Restore Your iPhone with iTunes

If your iOS update fails and none of the quick tips helped, your best option is to restore your bricked iPhone or another iDevice.

Hopefully, you followed the golden rules of preparing for an update and backed up your iPhone/iDevice to iCloud or on your computer.

To get your iPhone back to working order, this backup is your saving grace and has all your information tucked away just for times like this.

First, connect your iPhone to any computer with iTunes installed. Just make sure this computer has the latest version of iTunes.

If it doesn’t, update iTunes first.  

Once updated or verified, open iTunes and connect your device.  iTunes automatically detects your iDevice in recovery mode and suggests restoring it back to factory settings.

Tap here for more detailed instructions on restoring an iDevice.

iOS Update Bricked Your iPhone? How-To Fix

When you restore your iDevice, it erases and updates your device to the latest version of iOS.  Now your backup is really important.

If you backup with iCloud, sign in and restore from your iCloud backup during the setup process.   Follow the prompts and enter your Apple ID and password when requested.

If you back up your iPhone to iTunes, connect your iPhone or iDevice to your home computer to retrieve your backup and all your information.

Finally, remember that restoring takes time.  So practice patience.

This process could take minutes or hours–it all depends on how large your iDevice is and how much space you are using with apps, photos, and other types of personal information.

Breathe.  Relax.  Let the restore do its job.

What if I Don’t Have a Backup?

If you don’t have a backup, our suggestion is to wait to restore your iPhone or another iDevice.  Try the whole updating process again and see if it works.

If not, following the steps above will solve your immediate problem of the iPhone or iDevice not turning on or working.  But you lose all your information and data without some kind of backup.

What About the Message “The iPhone could not be restored.”

If after updating you’re getting an error saying “The iPhone could not be restored. An unknown error occurred,” we recommend restoring your iDevice in DFU mode.

If you are ready to take this step, check out our article on how to restore using DFU mode.

No Time? Check Out Our Video!

My iPad will not turn on: How to fix a dead device

Visit With Apple

If your iPhone or another iDevice isn’t restoring after trying everything, you might have a hardware issue.

In that case,  it needs an Apple inspection and possibly a repair. Set-up an appointment online to bring your iDevice to a nearby Apple Store or contact Apple to examine your device via their mail service.

Hopefully, you are still under warranty coverage!

Wrapping It Up

Hopefully, these tips helped you and your iPhone is no longer bricked.  Now’s the time to discover and enjoy all the cool new features available in this new iOS.

And remember to backup, starting today.

Hopefully, you will never need to use a backup, but it’s great to know one’s available just in case.

To learn more about backing up, check out our comprehensive guide to backing up following our 2X2 rule.

Please let us know in the comments if you have any other strategies or tips.  We love to hear and share everyone’s troubleshooting suggestions.

Reader Tips

  • Problem solved! Hold both the Power and Home buttons and wait for screen to go black with the Apple Logo. BUT don’t release the buttons! Continue holding both buttons until the iTunes logo appears on-screen, then connect to iTunes and start the restore process.
  • Changing charging cables did the trick for me! Once I swapped to a different cable (MFI), I was able to reset and then restore. And I connected to my last backup too! Glad I made that backup before trying to update my iOS!