iPhone 3GS keeps rebooting over and over – Fix – UPDATED


Last night I didn’t plug my iPhone 3GS into power. When I woke up my iPhone was out of battery so I plugged it in to charge it up. Shortly after it started to recharge, it rebooted. After rebooting and charging for a few more minutes it would reboot again. It went through this cycle over and over.

I pulled it off the charger and started messing around with the phone. While I was in settings doing something (don’t remember what), it rebooted again.

“Not good,” I’m thinking to myself. I go to the interwebs book of knowledge and search for “iPhone 3GS keeps rebooting.” I found a number of fixes, this one worked for me:

1. Turn the phone off
2. Take out the SIM Card
3. Turn on the phone
4. Go into Settings -> General -> Network and make sure that 3G and Cellular Data are on
5. Insert SIM card into the phone
6. Let the phone register to the network
7. Wait three minutes and then turn 3G and Cellular Data off

After this, the phone should be working fine. You can go ahead and turn 3G and Cellular Data back on if you like. I tend to keep 3G off to save battery and when I need to download something big turn it back on.

UPDATE 2012-02-13:

On my trip to Laos this weekend the same thing happened again. My iPhone went into continuous reboot every three to five minutes or so. I didn’t have anything handy and since I was sitting in minivan with friends I started messing around with the iPhone. This time I did this and reboot mode went away again:
1. Put phone into Airplane Mode
2. Go into Settings -> General -> Network and make sure that 3G and Cellular Data are on
3. Turn off iPhone
4. Turn on iPhone
5. Turn off Airplane mode
6. Let the phone register to the network
7. Wait three minutes and then turn 3G and Cellular Data off.

This seemed to work without having to remove the SIM card. It seems that my iPhone 3GS goes into reboot mode when it has trouble connecting to a network. Not all the time, but sometimes, I can’t pin it down but it is a bit annoying but at least there’s a way to fix it until a patch for this comes out from Apple.

Again, I tend to turn 3G off for normal activity to keep the battery longer, and when I am overseas like I am at the time of this writing I will turn off Cellular Data and pick up WiFi spots where I can.

UPDATE 2012-12-12:

Note: This article was written before the release of iOS 5.X and 6.X. With iOS 5.X and 6.x Apple changed
Settings -> General -> Network to ..
Settings -> General -> Cellular
so the directions will be a little different with iOS 6.X.

With iOS 6.X I have not experienced the reboot problem yet. If I do I will update this article with my experience.

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27 Responses to “iPhone 3GS keeps rebooting over and over – Fix – UPDATED”

  1. Fraser says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your instructions fixed the problem!
    I wasted so many hours trying to diagnose and fix this problem with the prospect of so many more frustrating hours ahead of me before shoving my out-of-warranty iphone in a drawer and buying an android phone. Glad I came across your post :) Nice one.

  2. kenny says:

    It is work. Thank you so much. Your information very useful.

  3. dsdanys says:

    its’s working. Thank you

  4. jingo says:

    it works. thank you very much. more power!

  5. Dnyanes says:

    Thanks very much

  6. Sandeep says:

    Thank you sooooooo very much !! I came across your article after reading lots of crap at apple forums. This did the trick and just more information for other readers – I had recently made a trip out of my coverage area and after returning back to home base my iphone 3g started this reboot problem. Thank you so much for sharing.

  7. Kelly says:

    Hey, I am having a problem with every time I plug mine into my laptop it goes into reboot mode. I tried both techniques and still isn’t working…
    what do you think about this?

  8. Jhaprie says:

    could you help me my problem, my iphone is always restarting apple logo. what i did before is go to the cydia application then removing some unecessary themes and then after that it appears on the screen reboot then i press ok.. after that my iphone 3gs keeps restarting the logo until i got lowbat then i charge it again the same things happen.i even not see all the application even the setting… please help me ASAP thanks a lot… what should i do…?

  9. debbie says:

    Thanks it works. But it will still do it once i plug into my comp, is there any permanent way to remove it?

  10. randy says:

    Well, after hours of reading many sites I believe this is the best answer I have found. It apears that when there is no sim card in the iphone it throws it into this cycle of reboots. I had a old 3gs laying around with a cracked screen, so i took to repair and change the battery. I want to unlock it and use it to do some international travel and not bring my iphone 4gs with me. I now believe that once i get back to the states and put my USA sim card in it to allow it to register the i can try the unlock code. I don’t want to try and unlock it while it is charging and rebooting every 5 mins.

    thanks again for the info

  11. Rumjhum says:

    I encountered this problem couple of times : it happens if the phone is fully discharged and then you charge it. Probably a bug that Apple did not fix.
    After trying couple of restarts, it
    worked for me previously:but maybe I was in a network then.

