Friday, August 7, 2009
Reset iPhone using Recovery Mode
If you run into problems with your iPhone not working with iTunes, you still may be able to reset your phone and get it working again. First off, this was written for Windows users. Recovery mode should work on Macs as well, but some of the other information listed will not be relevant. This process will only work if your computer still recognizes the phone when you plug it in. If not, then your issue needs to be addresses by Apple iPhone support. If you have pictures on your phone that you don't want to lose, you should be able to pull them off prior to resetting the phone. Look in My Computer and you should see an icon for your iPhone. Open it and navigate the folder structure to get to the pictures, then drag them to a folder somewhere on your computer and wait for them to finish copying before continuing.
To start your iPhone in recovery mode
1. Turn the iPhone off and make sure it is not plugged in to your computer
2. Hold down the Home button, which is the button on the front of the phone below the screen
3. Continue holding the Home button and plug the iPhone into your computer
4. Still continue holding the Home button down until iTunes says that it has found an iPhone in recovery mode. At this point you can release the Home button. You may have to manually open iTunes for it to tell you it found the phone
5. You should be able to click on Restore within iTunes, then follow the prompts to reset your iPhone to factory defaults and reinstall the iPhone OS
Be aware that this will delete anything on your phone. If you have it backed up, restoring that backup may just bring your original problem back, so I'd suggest starting the restored phone as a new phone in your iTunes account. If recovery mode is not enough, you could try using DFU mode, which would be the next step. I did have success in DFU mode that recovery mode did not fix. You can find out more about that by checking my other post.
I still wish there was a way to do a factory reset right on the phone without the need for a computer or iTunes. After installing the iPhone OS 3.0 on a few phones, I've noticed that a couple of them have had issues with iTunes, and one even required a complete replacement. Most showed no problems, but for the ones that did, not being able to work in iTunes really limited the amount of troubleshooting a person can try.