How to Reset an Apple iPhone From Recovery Mode

by Laurel Storm
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

If your iPhone is frozen, unresponsive, stuck in a booting loop or disabled following too many incorrect passcode attempts, you'll find yourself in a bit of a catch-22 situation. Restoring your iPhone to the factory settings may solve the issue, but you can't get into the iOS settings and iTunes won't recognize the device, making both of the usual restore methods inaccessible to you. If that's the case, you can still restore your iPhone to the factory settings by placing it in recovery mode.

Step 1

Press and hold the Sleep / Wake button on your iPhone. Once the red slider appears, slide it to switch your iPhone completely off. If the red slider doesn't appear, hold both the Sleep / Wake and the Home buttons down until your iPhone turns off, then release them.

Step 2

Connect the USB end of the cable to your computer.

Step 3

Hold the Home button on your iPhone and connect the other end of the USB cable to it. When the "Connect to iTunes" screen appears, release the button. At this point, iTunes opens automatically and notifies you that your iPhone is in recovery mode.

Click "OK" and then click "Restore" to start the restore process.


  • If you restore your iPhone to factory settings, you will lose all data on it unless you have a recent backup.


  • If your iPhone won't switch off, the issue is likely not one you can solve yourself -- you will need to get your iPhone repaired (see Resources).
  • If iTunes doesn't open automatically, launch it manually.
  • If you see a battery rather than the "Connect to iTunes" screen, let your iPhone charge for at least ten minutes and then start the process over from the beginning.


Photo Credits

  • Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

About the Author

Laurel Storm has been writing since 2001, and helping people with technology for far longer than that. Some of her articles have been published in "Messaggero dei Ragazzi", an Italian magazine for teenagers. She holds a Master of Arts in writing for television and new media from the University of Turin.

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