Tips on how to Restore or Reset an iPhone With out iTunes

When Apple first released iPhone, the best way to reset or restore your device was to connect it to a computer that was running iTunes. But in 2019, Apple discontinued iTunes for the Mac and instead replaced it with the Music app, and iTunes won't work on every Windows PC. What's the best way to reset or restore an iPhone without using iTunes?

In this guide, we'll show you how to reset or restore your iPhone using the device settings, Finder, or a third-party app if iTunes isn't available to you.

Reset vs. Restore an iPhone

People often use "reset" and "restore" interchangeably. However, this is wrong; the two words refer to different processes.

Of the two, resetting your device is the easier approach. Depending on the reset option you choose, data may be erased from your phone, but it will not affect the firmware or operating system version.

Reset also offers a more detailed list of options. Not only can you reset all of your device's settings to their default state, but you can also erase all of your content and settings. If you prefer, you can simply reset your network settings, keyboard dictionary, home screen layout, or location and privacy options, leaving the rest of your data intact.


Restoring an iPhone is the process that you need to go through when your iPhone is having major problems. For example, you may not be able to get your device out of Recovery mode, Device Firmware Update (DFU) mode, or you may still get error codes (the most common are 3194, 4013, 4014, 9, and 51).

Restoring an iPhone will erase all of your data and install the operating system from scratch.

You can further divide the recovery process into two categories: restoring your iPhone to a working state with no data or restoring a backup of your iPhone data.

How to reset an iPhone without iTunes

It's easy to reset an iPhone without iTunes. Assuming your device is working properly, you can do so through the phone's Settings app. To reset your iPhone, do the following:

  1. Turn on your device and make sure it is not connected to iTunes.

  2. Open that settings App.

  3. Navigate to General> Transfer or Reset iPhone.

  4. Here is a list of the various reset options available. If you want to erase all of your data and factory reset your iPhone, tap the Erase all content and settings Opportunity. Otherwise, tap Reset to default and choose the option that best suits your needs.

Before the reset process begins, you will need to enter your passcode. The process takes a few minutes.

If you can't follow these steps because your iPhone is not working, then you need to follow the instructions to restore your iPhone without iTunes.

How to restore iPhone to Mac without iTunes

If you have a Mac and can't use iTunes because Apple discontinued it, you can use the Finder to restore your iPhone instead. The process for doing this is exactly the same as it was earlier on iTunes:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac with a USB cable.

  2. Open minded finder and select your iPhone from the sidebar.

  3. When prompted, enter your passcode and tap to trust on your iPhone screen.

  4. Of the Generally Tab in Finder, click Restore iPhone to completely erase your device and reinstall the software. Alternatively, click Restore Backup to restore data from a previous backup on your Mac.

Depending on the problem with your iPhone, you may need to restore the firmware as well. To do this, you need to put your iPhone in DFU mode.

How to restore iPhone to Windows PC without iTunes

When you need to restore an iPhone using a Windows PC maybe because you have the white screen of death but can't use iTunes or Finder, the situation is a little more complicated. To do this, you need to use third party software. Three of the leading brands are Tenorshare, dr.fone, and FonePaw.

In this guide, we will focus on the Tenorshare software. Feel free to try the other two apps if you don't like the tenorshare process.

How to restore a disabled iPhone using Tenorshare

Let's see how to restore a broken or disabled iPhone without iTunes. This is also the method to follow when you forget your iPhone passcode, get stuck in recovery or DFU mode, or when iTunes throws errors during the recovery process.

To get started, you'll need to download the Tenorshare ReiBoot app, which offers a paid subscription but is available for free.

Once the app is running, connect your iPhone to your computer. It must be a wired connection; the process does not work via bluetooth or wi-fi.

If necessary, you can use the one-click buttons to Enter or exit Recovery mode. But for the most part, you should just hit that begin Button to fix your iPhone.

You will now see a list of potential iOS issues. Select the closest match to your iPhone and click Fix it now. The ReiBoot app then offers you the option of a Standard repair which is less effective but does not erase your data, or a Deep repair This is more effective, but it will erase all of your data.

Whichever method you choose, just follow the on-screen steps to put your iPhone in the correct mode and perform the repair.

Download: Tenorshare ReiBoot (Free, subscription available)

How to Recover iPhone Data Using Tenorshare

If you've deleted an important photo, message, document, or file from your iPhone, if you act quickly, you may be able to get it back. Here, too, Tenorshare has an app that helps with this: UltData. It's free, but you can unlock more features with a subscription. The app is available for macOS or Windows.

The app has some significant advantages over using iTunes to restore files. First, unlike iTunes, it can (hopefully) restore files directly from your iPhone; You don't need to have a backup. Plus, you can restore data from an iTunes backup on a case-by-case basis instead of having to deal with an all-or-nothing approach.

To recover iPhone data without iTunes, please follow the steps below:

  1. Download and install the UltData app.

  2. Choose either Recover from iOS devices, Restore data from backup, or Recover data from iClouddepending on what you want to achieve.

  3. Select the files that you want to restore and restore.

  4. click on the scan to see what's available, then restore whatever you need.

Download: Tenorshare UltData (Free, subscription available)

Third-party apps give you more options than iTunes

Although at first it might seem like you would be at a disadvantage if you couldn't use iTunes to reset or restore your iPhone, many third-party apps actually offer a lot more functionality than iTunes.

You can use Tenorshare to easily start or stop recovery and fix a wide variety of issues, and you can use UltData to restore all kinds of data from your iPhone, iCloud, or a backup. However, some of these options are available using other methods.

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About the author

Dan Helyer
(180 articles published)

Dan writes tutorials and troubleshooting guides to help people get the most out of their technology. Before becoming a writer, he earned a BSc in audio engineering, oversaw repairs at an Apple store, and even taught English in China.

By Dan Helyer

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