Restoring the iPhone is a troubleshooting lifesaver. It can eliminate virtually all of the known operational errors documented for the iPhone to date. Unfortunately, as we've noted a number of times, restoring sometimes doesn't work. See our previous coverage:
Needless to say, an inability to restore the iPhone can result in user panic, especially if the device won't properly startup (the Apple logo is persistently displayed), is completely frozen or some other serious problem ensues. Problems like this are especially likely to occur if you've been experimenting with hacking your iPhone to add binary applications. Some users have also recently been reporting the error: "iPhone could not be restored. There is not enough memory available"
This is where recovery mode comes into play. By putting your iPhone in this mode, you can almost always force a restore in iTunes, bringing it back into normal working order. Follow these steps:
- Disconnect your iPhone from your Mac or Windows computer.
- Press and hold the sleep/wake and home buttons simultaneously for about 20-30 seconds, until you see a yellow triangle with an exclamation point in the middle accompanied by the text "Please Connect to iTunes." or a picture of the iTunes icon with a USB cable pointing toward it.
- Connect your iPhone to your computer and launch iTunes if it does not automatically launch.
- You should see the below image
- Now proceed to restore your iPhone. Click the Restore button under the Summary tab. Restoring the phone will erase contacts, calendars, photos and other data on the phone, but will restore automatically backed-up information including text messages, notes, call history, contact favorites, sound settings, widget settings, etc.