How To Put An iPhone In DFU Mode, The Apple Way

DFU stands for Device Firmware Update, and it’s the deepest type of restore you can do on an iPhone. An Apple lead genius taught me how to put iPhones into DFU mode, and as an Apple tech, I’ve done it hundreds of times.

Surprisingly, I’ve never seen another article explain how to enter DFU mode the way I was trained. A lot of the information out there is just plain wrong. In this article, I’ll explain what DFU mode is, how firmware works on your iPhone, and show you step-by-step how to DFU restore your iPhone.

If you’d rather watch than read (actually, both can be helpful), skip down to our new YouTube video about DFU mode and how to DFU restore an iPhone.

What You Need To Know Before We Begin

  • The Home Button is the circular button below your iPhone’s display.
  • The Sleep / Wake Button is Apple’s name for the power button.
  • You’ll need a timer to count to 8 seconds (or you can do it in your head).
  • If you can, back up your iPhone to iCloud, iTunes, or Finder before put your iPhone in DFU mode.
  • NEW: Macs running macOS Catalina 10.15 or newer use Finder to DFU restore iPhones.

How To Put An iPhone In DFU Mode

  1. Plug your iPhone into your computer and open iTunes if you have a Mac running macOS Mojave 10.14 or a PC. Open Finder if you have a Mac running macOS Catalina 10.15 or newer. It doesn’t matter if your iPhone is on or off.
  2. Press and hold the Sleep / Wake Button and Home Button (iPhone 6s and below) or the volume down button (iPhone 7) together for 8 seconds.
  3. After 8 seconds, release the Sleep / Wake Button but continue to hold the Home Button (iPhone 6s and below) or the volume down button (iPhone 7) until your iPhone appears in iTunes or Finder.iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode
  4. Let go of the Home Button or volume down button. Your iPhone’s display will be completely black if you’ve successfully entered DFU mode. If it’s not, try again from the beginning.
  5. Restore your iPhone using iTunes or Finder.

How To Put An iPhone 8, 8 Plus, Or X In DFU Mode

A lot of other websites give false, misleading, or overcomplicated steps when telling you how to DFU restore your iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or X. They’ll tell you to turn off your iPhone first, which is completely unnecessary. Your iPhone does not have to be off before you put it in DFU Mode.

If you like our videos, watch our new YouTube video about how to DFU restore your iPhone X, 8, or 8 Plus. If you prefer to read the steps, the process is actually a lot easier than they make it out to be! The process starts off just like a hard reset.

  1. To DFU restore your iPhone X, 8, or 8 Plus, quickly press and release the volume up button, then quickly press and release the volume down button, and then press and hold the side button until the screen goes black.
  2. As soon as the screen turns black, press and hold the volume down button while continuing to hold the side button.
  3. After 5 seconds, release the side button but continue to hold the volume down button until your iPhone shows up in iTunes or Finder.
  4. As soon as it appears in iTunes or Finder, release the volume button. Ta-da! Your iPhone is in DFU mode.

Note: If the Apple logo is appearing on the screen, you held down the volume down button for too long. Start the process over from the beginning and try again.

How To Put An iPhone XS, XS Max, Or XR In DFU Mode

The steps for putting an iPhone XS, XS Max, XR in DFU mode are exactly the same as the steps for the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X. Check out our YouTube video about putting an iPhone XS, XS Max, or XR in DFU mode if you’re more of a visual learner! We use my iPhone XS to walk you through every step of the process.

How To Put An iPhone 11, 11 Pro, Or 11 Pro Max In DFU Mode

You can put an iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max in DFU mode by following the same steps as you would for an iPhone 8 or newer. Check out our YouTube video if you need help working through the process.

If You’d Rather Watch Than Read…

Check out our new YouTube tutorial on how to put an iPhone into DFU mode and how to perform a DFU restore if you’d like to see it in action.

A Word Of Warning

When you DFU restore your iPhone, your computer erases and reloads every bit of code that controls the software and hardware on your iPhone. There’s the potential for something to go wrong.

If your iPhone is damaged in any way, and especially if it’s water-damaged, a DFU restore may break your iPhone. I’ve worked with customers who tried to restore their iPhones to fix a minor problem, but water had damaged another component that prevented the restore from completing. A useable iPhone with minor problems can become completely unusable if a DFU restore fails because of water-damage.

What’s Firmware? What Does It Do?

Firmware is the programming that controls the hardware of your device. Software changes all the time (you install apps and download new email), hardware never changes (hopefully, you don’t open your iPhone and rearrange its components), and firmware almost never changes — unless it has to.

What Other Electronic Devices Have Firmware?

All of them! Think about it: Your washing machine, dryer, TV remote, and microwave all use firmware to control buttons, timers, and other basic functions. You can’t change what the Popcorn setting does on your microwave, so it’s not software — it’s firmware.

DFU Restores: All Day, Every Day.

