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How to force an iPhone into restore mode iOS devices
My iPhone 3G locked up on me recently. I mean it really locked up on me. The Sleep plus Home button reset trick (hold both for about 10 seconds) wouldn't work. The iPhone wouldn't get passed the initial Apple logo while booting. Plugging it into iTunes simply caused iTunes to freeze. There was nothing I could do.

So after taking it to an Apple store and talking with a Genius there, I learned this trick for forcing the iPhone to go into restore mode. WARNING: This is a last restort! All the data on your iPhone will be cleared and it will be reset to factory defaults.
  1. Turn off the iPhone (you can hold down the Sleep button, or use Sleep + Home, and release as soon as the screen shuts off).
  2. Hold down the Home button while connecting to your computer with iTunes already open and ready for a connection.
  3. iTunes will prompt you to perform a software restore.
  4. Your iPhone will obviously be wiped new and be reset as a result and you wil have a working iPhone again.
This proceedure is probably documented somewhere, but in two days of searching I couldn't find this. Nor did the tech support person on the phone know to do this in the script they were obviously reading from when I called Apple directly. Leave it to the guys in the trenches at the Genius bar to know the solution. I hope this helps someone else.

[robg adds: I had this happen to me numerous times with my first gen iPhone and iPhone software 2.0.x. The above method is actually documented on Apple's support site (though it's not in the latest iPhone User's Guide), but it's not necessarily easy to find, so I felt it worth sharing here. The good news is that, since the release of iPhone 2.1 software, I haven't had this happen a single time. Hopefully this hint won't be needed any more.]
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How to force an iPhone into restore mode
Authored by: 3mors on Sep 18, '08 07:56:17AM

After the reset you can re-sync your data from iTunes.


[ Reply to This | # ]
How to force an iPhone into restore mode
Authored by: Gex2501 on Dec 09, '08 08:52:36PM

I tweak settings, install, uninstall and jailbreak my iphone all the time. Granted the jailbreaking might be what causes the need for this hint even with the new firmware, but I think it's still useful even now.

PS - no, my iphone was NOT jailbroken at the time I submitted this hint.

[ Reply to This | # ]
How to force an iPhone into restore mode
Authored by: cemiranda on Dec 31, '09 02:59:23PM

Hey Gex...
I had the same problem. I have a jailbroken phone and it locked up beyond the standard reset. I would connect it to Itunes and it wouldn't even recognize that a phone was connected. So I let a "Genius" look at it and explained exactly what you described. However, he did advise to "sync" instead of a "restore from backup" only to prevent what ever bug caused it to lock up. I did have to go through the jailbreaking process again (bummer).

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