How to Fix iPhone Stuck in Recovery Mode after Failed Update

Are you trying to fix your iPhone that is stuck in recovery mode after a failed update? 

Apple user or not, it is well known that their devices such as the iPhone get longer software support compared to its competition. This means longer support for new features, performance optimization, and security updates. 

While this obviously prolongs the life of your iPhone, it is unfortunate if the actual update causes problems with your device. If you look up this issue on Apple Support Community, you will find tons of queries about their iPhone being stuck on recovery mode after a failed update. 

Now, there are a few reasons as to why this kind of issue occurs like a problematic software update, insufficient storage available on your device, or improper update procedures. Whatever the case is, we are here to help you out.

Today, we are going to show you a few tweaks that you can do on your device to address the problem with your iPhone stuck in recovery mode after a failed update. 

Let’s get started. 



1. Force Restart Your iPhone. 

Force restart is a handy feature on iPhones and other iOS devices that is similar to a soft reset/restart. The only difference with force restart is that you can do it even if the phone’s user interface is inaccessible just like if you are stuck in recovery mode.

Depending on the generation of iPhone that you are using, the way to force restart may vary across different models. See the methods below to guide you on how to force restart your specific iPhone model. 

For iPhones with Face ID (SE 2nd Gen, 8, 8+, X, and higher models) you can force restart it by doing the steps below. 

  1. First, press and release immediately the Volume Up button
  2. After that press and quickly release the Volume Down button
  3. Lastly, press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears. 


Now, on iPhone 7 and 7+, the procedure might be a little different. To force restart your iPhone, press and hold the Volume down button + Sleep/Wake button until the Apple logo appears. 



On the other hand, if you are using iPhones older than the 7 and 7+, you can force restart your device by holding down the Sleep/Wake button together with the Home button until the Apple startup screen appears. 


iPhone stuck in recovery mode


If you are able to startup your iPhone after a force restart, you can try to update your device once again by using iTunes on your computer. Before attempting the update, remove any external device connected to your computer except the mouse and keyboard. 

Now, follow the steps below to guide you on how to update your iPhone using your computer and iTunes:

  1. First, connect your iPhone to your computer using the lightning cable. 
  2. On the side menu, locate your iPhone and click it. 
  3. After that, click on General or Settings
  4. Next, click on Check for Update
  5. If available, click on Download and Update. Follow the on-screen prompts to install the update on your iPhone

iPhone stuck in recovery mode


Wait for the update to finish and see if your iPhone would still be stuck on recovery mode after the update. 



2. Use iTunes to Restore Your iPhone. 

If a simple force restart was not enough to fix the issue with your iPhone being stuck on recovery mode, you can try restoring your iPhone using iTunes to resolve the issue. 

Now, if you have a backup on your computer, then you are good to go. However, if you don’t have a backup of your iPhone on your computer, keep in mind that this procedure will wipe out all of your user data.

  1. First, connect your iPhone to your computer and wait for iTunes to recognize your device.
  2. After that, iTunes will automatically detect that your device is in recovery mode. A prompt will appear asking you to restore your iPhone. 
  3. Lastly, click on Restore iPhone and follow the on-screen prompts to continue with the procedure. 

iPhone stuck in recovery mode


Once done, your iPhone will startup normally. The restoration procedure would also automatically install the latest version of iOS on your device so that you won’t have to deal with it anymore. 



3. Use Third-Party Software. 

Aside from iTunes, there are other programs from other software manufacturers that are designed to resolve software issues with your iPhone. Usually, these programs have advanced features and tools that are not available on iTunes. 

If restoring your iPhone via iTunes did not work, then you can try third-party repair tools to fix booting problems with your device. When it comes to selection, there are tons of iOS repair tools to choose from, but we recommend that you use tools that are free and avoid programs that have monthly or yearly subscriptions. 

On the other hand, if you are not comfortable using third-party software to address the issue with your device, then you can proceed to the last method below to address the issue. 



4. Contact Apple. 

If none of the methods above worked in fixing the problem with your iPhone being stuck in recovery mode, then you should ask for professional help. We strongly recommend that you bring your iPhone to the nearest Apple Store on your location. Your phone might have issues with its hardware or software that needs repairs. 


iPhone stuck in recovery mode


In addition, you can always write a feedback to Apple to voice out your concern on their latest software update, which made your phone unusable. This way, we can help them in collecting user data relevant to improve their products and software updates. 

This wraps up our guide on how to fix the problem with your iPhone stuck in recovery mode after a failed update. If you come across other solutions on how to resolve this kind of issue on iPhone, kindly share it in the comment section below, and we would be glad to give you credit for the solution once this article gets updated. 😀


If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂



  • John Sixto

    John is a staff writer at Saint and comes from a SAP ABAP development background. He has a Bachelors in IT and has been writing since 2018, with over 500 posts published. He loves to build PCs and has a deep curiosity in understanding how different components and configurations work. John spends hundreds of hours at a time, researching and testing the software and apps, before he proceeds to write about it. LinkedIn X (Twitter) Website

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