How long does it take for iPhone to get out of recovery mode?

What is recovery mode?

Recovery mode is a special state that an iPhone can enter when there are major software problems preventing the device from booting up normally. When an iPhone is in recovery mode, it will display the “Connect to iTunes” screen with a USB cable graphic. This indicates that the device needs to connect to a computer running iTunes in order to be restored.

Some common reasons an iPhone may enter recovery mode include:

  • Attempting a failed iOS update
  • Jailbreaking gone wrong
  • Persistent software crash/boot loop
  • Forgotten device passcode

Recovery mode provides a way to wipe the device and reinstall a clean, stable version of iOS to get it functioning again.

How to put an iPhone into recovery mode

There are a couple of different ways to manually put an iPhone into recovery mode:

Method 1:

  1. Connect the iPhone to a computer with a USB cable. If iTunes opens, close it.
  2. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  3. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  4. Then, press and hold the Side button until you see the recovery mode screen.

Method 2:

  1. Connect the iPhone to a computer with a USB cable. If iTunes opens, close it.
  2. Press and hold both the Side button and either Volume button for at least 10 seconds, until you see the recovery mode screen.

With either method, the device should display the Connect to iTunes screen with the USB cable graphic if it has successfully entered recovery mode.

How to get an iPhone out of recovery mode

There are a couple of different ways to get an iPhone out of recovery mode:

Restore in iTunes

The proper way to exit recovery mode is to restore the iPhone using iTunes on a computer. Here are the steps:

  1. With the iPhone connected in recovery mode, open iTunes on your computer.
  2. iTunes will detect the iPhone in recovery mode and prompt you to Restore.
  3. Click Restore and let iTunes download the latest iOS software.
  4. Once the restore process completes, the iPhone will reboot normally, no longer in recovery mode.

This restore process can take between 5-15 minutes depending on your internet connection speed.

Force restart

If you need to get the iPhone out of recovery quickly without restoring, you can force restart the device:

  1. Hold down the Side button and either Volume button simultaneously for at least 10 seconds, until the Apple logo appears.
  2. Keep holding the buttons even if you see the recovery mode screen flash.
  3. Release the buttons once you see the Apple logo.

The iPhone will then power back on normally, exiting recovery mode. Note that force restarting does not fix any underlying software problems that caused the recovery mode.

How long recovery mode takes: Key factors

How long an iPhone stays in recovery mode depends on a few key factors:

  • User action – The biggest variable is how long you leave the iPhone connected before exiting recovery mode. It can stay in recovery indefinitely until you initiate a restore or force restart.
  • Restore time – If you restore through iTunes, the process generally takes 5-15 minutes based on internet speeds.
  • Force restart time – Doing a force restart to exit recovery mode only takes about 30-60 seconds.
  • Battery level – Recovery mode disables normal shutdown. If the battery fully drains, the iPhone will power off until charged again.
  • Computer connection – The iPhone exits recovery mode as soon as the USB cable is disconnected from a computer.

So in summary, an iPhone can stay in recovery mode for just a minute or indefinitely, until you actively restart it or restore through iTunes. The recovery process itself will take between 5-15 minutes if you do a full restore.

Typical recovery mode durations

Here are some typical durations that an iPhone may spend in recovery mode for common scenarios:

Quick force restart – 1 minute

If you quickly force restart the iPhone after entering recovery mode, the whole process can take as little as 1 minute. This is the quickest way to exit recovery mode without restoring.

Restore via iTunes – 10 minutes

Performing a full restore through iTunes usually takes about 5-15 minutes. 10 minutes is typical for an average broadband internet connection.

Waiting before restore – Hours to days

Many users enter recovery mode then leave their iPhone connected for hours or days before finally doing a restore. The iPhone will stay in recovery this whole time until restored.

Forgotten device – Weeks

If an iPhone is put into recovery mode then forgotten about, it can stay in recovery mode for weeks until the battery fully drains. Once discharged, it will exit recovery mode.

Intermittent connection – Hours

If there are connectivity issues between the iPhone and computer during recovery mode, the process can sporadically connect and disconnect for hours before completing.

Troubleshooting excessively long recovery mode

In most cases, recovery mode should only last about 10 minutes while restoring through iTunes. Here are some steps to try if your iPhone is stuck in recovery mode excessively long:

– Retry the force restart procedure – Hold Side and Volume buttons for a full 20 seconds.

– Hard reset the iPhone – On models with a Home button, hold Home + Side until the screen goes black.

– Check for debris in the Lightning port – Lint or damage can affect connectivity.

– Try a different Lightning cable – Faulty cables can cause connection issues.

– Switch USB ports and cables – Try different ports and cables between the iPhone and computer.

– Use a different computer – Something may be wrong with the current computer you’re connecting to.

– Update iTunes – Older versions of iTunes may have bugs restoring.

– Factory reset the iPhone – Erase the device then reinstall iOS through iTunes.

If the iPhone remains stuck in recovery mode for over an hour, there is likely a serious hardware or software issue that requires tech support or a trip to the Apple Store to resolve.

Preventing recovery mode in the future

To avoid having an iPhone enter recovery mode unexpectedly again, follow these tips:

– Always keep iOS up-to-date via automatic updates.

– Avoid jailbreaking your iPhone unless you’re very technically skilled.

– Don’t force shut down the iPhone unless absolutely needed.

– Create an iCloud and/or iTunes backup periodically as a precaution.

– Use a case and screen protector to prevent device damage.

– Don’t disconnect the iPhone from the computer during an iOS update.

– If you encounter issues, restore the iPhone through iTunes before they worsen.

Following best practices for using and updating your iPhone can help prevent many issues that would require recovery mode. But if you do end up in recovery mode someday, just remember that it’s designed to be temporary state, not permanent. Just initiate a restore through iTunes and your iPhone will be back up and running like normal within about 10-15 minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why does my iPhone keep going into recovery mode by itself?

If your iPhone keeps entering recovery mode randomly without you doing anything, there is likely an underlying hardware or software issue. Common culprits include a failing touchscreen digitizer, glitching Side button, corrupted operating system files, or problems with the USB port. You’ll need to get the device inspected at an Apple Store or repair shop.

2. Can I backup my iPhone while it’s in recovery mode?

No, you cannot access the normal iOS interface or backup your data while the iPhone is in recovery mode. You’ll need to perform a restore through iTunes first before you can backup the device again.

3. How can I tell if my iPhone is in recovery mode or just powered off?

The main way to tell is by connecting it to a computer. If the iPhone is in recovery mode, you’ll see the “Connect to iTunes” screen. If powered off normally, you’ll just see the empty battery icon.

4. Does recovery mode reset or erase my iPhone?

Entering recovery mode does not immediately erase or reset your iPhone. However, the restore process through iTunes will wipe the device and reinstall a fresh iOS. Be sure to backup first!

5. Can I force restart my iPhone even if the buttons are broken?

If the Side or Volume buttons are physically broken, you won’t be able to force restart normally. You’ll need to get the buttons repaired before you can exit recovery mode.


The amount of time an iPhone spends in recovery mode can vary wildly based on user action and troubleshooting needs. In typical situations, recovery mode lasts just long enough to initiate and complete an iTunes restore, around 5-15 minutes. But issues with hardware, software or connectivity can extending this duration considerably. Just remember that recovery mode is not intended as permanent state, and there are steps you can take to minimize the chances of your iPhone ending up stuck there for excessively long periods of time. With some patience and proper troubleshooting, you can get your iPhone back up and running normally again after recovery mode.