There are times when you simply can't update your iPhone/iPad to the latest iOS/iPadOS 17 for now or restore your iPhone or iPad to factory settings using the usual way due to some weird errors, right? You then opt to use recovery mode to restore your iOS device via iTunes, to get the issue resolved. But, what if the iPhone/iPad recovery mode not working and how would you fix it? Well! We've tailored this post specifically to guide the users to resolve such a troublesome issue.

Why Is iPhone/iPad Recovery Mode Not Working?

Let's first learn why is recovery mode not working on your iDevice. The possible causes for this are – iTunes doesn't work normally, improper firmware installation , iDevice unable to connect to a server, hardware problem and so on.

Let's now uncover the solutions to get it fixed.

iPhone in recovery mode

1. Update iTunes to Bypass Not Working Recovery Mode

The first solution to the iPhone/iPad recovery mode not working issue is updating iTunes or the macOS if your Mac is running macOS Catalina or above. Most issues with iOS devices get fixed when the apps and operating systems are updated. Here are the steps

Mac Catalina or later

  • From Apple menu, choose System Preferences and then Software Update to check for the latest updates.
  • If any updates are available, click Update Now to install.

Mac Computer with iTunes

  • Launch App Store on Mac > Updates > check macOS/iTunes updates > If yes > Click Update.

update iTunes in Mac

Windows Computer

  • iTunes downloaded from Apple website > launch iTunes > Help > Check for Updates > Install.
  • iTunes downloaded from the Microsoft Store (no "Check for Updates" on the menu) will be automatically updated.

update iTunes in Windows

2. Force Restart iPhone/iPad to Fix Recovery Mode Not Working Issue

You can also try fixing the iPhone/iPad recovery mode not working problem by force restarting it. Minor issues with iDevice get resolved this way. The method varies from different iDevice models. Let's follow the steps below to do it.

For iPhone 8/X/11/12 and iPad without Home button:

  1. Tap and instantly leave the Volume Up button.
  2. Repeat the same with the Volume Down button.
  3. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the Apple logo appears.

force restart iPhone X

For iPhone 7/7 Plus:

  1. Hold down the Sleep/Wake and Volume Down buttons simultaneously.
  2. Release when you see the Apple logo appearing.

hard reboot iPhone 7

For iPhone 6/5 or older models and iPad with Home button:

  1. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons concurrently.
  2. Leave when the Apple logo appears.

hard reboot iPhone 6

3. Check Apple Mobile Device USB Driver

Sometimes, iTunes fails to recognize your iPhone/iPad in recovery mode because the Apple Mobile Device USB driver is not or improperly installed. So you can check Device Manager to see if the Apple Mobile Device USB driver is correctly installed. Follow these steps to open Device Manager:

  • Press the Windows and R key on your keyboard to open the Run command.
  • In the Run window, enter devmgmt.msc, then click OK. Device Manager should open.
  • Locate and expand the Universal Serial Bus controllers section.
  • Look for the Apple Mobile Device USB driver and check whether it's working normally.

USB cable

4. Try an iTunes Alternative without Data Loss

When the above solutions turn futile in resolving the iPhone/iPad recovery mode not working problem. You can try an iTunes alternative to update or restore your iDevice. The best option, in this case, is iMyFone Fixppo (iOS/iPadOS 17 supported).

Apart from fixing the iPhone/iPad recovery mode not working issue, it can also unlock your locked device with its "Reset iDevices" mode.

Limited Time 10% OFF Coupon Code for iMyFone Fixppo: YTR5E7

Here is the detailed guide on using the "Standard Mode" of iMyFone Fixppo.

Step 1: Download, install, and launch the latest version of iMyFone Fixppo on your computer. Now, tap on the "Standard Mode" to initiate the process. Then, get your device connected to the PC and click "Next".

fixppo standard mode

Step 2: If your device can be detected directly, then keep going. If your device can not be detected, iMyFone Fixppo will ask you to put the device in DFU/Recovery Mode. Go for the "Recovery Mode" and proceed with the on-screen procedures.

enter DFU mode under Standard mode

Step 3:  After the program detects your iPhone/iPad. You need to confirm the information regarding your iPhone/iPad here. You can choose a suitable firmware version on the drop-down menu if there is more than one option. After that, click "Download" to begin the process. If there is no firmware or you want to install other signed firmware, you can download it somewhere else and then click "Select it" to install it on your iDevice.

download firmware

Once the firmware has been downloaded, click "Start to Fix" on the iMyFone interface. It will automatically repair the iPhone/iPad and resolve the recovery mode not working problem.

finished fixing your device

5. Try iTunes Again Using DFU Mode (Erase iPhone)

Another method for fixing the iPhone/iPad recovery mode not working issue is putting the device into DFU mode and restoring it via iTunes. Though, in this mode data loss is prevalent. Think twice before you try this way if you don't have a backup before. Here are the steps for all the iPhone/iPad models.

    • Step 1: Launch the iTunes on your computer and get your iPhone/iPad connected to it. Ensure iTunes is running on the latest version.
    • Step 2: Put your iPhone/iPad into DFU mode. Upon successfully performing steps, your iDevice's screen goes black and the iTunes will display a message on your screen stating iTunes has detected an iPhone/iPad in recovery mode.
    • iPhone users can watch this video guide and iPad users can follow the steps below with Fixppo.
(iPhone 12 Supported) How to Get iPhone into DFU Mode and Recovery Mode

For iPad with Home button:

1: Switch off the iPad by holding the Power switch.

2: Press the Home button and the Power button for 10 seconds. If you see the Apple logo, then you need to restart the process again.

3: While holding the Home button, let go of the Power button. If you see the recovery mode screen, just restart the process again.

4: If the iPad screen stays black, then the device enters successfully into the DFU mode.

For iPad without Home button:

1: Quickly press and release the Volume Up button, and then the Volume Down button. Next press and hold the Power button until the Power Off slider appears. Release the button, and drag the slider to power your iPad off.

2: Press and hold the Power button on your iPad for 3 seconds. Now, while still holding down the Power button, press and hold the Volume Down button for 10 seconds.

3: Release the Power button and continue holding the Volume Down button for another 5 seconds.

4: If the screen stays black, your device is now in DFU mode. The Apple logo and recovery mode screen mean you failed and should do it again from the beginning.

Please note that your iPhone/iPad screen will stay black when it enters DFU mode.

  • Step 3: Now, you need to hit the "Ok" button on the pop-up message and then hit the "Restore iPhone" button from the iTunes' main interface. Confirm your actions and wait for the process to complete.

restore iPhone with iTunes