How do I fix my iPhone stuck on iTunes screen?

Having your iPhone stuck on the iTunes screen can be incredibly frustrating. The iTunes logo just sits there spinning endlessly, no matter how long you wait for it to load. There are a few potential causes of this issue and a variety of troubleshooting steps you can try to get your iPhone working properly again.

What Causes an iPhone to Get Stuck on the iTunes Screen?

There are a few main culprits that tend to be behind an iPhone getting stuck on the iTunes screen:

  • Software issues – A bug or glitch in the operating system can cause the device to freeze.
  • Hardware problems – Issues with the phone’s internal components may prevent it from booting up fully.
  • Connection problems – Faulty cables, outdated software, or other connection problems when syncing or restoring can lead to getting stuck.

Let’s explore these common causes in more detail:

Software Issues

The iOS software powering your iPhone, like any operating system, can sometimes experience bugs or glitches. A recent system update that didn’t install properly is a common culprit. Jailbreaking your device or attempting to modify the software can also introduce bugs that lead to freezing on the iTunes screen.

If there was a software update or change applied recently before the issue started occurring, that points to a software problem being the likely cause.

Hardware Problems

Issues with the physical components of your iPhone can also result in it getting stuck at the iTunes screen. Potential hardware problems include:

  • Issues with the screen digitizer
  • Faulty logic board or internal wiring
  • Problems with the home button
  • Battery failure

If your device experienced any physical trauma like being dropped or getting wet, that damage could easily cause hardware problems. The device hanging at the iTunes screen may be because the components are not working well enough for it to fully boot up.

Connection Problems

Finally, if your iPhone is stuck when connected to a computer on iTunes, there may be a problem with the connection preventing a restore or sync from completing properly. This can freeze the iPhone on the iTunes logo screen.

Potential connection problems include:

  • Damaged or faulty USB or Lightning cable
  • Outdated iTunes or iOS software version
  • Computer issues like USB port failure
  • Poor internet connection interfering with restore

The key distinction here is that the freezing occurs when connected or attempting to connect with iTunes on a computer. That indicates the problem is isolated to that connection.

How to Fix an iPhone Stuck on iTunes Screen

Now that you know what generally causes an iPhone to get stuck on the iTunes logo, here are the steps to try to fix it:

  1. Force restart your iPhone
  2. Check for and install any iOS updates
  3. Restore your iPhone in iTunes or Finder
  4. Try a different Lightning or USB cable
  5. Clean the Lightning port on your iPhone
  6. Test your iPhone on a different computer
  7. Reset your iPhone’s settings
  8. Perform a factory reset and restore

Going through this sequence of troubleshooting steps will help isolate if the problem is related to software, hardware, or the connection. Let’s look at each of these steps in more detail:

1. Force Restart Your iPhone

The first step any time an iPhone is frozen is to force restart it. This will reboot the device and reload the operating system from scratch, potentially resolving any software glitches. Here is how to force restart any iPhone model:

  • iPhone 8 or earlier – Hold the Power and Home buttons simultaneously until the Apple logo appears.
  • iPhone X or later – Press and quickly release the Volume Up button, press and quickly release the Volume Down button, then press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears.

After the iPhone restarts, see if it gets stuck at the iTunes screen again. If the problem persists, move on to the next steps.

2. Check for and Install Any iOS Updates

Make sure your iPhone is running the absolute latest version of iOS if it is getting stuck. Go into Settings > General > Software Update and install any available updates. This will rule out the possibility of a known glitch in an outdated OS version causing the issue.

3. Restore Your iPhone in iTunes or Finder

If a software glitch is still suspected, restoring your iPhone using a computer can overwrite any corrupted OS files. Connect the iPhone to a computer using a known good Lightning or USB cable. Open iTunes or Finder on a Mac and put the iPhone in Recovery mode:

  1. Press and hold the Side or Top button until the “slide to power off” message appears.
  2. Keep holding the button after the screen goes black and keep holding as the Apple logo appears.
  3. When you see the “Connect to iTunes” screen, release the button.

