How to fix an Apple iPhone XS that is stuck on Recovery Mode, couldn’t get past the recovery screen [Troubleshooting Guide]

Many factors can cause an iPhone to be stuck on the Apple logo, recovery mode, black or blank screen. Among the usual triggers are rogue apps, bad updates, corrupted system data, bugs, and malware. The same thing can happen when the phone has obtained some sort of physical or liquid damage from prior incidents of accidental fall or liquid exposure. Before rushing to a service center though, there are some workarounds that can be used to rule out software-related factors from the underlying cause.

Highlighted below are a few workarounds that are used to address a pertinent issue on the Apple iPhone XS handset. Read on to find out what to do if all of a sudden your new iPhone gets stuck on recovery and couldn’t get past the recovery screen.

How to troubleshoot iPhone XS that’s stuck on Recovery Mode

Before troubleshooting software problems that might have caused your iPhone to get stuck on recovery mode, get to your computer and make sure no other apps or programs are running. There’s a tendency that other programs would interfere with iTunes and eventually caused the system restore to fail. Also ensure that you’re using the latest version of iTunes software and that your computer in use must be running on a later, if not the latest operating system. This will help rule out system conflicts. If everything is set with iTunes and your computer system, try performing any of these subsequent solutions to fix iOS errors and get your iPhone XS back to its normal state.

First solution: Force restart your iPhone XS.

Restarting the phone usually clears out minor system errors and trigger random issues. However, performing the usual soft reset won’t be applicable given that your iPhone screen is stuck or not responding. To restart a frozen or stuck iPhone, you will need to carry out a force restart with these steps:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Then, press and hold the Power button on the side of the phone and then release when the phone enters the boot-up sequence.

A force restart also clears out all suspended apps that have gone rogue and likewise dumps junk files including temporary files that were corrupted in the phone memory.
If your phone managed to start up normally after performing a force restart, try installing all pending updates for your apps. This can help prevent the phone from getting stuck again, especially if bad apps are to blame. App updates usually offer patches or special codes that are used to eliminate errors and bugs that trigger certain apps to go rogue. So here’s what you can try doing next:

  1. Tap App Store from the Home screen.
  2. Scroll down to and then tap the Updates tab to show the list of apps with pending updates.
  3. Tap the Update button next to the name of the app to update apps individually.
  4. Tap the Update All button on the upper-right to update all apps simultaneously.

Aside from updating apps, clearing all customized settings and restoring the default or original options and system configuration can also help. Any erratic configuration can also cause the phone system to encounter errors and crash. Here’s how to reset all settings on your iPhone XS:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your device passcode.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm all settings reset.

After the reset, your phone should reboot by itself. By then you can start enabling the features you need to use on your phone again.

Second solution: Retry restoring in recovery mode.

When the previous recovery mode restore attempt failed, it doesn’t mean it would always fail. Thus, it won’t hurt if you’d give it another try. But before you do, be sure to get rid of any other USB/external devices from your computer’s USB ports except your iPhone. Doing so will help ensure no other devices is interfering with your iPhone XS and iTunes connection. Also close any other programs running on your computer. Once you’ve got everything set, follow these steps to reattempt restoring your iPhone XS in recovery mode:

  1. Connect your iPhone XS to your computer using the Apple-supplied USB/Lightning cable.
  2. While it’s connected, press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  3. Then quick press and release the Volume Down button.
  4. Next, press and hold the Side/Power button and continue to hold as it restarts. Don’t release the Side/Power button when the Apple logo appears as you need to put the device in a recovery state.
  5. Release the Side/Power button when you see the Connect to iTunes logo on the screen.
  6. On your computer, navigate to iTunes then you should see a message saying that your connected iOS device is in recovery mode and prompts options to update or restore.
  7. Select the Restore option to wipe everything from the phone system and then restore iOS through iTunes.

Don’t disconnect your iPhone from the computer unless iTunes is finished downloading and installing the latest software for your device.

Third solution: Restore your iPhone XS in DFU mode.

If the second recovery mode restore attempt still failed, then you may have to resort to the deepest type of iOS restore called the DFU mode restore. DFU stands for Device Firmware Update mode, a state in which your iPhone is still able to communicate with iTunes on a computer even when the operating system or bootloader isn’t activated. This offers a higher chance of repairing a corrupted iOS and gets your device to return to its normal state. Nonetheless, there are some precautions that you should note before performing a DFU mode restore. First, this process will wipe everything from the phone system thus causes permanent data loss. And second, there is a risk of ending up bricking the iPhone if the DFU mode restore isn’t completed. Thus, it’s also NOT recommended to perform a DFU mode restore if your iPhone has some sort of liquid damage. If you suspect that your device has liquid damage, then you better take it to a service center instead. But if you’re certain that no hardware damage is present, then you can give it a try. Here’s how to perform a DFU mode restore on an iPhone XS:

  1. Connect your iPhone XS to the computer using the Apple-supplied Lightning cable or USB cable.
  2. While your device is connected, quickly press and release the Volume Up button, then quickly press and release the Volume Down button.
  3. Then press and hold the Side/Power button until the screen becomes black.
  4. As soon as your iPhone screen turns black, press and hold the Volume Down button while continuing to hold the Side/Power button.
  5. After 5 seconds, let go of the Side/Power button but keep holding down the Volume Down button until your iPhone shows up in iTunes.
  6. Release the Volume Down button as soon as it appears in iTunes. Your device should now enter DFU mode.
  7. Then you can start restoring your iPhone in iTunes. Simply follow the command prompts to complete the system restore.

When the system restore is complete, force restart your iPhone XS to exit DFU mode and get back to its normal state.

Fourth solution: Use iOS repair and recovery software.

If iTunes doesn’t work, then you can try using other iOS management and repair systems created by third-party app developers. There are actually a lot of trusty iPhone system repair software you can download online including Reiboot, iOS System Recovery, and U.Fone, to name some. Just pick the most credible and compatible with your computer’s operating system and the one that supports iOS 12 devices, particularly the iPhone XS.
If your iPhone XS remains stuck on recovery mode after performing all the aforementioned solutions, then nothing much more can be done to fix it on your end. At this point, your best hope to get your iPhone back up and running again is service. That being said, you can take your device to the nearest Apple-authorized service center and ask an iPhone technician to run some thorough hardware assessment. If your iPhone is still covered by warranty, then you may call your phone provider or Apple support for more information on to avail for warranty.
I hope that we’ve been able to help you fix the problem with your device. We would appreciate it if you helped us spread the word so please share this post if you found it helpful. Thank you so much for reading!

1 thought on “How to fix an Apple iPhone XS that is stuck on Recovery Mode, couldn’t get past the recovery screen [Troubleshooting Guide]”

  1. In some cases, iPhone xs stucking in recovery mode is caused by the iPhone system bugs. If you face the problem, you can use an iOS system recovery tool, like TunesKit iOS System Recovery. It can solve over 50 iOS-related issues like WhatsApp notifications not working, iPhone black screen, screen freezing, etc.

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