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How To Put Your Device Into Recovery Mode (iPhone or iPad)

Recovery mode is used to fix your iPhone or iPad if it stops responding. For example, your device may get stuck on the Apple logo, hang during a restore, or freeze during an iOS update.

This mode allows you to wipe and recover a non-responsive device. It should only be used in emergencies as it will erase your device.

You also use it to jailbreak Apple devices. This isn’t recommended as it voids the warranty and can expose it to harmful viruses or Apps.

If recovery mode functionality doesn’t fix your device you can try DFU mode.

recovery mode iPhone


When should I use recovery mode?

You should try recovery mode:

  • If your device hangs or constantly reboots.
  • When you install an iOS update and it fails or hangs.
  • If your computer can no longer connect to your device.
  • If a restore fails.
  • When your device crashed after upgrading to a beta version of iOS or iPadOS.
  • If the Apple, or connect to iTunes logo freezes on your screen for several minutes.

If the steps in this guide don’t work for you I recommend trying Fixppro to get your device working again.

hung iPhone


How to put iPhone into recovery mode

Recovery mode on iPhone X or later, iPhone SE (2nd generation), iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus without a home button

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

  1. Make sure your device isn’t connected to your computer.
  2. Press and hold the side button and one of the volume buttons until the power-off slider appears.
  3. Release the volume button and drag the slider to turn off your device.
  4. Connect your computer to your iPhone while holding the Side button.
  5. Keep holding the Side button until you see the recovery screen.

Recovery mode on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus with a home button

iPhone SE (1st generation), and iPhone 6s and earlier

  1. Ensure your computer is not connected to your iPhone.
  2. Press and hold the side power button until the power-off message appears.
  3. Drag the slider to power off your phone.
  4. Connect your iPhone to your computer using the cable while holding the volume down button.
  5. Keep holding the volume down button until you put the iPhone into recovery-mode.
  6. You can now release the volume down button.

Recovery mode on iPhone SE (1st generation), and iPhone 6s or earlier with a home button

iPhone SE (1st generation), or iPhone 6s or earlier

  1. Make sure your smartphone is not physically connected to your computer.
  2. Press and hold the Side (or Top) button until the power-off message appears on the screen.
  3. Drag the slider to turn off your smartphone.
  4. Connect your iPhone to your computer sig the cable while holding the Home button.
  5. Keep holding the Home button until the iPhone recovery-mode screen appears.

How to put iPad in recovery mode

Recovery mode screen on iPads with Face ID

Many models of iPad, iPad Pro, and iPad mini have been released. If your iPad has Face ID then you should use the following method:


recovery mode on iPad with Face ID

  1. Press and hold the Top button, also called the Sleep/Wake button. At the same time, hold down the Volume Down or the Volume Up button.
  2. There will be a Slide to Power Off message that comes up on the screen.
  3. Release the volume button and drag the slider to the right, turning off the iPad Pro.
  4. Connect the iPad Pro to your computer via an Apple-approved USB cable while continuing to hold the Sleep/Wake button.
  5. Keep holding down the button till you see the recovery mode screen.

Recovery mode on iPads with a home button

If you have an iPad with the Home button and no Face ID you should:

recovery mode on iPad with home button

  1. First, turn off the device, if it is not off already.
  2. Press and hold down your On/Off button, which you will find on the top of the iPad. Keep holding it down for 3 seconds.
  3. The Slide to Power Off slider should pop up on the screen. Slide it to the right.
  4. Next, press the tablet’s Home button and hold it down.
  5. On a laptop or PC, pull up iTunes. Make sure that you are running the latest version of it.
  6. Connect the iPad to your computer via a USB cable.
  7. When you see a Connect to iTunes screen, let go of the Home button.
  8. iTunes should now inform you that it has detected the iPad. You can now go about restoring the device. Just follow the directions on the screen.

How to put a device with a broken home button in recovery mode

If you can’t physically press the buttons on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch then you should use a software tool to get to the recovery screen. A tool is also a good idea if your device won’t respond to your key presses properly.

