Can I fix my iPhone through iTunes?

iTunes can be a useful tool for fixing certain issues with your iPhone. In this article, we’ll explore what types of fixes you can attempt through iTunes and when it’s better to take your phone to an Apple Store or authorized service provider.

What issues can I fix through iTunes?

Here are some common iPhone issues that you may be able to resolve by connecting your device to iTunes and performing certain actions:

  • Reset Settings – If your iPhone is experiencing glitches or strange behavior, resetting your device’s settings may help. This will revert settings like wallpaper, ringtones, and app preferences back to default.
  • Update Software – iTunes will check for any available iOS software updates and allow you to install the latest version. Keeping your iPhone up-to-date can fix bugs and improve performance.
  • Restore iPhone – For major software issues, you can use iTunes to completely erase your device and install a fresh copy of the iOS. This should resolve any underlying software problems.
  • Force Restart – If your iPhone is frozen or unresponsive, iTunes can force your device to restart. This can help if your phone is stuck on an error screen or won’t turn on properly.

In addition to the above fixes, you can also use iTunes to backup the data on your iPhone before attempting any major troubleshooting steps. This will allow you to restore your data if something goes wrong during the restore process.

When should I take my iPhone to an Apple Store instead?

While iTunes can be helpful for some issues, it’s not a cure-all. Here are some instances when you’ll want to seek professional help at an Apple Store or authorized service provider instead:

  • Hardware issues – Problems like a cracked screen, faulty battery, or damage from water exposure require physical repairs that iTunes cannot do.
  • Serious crashes/freezes – If your iPhone experiences a serious software malfunction and cannot be restored through iTunes, professional service may be needed.
  • Won’t turn on – If your device won’t power on at all, there is likely a hardware-related issue that you should get inspected by a professional.
  • Out of warranty issues – For any damage-related issues on an iPhone that’s out of warranty, Apple can offer paid repair or replacement services.

The technicians at an Apple Store or authorized service provider have more advanced tools and methods to diagnose and fix many iPhone issues beyond what iTunes can address. They may be able to recover data from a severely damaged or non-functional device, for example. The hardware experts can open up and physically inspect your iPhone to find solutions.

How to reset iPhone settings through iTunes

If you want to reset your iPhone settings to troubleshoot odd behaviors or glitches, here are the steps to do it through iTunes:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer using the USB cable supplied with your device.
  2. Open iTunes on your computer and select your iPhone from the menu.
  3. Under Summary, click Restore iPhone. This will erase your device and install a clean copy of the latest iOS version.
  4. If you don’t want to wipe your entire iPhone, scroll down to Settings and click Reset All Settings instead. This will reset preferences while keeping your data.
  5. Read the warning prompts carefully and select Reset. Your iPhone will restart with default settings applied.
  6. Once your iPhone restarts, unplug it from your computer. You can then reuse iTunes to set up your device from an iCloud or iTunes backup if needed.

Resetting your settings through iTunes can often resolve minor software issues that cause strange device behaviors. Just make sure to backup your data first!

Using iTunes to update an iPhone

Keeping your iPhone’s software up-to-date is one of the best ways to maintain smooth performance and fix bugs. Follow these instructions to update your iOS version using iTunes:

  1. With your iPhone connected to your computer, open iTunes.
  2. In the Summary panel, check if there is an iOS software update available for your device. The latest version will be noted here if so.
  3. Click Download and Update to start installing the newest iOS version on your iPhone.
  4. Agree to Apple’s terms and conditions when prompted.
  5. Let the update process run. Your iPhone may restart a couple times. When finished, you’ll see a message that the update was successful.
  6. Unplug your iPhone and start using it. Apps may need to update themselves after an iOS update as well.

Updating through iTunes ensures your device has the absolute latest iOS version installed. This can fix bugs, improve performance, and add new features.

