
  3. Swipe the Slide to Power Off slider all the way to the right.
  4. Press and hold down your Home button.
  5. Plug your phone into a PC or Mac that is running the most recent version of iTunes.
  6. When you see a Connect to iTunes screen, then you can release the Home button. The phone should now be in recovery mode.

Once your phone is in recovery mode, then you should be able to recover earlier versions of it. That means that you’re using iTunes to assist in the restoration of the device to a version where bugs or glitches were not hampering its functionality. Putting the phone in recovery mode is regarded as a bit extreme, but it is still not the so-called nuclear option, where you’re going even deeper to try and get the phone working properly again.

That deeper option is called DFU restore mode. We’ll quickly go over that as well, just in case recovery mode didn’t work out as well as you’d hoped.

How to Put Your iPhone in DFU Restore Mode

DFU restore mode is the deepest level that you can go to before you take the phone in for repairs. It stands for device firmware update. This is a mode that you can put the phone into if you plan on fundamentally altering its software. Some individuals use it if they’re going to jailbreak their phones. 

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 Jailbreaking iPhone
  1. Plug your phone into your PC or Mac that is running the latest version of iTunes.
  2. Turn off your phone if you haven’t already.
  3. Press and quickly release your Volume Up button, and then your Volume Down button.
  4. Press your Side button until you see the Slide to Power Off slider. Slide it to the right.
  5. Press the Side button for 3 seconds. At the same time, you must press and hold down your Volume Down button.
  6. Hold both buttons down for 10 seconds. You can now release your Side button, but keep holding down the Volume Down button for an additional 5 seconds.

If you now see a Plug into iTunes screen, it means that you have put the device in recovery mode. You will need to start the process over again. The timing of this maneuver can be tricky if you have never done it before. Don’t be afraid to try again if necessary. Instructional videos also exist that you can watch on YouTube, which can be helpful.  

Now you know how to put your iPhone in recovery mode. If it is malfunctioning, then it’s helpful if you try fixes in a particular order. Restarting the device would be first, followed by putting it in recovery mode, and then going the extra mile and putting it in DFU mode if you see no alternative.

If you are not comfortable putting the device in DFU mode and recovery mode hasn’t worked, then you can always take your phone to an Apple Store to have the Geniuses look it over and figure out what is wrong with it.

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