I purchased an iPhone 4s, added it to my service plan, but discovered that it still had the old owners info on it. The associate that I spoke with suggested restoring it via Settings > General > Reset and Erase All. I did that but the phone has been stuck in restore mode for some three hours now. The associate indicated it would take only about 15 minutes to do the reset. Is this normal? How can I restore the phone?

  • Bring it to the associate and be nice to him (but that is your choice) for selling you used phone without cleaning it up first. – Ruskes Aug 3 '13 at 19:20
  • Do you have iTunes installed? If so, have you plugged it in and tried to restore using that option? If that fails, I would suggest holding the Sleep button and Home until the phone shuts off, then keep holding until you get an itunes logo + an image of the doc connector. Then attach to a computer and do a restore there. – nerdwaller Aug 3 '13 at 19:54

If you prefer to have a flowchart to narrow down the cause of why an iOS device won't restore, try this assistant:

If you prefer to have a list of steps, this article should help:

Sadly, there are many, many reasons why restores fail, some are antivirus software being too protective, some are computer problems, some are hardware problems and others are missing drivers or just bad timing.

Once you narrow down which exact step fails in the lists above, you can ask a new question if you continue to have issues restoring your iPhone. More than 30 minutes usually means there is a problem that will prevent a good restore from finishing.


Have your iPhone been jailbroken? You cannot hit "erase all contents and settings" when jailbroken. Ever. It will break things, and this will happen.

If you must use iCloud, then you have to restore to 6.1, then restore from iCloud, then run evasi0n. Or, just use iTunes to restore from backup (after you know, making a backup).


Try entering DFU mode before restoring.

To enter DFU mode:

Step 1. Connect iDevice with your computer.

Step 2. Start iTunes.

Step 3. Press power- and home-button of your iPhone and hold it down

Step 4. Maybe the “Turn-off” slider will appear – continue holding down both buttons!

Step 5. The iPad will turn off.

Step 6. When the display turns black for four seconds, release the power-button. Don’t release the home-button!

Step 7. iTunes will show you after 5 to 10 seconds that your iPad has entered the DFU mode.

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