How to fix an iPhone SE that gets stuck on red screen after installing iOS 11 update? [Troubleshooting Guide]

If Windows computers have the so-called blue screen of death (BSOD) iPhones also have the iOS version of this problem but on red screen. While the colors differ, these two problems have a common denominator which is a corrupted system that is generally triggered by a system crash. This things can occur during software installations like an app or iOS update and the process was interrupted or not successfully completed. Just like what happened to some users of the iPhone SE after updating to iOS 11. The device was working fine when plugged into the computer and all set for updating to the newest iOS version until an unknown error shows up and then you hit Cancel on the pop up. Doing so has cancelled the update and so it did not finish.

As a result, the system gets broken and the device gets stuck on red screen. You may still be able to turn your iPhone on or off but most likely you will get stuck on the red screen. So how to out of this loop? If you bumped into this posting while trying to get some help in fixing your iPhone SE that gets stuck on red screen after iOS 11 update, then you may refer to this content. Read on to learn more.

Now, before we proceed with our troubleshooting, if you have other concerns with your new iPhone SE, drop by our troubleshooting page for we have already published some guides and tutorials. You may also contact us by completing our iPhone issues questionnaire. This is a free consultation servicer we offer and all we need is information about the problem. So please give us that so that we can help you better.   

Potential solutions to your iPhone SE red screen problem

Given that the main issue is within the software or iOS structure, possible fixes will likewise involve working on the iPhone system. Among your options for you to solve this iPhone problem would include a device reboot, system reset and restore. When you’re all set to troubleshoot and fix it on your end, here’s how each of these methods work:

First method: Force restart.

In most cases, when the iPhone gets stuck, it becomes unresponsive so you won’t be able to reboot the device the usual way. As alternative solution, you can do a force restart on your iPhone instead. As the name implies, the process will force your iPhone to reboot, erase any software glitches, and get out of the red screen loop. If you haven’t tried it yet, then do it now. Here’s how:

  1. Press and hold the Power button and the Home button simultaneously for at least 10 seconds.
  2. When you see the Apple logo, let go of the buttons.

If the Apple logo doesn’t show up in 10 seconds, keep pressing and holding the Power and Home buttons for another 10 seconds until the Apple logo appears. The iPhone may find it hard to load boot up given that the system has crashed. If this won’t work, then consider other options. So you may need to press the buttons a little longer.

A force restart will not affect any data stored on your iPhone so it’s a safe process to begin with.

Second method: Master reset/Factory reset.

A master reset or factory reset will erase your device completely. This however should not be a problem if you have backed up your device prior to installing the iOS 11 update. You can use that backup to restore your previous contents on your iPhone SE after the master reset. A master reset or factory reset can be done through the iPhone Settings menu or using iTunes on a computer. But since your device is stuck on the red screen, the Settings menu is definitely not your option. So you have no choice but to use iTunes instead. Here’s how to master reset your iPhone SE with iTunes:

  1. Get your computer ready. You can use either a Mac or Windows PC (later to latest OS version if possible).
  2. Turn off your iPhone completely.
  3. Open iTunes on the computer. Make sure you are using the latest version of iTunes software. If not, get the latest iTunes version installed on the computer first.
  4. Wait for iTunes to recognize your device then select your iPhone SE from the list of devices in iTunes.
  5. Click the Update button to attempt to reinstall iOS on your iPhone. Should the master reset be successful, all your iPhone settings are restored to factory defaults. You may re-configure the settings based on your preference after you successfully get out of the red screen.
  6. Otherwise, click Restore to restore to a previous iOS backup.

If you go for the Restore option, be sure to select the correct backup file to use.

Third method: Restore iOS in Recovery Mode using iTunes.

You can also use Recovery Mode to restore iOS on your iPhone SE. Just like the previous method, you will need to use iTunes to carry out this process. Majority of system issues transpiring in different iPhones are rectified by a recovery mode restore so you might as well consider taking your chances in this one. Should you wish to go for it, then here’s how it is done:

  1. Connect your iPhone SE to the computer using the supplied USB cable or Lightning cable.
  2. Open iTunes on the computer and wait for it to recognize your iPhone.
  3. When your iPhone is recognized, force it to restart by pressing and holding the Power button and the Home button simultaneously until the screen turns black. When the Apple logo appears, do not release the buttons.
  4. Keep holding down the Power and Home buttons until the Recovery Mode screen or Connect to iTunes message appears.
  5. If prompted with an iTunes alert message saying that “There is a problem with the iPhone that requires it to be updated or restored” select the option to Restore. iTunes will then download the software for your iPhone.
  6. Follow the rest of the onscreen instructions to complete the iOS restore process in Recovery Mode and once it’s done, you can set up your device as new.

If this won’t work either, then you may resort to a DFU Mode restore at this point.

Fourth method: Perform a DFU Mode restore.

If recovery mode restore has failed and the problem persists, try DFU Mode restore. Aside from Recovery Mode, your iPhone also has another system layer called DFU mode. DFU stands for Device Firmware Update mode. A DFU Mode restore erases and reloads every bit of code that controls the iPhone software and hardware components, thus fixing errors affecting system functions and processes.

Apple typically does not recommend users to perform this type of iOS restore because it’s risky. If done incorrectly, a DFU mode restore can cause your iPhone to brick and become totally useless. But just in case you are willing to take the risks as you have nothing to lose anymore in the first place, then follow these steps to enter DFU Mode on your iPhone SE and restore iOS:

  1. Connect your iPhone SE to the computer using the supplied USB cable or Lightning cable.
  2. Press and hold the Power and Home buttons simultaneously for about 8 seconds.
  3. After the elapsed time, let go of the Power button but keep holding down the Home button until you are prompted with a message that says, “iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode.”
  4. Release the Home button when you see the message.

If you have successfully entered DFU Mode, your iPhone screen turns black. You can now perform a DFU Mode restore on your iPhone using iTunes. If it is not, try again from the start.

Entering DFU Mode requires timing so if you don’t get it there at first, don’t be afraid to try it again.

Other Options to Consider

  • Try other software. You also have the option to recover and restore iOS using iOS recovery tools. Responding to rising demands of iOS solutions to various system issues, apps developers responded by creating a dedicated tool for iOS users to use when needed. You may try your luck in using any of these iOS recovery tools to fix your iPhone SE that gets stuck on the red screen. To get started, you will need to download and install the software that is compatible with your device and the computer’s operating system. Then run the software and follow the onscreen instructions to recover and repair your iPhone SE.
  • Seek More Help. Contact Apple Support if none of these methods is able to fix your iPhone SE and that it remains stuck on red screen. Escalating device issues tied to software updates can help Apple develop a fix patch to be included in the minor software update version they roll out.

Connect with us

Visit our troubleshooting page to view more solutions to other iPhone problems we have addressed in our prior posts. If you wish to reach our iOS support team for further assistance, then you may do so by filling up this form with all the required information. Be sure to provide us with the significant details of the issue that you need help with so we would be able to give you the best possible solutions and recommendations to try on.