    Your solution works instantly!!! WOW… Thanks for posting it.

  12. Zoe says:

    Thank you it worked! =D

  13. Amit says:

    Thnx it relly worked for me !!

  14. Odespino says:

    Thanks, it work for me, one question,
    when i restart my iPhone, have always to do this procedure?

  15. umair says:

    thanks buddy.ths thing solved my problem

  16. Dominic says:

    Hi, this DID NOT work for me because, without a sim card, my iphone 3gs will not give me the option to connect to 3g. I can’t see the ‘network’ switch you refer to. Instead, I have ‘cellular’, which is greyed out in the general menu. If I select ‘about’ it says Network is not available. I think I need a new sim….

  17. Roel says:

    It is actually working! Thanks man!

  18. Taha says:

    Hey, I’m having a problem. i tried both techniques and its still isn’t working…
    Now, what should i do?

  19. Neo says:

    Hi , if you can help me with my problem please , the prob is that i did set a password for my iphone and forgot the pass , and after many false attempts to enter the code , the iphone is disactivited , i took the iphone to a guy that unlocked it , and now it keeps rebooting every 3-5 minutes , the way you mentioned in your topic didn’t work in my case…it’s an iphone 3gs 16gb , HElp me please….

  20. Kunal m says:

    How would it give you an option of changing the option of cellular data on off when there is no sim or is in airplane mode? Doesnt give this option. I am using 3gs ios 6.x . It works when it wants and just turns off. Without sim card it starts . With sim card starts and just dies when trying to unlock. Then need tonput it in charge and so it works then for sometime. Any permanent fix?

  21. TiTo TeCh says:

    Just change the battery!! I just did it and it function perfectly!!

  22. anderson says:

    did NOT work

  23. aint boutdat life says:

    It worked mwahahaha. nah but for real thanks man. f***s yall that aint bout dis life

  24. medagger says:

    it does not work, my phone has ios 6. i need the directions for ios 6, PLZ.

  25. Albert says:

    Hello All,

    I experienced this problem too.

    Just want to add some tip, when i tried to remove the simcard and start the phone, then it will keep rebooting (without any sim card installed).

    All you need to do is do the reset. Hold down the power and home button around 10 second, keep holding it until you see Apple logo.

    Here the complete step i do :

    1. Turn the phone off
    2. Take out the SIM Card
    3. Turn on the phone

    -> If after this step it go into rebooting loop, then do this :
    3.1 While your phone on, Hold down power+home button, around 10 second
    3.2 After the Apple logo appear, release all the button
    3.3 Wait your phone to load, then wait around 30 second, to see if this fixed. If Yes then go to Step 4. If Not then you will to go DFU Mode then restore your ios.

    4. Go into Settings -> General -> Network and make sure that 3G and Cellular Data are on
    5. Insert SIM card into the phone
    6. Let the phone register to the network
    7. Wait three minutes and then turn 3G and Cellular Data off

    Step 1-7 is from the original post.


  26. Xavier says:

    Works my iPhone is now back on THANK YOU!

  27. SHEHU AS says:


    If your JAILBROKEN iphone 3GS keeps rebooting and doesn’t come up untill the battery runs

    down, then do the following:

    1. Get EVASION on your PC,
    2. Connect your iphone to your PC with USB cable and wait for sometimes; untill the phone

    comes on and starts rebooting,
    3. Start evasion and wait for it to detect the rebooting phone. Then it will display :

    “Phone already jailbroken, it is not advisable to jailbreak again”
    4. Ignore the message and wait for sometimes,
    5. When the JAILBREAK button becomes highlighted, click it and wait for jailbreak to revive

    your phone,
    6. After a relatively long time, evasion will reboot your phone by switching it off and on
    7. When your phone switches on, it will reboot and display your HOME SCREEN.
    8. Disconnect the iphone at that stage, SWITCH IT OFF AND SWITCH IT ON,
    9. When the iphone comes up, it will automatically install cydia and the phone and after

    somestimes display the HOME SCREEN
    10. Congrats! You can continue using your precious phone.

    NB! This procedure is SPECIFICALLY for iphones that develope incessant REBOOT as a result

    of DELETING SYSTEM APPLICATION(S) FROM CYDIA! However, I hope it will work for other reboot

    problems also.

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