What Happens if Your iPhone Gets Stuck on the Little Apple Logo?

By Starr Kang

Troubleshoot an unresponsive iPhone.
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When your iPhone becomes stuck on the Apple logo, it could be a simple problem that can be fixed by charging or resetting your device; however, it also could indicate a more serious issue that requires a restoration or even replacement. When troubleshooting your device, begin with the most basic steps and then progress to the more advanced steps.

Charging and Restting Your iPhone

When your iPhone's battery charge is low, your iPhone may appear frozen on the Apple logo before shutting off. Additionally, if the charge is too low, the phone will remain on the Apple logo until it has sufficient charge to power on. Verify that you phone's battery is charged before continuing to troubleshoot the device. If the screen appears stuck on the Apple logo, attempt to power the device off and back on by holding the "sleep/wake button." If, after powering your phone back on, it freezes on the Apple logo, hard reset the device by simultaneously holding the "home" and "sleep/wake" buttons until your phone powers down. Turn the phone back on, and check to see whether the issue is resolved.

Restoring your iPhone

If your iPhone remains stuck on the Apple logo, is fully charged and you've tried a hard reset, you may need to restore your device through iTunes. Ensure that you are running the latest version of iTunes and that your computer is running the latest version of the iOS by running "Software Update" found under the "Apple" menu on a Macintosh or running "Apple Software Update" found in the "Start" menu on a Windows-based machine. Launch iTunes, and connect your iPhone to your computer. Click on your iPhone under "Devices," and select the "Summary" menu. Click "Restore," and press the "Restore" button in the pop-up window. Keep in mind that if you have a large amount of media, particularly photos, stored on your device, then the restore process could take a few hours to complete.

Errors when Restoring Your iPhone

Sometimes an iPhone restore fails, and iTunes displays an error message. If this occurs, the iPhone may remain stuck on the Apple logo with a bar status bar underneath. In these cases, you should disconnect your iPhone, and disconnect any peripheral devices, except your mouse and keyboard; this includes printers, USB hubs, scanners and any other external devices. You should also check your firewall and security software settings, because these applications can slow down or block the connection between the iTunes application and Apple. If you are unable to adjust these applications’ settings, temporarily disable these applications. Attempt to restore your iPhone again.

Additional Troubleshooting Steps

If the previous steps fail, try logging out of your user account and attempt to restore your iPhone from a different user account. If this doesn't work, try reinstalling the iTunes software. To reinstall the software on a Macintosh computer, delete the application by dragging it to the trash and then remove the Apple Mobile Device kernel and packages. If you're using a Windows-based computer, you'll have to delete, in order, iTunes, QuickTime, Apple Software Update, Bonjour and Apple Application Support, before reinstalling iTunes. If these steps fail to resolve the issue, you can try restoring your iPhone from Device Firmware Update (DFU) mode.

Entering DFU Mode

If you've attempted to restore your iPhone and it remains unresponsive, you can attempt to put the phone into Device Firmware Update (DFU) mode and then restore it. DFU mode won't address Internet connectivity issues between your computer and Apple's server, but it will allow you to reinstall the firmware. Power off your iPhone, and connect it to your computer. Simultaneously press and hold the "sleep/wake" and "home" buttons for exactly eight to 10 seconds, then release the "sleep/wake" button, but continue to hold the "home" button for five seconds before releasing it. The iPhone screen should remain black, and you can again attempt to restore your phone through iTunes. If DFU mode fails or you cannot enter DFU mode, consider bringing your phone to Apple for repair.

Repairing Your iPhone

Apple stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers can troubleshoot your iPhone to determine whether it can be repaired or needs replacement. Alternatively, you can contact phone technical support to request a replacement. If your iPhone is still covered by the limited warranty or the AppleCare Protection Plan, you can receive a repair or replacement at no cost. The out-of-warranty repair or replacement cost is $199 for the iPhone 4S and $149 for all previous models, as of September 2012. If you request replacement over the phone, a $6.95 shipping charge will also be added, unless your phone is covered by the AppleCare Protection Plan.