Apple iPhone 7 cannot update software or won’t restore after iOS update [Troubleshooting Guide]

This post is tailored to address issues relevant to updating operating system on the new #Apple iPhone 7 (#iPhone7) smartphone. Among the main issues covered in this page are problems on installing software update like error while attempting to update, unable to update software or you’re your iPhone won’t restore after the most recent #iOS update. Read on to learn what needs to be done if you too should encounter any of these problems while trying to update your iPhone operating system in the future.

Software updates are generally packed with new features and bug fixes, and so keeping your device software up-to-date is highly recommended. But for some reasons, a software update can also cause minor and major bricking problems on the device, just like what has happened to some iPhone owners. There have been other claims from iPhone owners, about having ended up with a bricked iPhone after installing the latest iOS update on their device. Other iPhone owners on the other hand, were unable to update software or cannot restore their iPhone following the most recent iOS update.

Read on to learn how to get any of these problems fixed using the following workarounds and recommendations.

Before we jump right into our troubleshooting, if you have other issues with your iPhone, visit our troubleshooting page for we have already addressed a lot of issues with this device. Odds are that we’ve already addressed your concern before so try to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions or troubleshooting guides we suggested. If they don’t work or if you need further assistance, then feel free to contact us by completing our Android issues questionnaire.

Check the latest software update available for your iPhone 7

The latest mobile operating system available for iOS device is iOS 10.2. It’s a beta for the public update that is purportedly packed with over 70 new emojis, enhanced camera and TV app settings, and full-screen message effects among other notable new features. To those who are still new to the iOS 10 platform, here’s how to check and update your new iPhone’s operating system:

  • Connect your iPhone to your computer using a USB cable.
  • If necessary, open iTunes and select your device from the list.
  • Click on Summary.
  • Click Check for Update.
  • Click Download and Update.
  • If prompted, enter your passcode to proceed.
  • Wait until the latest compatible version of iOS is downloaded and installed completely on your device.
  • When the update is finished, your iPhone will restart.

Important Note: Do not interrupt the iOS installation process as it can result to bricking your device.

What to do if you will encounter problems while attempting to update your iPhone 7 iOS?

As per suggestion by Apple support to those who cannot update or restore iPhones or iPads, you can put your iPhone or any iOS device in recovery mode and then try to restore it with iTunes on a Mac computer or Windows PC.

Put your iPhone in recovery mode and set it up again

In this case, you would need to have a computer with the latest version of iTunes installed. Once everything is all set with your computer and iTunes, you may now proceed with the following steps:

  • Connect your iPhone to the computer using the supplied USB cable.
  • On the computer, open iTunes.
  • While your iPhone is connected, force it to restart by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake (Power) and Volume Down buttons simultaneously. Keep holding both buttons until you see the recovery mode screen. DO NOT release the buttons when you see the Apple logo.
  • When you are prompted to Restore or Update, select Update to proceed with iOS update download and installation to your iPhone 7.
  • Wait for iTunes to attempt to re-install iOS without erasing your data. iTunes will then start to download the software for your iPhone.

Important Notes:

The Apple logo with a progress bar appears after you update iOS, restore from a backup, or erase your iPhone. When this happens, the progress bar might be moving very slowly or seem like it is not moving at all. Just wait for it to complete though. The amount of time varies on the number of files on your iPhone and on the process you are trying to carry out like whether you are erasing, updating, or upgrading iOS.

  • If the download takes more than 15 minutes and your iPhone exits recovery mode, allow the download to finish and then repeat the aforesaid steps.
  • If you are updating iOS via OTA or over-the-air, connect your iPhone to a power source so that it will not run out of power during the update process. In case your phone runs out of power, you can connect it to a power source and then turn it back on to let the update or restore complete.

Once the Update or Restore completes, you may now proceed with setting up your device.

Problem-Specific Solutions and Workarounds

The following are user-defined solutions to specific problems and errors that occur while attempting to update or restore iPhone 7 through iTunes and iCloud.

Problem 1: iPhone 7 won’t restore via iTunes

If your iPhone 7 won’t restore after installing the latest iOS update, you need to consider 2 possible reasons. It could be that you’re iTunes software is not updated, or your security software is blocking iTunes from working.

To fix this problem, make sure your iTunes software is updated to the latest version. If you are using security software, disable temporarily until the restore is complete.

Problem 2: Error Prompt shows up when updating or restoring iPhone 7 via iTunes

If you encounter errors like ‘Unknown Error Occurred’ or ‘The iPhone could not be restored. An unknown error occurred [error code],’ while attempting to update iOS or restore your iPhone 7 through iTunes, then you can first try the basic workarounds as follow:

  • Get the latest iTunes version for your computer.
  • Update your computer’s operating system to the latest version available.
  • Check your security software on the computer as you might need to update, change, or uninstall the software that triggers the error.
  • Unplug any attached USB devices such as keyboard and mouse in your computer.
  • Restart your computer.
  • Retry update or restore your iPhone 7.

If the problem persists and that you’re still getting the same error prompt, then take note of the error code/number and refer to the official Apple support page and learn how to solve specific iOS update and restore errors as manifested by the error code you got.

Link: (for error codes and their fixes)

Problem 3: iPhone 7 won’t complete iCloud restore

Some owners are prompted with a message saying that ‘This iPhone is currently being restored and will automatically back up when it is done’ even if everything seems to have worked following the iCloud restore. This message is usually found under Settings-> iCloud-> Storage & Backup.

In this case, the first thing you need to do is check on the Wi-Fi settings. Verify and ensure Wi-Fi is turned on or enabled on your iPhone and that it is properly configured.

Another possible cause of this problem is a bug in the iCloud system itself that is inflicting failure on the restoration process. In this case, you can try to restore your iPhone again until the process is completed. Otherwise, restore your iPhone 7 through iTunes instead.

More Helpful Tips on iPhone 7 Software Update and Restore

You might need to use recovery mode to restore your iPhone in the following situations:

  • If your iPhone is not recognized by iTunes or iTunes says it is in recovery mode.
  • If an Apple logo appears on the screen for several minutes without progress bar.
  • If you are prompted with the Connect to iTunes screen.

In case the update or restore never completes or your iPhone 7 becomes unresponsive, performing a force restart on your iPhone can help.

You may also opt to try using an iOS system recovery tool available for your device. There are actually a lot of available tools you can select from the Apps Store. Just pick the one that best suit your needs, particularly the tool that integrates restoration problem fixes for your iPhone.