How to put your iPhone or iPad into DFU mode

iPhone in DFU mode

DFU stands for Device Firmware Update mode, and it’s the complete form of iPhone restore available. DFU mode allows the user to connect to iTunes, upgrade the firmware, and convert the operating system without automatically downloading the most recent version downloaded. Users can use it to reinstall older versions of iOS if the beta is causing your phone to hang or if it fails.

DFU mode is primarily designed for advanced users. The main reason why people need to enter DFU mode on their iPhone is to upgrade or modify the device’s firmware and iOS, either for authentication purposes or personal preference.

Users can use DFU mode to repair a bricked iPhone after an iOS update fails and the phone appears to be disabled. Still, users can also use it to downgrade to a previous iPhone firmware and operating system in some cases. Users can also use DFU mode to install custom firmware needed for a jailbreak or SIM unlock in certain unusual circumstances. 

For instance, if you have an iPhone IPSW file downloaded locally for updating a malfunctioning iPhone, you may need to use the iPhone in DFU mode in iTunes to do so. Another everyday use of firmware downloads is to restore your iPhone to a previous version of the firmware, which you can do via putting the iPhone in DFU mode if Apple still signs the version of iOS.

Difference between DFU and Recovery Mode

“iBoot” is the main distinction between iPhone in Recovery mode and DFU mode. Recovery mode uses iBoot to restore or upgrade your iPhone, while DFU mode does not use iBoot and allows you to downgrade to the new firmware because there is no iBoot agent in DFU mode.

When the iPhone is in Recovery Mode, iBoot performs a restore. This ensures that you are flashing a DFU device firmware update. This is greater than or equal to the current one.

To restore your iPhone to its original version, put an iPhone in recovery mode. iTunes can handle the rest. But if you need to downgrade your current firmware to a lower version, you must put an iPhone in DFU mode.

DFU Mode:

DFU mode is a particular method in which the user can still connect to iTunes but does not load the iBoot. In DFU mode, the screen becomes completely dark, so you won’t be able to tell if the unit is in DFU or powered down just by looking at it. Since iBoot and the OS aren’t ready, we can use this exploit to downgrade or update your iPhone firmware using the Pwnage tool’s custom firmware.

Recovery Mode:

iBoot’s Recovery Mode is used for regular updates and restores. While iBoot is running, you will not be able to downgrade the program on your computer. Recovery mode will also not allow custom firmware to be flashed until it has been “pwned.”

Enter DFU Mode on iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro Max iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro

The first thing you can do is back up your data to iCloud or iTunes on your phone. It is to ensure that no data is permanently lost during the process. Using the USB-C to Lightning cable, attach your iPhone 12 to a device running the latest iTunes device (On macOS Catalina or later). Alternatively, users can use Finder instead of iTunes.

  • To begin, press and release the Volume Up button. Click and hold the side Volume Down button for a few seconds. Now press and continue to hold the side button for approximately 10 seconds or until the screen goes dark.
  • Keep the side button for another 5 seconds, but this time just hold down the Volume Down button. Remove your finger from the side button and continue to hold the Volume Down button for an additional 10 seconds. There will be no change to the screen’s appearance.
  • When you open iTunes on your Personal computer or Finder on your Mac, you’ll see a notification that says, “iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode.” Thus iPhone must be restored before it can be used with iTunes.” You have the option to restore your iPhone 12 at this stage.
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If you want to restore your iPhone 12 to an older version of iOS, you can manually pick the software you want to use for the restoration. You can only use IPSW that Apple has signed. You will also require to download the correct IPSW firmware file to your machine locally.

How to put an iPhone into DFU mode and update or restore with Face ID

Simply follow the given steps to put an iPhone into DFU mode to correct and restore.

  • Connect your Mac or PC to your iPhone with Face ID.
  • If you have a Mac device running macOS Mojave 10.14 or a PC, connect your iPhone to your device and open iTunes; if you have a Mac device running macOS Catalina 10.15 or later, open Finder. It makes no difference whether your iPhone is turned on or off.
  • Click and press the volume up button quickly.
  • Click and press the volume down button quickly.
  • Keep the side button down until you see the Power Off slider appear.
  • To turn off your screen, drag the slider.
  • For 3 seconds, press and hold the iPhone’s side button (On/Off).
  • Click and hold the volume down button on the left side of your iPhone; still, hold down the side button.
  • Keep both buttons down for another 10 seconds.

(Note: You’ve kept them down for too long and need to try again if you see the Apple logo.)

  • After 10 seconds, release the side button (On/Off), but hold down the volume down button for another 5 seconds.
  • If the “Plug into iTunes” screen appears, you have kept it for too long and should try again.
  • Since timing is complicated, don’t be afraid to try again until you get it right.
  • You’re in DFU mode if the screen has remained blank.
  • Your computer’s iTunes or Finder should have found an iPhone at this point and enabled it to be restored.

