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How to restore and recover your iPhone

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  robotarmy's Photo
Posted Sep 17 2009 02:45 PM

Reinstall Mac OS X on your device with recovery mode.

Ordinarily, if you want to reinstall OS X on your iPhone, you just plug it into your computer and click "Restore" in iTunes.

Figure A. Restoring an iPhone

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However, restoring works only if iTunes recognizes your iPhone. If that's not happening, then recovery mode is the answer. Recovery mode lets iTunes know that the iPhone is ready to be restored.

Restoring your iPhone puts it into an almost completely factory-fresh state that includes the erasure of all data, including songs, videos, contacts, photos, calendar information, and any other data that was added to your iPhone after its purchase. Because the loss of all your data can be inconvenient at best, restoring should be your last resort after trying any applicable troubleshooting techniques.

The only more drastic restoration beyond restoration is DFU (Device Firmware Upgrade) mode.


At times, you might want to use restore mode even when you're not restoring. For example, you may also be asked to enter restore mode by some hacking applications, because it puts the iPhone in a state where it waits for an application to talk to it, whether that's iTunes or a less official app. And you can back out of restore mode easily.

Entering Recovery Mode

There are a couple of ways to get into recovery mode:

  1. Make sure that your phone is off. If your phone is working normally, just hold down Power for five seconds and then slide to turn off. If your device can't boot or is hung, you'll turn it off by holding Power and Home until it powers off.

  2. Hold down the Home button (Figure B, “Hold down Home until you are told to let go”).

  3. Connect it to your computer via USB.

  4. Keep holding the Home button until your phone displays a screen similar to Figure C, “A device in recovery mode”, then let go.

Figure B. Hold down Home until you are told to let go

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Figure C. A device in recovery mode

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Restoring the Firmware

If iTunes is running, it'll restore your device, as shown in Figure D, “iTunes notifying you that it's found a device in recovery mode”.

Figure D. iTunes notifying you that it's found a device in recovery mode

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The next step, if you're going through with it, is to click Restore (Figure E, “iTunes has made the Restore option available”).

Figure E. iTunes has made the Restore option available

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In many cases, you will be option-clicking (Mac) or shift-clicking (Windows) the Restore button. This will allow you to restore to the firmware of your choice. Figure F, “Loading a firmware image” shows the firmware selection dialog.

Figure F. Loading a firmware image

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Exiting Recovery Mode

If you change your mind about recovery mode, it's easy to get out of with a hard reset. If you just leave the device for a while, it will power down, at which point you can simply turn it back on. To speed things up:

  1. Disconnect the iPhone or iPod from the computer.

  2. Hold down the Power and Home buttons until you see the boot logo (Figure G, “Hard reset: press and hold both Power and Home buttons”).

  3. When you see the boot logo, let go (Figure H, “Let go of both buttons”).

Figure G. Hard reset: press and hold both Power and Home buttons

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Figure H. Let go of both buttons

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It's almost guaranteed that within your first week of iPhone hacking you will think you've "bricked" your phone. Luckily, it is very easy to fix. When all else fails to bring back your iPhone's functionality, look to the Restore function, either in recovery mode or DFU mode to solve your problem. This trusty technique should fix almost any imaginable hacking- or non-hacking-related iPhone issue.


Fully restoring your iPhone to a factory state (including firmware) is called virginizing. Restoring an iPhone, iPhone 3G, or iPod touch in DFU mode with an Apple-provided firmware image is all you usually need to do to virginize your phone.

