iPhone Troubleshooting - How To Do Hard Reset, Recovery Mode & DFU Restore

iPhone Troubleshooting - How To Do Hard Reset, Recovery Mode & DFU Restore

iPhones and any other gadget can fail. It’s inevitable. It can fail without warning and without any apparent cause. Fortunately, most iPhone problems are repairable both software and hardware side. The best thing about doing your own troubleshooting is that you can save time and money.

People nowadays opt to repair their own stuff, why not? It’s quite fun, actually. Doing these simple steps can help you fix basic problems on your own without paying a professional for their service.

Here are the basic iPhone troubleshooting steps:

  • Restart the app/apps (reinstall optional)

  • There is not a single app that is perfect and absolute. All softwares are prone to bugs and somewhere down the road, apps will tend to misbehave.

    When this happens, the first thing you have to do is to quit the app and start it again. On default settings, you can do this by double tapping on the home button so that the list of active apps will be pulled up. You can then scroll and slide up on the misbehaving app to quit it. Go back to the home menu and just start it again.

    If that does not resolve it, the next step is to update the app through App store.
    Lastly, if the issue remains, uninstall the app and reinstall it. 

    It's simple to uninstall the app. All you have to do is:

    1.  Press and hold the icon of the problematic app.
    2.  Let go as soon as the app is shaking with an "X" at the top left of the icon.
    3.  Press on the "X" and a prompt will ask you if you're sure to delete the app (See image below)
    4. Once uninstalled, you can then go to the app store and look for that app and reinstall it.
  • Restart your iPhone

  • I’m sure you’ve noticed that everytime you go to a tech the first thing that they ask is “Have you restarted your iPhone?”. People usually find this question irrelevant as they cannot find the logic behind it. But techs know the effectivity of this simple troubleshooting step.

    iPhone, despite its technology, can eventually fail. The software can sometimes get overwhelmed especially if its limits have been reached. As a result, apps freezes or crashes, battery overheats, or your iPhone simply perform sluggishly. 

    A simple restart can help the device clean up the table and start over again with a fresh slate. 

    There are three ways to restart/shut down your iPhone. 

    Via Sleep/Wake button:

    1. Press and hold the sleep/wake button until your device shows you the “shut off” slider.
    2. Slide it to power off.
    3. After the phone has completely shut down, wait for about a minute and turn it back on by pressing the sleep/wake button.

    Via Settings

    1. Go to Settings.
    2. Go to General.
    3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and press “Shut Down
    4. Your device will show you the “shut off” slider.
    5. Slide it to power off.
    6. After the phone has completely shut down, wait for about a minute and turn it back on by pressing the sleep/wake button.

    Via Force restart or Hard reset 

    For iPhone 6S Plus and earlier models.

    Press and hold the sleep/wake button as well as the home button for about 15 seconds or  until the phone shuts down and restarts.

    Holding these two buttons triggers the phone to restart without a physical movement of the “Slide to shut down” function.

    For iPhone 7 & 7 Plus

    Press and hold the sleep/wake button as well as the volume down button for about 15 seconds or  until the phone shuts down and restarts.

    For iPhone 8 and later models.

    1. Press and quickly release the volume UP button.
    2. Press and quickly release the volume DOWN button.
    3. Press and hold the sleep/wake button until the Apple logo appears.
  • Update or download the latest version of the O.S (Operating System)

  • If your iPhone continues to misbehave or perform inadequately, maybe your operating system isn’t up-to-date. There are issues that are sometimes tough to resolve and only an update can fix it. Some apps tend to get updated and later may no longer work with older iOS versions.

    In previous versions of the O.S, the battery gets drained fast despite using the iPhone within normal limits. Sometimes these issues are known to Apple and they create fixes for it through revisions. A new version of the operating system may fix issues and bugs that are known to the developers.

    Here are the steps to download and update to the latest O.S: 

    1. Make sure that your iPhone data has been backed up via iTunes or iCloud.
    2. Go to Settings.
    3. Tap on General.
    4. Tap on Software update.
    5. Tap on Download and Install.
    6. Enter passcode (if there is one)
    7. Tap on Agree to Terms and Conditions.
    8. Tap Agree to confirm.

    The update usually takes time so make sure that your device has been charged (at least 6t0%) to prevent shutdowns due to empty battery during update.

    iphone 6 battery replacement

    • Recovery mode and DFU (Device Firmware Update)

    Recovery mode is a method to revive or renew the current version of the O.S your device is running. Commonly used when there are issues that cannot be resolved through other means like restarting, updating, or resetting the device. 

