How to Fix iPhone 3G from Restore Mode

by Contributor

Your iPhone 3G is stuck in Restore Mode or Recovery Mode and you're ready to stomp it on the ground. You searched the web for a solution and it seems like a run around for tech support. Try these steps to get your iPhone 3G back.


The quickest way to fix your iPhone 3G is to sync it to a different computer. When you do this the computer will recognize it as a new device and install the software on it like it's never been used before, that said everything you have on it is gone. It may take a while so be patient.


If step one is successful you can sync it to your computer. It will recognize that it is synced with another computer and ask you if you want to sync it to this one; go ahead and do it. This may take a while too because you will install the applications, songs, data, etc. you had on it before. WARNING! DO NOT DISCONNECT YOUR iPhone 3G WHILE SYNC IS IN PROGRESS OR ELSE YOU WILL BE STUCK IN RESTORE MODE AGAIN!


If steps 1 and 2 did not work or you do not have another computer to sync it with the following steps will help.

iPhone Restore Mode

Backup your music, videos, and applications. Typically it would be the iTunes folder in the My Music folder. This is a precautionary step to the following steps to come, your music should be unaffected but stranger things have happened.


Uninstall iTunes, Quicktime, and other Apple component software from your computer. Follow the steps listed on the Apple Support page, "Removing iTunes, QuickTime, and other software components for Windows XP" the link is available in the resources section. Restart your computer when done.


To be sure everything is uninstalled completely run the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility. This program removes remnants of uninstalled programs from your registry and deletes files that the uninstall fail to catch. You can download and read more about this program from the Microsoft Help and Support Page, "Description of the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility" the link is available in the resources section. Restart your computer.


If you have a registry cleanup utility like Registry Mechanic or CCleaner run the program and restart your computer. It is sad to say but the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility may not catch everything so having a secondary cleaner could be essential.

iTunes 8

Install the latest version of iTunes. Currently iTunes 8 is the latest, it could change tomorrow so download it from Restart your computer.

iPhone Software Update 2.1

Open iTunes and connect your iPhone 3G. It may take a while for it to recognize the phone, be patient. Once iTunes recognizes your phone it will prompt you to download the latest iPhone software, the current version is 2.1. Follow the installation instructions in the Apple iPhone - Software Update page, the link is available in the resources section. WARNING! DO NOT DISCONNECT YOUR iPhone 3G WHILE SYNC IS IN PROGRESS OR ELSE YOU WILL BE STUCK IN RESTORE MODE AGAIN!


Hopefully these steps helped you recover your iPhone 3G. It is possible that even after a successful recovery your phone may revert back to being stuck. In my experience I was able to save my iPhone 3G from restore mode but when I downloaded the software update it got stuck again, luckily steps 1 and 2 fixed it.


  • check Backup. Backup. Backup your files!
  • check If you are unsure of what to do ask a technician for help.
  • check If your phone is still under warranty or you have a protection plan see about getting it replaced.


  • close Backup. Backup. Backup your files! Uninstalling, removing, deleting files from your computer always poses a risk of data loss and corruption.
  • close You are responsible for any data lost or corrupted during this process.
  • close This article is based on personal experience, results may vary.

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