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iPad: Unable to update or restore


iPF Noob
Mar 21, 2010
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Marietta, GA - USA
iPad: Unable to update or restore

  • Last Modified: April 15, 2010
  • Article: HT4097

  • Old Article: 305797

iPad: Unable to update or restore

You may encounter the following symptoms while updating or restoring your iPad:

  • iPad continually restarts but never displays the Home screen.
  • An update or restore did not complete and the iPad is no longer recognized in iTunes.
  • iPad stops responding, showing the Apple logo with no progress bar or a stopped progress bar, for over ten minutes.
If this occurs, you can place iPad into recovery mode and attempt to restore again. If iTunes displayed an alert with an error code, see this article before attempting the steps outlined here.
Note: In certain situations, an iPad will automatically go into recovery mode after an update or restore issue. If your device is already in recovery mode, you can attempt to restore using iTunes.

Products Affected


Use the following steps to place your iPad into recovery mode. If the iPad is already in recovery mode, you can proceed immediately to step 6.

  1. Disconnect the USB cable from the iPad, but leave the other end of the cable connected to your computer's USB port.
  2. Turn off iPad: Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button for a few seconds until the red slider appears, then slide the slider. Wait for iPad to turn off.
    • If you cannot turn off iPad using the slider, press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons at the same time. When the iPad turns off, release the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons.
  3. While pressing and holding the Home button, reconnect the USB cable to iPad. When you reconnect the USB cable, iPad should power on.
    Note: If you see the screen pictured below, let the iPad charge for at least ten minutes to ensure the battery has some charge and then start with step 2 again.
  4. Continue holding the Home button until you see the "Connect to iTunes" screen. When this screen appears you can release the Home button:
  5. If necessary, open iTunes. You should see the following "recovery mode" alert:
  6. Use iTunes to restore iPad.
If you don't see the "Connect to iTunes" screen, try these steps again. If you see the "Connect to iTunes" screen but iPad does not appear in iTunes, see this article and its related links.
When using recovery mode, you can only restore iPad. All user content on iPad will be erased, but if you had previously synced with iTunes on this computer, you can restore from a previous backup. See this article for more information.

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