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How to fix your iPhone 8 that is stuck on recovery mode, cannot restore iOS in recovery mode [Troubleshooting Guide]

A recovery mode restore is usually among the last possible solution to try when dealing with persistent software issues in iOS devices. You can also restore your iOS device in recovery mode if your device won’t update software, when getting off a bad beta, or when your device becomes completely unresponsive and nothing else is working. It’s a bit complicated but imperative process when dealing with more complicated problems concerning iOS.

Nonetheless, performing a recovery mode restore can likewise make you end up facing yet another problem like what other people had encountered. And one of the dreaded issues is on the iPhone that gets stuck on recovery mode. To give you some inputs on how to deal with this problem, if by any chance you’d end up facing the same when attempting to update or restore iOS in recovery mode, I’ve mapped out some applicable solutions and workarounds as reference. The steps I demonstrate are particularly applicable to an iPhone 8 that’s stuck on recovery mode and failed to restore iOS. Read further if you need more help.

But before anything else, if you have another issue with your phone, drop by our troubleshooting page as we have already addressed hundreds of issues reported by the owners. Odds are that there are already existing solutions on our website or at least, there are similar problems we already fixed. So, try to find ones that are similar or related to your problem. If you need further assistance, however, feel free to contact us by filling up our iPhone issues questionnaire.

First solution: Force restart your iPhone 8.

The first possible solution you can try is a force restart. It’s a simulated battery removal procedure that is used to restart a frozen device. A force restart works similar as the soft reset or usual reboot does in terms of clearing minor software errors that caused conflict to the phone’s system functions. This won’t affect any saved data on the iPhone’s internal memory and therefore won’t cause data loss. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Then press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Finally, press and hold the Power/Side button until the Apple logo appears.

Your iPhone should boot up afterwards. If your iPhone failed to boot or remained stuck, move on and try the next possible solutions.

Second solution: Retry restoring iOS via recovery mode through iTunes.

Ending up stuck on recovery on your first iOS recovery mode restore attempt doesn’t always mean you’ll end up being stuck again on your next try. Perhaps your phone has encountered some errors and the system has crashed in the middle of the process, so it was stuck. In that case, it wouldn’t hurt to retry. So here’s what you should do then:

  1. Connect your iPhone 8 to your Mac or Windows computer using the original Lightning cable. Remove any other external paraphernalia from your computer’s USB port to prevent any of them from causing conflict. Also close all running applications or programs on your computer to prevent any of them from interrupting iTunes during the restore process.
  2. When your iPhone is connected, quickly press and release the Volume Up button, then press and release the Volume Down button and finally, press and hold the Side/Power button until the phone reboots. Continue holding the Side/Power button even when you see the Apple logo.
  3. Release the Side/Power button once you see the Connect to iTunes screen. This is an indication that your device has entered recovery mode.
  4. Go to iTunes and you should see a message saying that “There is a problem with the iPhone that requires it to be updated or restored.”
  5. Select the option to Restore, then follow the onscreen instructions to complete the entire iOS restore process in recovery mode

Third solution: Restore your iPhone 8 in DFU mode.

DFU stands for Device Firmware Update, a state that allows reloading of the software and the firmware of your iOS device. It’s considered as the deepest restore mode and offers a higher chance of resolving major iOS problems and errors as it allows your device to communicate with iTunes on a computer even without loading the operating system. You can also upgrade your device in DFU mode. A DFU mode restore is usually carried out by Apple technicians at the Genius bar when fixing complex iOS problems. But since the method was introduced by Apple Support, many iPhone users have started resorting to a DFU mode restore and considered it among the last options when dealing with persistent software issues. If you wish to give it a try, then follow these steps to put your iPhone 8 in DFU mode and restore iOS through iTunes:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer using the supplied USB cable or Lightning cable.
  2. Quick-press the Volume Up button.
  3. Quick-press the Volume Down button.
  4. Hold down the Side/Power button until the screen goes black.
  5. When the screen turns black, hold down both the Side/Power button and Volume Down button for 5 seconds.
  6. After 5 seconds, release the Side/Power button but continue to hold down the Volume Down button. If you see the Apple logo, it means that you’ve held the Side/Power button for too long and that you need to start all over.
  7. If the screen remains black, then your device has successfully entered DFU mode and all set for a DFU mode restore procedure.
  8. On your computer, you should see iTunes showing an alert message saying that it has detected a device in recovery mode. Follow the onscreen prompts to instigate a DFU mode restore.

If you see other display like a Connect to iTunes screen, it means that your device isn’t yet in DFU mode and so you will need to retry the previous steps until you finally enter DFU mode.

After successfully restoring your iPhone in DFU mode, you can exit DFU mode by simply doing a force restart on your iPhone.

Your device should then be good as new and all your apps will start downloading.

Fourth solution: Use alternative iOS recovery/repair tool.

If your iPhone 8 remains stuck on recovery mode even after carrying out a DFU mode restore in iTunes, then you can resort to alternative iOS recovery and repair tools online. There are actually a lot of other tools or software designed to serve similar purpose as that of iTunes. Other tools even programmed to be capable of performing advanced repair on a totally corrupted iOS device. You can search for and download your preferred tool on your computer just like what you do with iTunes. Just be sure to pick the one that’s compatible with your device and has credible ratings. Reading previews reviews can help you make a final choice on which iOS repair tool to use.

Other options

The very last option you’ve got if all else failed to get your iPhone 8 out from being stuck on recovery mode would be service. Your iPhone may have obtained some sort of physical or liquid damage from prior incidents of accidental drops or liquid exposure and being stuck on recovery mode or other screen could be the transpiring symptom. In that case, you will need a technician’s aid to get your iPhone fixed and working again.

For further assistance and other options, you may contact your device carrier or Apple Support. Just let them know exactly of what happened and how your iPhone 8 ended up being stuck on recovery mode. Escalating the problem is also recommended especially if the problem started following an iOS update implementation.

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If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone 8 smartphone, feel free to visit our Tutorial Page. There you can find a list of how-to contents, step-by-step tutorials, as well as answers to FAQs regarding iPhone 8. If you have other concerns or encountered some troubles while using the phone, you can reach us through this form. Just be sure to tell us more details of the problem or device issue(s) you may have and we will be more than happy to assist you further.

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