How to Get Pictures Off an iPhone in Recovery Mode (12 Steps)

by Kimberly Turtenwald
Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The iPhone allows you to enter recovery mode to reboot your phone when there's a serious issue. In the past when you put your phone into recovery mode, you had no choice but to reset the phone to its original factory settings. Resetting your phone to its original settings means losing all of your data, including your pictures. If you want to recover your photos after you enter recovery mode, you must back out of recovery mode without restoring the original settings.

With Backup

Step 1

Turn off the iPhone with the power button. If it won't respond to the power button, hold the "Home" and "Sleep" buttons until it shuts off.

Step 2

Plug the iPhone into the computer through the USB plug and start your iTunes software.

Step 3

Hold the "Home" and "Sleep" buttons simultaneously for 10 seconds.

Step 4

Release the "Sleep" button at 10 seconds, but keep the "Home" button pressed for 10 more seconds.

Step 5

Click "OK" on the screen that appears letting you know the phone is connected to iTunes.

Step 6

Wait for the phone to restore itself to its original factory settings.

Sync the phone to transfer the data from the backup file on iTunes.

Without Backup

Step 1

Download the free iRecovery software for changing the iPhone in and out of recovery mode.

Step 2

Install the software. If you have a Windows operating system newer than XP, install the iRecovery software using XP compatibility mode to ensure proper operation.

Step 3

Run the software by typing the command "iRecovery -s" into the device.

Step 4

Input the following commands in order to bring the phone out of recovery mode: "setenv auto-boot true," "saveenv" and "/exit." Wait a few seconds between entering each command.

Press and hold the "Home" and "Sleep" buttons on the phone to reboot it. The phone should reboot in normal mode with your data, including your pictures, intact. If it doesn't work, repeat the process. It sometimes takes a couple of times to work correctly.


  • If you use Windows, you must also install LibUsb-Win 32 for the iRecovery software to work.

Photo Credits

  • Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

About the Author

Kimberly Turtenwald began writing professionally in 2000. She has written content for various websites, including Lights 2 You, Online Consultation, Corpus Personal Injury and more. Turtenwald studied editing and publishing at Wisconsin Lutheran College.

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