Restoring an iPad that is in perpetual recovery mode

My iPad crashed a couple of weeks back… and as this is the iPad that my kids used it was code red! I tried powering it on but the screen remained black. I figured I was completely out of battery so attached it to the charger for hours but still nothing.

Next I tried the old “holding the home + sleep button for 15 seconds” trick, but that didn’t do anything either. Still a black screen. I hooked the iPad unto my Macbook after charging it again for 8 hrs and leaving it alone for another 8. (not that it probably has anything to do with the solution, but I figured I would document the full process…)

iTunes now said that my iPad was in recovery mode. So I figured I would hit “okay” and do a “restore” as iTunes suggested. After going through the full restore cycle my iPad “rebooted” (screen still black so who knows what it did) and it still said it was in recovery mode”. Again no luck. I tried the same procedure on a different PC, this time using Windows… but again no luck. After googling for a while I stumbled on a procedure that actually worked. All credits go to wikidot for writing this up, but this what I had to do to get it working again:

  1. Launch iTunes
  2. Connect ipad to Macbook
  3. Press and hold for 3 seconds Sleep/Wake button.
  4. After 3 seconds, keeping hold on Sleep/Wake press Home button for 10 seconds.
  5. Release Sleep/Wake one, but hold Home button for another 15 seconds.
  6. When “iTunes has detected …in recovery mode..” message appears on computer screen press OK.
  7. Press SHIFT+CLICK (PC) or ALT+ CLICK on the restore button.
  8. Choose from the opened file dialog the ipsw-file you downloaded. Click Open it. The flashing will begin. Once more, never touch your iPad / iPad 2 / iPad 3 or computer. Let them to complete the job. The tablet will restart itself to complete the firmware flashing.
  9. Wait and your iPad will be as new

** you can find the “ipsw-file” via iClarified, it basically is a firmware file for your iPad, or google it! **

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    1. Anna says

      Thankyou so much,was totally stumped how to get my sons ipad going,after being in ‘restore’ mode for ages..was about ready to throw it out the window!but now,good as new..:)

    2. Brad says

      What file in step 8 are we talking about? I also tried to install the file from apple/mobile device support drivers and it said it could not install.. ? Any others advice, my ipad is black, turns on but screen is black.. Argh help please….

    3. Dave says

      Have tried this procedure multiple times. At item 8, the ipad shows an apple with a progress bar, and iTunes shows “Waiting for iPad”. Nothing beyond that ever happens. Tried with a fresh install on iTunes on a clean laptop.

      Unit looks brand new, but its just a brick at this point. Anyone else experience this?

      • Madmike says

        I’m experiencing this too… Tried dfu flashing no luck… The ipad will turn off and restart the loop on a regular restore and the screen stays black after dfu restore… I’m wondering if there’s a program or diagnostic tool that apple uses to fix these problems… There’s gotta be a deeper more technical way to get his thing wiring again… I’ve tried a lot of different steps… I’m stumped!

        • dhruv says

          if u r facing problems in itunes restore mode then u can try other powerful restoring software such as ipubsoft data recovery software

      • mamamoon says

        Did you ever figurw out a solution? This is exactly what mine us doing and I called tech support and asked for an exception from having to pay due to the nature of the issue, after 2 hrs on the phone with tech support still no solution…

    4. dextrad90 says

      1Launch the latest version of iTunes on your computer.

      2Connect the iPad to the computer using the USB connector cable that came with the device.

      3Select the name of the iPad under the “Devices” heading in the left navigation panel of iTunes.

      4View the “Summary” tab in the main iTunes window. Click “Check For Update.” If a software update is available for the iPad, click “Update” to install it. The download and install takes a few minutes. Do not disconnect the iPad from the computer until the process is complete.

      5Restore the iPad to factory conditions by selecting the name of the iPad under “Devices” and clicking “Restore” in the Summary tab of the main iTunes window.

      6Select “Back Up” when asked if you want to back up the setting for the iPad before restoring the software.

      7Click “Restore” when asked if you are sure you want to restore the iPad to factory settings. After the restore process is complete, the iPad restarts.

      8Choose “Restore from the backup…” to copy your settings, apps, documents, music and all other data to the iPad.

    5. Kou278 says

      i tried using this procedure but it did not help.. I got frustrated n finally smacked the screen..and behold!!d apple logo appeared..i am not kidding it actually worked!!!just slap it hard in the middle!!!

    6. mika'ilu faruk yahuza(mikfaya) says

      pls i ipad cannot connect to the itunes and its in recovered mode after erased it and my computer is asking of the apple recovered drivers and i don’t know how and where to get it ..! pls help me out

    7. Erin says

      How do I know what firmware to chose? I have an iPad 3 that works with ATT or Wifi and I don’t remember what iOS I last updated? I hate this iPad!!! Thanks for the help

    8. Stian_Viking says

      After reinstall of the latest firmware, the ipad shows up in recoverymode in itunes, tried with several firmwares but with no luck.. only sign of life is the apple logo and progress bar when flashing..

      Any other ideas?

    9. Ohood says

      The same is happening with me, when I try to recover the iPad the apple logo appear with waiting for iPad status and this stays for alooooong time with nothing else. I have tried your way but the same is happening, are there any solutions or advices? please help i’m stuck :(

    10. Sarish says

      The same with my device, I get the logo and the progress bar with no progress on it. I read some where else if the screen is dark blue then the display card is faulty and the upgrade checks does not pass the diagnostics screen to continue with the upgrade

    11. Soni says

      You are Genius!! Thank you so much I have my ipad up and running and I didn’t have to go through all the steps.

    12. Frank says

      I followed your instructions above down loaded the file decompressed it. Had itunes running pressed SHIFT+CLICK (PC) box opened for me to fine file but nothing from the decompressed files had the ipsw extension. please help.