Wednesday, January 30, 2013

iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode. You must restore this iPhone before it can be used with iTunes

 This error is bad news, i.e., if you don't have a recent backup. I don't know of any way to bypass this error either. Apple support said there isn't one and to just go through with the restore. What does the restore do? Running the restore will reset your iphone back to factory settings meaning just the way you had it when you bought it, opened it, then started it for the first time.

1. Run the restore 
Just do it. You know, like Nike says: just do it (showing my age huh?). If you don't, you won't be able to use your iPhone. In iTunes click on the restore button and let it do the work. The restore shouldn't take longer than 10 minutes. There are progress bars through the whole thing.

2. Run your backup if you have one 
iTunes will detect the restored iPhone. iTunes will also give some indication of running a backup (if you're using the "authorized" computer - the computer you have iTunes on that you use for charging and syncing your iPhone). If there is a backup detected then run it! Even if it's a few days old or more because if you don't you will be starting your iphone in factory settings mode.

How long does the restore from your backup take? It all depends on the size of your backup, i.e. how many apps you had, music, notes, etc. The restore from backup on my boss's iPhone 5 took about a hour or a little more.

3. Make sure things run correctly 
I like to make sure things are running correctly before I give the device back to whomever. Make sure you can receive and send email correctly, that your iTunes store experience is correct, device to computer syncing works, iCloud syncing works and that other important apps are working.

All in all, this process wasn't as *bad* as I thought it would be. Why does this error happen? My boss told me his iPhone 5 began an update and that the didn't have time for it so he unplugged his iPhone from his computer and that's when he couldn't get his iPhone past the screen with the usb cable pointing to the iTunes logo.

So, if your device (whatever it is) is in "installing an update" mode then LET IT DO IT BEFORE DISCONNECTING IT OR TURNING IT OFF.


  1. i had over 1000 pictures and videos and other various things on my ipad. not backed up. now its all gone! im quite angry!!

  2. This is the LAST time an iPhone does this to me! I will NEVER under ANY circumstances waste my money on an iPhone again!

    I'm DONE. There is ZERO excuse for a phone to ever do this. I'm buying an android first thing in the morning.

    1. I can understand your frustration, especially if you don't have a recent backup (like the user zark16!) because then it's very, very, very bad.

      My android experience is with the DROID Razr from motrolla. That is a very good android phone (maybe the best?).

  3. I purchased an Iphone 5 IOS 7.2. I went home and tried to link it to my Apple ID I couldn’t do that and can’t even access or buy or update any app.


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