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What to do when your iPhone Crashes

June 14, 2009

Face it, it's inevitable. Your iPhone is going to crash. Mine just did in a big way.

Your iPhone or any smart phone is just a computer that happens to place phone calls. This might explain why it displays pretty maps, but has lower voice quality than my old Nokia.

Here are some things that I have learned through trial and error to make the process go a bit smoother.

First off, set up an appointment with an Apple Store. Even though I feel most people can handle the re-install, there is always a chance the crash recovery will not go well. Trying to walk into an Apple Store and expecting to get help is a joke. You will need to book an appointment several hours in advance. So before you begin your crash recovery, go to and book an appointment. Good luck finding the link to signing up for an appointment. It's buried somewhere in Support.

You have to do the recovery through iTunes.

Before you attempt recovery, go into iTunes and disable any podcasts, music, applications, photos you might have. You can install them later. In order to recover your iPhone you have to re-install all of this again, which means you have to send gigabytes of data over a USB connection, which is quite slow.

The iPhone will not remember the password to your voicemail. I suggest you dig that up right now.

If the recovery fails, try it again. Keep trying until your Apple Store appointment happens. It took me three times before it finally worked.

All of your settings except for phone and e-mail might be lost. I had to go turn off Wi-Fi, change my ring tone, basically everything. I would think these settings would be saved, but no, they are not.

Best of luck to you.

Oh and if you actually get your iPhone working, don't bother calling the Apple Store to cancel the appointment. I waited on the phone for five minutes and still nobody helped me. You can cancel through the e-mail Apple sends to you.

Once you get the iPhone configured and working, re-install the applications, music and any podcasts. But if you wait until the restore is complete, it will dramatically speed up the time it takes to reformat and recover.

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