How to reset an unresponsive iPhone/iPod touch and get it working again!


Sometimes the iPhone can lockup and stop working or just show the Apple symbol and not do anything else. But panic not, normally an app has caused the phone to crash and it needs to be restarted.

Here’s how you do it:

Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until you see the red slider. Normally, this is what you would do to power down your iPhone or iPod touch. In this case however, when the slider appears, release the sleep/wake button and then press and hold the Home button.

If that won’t work, try this:

How to Restore the iPhone

If you still have no success with the reset the only other option is to do a restore using iTunes. This will wipe your iPhone but should get it working again, follow these steps to get the iPhone into Restore mode.

Step 1. Turn off iPhone

Step 2. Hold down the power and home button.

Step 3. When you see the Apple logo, release the power button but continue holding the home button down.

Step 4. Open iTunes and wait for it to tell you that it’s in restore mode.

Alternative Method:

Step 1. Connect iPhone to USB then listen to the sound when it connects and disconnects.

Step 2. Hold the home and power buttons until you hear the disconnect sound then release power button.

Step 3. Wait until you hear another sound then release home button.

Step 4. Open iTunes and wait for it to tell you that it’s in restore mode.

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29 thoughts on “How to reset an unresponsive iPhone/iPod touch and get it working again!

  1. I tried both methods but the alternative method responded, and the phone went into restore mode and downloaded and installed the firmware and everything. It still rings when I receive a call and beeps when I receive texts but still no display. My warranty finished last month, and it’s only had a minor 2 feet drop in it’s lifetime.

    • Well, it sounds like you might have damaged the iPhone hardware. If your warranty is out you would have nothing to lose by opening it up and checking if the display ribbon cable has become dislodged from the connector. Other than that, it’s time for a new one.

  2. hi…. i tried da method u wrote here n everything worked fine but after dat it said to insert a sim in it n i did but it still shows emergency calls only though it loads da sim…. plz help….

    • I had the same problem with my 3GS. You can restore the iPhone using iTunes but you will lose any Jailbreak or unlock.

      After you have restored you could try http://blackra1n.com and run that. But if you have very new 3GS you will need to run Blackra1n every time you switch it off and on, as the iPhone will need to be connected to a computer to boot it.

  3. Hai there

    I also got problem. I try to updated my iphone 3g from firmware 3.0 to 3.1.2 using and i don’t have the cd and forgot to backup. before it finish updated, my iphone show “plug to iTunes” and after that my pc (window Vista) show “Found new hardware,apple mobile device (Recovery mode)” need cd or driver to install it. After that it show “could not find driver, unable to install” .. Please help me asap.. Thanks

    • You don’t need a cd. Connect your iPhone to your pc and run iTunes. It should see that your iPhone is now in recovery mode and install the firmware.

      • Hi this also happened to me.(i have an ipod touch) WIndows tells me that it found a new hardware for Apple Mobile Device USB drive and that it needs a cd. i tried everything from uninstalling all the itunes and apple related stuff and then installing it again to all that apple support has to say about itunes not recognizing the ipod. to having my computer (Vista) look for the new hardware and my ipod is just stuck on restore mode with the itunes and USB cable thing on the screen. I dont have a cd, ipod touch, or iphones or any kind of ipod does not come with one (as far as i know) i tried looking for things in apple.com that would update it but nothing worked. PLEASE PLEASE help.

  4. Hai,

    Need to know, how to change and install themes for my iphone? Do i need any software to change my themes or it just another way that i don’t know?

  5. Hello there!…I tried all the methods above, but when i connect my iphone to my pc it does not seem to recognize the iphone…hence no way to do a restore!

    Help please…still not panicking!

    • Leave it on charge with the AC adapter over night. Then try and switch it on, plug it into the PC. If nothing happens I think your battery might be dead or the power switch is not working

  6. Hai,

    I tried to open Youtube inside my iphone but it show “cannot connect to Toutube”. How to solve this? Please advise me.. Thanks.

  7. Before this problem happend, my iphone 3GS battery life going down very fast for lest than 1 day. Morning time it show 99%, 2 hrs later it reduse to 70%, 1 hrs later reduse to 20% and until less than 6 hrs my battery life gone and my phone switch “OFF”. I’m not using my iphone on that time. Is it because of the battery or because of other problem? I buy this iphone on last December last year and still under warranty. Can i claim it for warranty? Please help me because i always used my iphone for working. After tried to charging for 4 hrs but my iphone still can’t switch “ON”. Hope can received your replied as soon as possible. Thanks and please help me…

  8. i have lost wifi. I have gone to settings and the Wifi button is ghosted and showing no wi-fi any ideas

  9. Hi bro,

    Yesterday i updated some application (mx tube & mobilesubstrate) at my iphone 3gs using ROCK application. When it finish, it show “Reload Springboard”. After that my iphone HANG until now and i don’t know what to do. Cannot switch off my iphone.. Please help me ASAP.. TQ

  10. i was givin a 3g iphone and it’s dead, when i charge it, it does not charge. still shows the battery with the thin red line. i’ve tried to reset and it will pull up the apple logo but stays on that and never does anything. what should i do to fix it?

      • Hi there,

        I got the same problem as charissa. Last two days night my iphone 3gs battery low and i forgot to charging. When i woke up next morning, my iphone already dead any i tried to charge it for a few hours (more than 10hrs) but it still showing a battery symbol and a thin red line. Please help us and advise what to do. Thanks

  11. Hi everyone,
    i have tried every single detail with my iphone4, i even left it 4 three days barried in rise nothing seems 2 b helpfull it is completely dead
    Do You Have Any Idea what possibly could do with it.thanks

  12. hi, iv tried everything but my fone still not working,. plss help.. i really dont know what to do., my iphone 5 is just new, and i was shocked when i got home today, it wont turn on 😦

    • Plug it in to the wall. Press both home and power buttons together for as long as a few minutes until the Apple symbol comes up. If its newer than a year and there is no obvious physical damage than you are under Apple’s Limited 1-year Warranty and it should be fine to take it to the Apple store. They will replace it.

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