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White screen with SWIPE UP TO RECOVER on bottom of screen?

Iphone 11 was stuck on “Boot Reloop”. Basic restarting/hard starting methods would not work. I plugged in my phone to my macbook and updated my phones software, as instructed from my macbook. After the computer was done updating, my phone went to a white screen with “SWIPE UP TO RECOVER” on the bottom of the screen. Is this going to wipe my phones data? UGH. PLEASE HELP. Google/Youtube people were saying to hard start to get out of this screen. That didn’t work for me.

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I'm having the same problem on a phone that had to do a software update. It seems that on the whole of the internet one cannot find a straight answer to your/my question. Please let me know what you did in the end? I cannot lose the data on this phone I'm trying to resolve.


@emma.spengler hey did you ever figure it out?? i was just trying to UPDATE my phone because i was stuck on boot loop and now its asking me to swipe up to recover. i just want to know if that means it will delete my data


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I found this post that may be helpful, especially if you accidentally dropped your phone shortly before this problem occured.

iPhone Passcode Loop Fix / Freeze entered Passcode

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Thank you!!!

I could not test it so quickly yet, but it indeed seems to be the solution that so many of us were looking for!

PS: My phone was dropped into saltwater before the error occurred... I will report how the repair went:)


@leonnicklas You're very welcome. I think the credit should go to the author of that webpage. But I do hope that your repair went well!


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I have had this issue before and you can try doing a DFU restore. Follow the instructions for DFU, Make sure you are not restoring from the recovery boot menu. (if you see “Connect to mac“ try again)

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I am here to share my story which is related to the discussed issue. I realize many people face it and only a few write a 'report' after they manage to fix it. I check a ton of materials and thought I can provide some valuable input.


So here is my story:


1.     For a week or so, my phone was telling me that there was not enough storage. I ignored it, planning to buy some iCloud later on.


2.     Essentially, one day I woke up and my screen was frozen. It was fully functional, just did not react to touch. The first thing I tried is to reboot it by holding the power and volume and power button. It did not work and triggered an emergency call. The screen was still frozen


3.     The next thing I tried was a hard reboot. You do it by pressing quickly volume up, then volume down, and then pressing and holding power until the Apple logo shows up. It did not help either.  Moreover, now it asked for a password, instead of Face ID, which I couldn’t type.


!!! HERE is where you have to understand, that if a hard reboot did not help you with the frozen screen, there is a 90% chance that the issue is HARDWARE, NOT SOFTWARE.


4.     I did not know that and started to panic a bit. So, I went to do my research. My primary goal at this point was to back up the phone. I still thought resetting it to default would help, but I would lose all the data in this case, so with no backup it was not an option.


5.     Note that with the screen locked, there is NO option I could find to access your data (yes, I tried external software too). Apple really took care of that. I saw people using external OTPs, such as here: But I didn’t have experience with it first-hand.


NOTE: if you are stuck in recovery mode (black screen with text) This tool indeed helps you to get out of it.


6.     Next, I found out how to get a phone into recovery mode (same process as hard reboot, but you should connect it to the computer first via wire and hold the power until it boots into recovery mode (it will say that on a phone screen).


7.     Many sources suggest updating the software. It could have helped if the issue was software, as the update "rebuilds" the software by fixing a bug. However, I advise you not to do it, if your storage is full! I tried the update and ended up with a white "swipe to recover" screen. At this point, I thought I ruined it all.


NOTE: in recovery mode DO NOT press RESTORE if you want to keep your data. This would erase your phone, so simply pretend this button does not exist.


8.     Back to my story, I ran out of at-home options so I went to Apple. They were the most incompetent and told me that the data was lost (spoiler it wasn’t). They proposed to change the screen, but that would imply erasing the phone first (due to European GDPR policy) I refused and left frustrated.


9.     Next, I did some more digging and found out that "swipe up to recover" implies that there is something wrong with the software (in my case it did not install properly due to lack of memory) and the phone will try to "rebuild" the system when you swipe. So, if you have this screen, here is what you need to know. If you swipe it, the data won't be lost. If everything will go well, you will end up with your good old iPhone. What can happen though, is an infinite recovery loop. I did not have that, but here is useful info (see links in the post):


10.  By now I assumed that my data was still there, but I could not access it and wasn't sure if a boot loop would happen or not. So, I went to an unauthorized repair shop to change the screen. We tried two screens, but none of those worked (did you really think it would be that easy? XD)


11.  I was so confused at that point, if it is not the screen's digitizer and not the software what could it be? I did final research (used all my university research skills here for real) and found out that the issue could be the motherboard, I think it is the same as a logic board (not 100% sure)


12.  The thing is it recures a sophisticated set of hands to fix. I took my time to find a small repair shop that explicitly claimed that they can fix the motherboard issue. So, I went to them asap.


13.  They disassembled the phone and fixed the motherboard. And what do you know, the screen worked. Only it wasn't my screen XD. As it turned out both the motherboard and screen's digitizer were malfunctioning. So, we ended up fixing the motherboard and replacing the screen with Apple’s OG screen.


Result: I swiped to recover, and the phone gradually recovered itself. It took several hours, so be patient  The financial damage was 200 Euros for all the repairs (note, I live in Eastern Europe, and probably would be more in the US)


Conclusions: few takeaways here:

1.     If a hard reboot did not help, there is a high chance it is not a software problem

2.     In my case full memory was completely unrelated, it was just a coincidence

3.     On the hardware side, touch might not work due to screen digitizer OR motherboard issues (both in my case)

4.     Don't update the software if your storage is full, it can lead to a 'swipe to recover" and a boot loop.

5.     Don't try to look for a reason behind it, maybe you dropped the phone a few months ago, water damage, or maybe there was an electricity overflow at some point when you charged the phone, the motherboard is a very sensate thing…

6.     If you are in the EU, Apple will not help you to recover data. Due to GDPR authorized shops can’t work with your phone while your personal data is on it.

7.     Consult a sophisticated technician after you tried a hard reboot

8.     Don’t panic, your data will not erase itself, unless you reset the phone through iTunes/Finder or physically destroy the motherboard storage unit


Epilogue: after all that, the first thing I did is turned on iCloud backup (except photos). In terms of photos, I turned on iCloud photo library and in about 4 days all 30.000 of my photos were backed up there. I also did a local backup on my Mac just for safety, and a backup of my Mac on an external drive. So, yes, I think spending an extra penny on cloud storage is a good investment. And don’t try to fix everything yourself, I spend 2 very stressful weeks trying it, consult the technician, it could really save your day. Don’t panic and good luck! Also, DM on Instagram if needed

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