Restoring an iPhone using iTunes

If your iPhone experiences major software issues or freezing/crashing problems, a restore may be needed. This completely erases your device and installs a fresh copy of iOS. Here are the iTunes restore steps:

  1. Backup your iPhone data to iCloud or your computer before restoring! All data will be wiped out.
  2. Connect the iPhone to your computer via USB and open iTunes.
  3. Select your iPhone in iTunes, then go to Summary and click Restore iPhone.
  4. A warning will appear about erasing all data – click Restore again to confirm.
  5. iTunes will download a fresh copy of the latest iOS version and install it on your iPhone. This may take awhile.
  6. Once the restore finishes, your iPhone will reboot itself. You’ll need to go through the setup assistant screens to start using your device again.
  7. Finally, restore your data either from an iCloud or iTunes backup.

Restoring your iPhone will wipe out any underlying software issues by installing a clean iOS copy. Be absolutely certain to backup your data first!

Force restarting an iPhone with iTunes

If your iPhone screen is frozen and the device won’t restart, you may need to force it to turn off then back on using iTunes. Here’s how:

  1. Connect your unresponsive iPhone to your computer.
  2. In iTunes, select your iPhone, then hold down the Control and Shift keys on your keyboard (Windows) or the Option and Shift keys (Mac).
  3. While holding the keys, click Restore iPhone. Keep holding the keys down until you see the recovery mode screen on your device.
  4. Release the keys. Your iPhone will now restart itself out of recovery mode.

This forced reboot can help resolve freezing issues and get your iPhone functioning again in many instances. If the phone remains unresponsive or frequently freezes, you may need professional service for a deeper problem.

Backing up an iPhone with iTunes

Before attempting major troubleshooting steps like an iPhone restore, it’s critical to back up your device data. You have two backup options with iTunes:

  • iCloud backup – Enable iCloud backups in your iPhone settings. Then your device will automatically backup when plugged into power and WiFi. iCloud provides several gigabytes of free storage space.
  • iTunes backup – With your phone connected, select it in iTunes. Go to Summary and click Back Up Now. Your content will backup to your computer storage. You can also enable automatic iTunes backups here.

After backing up your iPhone, you can restore from that backup once any troubleshooting steps are complete. iCloud makes restoring seamless, while iTunes requires some manual file transfers.


While iTunes provides useful tools to fix certain iPhone issues, it does have limitations. For hardware-related problems or severe software glitches, professional repair services will be needed. Be absolutely certain to properly back up your data before attempting any major troubleshooting through iTunes.

Issue Fix through iTunes?
Cracked screen No
Device won’t turn on No
Strange behaviors/glitches Possibly – try resetting settings
Outdated iOS version Yes – update software
Frozen screen Yes – force restart
Major software crash Yes – restore iPhone

This table summarizes when iTunes can and cannot fix an iPhone issue based on the symptoms. Hardware problems always require professional repair service.

Backing Up Your iPhone

Before attempting any major troubleshooting with iTunes, it’s critical to back up your iPhone data first. You have two options:

  • iCloud backup – Enable in your iPhone settings for automatic wireless backups.
  • iTunes backup – Connect your phone and manually back up or set up automatic backups.

Backups allow you to restore your data if anything goes wrong during the troubleshooting process. An iCloud backup makes restoring seamless and wireless.

When to Seek Professional Repair Service

While iTunes can fix some iOS-related issues, hardware problems require professional service. Seek out an Apple Store or authorized repair center for:

  • Cracked screens or other physical damage
  • Liquid damage like water or spills
  • An iPhone that won’t power on
  • Issues on an out-of-warranty iPhone

Technicians have specialized tools and methods for resolving these types of iPhone problems that iTunes cannot address. They may also be able to recover data from severely damaged devices.

Resetting Your iPhone’s Settings

To reset all settings on your iPhone through iTunes:

  1. Connect iPhone to computer and open iTunes
  2. Select your device and go to the Summary page
  3. Scroll down to Settings and click Reset All Settings
  4. Confirm reset when prompted

Resetting to factory default settings can resolve odd behaviors and glitches resulting from changes to iOS preferences and options. Make sure to back up first!