How to Restore an iPhone from iTunes on PC or Mac: Step-by-Step Guide

Restoring an iPhone from iTunes on a PC or Mac is a straightforward process. Connect your iPhone to your computer, open iTunes, select your device, click on ‘Restore iPhone’, and follow the on-screen instructions. After the process, your iPhone will be restored to its factory settings with the option to restore from a previous backup.

After completing the restore, your iPhone will restart. It will then display the setup screen, allowing you to either set up your iPhone as a new device or restore it from a previous backup.


Have you ever encountered persistent issues with your iPhone that just won’t go away? Or maybe you’re planning to sell or give away your iPhone, and you need to wipe it clean for the new owner. Restoring your iPhone from iTunes on your PC or Mac could be the solution you’re looking for.

This process can help resolve software glitches, remove personal data, and give your device a fresh start. It’s a useful trick to have up your sleeve, whether you’re troubleshooting, setting up a second-hand iPhone, or preparing to upgrade to the latest model. In this article, we’ll guide you through each step of restoring your iPhone using iTunes on a PC or Mac. Let’s get your iPhone back to its glory days!

Step by Step Tutorial: Restoring an iPhone from iTunes

Restoring your iPhone from iTunes on a PC or Mac reinstalls the operating system, wipes all data, and, if chosen, applies a backup to your device.

Step 1: Update iTunes

Check that you have the latest version of iTunes installed on your PC or Mac.

Before you begin, it’s important to ensure your iTunes is up to date. This minimizes the risk of any compatibility issues during the restore process. On a Mac, iTunes updates through the App Store, while on a PC, you can update through the iTunes program itself or download the latest version from the Apple website.

Step 2: Connect your iPhone

Using the USB cable, plug your iPhone into your PC or Mac.

Make sure your connection is secure. If iTunes doesn’t open automatically, open it manually. If this is the first time you’re connecting your iPhone to this computer, you might get a prompt asking if you trust this computer – select “Trust”.

Step 3: Select your iPhone in iTunes

Click on the device icon in the top left area of iTunes to select your iPhone.

Once you’ve clicked on the device icon, you will see various details about your iPhone and several options. Make sure you’re on the “Summary” tab to proceed with the restore.

Step 4: Back up your iPhone (optional)

If you want to save your data, click on ‘Back Up Now’ before proceeding with the restore.

This step is optional but highly recommended. Backing up ensures that you can restore all your data, settings, and apps after the iPhone is wiped clean. You can back up to your computer or to iCloud.

Step 5: Click on ‘Restore iPhone’

Find the ‘Restore iPhone’ button in the Summary tab and click it.

After clicking the ‘Restore iPhone’ button, iTunes will confirm that you want to restore and inform you that this will erase all data from your device. Click ‘Restore’ to proceed.

Step 6: Confirm and wait

Confirm your choice and wait for the process to complete.

Once you confirm the restore, iTunes will download the software for your iPhone and restore it to its factory settings. Depending on your internet connection, this may take some time. Keep the iPhone connected until the process is complete and it restarts.


Fixes glitchesRestoring your iPhone can resolve persistent software issues that a simple restart won’t fix.
Removes dataA full restore wipes all personal information from your iPhone, which is essential if you’re selling or giving it away.
Fresh startIt gives your iPhone a fresh start, potentially improving performance by clearing out old data and settings.


Data lossIf you don’t back up your iPhone before restoring, you will lose all your data.
Time-consumingThe process can be lengthy, especially if you need to back up and restore your data afterward.
Potential errorsThere’s a small chance of encountering errors during the process, which could complicate things.

Additional Information

When you restore your iPhone from iTunes, it’s like giving your device a new lease on life. But there are a few things that you should keep in mind. First off, make sure that you have a good amount of time set aside. There’s nothing worse than being in a rush and finding out that you’ve got to wait for a lengthy restore process to complete.

Also, you might want to check for any updates for your iPhone before you start the restore process. This is just to make sure that you’re not restoring to an outdated version of iOS. And remember, after the restore, you’ll have to go through the process of setting up your iPhone again. That means logging into iCloud, downloading apps, and tweaking your settings just the way you like them.

Lastly, while iTunes is a reliable way to restore your iPhone, there are alternative methods such as using iCloud or Finder (on macOS Catalina and later). It’s always good to know your options in case one method isn’t working for you.


  1. Update iTunes to the latest version.
  2. Connect your iPhone to your PC or Mac using a USB cable.
  3. Select your iPhone in iTunes.
  4. Optionally, back up your iPhone.
  5. Click on ‘Restore iPhone’.
  6. Confirm your choice and wait for the process to complete.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to restore my iPhone from iTunes?

You’ll need a PC or Mac with iTunes installed, a USB cable, and an internet connection.

Will I lose all my data if I restore my iPhone?

Yes, unless you back up your iPhone before the restore. Always back up to either iCloud or your computer to save your data.

Can I restore my iPhone from an iCloud backup using iTunes?

No, iCloud backups can only be used when setting up an iPhone after a restore, not through iTunes.

How long does it take to restore an iPhone?

The time it takes can vary based on your internet speed and the amount of data on your iPhone. Generally, it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.

Can I use my iPhone during the restore process?

No, you should not use your iPhone during the restore process. Keep it connected to your PC or Mac until it restarts and the process is complete.


Restoring your iPhone from iTunes on a PC or Mac is a powerful tool that can help you overcome various issues or prepare your device for a new owner. It’s a fairly simple process but requires attention to detail, especially when it comes to backing up your data.

Remember, technology can sometimes be fickle, so make sure you’ve got the time and patience needed for a clean restore. If you follow the steps outlined in this article, you’ll have your iPhone back to its original state in no time. Happy restoring!