How To Use iPhone Recovery Mode (The #1 Method For All Models)

By Michael Grothaus •  Updated: 09/04/19 •  4 min read

If something goes really wrong with your iPhone and resetting the device does not work, you need to use Recovery Mode. Recovery Mode for iPhone (and iPad and iPod) essentially lets you put your iPhone in a stable environment, so you can reinstall a newer version of iOS on it.

If you’re having a lot of issues with the software on your iPhone or the performance is lagging noticeably, there could be problems with its software. If there are problems with iOS, a simple reset will not fix it – you need to take more drastic measures. This is where Recovery Mode comes in…

MORE: Check Out Our Guide To The #1 iPhone Models (For Value For Money) 

Of course, it goes without saying that you will need to back up your iPhone before using Recovery Mode. Failure to do this will result in you losing everything stored on your phone, so make sure you back-up before you use Recovery Mode.

Got it? Good! Here’s how you use Recovery Mode on the iPhone…

How To Access Recovery Mode on iPhone 8, iPhone X, iPhone XS & iPhone XR

How To Access Recovery Mode on iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus

The iPhone 7 series still has a Home button, but it’s a Force Touch key rather than a physical clicker. As such, similar to the iPhone 8 and onwards, the iPhone 7 series uses the volume keys for controlling Recovery Mode.

However, it operates a little differently from the iPhone 8 series and up.

iPhone 6s Series & Earlier Recovery Mode (Also iPad & iPod Recovery Mode)

How To Get An iPhone Out Of Recovery Mode

Once you’re done using Recovery Mode, it is important that you exit the tool in the correct manner. Just as with most things in the world of tech, simply pulling out the cable can – and has been known – to cause issues, so it’s always advisable to follow the current procedure when existing Recovery Mode.

The following steps show you exactly how to exit Recovery Mode in a correct and safe manner:

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Michael Grothaus

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.
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