Of all the recovery tools available I recommend Fixppro because it offers:

  • Free trial
  • High success rate
  • Ease of use
  • Fast repairs
  • Mac and PC versions
  • High levels of customer satisfaction

It allows you to repair many issues with Apple devices and allows you to:

  • Repair device stuck on Apple logo
  • Enter and exit recovery or DFU modes
  • Standard reset
  • Advanced reset

It is inexpensive for a license and it has a 30-day money-back guarantee. The trial means you can try before you buy.

  1. Download and install Fixppro on your computer
  2. Launch the software tool
    Fixppro: Fix device issues
  3. Connect your iPhone to your computer using a USB cable
    Fixppro: Connect device to computer
  4. Choose Enter recovery mode.
    Fixppro: Enter recovery mode
  5. If prompted on your device, enter the passcode.

Recovery mode FAQ’s

What if I can’t go into recovery mode?

Some reasons why this may not work:

  1. You didn’t press the correct sequence of buttons. Make sure you use the correct instructions for your particular model of iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. The sequence is different between models. It may take a few attempts.
  2. Your home button is broken or stuck so you can’t press it. You should use a 3rd party software tool like Fixppro to help.
  3. Your side or volume buttons are stuck or broken. You need to try a 3rd party software tool instead. We recommend Fixppro.

How do I exit recovery mode?

Once the recovery process has been completed then your device will restart and you will exit recovery mode. Alternatively, you can:

  1. Unplug the device completely.
  2. Power your device down by holding the power and volume down buttons (or side button, depending on your model) until it reboots.
  3. Continue holding the buttons until the Apple logo appears.
  4. Let go of the buttons and the device will start
  5. Hold down the Sleep/Wake button (or Side, depending on your model) until the iPhone turns off, and then let it go. Depending on your model, you may also need to hold the Volume Down button.
  6. Keep holding until the Apple logo reappears.
  7. Let go of the button and the device will attempt to start up.

What if recovery mode won’t work?

If you can’t resolve the issues with your device using recovery mode you should try DFU mode. If it also fails then you have a serious problem and you need to make an appointment at the Genius Bar of your nearest Apple Store to get help.

What is the difference between recovery mode and DFU mode?

Recovery mode helps fix software errors. So if an App crashes and corrupts the software on your iPhone then you can reinstall iOS and your Apps to get it working again.

Occasionally the damage done to your device might be so severe that it affects the firmware. Firmware controls the hardware within your device such as the hard disk, camera, charging port, and more.

When the firmware goes wrong none of the hardware in your device works. This means your device doesn’t know it’s an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. Your device is an unusable brick. This is where Device Firmware Update mode (DFU) comes in.

DFU Mode is a deeper method of recovery that attempts to re-write the firmware and get your device working.

How do I put an iPad in DFU Mode?

If your iPad has a home button and does not use FaceID:

  1. Connect your iPad to your Mac or Windows PC using the cable.
  2. Open iTunes on your computer.
  3. Press and hold the power button on your iPad for 3 seconds.
  4. When the Slide to power off slider appears, swipe it to turn the iPad off.
  5. Press and hold the iPad’s top button for 3 seconds.
  6. While still holding the top button, press and hold your home button for another 10 seconds.
  7. Let go of the top button, but keep pressing the home button for another 5 seconds.
  8. If you see a black screen you have done it.
  9. You should be able to restore your iPad’s firmware and software from the iTunes screen.
  10. If the iPad screen says open iTunes, then you need to try it again as you haven’t done it correctly.

If you have an iPad with Face ID:

  1. Connect your iPad to your Windows PC or Mac computer with a cable.
  2. Launch iTunes.
  3. Quickly press the volume up button, then the volume down button.
  4. Press and hold down your Power button till you see the Slide to Power Off slider.
  5. Switch the iPad off using the slider.
  6. Press and hold the power button for 3 seconds.
  7. While keeping the power button pressed hold the Volume Down button.
  8. Hold both buttons for 10 seconds.
  9. Release the power button, but continue to hold Volume Down for 5 seconds.
  10. The screen will remain black if done properly.
  11. If the Apple sign appears then you need to try the steps again.

How do I get out of DFU mode?

To exit DFU mode, press the home and power buttons until the Apple sign is displayed. This works on a device with a home button. Or press the power and volume down buttons and hold them until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

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