Typically, an iPhone takes just a few seconds to boot up. During the boot screen, a silver "Apple" logo appears on your screen, eventually fading out and redirecting you to the main iPhone home screen. If your iPhone is stuck in a continual reboot, your screen never changes from the "Apple" logo. In this state, you can't do much with your iPhone, and the only remedy is to perform a full system recovery and restore. You will lose some personal data, but at least your iPhone will work again.
Things You'll Need
- Apple iPhone USB cable
Press and hold the "Home" button and the "Sleep/Wake" button at the same time. This forces your endlessly rebooting iPhone to power down. Release both buttons once the iPhone turns off.
Turn on your computer and plug a USB cable into it, but don't plug the other end into the iPhone yet.
Hold down the "Home" button.
Plug the USB cable into your iPhone while you continue to depress the "Home" button. Do not let go of the "Home" button until a white USB graphic and the iTunes logo appear on your iPhone's touchscreen display.
Open iTunes and click "OK" when a popup alerts you that the device is in "Recovery Mode."
Click on the iPhone's icon underneath the "Devices" heading.
Click "Restore." An endless reboot is often caused by a failed or corrupt operating system download, and your iPhone must be restored to an older version to work again.
Click "Backup" when prompted. This downloads and stores as much of your iPhone data as possible before restoring the iPhone, but you can still expect to lose some music, apps or saved contacts when recovering from a continual reboot. Once the files backup automatically, the iPhone begins restoring its operating system to its native, functional settings. The restoration process takes upwards of 20 minutes; do not disconnect the device or turn off your computer until a prompt tells you it is safe to do so.
- "Taking your iPhone 4 to the Max"; Erica Sadun and Steve Sande; 2010
- Apple Support: iPhone and iPod Touch Unable to Restore
- "The iPhone Book: How to do the Most Important, Useful & Fun Stuff with Your iPhone"; Scott Kelby and Terry White; 2009
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images