Force Restore iPod Touch/iPhone

Let me just start by saying that people who do not want to hack their iPod out of fear of breaking them, YOU CAN NOT BREAK YOUR iPOD. No matter how much it looks like you have broken your iPod you have not broken it beyond repair, this method will always fix you iPod and bring it back to factory settings. It should work most of the time with the iPhone, but there have been some reports of people breaking their phones beyond repair, so i guess this does not always work with the iPhone. But if you were sensible and bought an iPod Touch then you are free to do all the hacking you want and you will always be able to fix any problems you may have.

It is very simple and will only take a few minutes:

  1. Connect your device to your computer and open iTunes.
  2. Hold down the “Home” button.
  3. Keeping “home” held in hold the “sleep/wake” button.
  4. Keep both held in until the apple logo shows
  5. As soon as the apple logo shows release the “sleep/wake” button.
  6. Keep the “Home” button held in until the iTunes logo and a picture of the USB lead is shown.
  7. Now release the “Home button and follow the instructions within iTunes.

There are many reasons why this would be needed, I think on the second day I got my iPod I messed up a jailbreak and found this method, since then I have had to do this around ten times trying new jailbreaks for new versions, often iTunes does not even recognise my iPod, most people would see this as totally broken. But this method always works and always gets you up and running again. So go and hack your device as much as you want, you will always be able to get back to the start with no problems.


81 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Shawn said,

    Will this method restore your warranty?

  2. 2

    Lee Bialecki said,

    I realy do not know anything about the apple waranty. But I imagine that this process restored your device to exactly waht it was when you opened it. Dont hold me to it but I would say that you could still claim on waranty if you use this method.

    What I do know is that an update does not give a fuly clean version of firmware because when jailbreaking 1.1.2 firmware the update to 1.1.2 keeps the oktoprep files.

    So an update does not give you clean fimrware, I am not sure about downgrades, restores or force restores.

  3. 3

    Matsu said,

    Thanks a lot! That really helped!

  4. 4

    Jordan said,

    Wow, just bought the touch 2 days ago, didnt get any waranty, hacked it today and error messages everywhere on the display. then I find this website and this literaly saved my life!!! THANKS!!!!!

  5. 5

    nisan said,

    yo my ipod touch is like really messed up, like it froze, i wont let move go on anythin and i cant resotre it, it wont connect to itunes and everytime i click the home and sleep, nothin happens and when the apple logo does come, it styl wont go to the restorin mode i think its really broken, it like wont lemme click any apps or wont even do anythin whatever i clicked, 5 mins later it goes back on by itself.

  6. 6

    Lee Bialecki said,

    Nisan. Your iPod is never broken beyond repair, if this method does not work then you are just not doing it right. Make sure you follow the instructions as it says.

    Another method to get it into recovery mode I have seen is turning your iPod off, then holding the home and sleep/wake button until the apple logo and the connect to iTunes picture shows. Give that a try and just don’t give up, these methods do work 100% of the time.

  7. 7

    Marissa said,

    What is the sleep/wake button?

  8. 8

    Lee Bialecki said,

    Marissa, the sleep/wake button is the button on the top which locks your device.

  9. 9

    Josyane said,

    Ok, here is the site that can maybe saved my life…!!!
    I have the same problems as other people here…But I’ve tried this method. Both…over 10 times…and each times itunes open, but my ipod is never there…I really sad cuz I think it is really broke…
    When I go in my computer menu, my ipod does not even appear there….!!! Even the computer can’t see it!!…
    Please help me!
    Thanks ,

  10. 10

    Dave said,

    Worked perfect, thanks

  11. 11

    Lee Bialecki said,

    No problem Dave.

  12. 12

    jamie said,

    Josyane, uninstall itunes in add/remove progammes in control panel, then go onto the itunes website and reinstall it. After this, go onto control panel, then administative tools, then services, then click on apple mobile device and click start service. Your ipod should then be detected by your computer an itunes.


  13. 13

    Lee Bialecki said,

    Never heard that one before Jamie. Sounds like it could work but the force restore never fails and is much easier in my opinion.

  14. 14

    douglas said,

    i love you

  15. 15

    Lee Bialecki said,

    I love you too.

