Sometimes the iPhone must be put into recovery mode in order to effectively troubleshoot the device. This is usually necessary only if the iPhone XS, XR, XS Max or X is stuck on the Apple extended logo for a long time and does not load, is stuck on the iTunes logo using a USB cable, or if the computer is not recognizing the iPhone. In the recovery mode, iPhone XS, XR, XS Max or X can be restored directly using iTunes or macOS Finder (for Catalina and later).
The instructions for putting the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max or iPhone X into recovery mode described here are different from previous iPhone models. If you have an old iPhone, follow the instructions for putting old iPhone models in recovery mode.
To effectively use recovery mode from iPhone, you will need a USB cable and a computer with the latest version of iTunes or MacOS Catalina or later. Update iTunes before trying to use recovery mode. In addition, you must make sure that a backup copy of the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max or iPhone X is available before starting the process, as using recovery mode or attempting to restore without a backup can lead to irreversible data loss.
How to enter recovery mode on iPhone XR, XS, XS Max, X
Before you begin, make sure you have a backup of your iPhone. Lack of available backup can lead to permanent loss of data from the iPhone.
- Connect your iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max or iPhone X to your computer using a USB cable.
- Open iTunes on your computer (Mac or Windows, or on MacOS Catalina open Finder)
- Click and release Volume Up on iPhone
- Press and release Volume down on iPhone
- Press and hold the power button until iPhone XR, XS, XS Max, X goes into recovery mode.
- iTunes (or Finder) will show a warning that the iPhone was found in recovery mode
After the iPhone has entered recovery mode, you can update your iPhone XR, XS, XS Max, X with the latest available iOS version or restore it using iTunes (or Finder), as usual, using a backup copy or setting the device as new.
An iPhone in recovery mode can also be restored using IPSW, if necessary, provided that the IPSW file is actively signed by Apple and corresponds to a specific iPhone XR, XS, XS Max, X model. You can find iOS files IPSW here for the latest iOS versions .
How to exit recovery mode on iPhone XR, XS, XS Max, X
Exit recovery mode occurs automatically after the iPhone is restored or updated, but you can also exit recovery mode without recovery by forcing the iPhone XR, XS, XS Max, X to restart as follows:
- Disconnect iPhone XR, XS, XS Max, X from computer
- Press and release the volume up button on the iPhone
- Press and release the volume down button on the iPhone
- Press and hold the power button on the iPhone, continue to hold until the Apple logo appears on the iPhone screen.
Exiting the recovery mode will return the iPhone to the state in which it was before it was transferred to the recovery mode. If the iPhone is still stuck on the “connect to iTunes” screen, it will not boot back to the normal home screen or lock screen.
All other iPhones (and iPads) can also enter the recovery mode required for troubleshooting, but the steps for this are different for each device.
In addition, DFU mode is available when recovery mode is not working to restore the device. DFU mode is a lower level recovery mechanism, but it is rarely required.
Do you have experience transferring iPhone XS, XR, XS Max or X into recovery mode? How was it? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.