Then select Restore and let iTunes or Finder download and reinstall the latest iOS version. See if this clears up your stuck iTunes screen issue.

4. Try a Different Lightning or USB Cable

It’s possible the cable you’re using to connect your iPhone to your computer is damaged, frayed, or defective. The connection problems this causes could definitely lead to the device getting stuck on the iTunes screen when syncing or restoring.

Try swapping the cable out for a different certified Lightning or USB cable in good condition. Use that instead when connecting to iTunes. This can isolate if the cable is the root of the connection issues.

5. Clean the Lightning Port on Your iPhone

Debris and dust buildup in your iPhone’s Lightning port can interfere with connectivity and cause syncing or restoring to fail in iTunes and freeze your device. Use a toothpick or soft-bristled brush to gently clean out the port.

Make sure no bent pins or any obstructions are down inside the port as these can stop proper insertion of the Lightning cable. Compressed air can help clear out any particles after loosening them up with the toothpick and brush.

6. Test Your iPhone on a Different Computer

Try connecting your iPhone to a different computer system entirely and see if the same iTunes sticking issue occurs. This will verify whether the problem is with your iPhone itself or related to something on your regular computer.

For example, if you normally sync to a laptop, now try a desktop computer instead. Or borrow a friend’s computer to connect your iPhone to iTunes. This will indicate if the hardware and software on your usual computer are playing a role in the issue.

7. Reset Your iPhone’s Settings

Resetting your device can help clear out any corrupted settings or glitches if a software problem is suspected. Go to Settings > General > Reset and choose Reset All Settings. This will preserve your data but reset system settings to their defaults.

After your iPhone reboots, reconfigure it and see if the iTunes sticking is resolved.

8. Perform a Factory Reset and Restore

The nuclear option is to wipe your iPhone entirely by doing a factory reset and then restoring from a backup. This fresh install of iOS can eliminate any deep-rooted software bugs causing freezing issues.

Note this will erase all data and settings, so make sure everything is backed up first. Then go to Settings > General > Reset and choose Erase All Content and Settings.

Your iPhone will reboot into a blank factory state. Then either set up the device as new or restore from an iTunes or iCloud backup. The full wipe and restore has the best chance of comprehensively resolving any glitchy software.

Preventing the iPhone iTunes Screen Freeze

Once you’ve resolved your immediate iTunes screen sticking issue, there are some measures you can take to prevent it from occurring again down the road:

  • Keep iOS updated – Install system updates right away to avoid bugs in outdated versions.
  • Avoid jailbreaking – Jailbreaking introduces instability and glitches, increasing freezing risk.
  • Use trusted accessories – Low quality Lightning cables can cause syncing and restoring problems.
  • Backup regularly – Keep recent backups so you can easily restore if needed.
  • Monitor device health – Watch for problems like slowness or overheating that precede bigger issues.
  • Avoid drops and water – Physical damage can lead to hardware and connection problems.

Keeping your iPhone’s software updated, avoiding system modifications, using reliable accessories, and preventing physical damage will help minimize stability issues and freezing in the future.


An iPhone stuck on the iTunes logo screen is a common problem with several potential causes. Software glitches, hardware faults, and connection issues can all leave your iPhone hanging at the spinning iTunes screen. Methodically trying force restarts, software updates, backup restores, changing cables, cleaning ports, and resetting your device can isolate the underlying problem.

With some persistence and working through troubleshooting steps, you should be able to get your iPhone back up and running normally. Preventative care and maintenance will help avoid repeat issues going forward. Be sure to keep backups so you can easily restore and refresh your iPhone if needed.

If you’ve exhausted all options without resolution, seek assistance from an experienced repair technician. Hardware components may need replacement to get your iPhone working properly again. The key is not to get too frustrated and to calmly try the various fixes until the sticking issue is resolved.