Since DFU mode skips the iBoot bootloader, you can downgrade software if required. Standard Recovery Mode uses iBoot to only restore to factory settings if you have the most recent iOS firmware installed.

How to enter iPhone in DFU on your iPhone 6s or earlier, iPad, or iPod touch

These instructions function on all iPhone models before the iPhone 7 (iPhone 6s and earlier, including the first-generation iPhone SE) and all iPad and iPod touch models with the Home Button.

  • Connect your iPad or iPod touch to your Mac or Windows PC through a USB cable.
  • Check to see if iTunes (macOS Mojave) or Finder (macOS Catalina and later) is open.
  • If your iPad or iPod touch isn’t already turned off, do so now.
  • After that, For 3 seconds, press and hold the On/Off button.
  • Swipe the power off lever to the right to turn it off.
  • Press and hold the Off/On button for 3 seconds after it has been switched off.
  • When holding down the Off/ON button, users press and hold the Home button on the front of their screen and proceed to the next step.
  • Keep both buttons down for a total of 10 seconds. (you have long pressed the button If the Apple logo appears)
  • Hold down the iPhone Home button for about 5 seconds after releasing the On/Off switch. (If the “Plug into iTunes” screen appears, you’ve kept it for too long and must restart.)
  • If the screen remains blank, It should now activate DFU mode on your iPad or iPod touch.
  • At this point, iTunes or Finder should display a warning stating that iTunes has detected an iPhone and will be restored.

How to bring your iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone SE 2nd generation into DFU mode

DFU mode on the iPhone 8 and 2nd-generation iPhone SE differs from previous versions due to the reassignment of more common button combinations to Apple’s SOS mode. 

  • Connect your Mac or PC to your iPhone 8 or iPhone SE 2.
  • Check to see whether iTunes (macOS Mojave and PCs) or Finder (macOS Catalina and later) is open.
  • If your iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone SE 2 isn’t already turned off, do so now.
  • Click the volume up button quickly.
  • Click the volume down button quickly.
  • Keep the side button down until you see the power-off slider appear.
  • To switch off the power, move the slider to the right.
  • After that, for 3 seconds, press and hold the On/Off button on the right side of your iPhone.
  • Users while you hold down the On/Off button, press and hold the volume down button left side of your iPhone.
  • Keep both buttons down for 10 seconds. 
  • Hold the volume down button for approximately 5 seconds after releasing the On/Off switch. 
  • If the screen remains blank, then DFU mode should now be activated on your iPhone.
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How to exit DFU mode

It works on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. For this procedure to work, hold down the Home and sleep/power buttons on the iPhone when linked to iTunes is the easiest way to exit DFU mode. Then press the iPhones’ power button to restart the iPhone x system as standard.

DFU mode is most often used to patch and restore a bricked iPhone and try an iOS downgrade to a previous version or for jailbreak purposes. In the latter case, it’s not uncommon for people to purchase an existing iPhone and jailbreak and unlock it to use it on a different network or abroad.

But DFU mode serves other purposes as well, and it’s a helpful troubleshooting trick if your iOS system isn’t functioning at all and isn’t reacting to standard troubleshooting methods if it won’t switch on.

Access your iPhone or iPad from your Mac or PC using iMazing

You will need to put an iPhone or iPad into DFU if you want to reinstall or restore iOS, and it doesn’t function in Recovery mode. To put an iPad or iPhone into DFU mode, follow these steps:

  • Download iMazing and install it on your Personal Computer or Mac device.
  • To begin, open iMazing and plug your computer into your Mac or PC.
  • Depending on your computer type, follow the instructions below.

For iPhone X, iPhone XS, and XS max Devices

To use DFU mode with an iPhone XS, XR, or XS Max, you’ll need a device with the latest version of iTunes. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a Mac or a Personal Computer, as long as it has a USB to connect the iPhone XS, XR, or XS Max too. When you restore a computer, you risk losing all of your data, particularly if you don’t have a backup.

  • Open iTunes on your Mac device or personal computer.
  • Using a USB cable, connect the iPhone XS, XR, or XS Max to the device via iTunes.
  • Release the Volume Up button.
  • Release the Volume Down button.
  • Now, hold down the lock (power) button for approximately 10 seconds or until the iPhone screen goes dark.
  • Press and hold down both the Power(lock button) and the Volume Down buttons for 5 seconds while still holding the Power button.
  • Keep the Volume Down button for another 10 seconds or so after releasing the Power button.
  • You will see a message which says, “iTunes has found an iPhone in recovery mode,” iTunes. The iPhone’s XR/XS is in DFU mode, which means it needs to be restored before using iTunes.
  • With iTunes, your iPhone XS, XR, or XS Max is now in DFU mode, ready to be restored or modified as required.

For iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12,  

  • Using a USB cable, connect the iPhone device to a computer.
  • Click and keep holding the Volume Up button for a few seconds.
  • Click and keep holding the Volume Down button for a few seconds.
  • Keep down the Side button until the screen goes black, then press and hold the Side and Volume Down at the same time.
  • Release the Side button after 5 seconds while keeping the Volume Down button pressed.
  • You left the Side button down for too long if the Apple logo appears.
  • When the computer is in DFU mode, nothing will appear on the screen. If iTunes is available, it will notify you that a system in recovery mode has been found.
  • Retry these measures if your computer displays a screen instructing you to add it to iTunes.

For devices such as iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 7 

  • Using a USB cable, connect the unit to a computer.
  • Keep both the Side and Volume Down buttons pressed.
  • Release the Side button after 8 seconds while keeping the Volume Down button pressed.
  • You left the Side button down for too long if the Apple logo appears.
  • When the computer is in DFU mode, nothing will appear on the screen. If iTunes is available, it will notify you that a system in recovery mode has been found.
  • Retry these measures if your computer displays a screen instructing you to add it to iTunes.
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For iPhone 6s and below, iPad, iPod touch, and iPhone SE Devices. 

  • Using a USB cable, connect the unit to a computer.
  • Simultaneously hold down the lock button and home button.
  • Release the Lock button after 8 seconds while keeping the Home button pressed.
  • You left down the Lock button for too long if the Apple logo appears.
  • When the computer is in DFU mode, nothing will appear on the screen. If iTunes is available, it will notify you that a system in recovery mode has been found.
  • Retry these measures if your computer displays a screen instructing you to add it to iTunes.

For Apple TV

  • The ATV2 needs the ATV2 remote control and a link to your device to enter DFU mode, slightly different from other iOS hardware.
  • Open iTunes.
  • Connect your machine to the Apple TV 2.
  • Keep down the Menu and Down buttons on the Apple TV aluminum remote for around 6 seconds before the system reboots.
  • Release both buttons after rebooting, and then press and hold the Menu and Play buttons simultaneously.
  • Continue holding down the button until an Apple TV in recovery mode is found in iTunes.
  • Now you’re in DFU mode, which allows you to restore and upgrade firmware.

How to Use iPhone 12’s Emergency SOS

Warning: pressing the Emergency SOS button will alert emergency services. Please use this function only in the event of an actual emergency.

On iPhone 12, there are three ways to trigger Emergency SOS:

To activate Emergency SOS, press and hold one of the Volume keys and the Side button and keep holding each button.

Keep down one of the Volume buttons while simultaneously pressing the Side button before the slide to turn off the slider appears. To toggle Emergency SOS, use the Emergency SOS slider.

Enable the Call with Side Button switch in Settings Emergency SOS. By pressing the Side button 5 times quickly, you will be able to trigger Emergency SOS.

Suppose you are upgrading to an iPhone, such as the iPhone 7 or iPhone 8, or second-generation iPhone SE. In that case, you’ll notice that the methods for performing all of the above functions are very different.

Although it’s doubtful that you’ll ever need to use an iPhone in recovery mode, and far less likely that you’ll need to use DFU mode, everyone should know how to restart their iPhone consequently.

Force-restarting the iPhone is helpful on rare occasions when it becomes incredibly sluggish or unresponsive.

Conclusion

DFU mode will assist you in resolving a variety of problems, including getting you back on track with a stable version of iOS. Though the steps and timing can be challenging, failure is not fatal, so keep trying until you succeed.

Before proceeding to any firmware update mode like DFU mode or recovery mode, it is advised to back up your data as the mentioned procedure will erase all the data from your device.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does DFU mode delete everything on the iPhone?

Be mindful that putting your phone into DFU mode can be dangerous. It’s very likely that you’ll lose some or all of your data or that your core machine files will be corrupted. You’ll probably void your system warranty if you use an iPhone in this mode to downgrade iOS or jailbreak.

When should I use DFU mode?

If you require to install an older version of iOS, jailbreak your iPhone, or unlock your SIM, for example, you will use DFU mode. If standard recovery isn’t working to get your system back to working order (for whatever reason), DFU may be able to help.

What are the implications if you put an iPhone in DFU mode?

When an iOS computer is in DFU mode, it is turned on but does not have the operating system loaded. Consequently, since the operating system isn’t running yet, you can make improvements to it.

Does Device Firmware Update Mode Unlock the iPhone?

If you can’t get your iPhone into Recovery Mode, you can use Device Firmware Update Mode to unlock it. DFU Mode will delete all of your iPhone’s files, including the Lock Screen Passcode, and give you the option of restoring as a new iPhone or from an iTunes or iCloud backup.

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