How to Put an iPod or iPhone into Recovery Mode: A Step-by-Step Guide

Putting your iPod or iPhone into recovery mode is a quick process. First, update your iTunes to the latest version and connect your device to your computer. Then, depending on your device model, either press and hold the Side and Volume Down buttons, the Home and Top buttons, or the Top button alone until you see the recovery mode screen.

After completing the action, your device will be in recovery mode, and you can restore it using iTunes or Finder on a Mac with macOS Catalina or later.


If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation where your iPod or iPhone is unresponsive or having issues that can’t be resolved with a simple restart, then knowing how to put your device into recovery mode can be a lifesaver. Recovery mode allows your device to connect to iTunes or Finder (on macOS Catalina or later) and lets you restore your device to its factory settings or from a backup.

This process is especially useful if you’re trying to update or restore your device, but it’s not being recognized by iTunes or Finder, or if you’ve forgotten your passcode. Whether you’re a tech-savvy individual or someone who’s just trying to troubleshoot their device, understanding how to put your iPod or iPhone into recovery mode is a vital skill.

Step by Step Tutorial: Putting Your iPod or iPhone into Recovery Mode

Before we get into the steps, understand that putting your device into recovery mode will erase all content and settings. Make sure you’ve backed up your device if possible.

Step 1: Update iTunes

Update iTunes on your computer to the latest version.
Updating iTunes ensures compatibility with your device and can prevent potential issues during the recovery process.

Step 2: Connect Your Device to Your Computer

Use a USB cable to connect your iPod or iPhone to your computer.
A firm connection between your device and computer is necessary for iTunes or Finder to recognize your device.

Step 3: Force Restart Your Device

Depending on your device model, press and hold the appropriate buttons to force restart your device.
For iPhone 8 or later: Press and release the Volume Up button, press and release the Volume Down button, then press and hold the Side button.
For iPhone 7: Press and hold the Volume Down and the Sleep/Wake buttons together.
For iPhone 6s and earlier, iPad with Home button, or iPod touch: Press and hold the Home button and the Top (or Side) button together.
Keep holding the buttons until you see the recovery mode screen.

Step 4: Restore Your Device

Once your device is in recovery mode, you’ll see an option to Restore or Update in iTunes or Finder. Choose Restore.
Restoring your device will erase all data and reinstall the latest iOS or iPod software. After the process is complete, you can set up your device as new or restore from a backup.


Solves Various Device IssuesRecovery mode can resolve many software-related issues, such as freezing, crashing, or failed updates.
No Need for Apple Store VisitYou can troubleshoot and fix your device at home without needing to go to an Apple Store or service center.
Preparation for Selling or TradingPutting your device into recovery mode and restoring it removes personal data, making it ready for selling or trading.


Risk of Data LossIf you haven’t backed up your device, you may lose all your data when you restore it.
Can Be Confusing for New UsersThe process may seem daunting for someone who has never done it before.
Time-ConsumingThe entire process, including reinstallation of the iOS or iPod software, can take a significant amount of time.

Additional Information

When using recovery mode, it’s crucial to ensure your computer has a stable internet connection as it will need to download the latest iOS or iPod software. If the download takes longer than 15 minutes, your device will exit recovery mode, and you’ll need to repeat the steps to put it back into recovery mode. Also, remember that recovery mode is different from DFU (Device Firmware Update) mode, which is a more in-depth restoration process used for more complex issues.

If recovery mode doesn’t solve your problem, you may need to try DFU mode or contact Apple support for further assistance. Lastly, if your device is still under warranty, make sure to check with Apple before performing any actions that could potentially void it.


  1. Update iTunes to the latest version.
  2. Connect your device to your computer using a USB cable.
  3. Force restart your device by holding the necessary buttons.
  4. Choose to Restore your device when prompted in iTunes or Finder.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will recovery mode delete everything on my iPod or iPhone?

Yes, putting your device into recovery mode and restoring it will erase all content and settings.

What if my device exits recovery mode during the process?

If the download takes too long and your device exits recovery mode, simply repeat the steps to put it back into recovery mode.

Can I use recovery mode to downgrade my iOS?

No, recovery mode will only allow you to install the latest available version of iOS or iPod software.

Is recovery mode the same as DFU mode?

No, recovery mode and DFU mode are different. DFU mode is a more in-depth restoration process.

Do I need to use a computer to put my device into recovery mode?

Yes, you’ll need a computer with iTunes or Finder to put your device into recovery mode.


Understanding how to put an iPod or iPhone into recovery mode is a valuable skill that can save you time, money, and stress. Whether you’re troubleshooting a device issue or preparing your device for sale, recovery mode is a powerful tool at your disposal. Just remember to always back up your data beforehand, if possible, to avoid any tragic data loss.

If you’ve followed the steps and advice provided in this article, you should now be able to confidently put your device into recovery mode and restore it to its full functionality. Happy troubleshooting!