iPhone 15 setup bug confirmed by Apple — here’s how to fix the problem

Apple iPhone 15 review.
(Image credit: Future)

iPhone 15 devices are landing in user's hands from today, letting iPhone owners upgrade to the latest and best version of Apple’s smartphone. Unfortunately that experience is being marred for some, with Apple confirming there is a bug that could mess up the set-up process — leaving affected phones in an update loop.

You’ll know if this happens to you, because your iPhone will be stuck in the boot screen — which is the Apple logo on a black background. It sounds like this bug is related to iOS 17, with Apple confirming that iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro devices running the new software can be affected. However it may also affect anyone setting up an older device and trying to transfer data from an iPhone already running iOS 17.

Thankfully there is a way to fix the problem. According to Apple you need to put the device into DFU mode and restore it using a computer.

The process for doing this is a lot simpler than it sounds, with the first stage being to connect the iPhone to a PC or Mac with a cable — USB-C or Lightning depending on which iPhone you have. From there you need to press and hold the volume down and side buttons. Keep hold of those buttons until the iPhone reboots.

According to Apple you need to put the device into DFU mode and restore it using a computer.

The screen will then display an image of a laptop and a cable, which is your prompt to plug the phone in if you haven’t already. Once connected your phone will be visible in Finder (MacOS) or iTunes (Windows) — with the option to restore or update. Hitting Restore will reset the phone.

Once your phone has been reset, you can restart the setup process. iPhone 15 owners may find that this includes an additional software update that you didn’t get before, which should have fixed the update loop bug.

Older models don’t have this fix yet, and Apple’s advice is to transfer your data using an iCloud Backup instead. Be sure to check out our guide on how to back up your iPhone, to ensure that all data is transferred onto the device in question. You’ll be given the option to transfer your data during the setup process, and be sure to tap the From iCloud Backup option.

Once your phone is set up and ready to go, you can enjoy all the new features and upgrades on offer. Here are 9 iOS 17 features you should try first, and help familiarize yourself with the software.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.