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How to fix an iPhone 8 Plus that won’t restore or update iOS through iTunes (easy steps)

This post will help you learn what to do when you cannot restore or update iOS on your iPhone 8 Plus through iTunes on your computer. In order to get the problem fixed, try identify first the underlying causes, isolate the problem, then apply all possible fixes. Read on to learn more.

Often times, people would resort to carrying out a full system restore or system update when dealing with more complex software issues that could not be resolved by the standard procedures and applicable workarounds. It’s in fact a recommended last-ditch solution if all else failed to fix an existing software issue, particularly those affecting various iOS devices. But not all the time that an iOS restore can offer ultimate solution as many iPhone users bumped into different types of iTunes errors before, during, or after an iOS restore.

Drop by our iPhone 8 Plus troubleshooting page if you have other issues with your phone as we’ve already addressed the most common problems. If you need more help, fill up our iPhone issues questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

Why does your iPhone unable to restore or update iOS through iTunes?

Many factors can cause problems to arise when restoring or updating iOS through iTunes. A defective computer in use, damaged USB ports, incompatible or defective cables or connectors, iTunes program errors, and iOS glitches can be the main culprits. To give some clues on how these factors can cause problems and hinder you from restoring or updating iOS on your iPhone 8 Plus via iTunes, here are some of the common occurrences:

  1. The computer has failed to recognize your iOS device due to a damaged USB port or incompatible connector or USB cable in use.
  2. The computer’s operating system is outdated or incompatible with iOS 11 or your iPhone 8 (system conflicts)
  3. iTunes software has crashed and needs a restart.
  4. iTunes software is out of date.
  5. iOS device has crashed and needs a restart.

For as long as the hardware is okay or working properly, you still have a higher chance of solving the problem on your end. All you have to do is troubleshoot the problem and try any applicable workarounds to fix it.

Potential solutions and suggested workarounds

Before you begin, be sure to use the original (OEM) USB connector or Lightning cable when connecting your iPhone to your computer. Also ensure that both ends of the connector are properly secured. Also try to use a different USB port on your computer if you suspect that the current port in use is defective. Remove any other peripheral devices from your computer except your iPhone. Once you have done all these and yet the problem persists, go ahead and troubleshoot.

First workaround: Quit and restart iTunes on your computer.

Should it be a minor glitch occurring on iTunes, it should be rectified by quitting and relaunching iTunes on your computer. Just like any other apps, iTunes is also prone to random software glitches which could result to various iTunes errors including those associated with iOS restore and update installation. That said, quit or exit iTunes on your computer. Then after about 30 seconds or 1 minute, open iTunes again and try to see if it’s now able to work as intended.

  • If you are using a Mac computer, you can quit the iTunes app from the Apple menu or by pressing the Command+Option+Esc keys on your keyboard. It does the same thing when pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del keys on your Windows computer’s keyboard. Then continue with these steps:
    • Select iTunes in the Force Quit window.
    • Then click the Force Quit button.
  • To quit iTunes program in Windows OS, you can use the Alt+F4 key combination. You can also the same using the Task Manager by pressing the Ctrl+Shift+Esc keyboard shortcut. Then select iTunes in the Task Manager and click the End Process button to end the close the program.

Second workaround: Reboot your computer and your iPhone 8 Plus.

Restarting can help fix minor problems inflicted by some random software glitches on the computer and your iPhone as well. It’s a very simple yet very effective solution that’s been used to deal with various types of software problems transpiring in mobile devices and computers as well.

  • To restart your computer, just do the usual routine. Although the actual steps may vary depending on what type and version of operating system your computer is currently running on. If your computer is not responding, then you can do a forced restart by pressing and holding down the Power button for a few seconds until it powers off. Unplug the AC adapter from the power source and leave it unplugged for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then plug it back in to power and turn it back on.
  • Restart your iPhone 8 Plus the usual way by pressing the Side button or Power button until the Slide to Power off screen appears. Drag the slider to power off your device completely. Then after 30 seconds press and hold the Side button again until the Apple logo appears.

After both your devices have restarted and booted up completely, open iTunes on your computer then try to connect your iPhone. If it’s successfully recognized and able to communicate with iTunes properly, follow the onscreen instructions to perform an iOS restore or install iOS update.

Third workaround: Try to restore or update iOS on your iPhone 8 Plus using Recovery Mode.

Recovery mode is another iOS restore method using iTunes program on your computer. Unlike the standard iTunes restore, you will need to put your iPhone 8 Plus in recovery mode before you restore or update iOS. Many software issues are resolved by performing a recovery mode restore so you might as well give it a try this time and see what happens.

In order to proceed, you will need to secure a computer (Windows or Mac) that has the latest version of iTunes program installed. Then as usual, you’ll connect your iPhone to your computer using the supplied USB connector or Lightning cable. Here’s how it’s actually done:

  1. If iTunes is already opened on your computer, close it first.
  2. Connect your iPhone to your computer and then open iTunes.
  3. Wait for iTunes to detect your iPhone 8 Plus.
  4. While your iPhone is connected, do a forced restart by pressing and holding the Side button (Power) until the Power off slider appears. Drag the slider to turn your iPhone off completely. Then press and hold the Side button again until the Recovery Mode screen appears. In this case do not release the Side button when the Apple logo appears. Instead, you need to wait until you see the Connect to iTunes screen. This means that your iPhone has entered Recovery Mode successfully.
  5. If prompted, select the option to Restore or Update your iPhone. If you select Update, iTunes will attempt to reinstall iOS without erasing your data. Otherwise, follow the onscreen instructions to complete the iOS restore.

Wait for iTunes to download the software for your device or restore to a previous iOS backup file. After the iOS is updated or restore, proceed with the initial setup.

Fourth workaround: Perform a DFU mode restore through iTunes.

If ever a recovery mode restore or update doesn’t work either, then you may opt to try carrying out a DFU mode restore instead. It’s a deepest type of system restore you can do on your iPhone. When your iPhone is in DFU mode, it is able to communicate with iTunes without loading the operating system or bootloader. Again you will need to use iTunes in this process. A step-by-step guide on how to perform a DFU mode restore on iPhone 8 Plus is also posted in our Tutorials section on this site so feel free to refer to the steps if necessary.

Other Suggestions

If you have any other computer with iTunes program installed, then you can try to use the other computer then see if you are able to restore or update iOS without bumping into an issue. Or you can also try to uninstall and reinstall iTunes on your computer. Doing so can likewise help fix the problem especially if it has something to do with iTunes that’s crashing or misbehaving for some reasons.

If that won’t work either, then escalating the problem to Apple Support or your carrier would be your next option to consider. Let them know of what happened exactly and what you’ve done so far so that they’ll be able to walk you through performing more advanced solutions with their tools. In case you see any error codes or alert messages, let them know of them too so that they can use them as more hints in determining what went wrong and what needs to be done to correct the error.

If calling for help is not your thing, then you better take your device to an Apple Service center nearby and have it diagnosed by a technician instead. Don’t forget to avail for warranties if your iPhone is still eligible.

Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the new 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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