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8 Replies

  wasan sotikul's Photo
Posted May 23 2013 05:50 AM

IPhone to get better, ask for permission to go into that. http://www.bktube.com someone will be credited back.
  nickmiller980's Photo
Posted Jun 23 2013 11:12 PM

MyJad iTunes Backup Extractor is a powerful software specially designed for iTunes backup file recovery. The software enables you to extract and recover lost or deleted photos, videos, contacts, SMS/MMS, call records, voicememos, calendars, notes and Safari bookmarks from unreadble (.sqlitedb) file. What's more, it is compatible with all types of iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

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  Bright Choice's Photo
Posted Jul 13 2013 07:58 AM

in order to restore and recover your iPhone first you need to connect your phone to iTunes. then it will detect your phone and then there will be option of restore your phone. click on that. by doing this your phone will be restored and it will be recovered with the latest version of all the software.
  maxliogreen's Photo
Posted Oct 09 2013 07:14 PM

When you are inloved in the following issues, like: mistakenly deleted data in their iPhones; old data lost from their iPhones when updating to latest iOS 7 system; lost their iPhones. You can ask iPhone data recovery for help. It is a useful recovery device for almost all iPhone series: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and the latest hot iPhone 5. It is even effective to recover iTunes backup files of iPad series. It extracts many kinds of files from your iPhone 5/4S iTunes backup easily. With the help of it, you can retrieve deleted or lost files from your iPhone 5/4S accordingly. You can recover data directly from iPhone 5/4S, or in another way, you can restore iPhone data from iTunes backup as well.
  Feninar5's Photo
Posted Feb 02 2014 04:56 AM

Method 1: Recover Your Lost Data from iPhone Directly
Step 1. Connect your iPhone to the computer
Run the iPhone Data Recovery and connect your iPhone to the computer.
Step 2. Preview and recover iPhone data
Choose thosee data you want to preview, mark it and click "Recover", you can save all the contents on your computer with one click.

Method 2: How to Recover Data from iPhone from Backup
Step 1. Scan the backup file
Select your device type and recovery mode before you restore your iPhone data.Then let's go to "Start Scan", and move on.
Step 2. Choose to recover iPhone data
After the scanning, all the content in the previous backup file will be listed in order and separately. You can preview all of the content one by one. Then click the "Recover" button to save it on your Computer.

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  lewony's Photo
Posted Mar 27 2014 10:31 PM

Recover Deleted Photos from iPhone 4/4s/5 without Backup

Step 1: Install the Coolmuster Data Recovery for iPhone iPad iPod Program and Connect iPhone to Computer

This tutorial assumes you've already installed and successfully connect your iPhone device to your computer via USB cable. It's worth mentioning that "Coolmuster Data Recovery for iPhone iPad iPod" application can be run independently without installing iTunes. It has setup wizard that takes you step by step through simple process. The installing speed is very fast and you're allowed to change the default installing path.

Step 2. Directly Scan iPhone NAND Flash memory and Start to Recover

When you select "direct recovery mode", this program will automatically scan your iPhone device within seconds, after the scan, all lost files that stored in iPhone will be sorted in well-organized categories as photos, contacts, text message, camera roll, videos and call history. You can preview the found photos by selecting "Camera Roll" or "Photo Stream" and accurately selected the photos you need to recover. If there are thousands of photos listed in the panel, you can use “search” function to found specified photo.

How to Recover Deleted Photos from iPhone 5S/5/4S/4?

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  Jession11's Photo
Posted Mar 28 2014 04:29 AM

A lot iPhone users are asking for help to recover deleted data which they deleted accidentally or intentionally. General speaking, it's impossible to recover deleted data from iPhone. But now some data recovery program have succeed to create iPhone data recovery tool that could help. It works very well on iPhone 5s/5/4S/4/3GS.

When files are "deleted" they are not actually removed from your iPhone, until something else overwrites them. So by saving anything else to them you may have overwritten them. There is a decent chance that you can restore them though.

If you made backup before, you can try to recover from iTunes backup. It can recover all the files in iTunes. But if not and you choose to recover data from iPhone directly, when you scan your device, you cannot find the files you want. It may be lost for your device running all the time. Some of the data in device may be destroyed or overwritten by new data.This overwritten is random.
  Baby23's Photo
Posted Apr 17 2014 07:14 PM

No matter what problems happen in your phone, if you need to recover the lost data,IOS Data Recovery can help you easily recover data that you thought you’d lost forever, such as photos & videos, messages, contacts, call logs, memos and more!