  16. 16

    Gene said,

    hey, I tried this method, but it didn’t work. I keep getting a message saying “your ipod could not be restored. an error has occured (6)”. i’ve tried it about 12+ times now, any ideas?

  17. 17

    Lee Bialecki said,

    What firmware are you attempting to restore to? If you are trying to restore to 1.1.1 then try other firmwares or just click the restore button and let iTunes do what it wants. Could you let me know how it goes incase i have the same problem in the future?

  18. 18

    david said,

    my ipod was 1.1.3 and i tryed the shift+restore and then the 1.1.1 firmware file and it says unknown error occured and then the ipod went intyo recovery and when i try to force restore or normal itunes restore it only says “restore and update” and then it downloads 1.1.4 and nothing happens, so try force restore again and it just does the same thing and starts the download over again. PLEASE HELP!

  19. 19

    Lee Bialecki said,

    Well, itunes does not let you restore from 1.1.3 to 1.1.1 so that is your first problem. The 1.1.3 to 1.1.4 should work thaugh. I sugguest searching the internet to find downloads for the firmwares and trying to restore to 1.1.3 or 1.1.4. Give that a try and get back to me.

  20. 20

    Yes. I have the same problem with my Ipod Touch.

    downloaded the new version of iPod software and got the …. error!

    The iPod could not be restored. An un-known error occured [6].

    Force restore is also not working.

    Anyone know what “un-known error occured [6]” is?

  21. 21

    Tom Reniers said,

    Thank you so much! Really helped me out!

    Dikke Merci from Belgium!

  22. 22

    Sam Frey said,

    us without common knowledge of the ipod recovery system thank you dearly

  23. 23

    Lee Bialecki said,

    Thankyou Sam, it is always nice to get thankyous : )

  24. 24

    MrClod said,

    I allowed iTunes to automatically update my 8G touch from 1.1.2 to 1.1.4. It never finished the upgrade (waited 4+ hours).

    I’ve been trying to force this to restore. I can get the restore to start, but this time I am at 5+ hours and waiting. See the little updater circle rotation, but still waiting.

    iPodUpdater.log always seems to stop at:

    libusbrestore: 0x12F4, 12:21:25.375] => : operation 13 progress 98

    If I unplug, well then I have to start all over.

  25. 25

    Lee Bialecki said,

    What firmware are you force restoring to? Try all of them starting at 1.1.2 (a qwuick google search away for the downloads)

  26. 26

    Lee Bialecki said,

    Aslo if you get no joy there there is another force restore method.

    1. Make sure iPod is fully powered off
    2. Hold the home button in while it is off
    3. While holding the home button connect iPod to computer.
    4. iPod should power on, keep home pressed in and the connect to itunes image should show

    You are in recovery mode there, but you may still have the issue you mentioend before.

  27. 27

    sean said,

    when your ipod wont detect to ur pc or comes up as digital camera and itunes wont recognise it then use the method of powering it off and connect while holding home^_^

  28. 28

    Tate said,

    OMG thank you so much i really thought id have to get a new itouch

  29. 29

    Anonymous said,

    LIFE SAVER!!!!!

  30. 30

    Charles said,

    Thank you so much, your other method fixed mine!

  31. 31

    Mike said,

    I just want to say a personal thank you to you i cant belive this worked i tried everything thank you very much!

  32. 32

    b said,

    thank u!

  33. 33

    somuch gratitude said,

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! You rock!

  34. 34

    hannes said,

    Thanks soooooo much!

  35. 35

    Megan said,


  36. 36

    ogredeschnique said,

    THanks for this.


  37. 37

    Nascar Shizzle said,

    I was going NUTS trying to fix my Ipod Touch. Thank you!!!!

  38. 38

    ana said,

    thank you!

  39. 39

    topgoona said,

    Fantastic ……

    Spent ages on the Apple website…..complete waste of time…followed their procedures and the advice was to return my touch for a service!!
    This has saved me a whole lot of hassle…..


  40. 40

    Ryan said,

    That was amazing, I’ve been searching for this for the past week and nobody has the restore process explained well enough if at all. this worked right away!

  41. 41

    Debbie said,

    Thank you so much 🙂

  42. 42

    sharae said,

    my ipod was stolen and some tried to put the password in and it kept reading ipod diabled… are a life saver!!!

