So I updated my iPhone 4 to iOS6 today (using the built in updater on the iPhone). The phone did some stuff for a while and then rebooted with a progress bar which never updates. If I leave it long enough it reboots and then shows that bar again.

Annoyingly I have some stuff on that I didn't back up, is there any way to fix this? Even if I didn't care about the data on the phone, I can't get iTunes to do anything and the phone will just reboot to this progress bar screen.

Not once have I had any error codes from iTunes. I'm more concerned with the data at this point and can probably force the device into restore mode once I have the files I need.

  • Also this - apple.stackexchange.com/questions/1762/…
    – bmike
    Sep 21, 2012 at 0:37
  • Next time consider setting up your phone to do automatic synchronization with iTunes over WiFi. Very convenient and unintrusive. Sep 28, 2012 at 6:52
  • This was just a test phone from my work and so wasn't synced to anyone's machine. I'm aware of how it works and use it on my own devices! Anyway, I managed to get the data off using Wondershare.
    – ingh.am
    Sep 29, 2012 at 17:06

2 Answers 2


Usually this is resolved by a second restore after you reboot your computer. Of course, you might wait things out if you don't have a backup and there is any chance whatsoever the phone will complete this update without risk of losing the data on the phone (contacts, app information, documents, etc...)

To be sure you (and I) haven't skipped a step, you will want to do everything on this page.

Pay attention to the link at the bottom should you get there about putting the device into recovery mode. That will wipe everything, so don't do that unless you have a good backup from this morning (or whenever you started the update process).

  • What do you mean by Usually this is resolved by a second restore after you reboot your computer. - is there comms between the device and the machine while the progress bar is showing?
    – ingh.am
    Sep 20, 2012 at 23:47
  • There can be at many times in the restore cycle. It depends on which pass. You can find the details in a restore log on the computer, but often the problem with a restore is on the computer side, not the phone side, so the reboot there ensures as clean a start - freshly loaded USB drivers, etc... Basically power off both and start again once you are sure this pass should be aborted.
    – bmike
    Sep 20, 2012 at 23:54
  • But I did the update over the air, so there's nothing that has changed on the machine I'm using. I've only just thought to put the new iTunes on but again, nothing is asking me to use iTunes, the machine doesn't even notice the device being plugged in!
    – ingh.am
    Sep 20, 2012 at 23:58
  • I managed to put the device into dfu mode which tells me that I need to restore the device. This means I can probably restore from here, but is it safe to say that my data is already lost?
    – ingh.am
    Sep 21, 2012 at 0:01
  • Yes - DFU is when the screen is totally black. You shouldn't need to go there as normal restore handles this 98% of the time. If iTunes says restore it will wipe whatever data is still left. Only if it says update will anything be preserved.
    – bmike
    Sep 21, 2012 at 0:15

To confirm that my solution was to use an excellent 3rd party tool, although costly...


It managed to extract the data from my iPhone 4. Because the iPhone was trying to update, I forced it into DFU mode which this application uses to get the data.

My next step is to do a restore, which I don't mind doing now! :D

  • You could've used DiskAid. It has a fully functioning trial.
    – duci9y
    Sep 21, 2012 at 8:00
  • Not seen it, wondershare was the same however. Trial shows what you can get, but you need to buy to actually get the data.
    – ingh.am
    Sep 22, 2012 at 12:56

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