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How to Force Restart an iPhone and Enter Recovery Mode

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What do you mean by “recovery mode”? If your iPhone has major issues, you will need to use this function. It’s not always easy to set up an iPhone in recovery mode. This is especially true since each device has a different process.

No matter what model your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch is, we’ll show how to set it in recovery mode.

Force Restarting and iPhone Recovery Mode explained

It is unlikely that you will need to force restart your iPhone too often. You also won’t have to set it into recovery mode very often. It’s still important to be prepared for the worst.

If your device is completely unresponsive and it’s not possible to shut it down using the normal method, you can force restart it. Force restart is the same as pulling the power plug on a desktop computer. It forces your iPhone to shut off and then start back up.

This mode allows you to reinstall iOS from your iPhone by connecting it to a computer with iTunes or using Finder on macOS Catalina. To rescue your iPhone if it refuses to start or crashes during startup, you will need to put it into recovery mode.

All data on your iPhone will be lost if you reinstall iOS. It is not a problem if you regularly backup your iPhone . This can be done using iCloud, iTunes or Finder. You can’t back up your device in recovery mode as it will not offer the ability to restore the firmware.

If your iPhone won’t turn on and you don’t have a backup, there is nothing you can do.

How to enter Recovery Mode on iPhone 8, iPhone X and iPhone 11?

All iPhone models with Face ID (including the iPhone 8), use the same steps to force restart and enter Recovery Mode. These steps work for the iPhone 8/8 Plus and iPhone X, XS XR, iPhone 11 lines, second-generation iPhone SEs, iPhone 12 series and iPhone 13 devices.

These button combinations will need to be performed quickly. You can try again, but faster, if they don’t work the first time.

How to force restart an iPhone 8 or newer

  1. Then, press the Volume up button.
  2. Press immediately and then release the Volume Down button.
  3. Keep the Side button down until you see an Apple logo. When you see the logo, release the button.

How to put an iPhone 8 or newer into Recovery Mode

  1. Connect your iPhone with a computer
    1. Launch iTunes on a Windows PC, Mac or Mac running macOS Mojave earlier. Open Finder on a Mac with macOS Catalina and newer. If iTunes was running, you may have to close it and reopen it.
  2. Then, press the Volume up button.
  3. Press immediately and then release the Volume Down button.
  4. Hold the Side key and hold it until you see the Apple logo.
  5. Continue holding the Side key until you see the recovery-mode screen.

How to enter Recovery Mode on iPhone 7/7 Plus or iPod Touch

The iPhone 7/7 Plus is the first iPhone model without a mechanical home button. This means that the Home button does not work when the phone’s turned off. Apple had to modify the recovery mode shortcuts and force restart for the first time since launch of the iPhone in 2007.

These steps can also be used to force the seventh-generation iPod Touch to restart, which was released in 2019. This is the current version of the iPod touch.

Restarting your iPhone 7 or 7 Plus by force

  1. Hold the Side and Top buttons on your iPod touch.
  2. Hold the buttons down until the Apple logo appears. Then, let go.

How to put the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus into Recovery Mode

  1. Connect your iPhone with a computer
    1. Launch iTunes on a Windows PC, Mac or Mac running macOS Mojave earlier. Open Finder on a Mac with macOS Catalina and newer. If iTunes was running, you may have to close it and reopen it.
  2. Hold the Side and Top buttons on your iPod touch. Also, press and hold the Volume Down buttons simultaneously.
  3. If you do not see the Apple logo, continue holding the buttons.
  4. When you see the recovery mode screen, release both buttons and then follow the steps (explained further).

iPhone 6s or Older: Entering Recovery Mode

Apple’s final iPhone without a mechanical home button was the iPhone 6s. It was released in 2015. These steps are applicable to that device as well as the iPhones before it. This applies to the Plus models, the first-generation iPhone SE and the sixth-generation iPod touch, as well as all previous iPhones.

How to force restart the iPhone 6s or older

  1. Hold both the Home And Side (or Top ) buttons.
    1. The Side buttons are located on the right side of the iPhone 6 or later. The Top button for the iPhone 5s or earlier is located on the top of the device as you would expect.
  2. Release the buttons once you see the Apple logo.

How to put the iPhone 6s or older into Recovery Mode

  1. Connect your iPhone with a computer
    1. Launch iTunes on a Windows PC, Mac or Mac running macOS Mojave earlier. Open Finder on a Mac with macOS Catalina and newer. If iTunes was running, you may have to close it and reopen it.
  2. As mentioned above, press and hold the Home, Side, or Top buttons.
  3. Continue holding the buttons until you see the Apple logo.
  4. Upon seeing the recovery mode screen, release both buttons.

How to force restart and enter recovery mode on iPad

Do you need to force restart your iPad or use the recovery mode? It’s easy.

These procedures can be performed on iPad models with a Home button. Follow the instructions above for iPhone 6s or earlier. To perform these procedures, press and hold both the Top as well as the Home buttons simultaneously. If you wish to force restart the computer, you can release the buttons when you see it. Or you can hold down if you wish to enter recovery mode.

For iPads with Face ID, the following steps can be used to force restart an iPhone 8 or later. In that order, press and release the Volume up, Vol Down and Top buttons.

Keep in mind that the power button on iPad models has located on the top and not the side.

How to recover your iPhone using Recovery Mode

After you have put your device in recovery mode following the instructions above, it will take you 15 minutes to reinstall iOS or iPadOS. Your device will then exit recovery mode. If this happens, you’ll need to do it again using the same combination of button presses.

The recovery prompt (illustrated below) may appear as soon as your device enters the mode. To see the recovery prompt, click on your device (on either the left sidebar or the Devices Icon at the top-left iTunes)

If you get an error message such as the one below, please try the update option first. This will attempt to update the device without erasing any data. You can also choose Restore to reinstall iOS and iPadOS, as well as remove all data from your iPhone or iPad.

After your iPhone restarts after the restore, you will need to go through the setup once again as if it were a brand new iPhone. Logging in with your Apple ID credentials is part of this process to remove Apple Activation Lock. This security feature prevents anyone else from using your device if it is reset without signing out.

Never purchase a secondhand iPhone from a seller who refuses to unlock it for you. If your reset phone has Activation Lock enabled, it will ask you for the owner’s Apple ID before the setup process can begin.

iPhone Recovery Mode Made Simple

We have shown you how to force restart an iPhone or iPad and enter recovery mode using the respective button combinations for each model of iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Although it’s simple once you understand the process, the confusing combination of buttons can be confusing. These buttons won’t be used often if at all, it is possible.

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