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When Should We Use Recovery Mode on iPhone/iPad/iPod

By Carrie Murray, Thursday, October 13, 2016

In the last post, we have introduced what recovery mode is and how to enter recovery mode. So when should we use recovery mode to fix problems on our iPhone, iPad and iPod? You'll find the answer in this article.

You should put your iPhone/iPad/iPod in recovery mode when you see:

"Connect to iTunes" Screen on iPhone/iPad/iPod

When you try to get a OTA update for, say, iOS 10, the "Connect to iTunes" screen suddenly shows up. This means that there is an error happening during the iOS update and your device have entered the recovery mode automatically.

Connect to iTunes Screen


Firstly, you could try to restart your iOS device:

For an iPhone 6s and earlier, iPad, or iPod touch: Long press both the "Sleep/Wake" and "Home" buttons simutaneously for at least ten seconds, until you see the Apple logo.

For an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus: Press and hold both the "Sleep/Wake" and "Volume Down" buttons. Don't release the two buttons until you see the Apple logo.

Restart iPhone 7 and iPhone 6

But most of the time a restart would not work. For example, this year when iPhone/iPad bricked during iOS 10 OTA update, a restart didn't work and we needed to connect our devices to iTunes and reinstall iOS in recovery mode.

Step 1. Make sure your iTunes has been updated to the newest version.

Step 2. Use lightning cable to connect your iOS device to iTunes.

Step 3. You'll get the message "The software on iPhone/iPad/iPod needs to be restored to factory settings or updated".

Restore or Update Message

Step 4. Click "Update" to reinstall iOS and so that you can keep personal data . If you choose "Restore", it will delete all contents in your device.

iOS Device Stuck at An Apple Logo

The error often happens when you try to restore your device from a backup. An apple logo appears on your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch screen with no progress bar. And users who attempt to jailbreak their devices also encounter the problem sometimes.

iPhone Stuck at Apple Logo


To get your device out of the problem, you need to force a restart on the device to recovery mode.

Step 1. Connect your device to a computer via USB cable. Then launch iTunes on the computer.

Step 2. If you are using iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, press and hold the "Sleep/Wake" and "Volume Down" buttons at the same time until you see the recovery mode screen. For users of iPhone 6s and earlier, iPad, or iPod touch, press and hold both the "Sleep/Wake" and "Home" buttons until the recovery mode screen appears.

Step 3. When you get the option to restore or update your device, click "Update". iTunes will try to reinstall iOS to your device without erasing to data. If iTunes takes more than 15 minutes to download iOS and your device exits the recovery mode, enter the recovery mode again and try for another time.

iTunes Couldn't Recognize Your Device

You could also face the situation when you try to get an iOS update. iTunes can't recognize your iOS device and says the device is in recovery mode.

Step 1. Close your iTunes. And re-open iTunes after you have connected your device to your computer.

Step 2. Put your device into recovery mode.

Step 3. Click "Update" first to reinstall iOS. But if it takes more than 15 minutes and your device exits recovery mode. Re-enter recovery mode and try "Restore". Restoring your device in recovery mode will wipe out all personal data. But you can then restore a iTunes or iCloud backup and recover the deleted data via FonePaw iPhone Data Recovery.

Verify to Restore iOS Device

Device is Disable Because of Wrong Passcode

You forget the passcode for your iPhone/iPad/iPod. After entering the wrong passcode for several times, you get a message saying that the device is disable. If you've never synced your iDevice with iTunes or set up of Find My iPhone, you should force your device into recovery mode to erase all content, including its passcode.

iPhone is Disable

Step 1. Shut down your device.

Step 2. Connect your device to computer and open iTunes on the computer.

Step 3. Put your device into recovery mode.

Step 4. When you see the pop-up window on iTunes with the option "Restore" or "Update", choose "Restore". You can then set up and use the device.


  • If you previously backed up your device with iTunes or iCloud, you can restore from the backup.

  • If you find data missing after the restoring, FonePaw iPhone Data Recovery is able to get it back.

Now you know when to use iOS recovery mode to fix problems on your problem. Share with your friends to let more people to know the tricks.

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