    It basically brings your device back to factory settings effectively wiping clean your device from software errors. Before doing this step, it is highly recommended that a backup is done to personal files.

    Here is how to do enter Recovery mode for iPhone 4 to 7 Plus:

    1. Turn on your PC/MAC and make sure that iTunes is updated to the latest version (updating iTunes is not necessary but it’s highly recommended).
    2. Connect your iPhone to your computer.
    3. While on the Home menu (your usual start screen), press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button. (Volume down for iPhone 7/7+).
    4. Let go of the Sleep/Wake button when the screen turns black, after about 10 seconds, but keep pressing and holding on the Home button.
    5. You can let go of the Home button once iTunes prompts recover mode on your computer.

    For iPhone 8 and later models:

    1. Turn on your PC/MAC and make sure that iTunes is updated to the latest version (updating iTunes is not necessary but it’s highly recommended).
    2. Connect your iPhone to your computer.
    3. Press and release the Volume Up button, press and release the Volume Down button, and press and hold the Side button until your device reboots. Continue holding the Side button, even after you see the Apple logo appears
    4. You can let go of the Side button once iTunes prompts recover mode on your computer.

    To exit Recovery mode:

    • While the device is still in the Recovery mode, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button as well as the Home button (volume down for iPhone 7/7+) until the phone reboots, usually after 15 seconds.

    Device Firmware Update (DFU mode) is a mode where you can make changes to the software running in your iPhone. It’s like Recovery mode but more ‘in-depth’. 

    It’s not used for common and simple issues as this method goes a bit deeper into the software. DFU is usually used when downgrading to a previous or older version of the OS, Jailbreaking or un-jailbreaking, or removing a beta-version of the OS. Some of the more advanced DFU fixes are at a risk, though. They can damage the OS and void your phone’s warranty if not done correctly or in a way that brache’s Apple’s guidelines.
    The main difference between DFU and Recovery mode is that DFU mode can be launched with the phone that is turned off or unable to fully boot.

    Here is how to enter DFU mode:

    1. Turn on your PC/MAC and make sure that iTunes is updated to the latest version (updating iTunes is not necessary but it’s highly recommended).
    2. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button (Volume down for iPhone 7/7+) and count approximately 10 seconds.
    3. After 10 seconds, let go of the Sleep/Wake button but continue pressing and holding on the Home button for another 5 seconds (Volume down for iPhone 7/7+).
    4. Connect the phone to your computer and make necessary fixes through the appropriate software.

    For iPhone 8 and later models:

    1. Turn on your PC/MAC and make sure that iTunes is updated to the latest version (updating iTunes is not necessary but it’s highly recommended.)
    1. Press and release the Volume Up button, press and release the Volume Down button, and press and hold the Side button for 10 seconds until the screen turns black.
    2. While still holding the Side button, press and hold the Volume Down button for 5 seconds, and then release the Side button while continuing to hold the Volume Down button for another 10 seconds. The screen should remain black.

    To exit DFU mode: 

    1. While the device is still in DFU mode, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button as well as the Home button (Volume down for iPhone 7/7+) until the phone reboots, usually after 15 seconds.

    To exit DFU and Recovery mode for iPhone 8 and later models:

    • To exit out of recovery-mode, press and hold the Side button until the Connect to iTunes logo disappears. 
    • To exit out of DFU mode, press and release the Volume Up button, press and release the Volume Down button, and press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo appear on screen (You can also use this for exiting recovery-mode if you just prefer to remember a single method).

    Troubleshooting your device is not so complicated (except for DFU mode). These steps should be enough to resolve any simple issues like apps crashing, some forms of lagg or slow performance, and sometimes even quick battery drains.

    These steps are not absolute though and if issues still arise despite troubleshooting, the problem is likely hardware related. Sometimes it’s the battery causing problems like unexpected shutdowns or poor battery performance. It’s also possible that other parts of the phone such as flex cables, buttons or even the motherboard have come to the end of their life cycle. Taking your device to a professional for an inspection is the next step if the process if you don’t want to give up on your phone. Sometimes, software issues are caused by failing hardware like the battery. If a hardware is faulty, there is no other way but to replace it. 

    I hope this article can help you with issues on your device. If you have any questions, please send us an email. ScandiTech support is available all days of the week by email.

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