  43. 43

    NeO said,

    Thankz really helped!thought that my ipod touch’s bricked!…thankz again!

  44. 44

    Derek said,

    This really worked thanks helped alot

  45. 45

    nick said,

    This article helped me a lot. thanks!

  46. 46

    Derek said,

    Are you sure 100% this would work? What if I jailbreak it and it freezes and I restore it and still is frozen… Is the warranty still valid?

  47. 47

    rsv said,

    woo hoo you!
    after getting the ““your ipod could not be restored. an error has occurred” message–your web site came up first on a google search. your method worked for me. thanks so much!

  48. 48

    Stephy said,

    AMAZING! 🙂 I tried EVERYTHING and this finally worked! Thank you thank you thank you!

  49. 49

    BIG MIKE said,

    you’re the best…just wanted to let you know that

  50. 50

    nick said,


  51. 51

    Becca said,

    Fantastic! Worked like a charm. Thanks!

  52. 52

    RJ said,

    Thank you!

  53. 53

    Mikey Goff said,

    DUDE thanks alot u helped me a lot i thought my ipod was bricked but what u said to do worked

  54. 54

    Riki said,

    ty man it really works i thougt it was broken for ever ty again xD

  55. 55

    Phillip Fong said,

    hey Man,
    it works your the genius i cant believe it really works may god bless you.

  56. 56

    john said,

    OMG i love you, thank you thank you thank you!

  57. 57

    Anonymous said,

    thanks man such an easy way to fix it i thought my ipod was done thanks so much.

  58. 58

    sajoo said,

    thx very much

  59. 59

    dekszter said,

    Hello , I just broked up my ipod , but I find this grate site with a grate and helpfull method ti restore it.
    thank you, your method saved my ipod

  60. 60

    Leigh said,

    Thanks for that. Worked liked a charm on an iPod Touch with Restore Error 21.

  61. 61

    Houzi Li said,

    Thank you So Much for your post. This freaking saved my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I thought I broke my friends iPod. >.<

  62. 62

    itouch 32gb said,

    Great post. thanks

  63. 63

    dave said,

    thank you so very much

  64. 64

    owen said,

    you are awesome!
    thanks so much!!!!!!!!!

  65. 65

    Lishaaa said,

    OH my GOD Thank you SOOO Much. I thought i wrecked my mum’s iPhone for a second there.

  66. 66

    casey said,

    thank you sir

  67. 67

    Caitlyn said,

    MAN!! DUDE!! i love this site!!! i was like breaking down cuz my new itouch i thought was broken!!!! i googled my problem tons of times n none of the advices NEVER included holding the sleep/wake buttom!!! THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH!! idk how i can thanks u!!!!!

  68. 68

    chad said,

    I thought i just killed my ipod after 1 day of using it. Good thing I found your post. Life saver.

  69. 69

    Miles said,

    Thanksssssssssssssssssssssss a lot man. U are my hero, i thought i destroyed my Ipod but because of u its alright. i was in exactly the same situation as Houzi!!!! Thank U Lee Bialecki if there is anyway i can repay U let me know.

  70. 70

    austin said,

    thanks you so much i really thought i was scrwed thanks for your help i really appricaite it

  71. 71

    BRANDON said,


  72. 72

    yanky said,

    thanks so much its so cool

  73. 73

    Rachel said,

    I am so freakin’ thankful I found your insructions!!! Apple is so freakin’ useless when it comes to stuff like this so thank you thank you thank you.

  74. 74

    Anonymous said,

    FINALLY!!!!!! THANKS!!!!!!

  75. 75

    sonny said,

    Bro!!! Your the first Blogger in two days that gave the directions clearly and correctly. I was on the verge of a melt down. Thank you so much1 You have no idea…

  76. 76

    ali said,

    THANKS !!!

  77. 77

    Jamera Lea said,

    Jamie Said…post number 13…you saved my life…thank you…I was going crazy n sooooo ready to throw this dayum Ipod out of the window…thanx!!!

  78. 78

    joshua said,

    OMFG!!!!!! thank you i love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :DD

  79. 79

    will said,

    dude thanks so much maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaang

  80. 80

    Suria said,


  81. 81

    ShyUgandan said,

    After it felt like all iPod Touch errors came to vacation on my Mac, this post saved me tons. THANK YOU!

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