The present work is focused on the effect of annealing on the magnetic, microstructure, and mechanical properties of 50% cold-rolled IF steel. The heat treatment is carried out at different temperatures ranging from 200 to 700 °C for 15 min holding time, to monitor the recovery and recrystallization process. The microstructure is observed by optical microscopy, and analyzed by image analysis software for quantification of recrystallization fractions and grain size. At 200–550 °C temperatures, no significant microstructural change is observed, indicating the dominancy of recovery at these temperatures. It is also confirmed by a nominal variation of hardness and tensile properties at the aforementioned temperature ranges. The magnetic parameters of coercivity (Hc) and remanent (Br) are measured through the electromagnetic sensing device, indicating a significant change during recovery. The recrystallization completion takes place at 660 °C, confirmed by mechanical and magnetic softening. © 2020, Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.