Apple employees restore a lot of iPhones. Given the option, I’d always choose a DFU restore over a regular or recovery mode restore. This isn’t official Apple policy and some techs would say it’s overkill, but if an iPhone has a problem that can be resolved with a restore, a DFU restore stands the best chance of fixing it.

Thanks for reading and I hope this article clarifies some of the misinformation on the internet about how to enter DFU mode and why you’d want to use it. I encourage you to embrace your inner geekiness. You should be proud! Now you can tell your friends (and kids), “Yeah, I know how to DFU restore my iPhone.”

Thanks for reading and all the best,
David P.

About Author

I'm a former Apple employee and the founder of Payette Forward, and I'm here to help you with your iPhone.

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1 day ago

Hi. My iPhone 11 went dead and black with spinning wheel. Noen of the reset options work. Wha do I do?

2 days ago

I cant check for updates. whenever I try to, I get the unable to check for updates. I used to be able to but I installed my next update from the ipsw site… just to be see how that works…… can someone help me?

4 days ago

My iphone 6s, when connected to charger, after charging for 15-20mins shows “this accessory may not be supported“, sometimes after charging 50%-70%. Both charger and cable is inbox accessory from apple. Its been 4-5years i haven’t faced this issue before. I had never used any aftermarket accessory for my iphone till today. Now the strange thing is that when i use charger and cable of “iphone 6s” which i got with the iphone, charges my “ipad mini ” perfectly. Without any error message. Likewise the charger and cable of my “ipad mini” works perfectly with “iphone 6s“. I am perplexed.… Read more »

Liam Shotwell
4 days ago
Reply to  Vikas

As long as your phone is still charging it shouldn’t be an issue. If not, a DFU restore can be done to try and fix it. You could also try using a different charger.

5 days ago

how do I download the software

Rao Mocherla
5 days ago

I have also opened the USB accessories under
touch Id and pass codes

Rao Movherla
5 days ago

My I phone 8+ when connected to charger cable says ‘this accessory may not be supported. This is a message of late seen. I was using the same cable earlier without any difficulty. Can you help?

Liam Shotwell
5 days ago
Reply to  Rao Movherla

Have you tried using a different charger? I know that the one you are using was working just fine before, but maybe using a new charger will help.

George Schofield
6 days ago

Well I’m only a kid but my phone is on a shut down loop so yeah and I rly wanna txt my friends but I can’t so pls help me

Liam Shotwell
5 days ago

I think this article or this article might be able to help you out. Good luck!

9 days ago

Gotta say a big thank you to you David. Having explored every avenue to fix my wife’s 5 SE iPhone, that had refused to charge or connect to iTunes, she was on the verge of scrapping it for a new one. I had one last attempt to fix it using your method and waited anxiously as it went through the motions of the reset, and low and behold it worked and is now fully operational again. Very grateful to you.

9 days ago

Hello, I’ve had my iphone XR for over a year now, volume is not as high as used to be, but that’s not a big problem. I dropped my Iphone today and hours later I noticed the rear camera is black. I tried everything I found on youtube. this is my last hope before taking to a store to get fix..Would this DFU mode thing could help?

Liam Shotwell
7 days ago
Reply to  Sarah

I think this article will be helpful for you.

12 days ago

Hey David, Just stopped by to say “Thank you”. After the last iOS update failed halfway on my daughters 5S and broke it completely, then iTunes restore failed, iTunes recovery led to circling “press home button to update” , and then even iTunes recovery mode didnt start to initiate a factory reset… I tried apple support and had been informed that I have to pay so they factory reset it! Your advice to start a DFU worked perfectly. Just to mention I got error 14, and changing cable or nothing solved it except I “disconnected laptop from dock station”. Cheers… Read more »

J Ruby
13 days ago

Will DFU mode work for an iPhone XR, on 13.4.1 update.? I’ve had my phone for three months now and it went to “cellular update failed” within the first month haven’t been able to fix it due to covid and stores not being open… & also, it won’t let me update to 13.5.1, when I updated to 13.4.1 I had to use the computer on iTunes & it took forever. I leave it on charge to update it like it says but will not update to new version. Help plz.

Liam Shotwell
13 days ago
Reply to  J Ruby

Yes, DFU mode should work on all iPhone models. I hope you’re able to get it fixed!

14 days ago

On My iPhone X the Apple icon keeps blinking without booting completely
I took it to someone to help me do the DFU hard reset , it didn’t work now they say it’s the battery that’s causing the blinking
please is that possible because I don’t want to waste my money

Liam Shotwell
13 days ago
Reply to  Stephanie

If a repair professional told you that it’s a problem with the battery, then you’ll have to get the battery replaced.

jerome Ali
14 days ago

my i phone S6 say it is charging…it is showing the green portion and the % of the charge but it doesn’t change even if i leave it for an hour. no change in the charge

Liam Shotwell
14 days ago
Reply to  jerome Ali

I think this article may be helpful for you.

Vladimir Harkonnen
15 days ago

Hi David. I run OS X Yosemite 10.10.5, and do not wish to upgrade as I’ve found that my QuickTime 7 is not supported on later versions. My iPhone’s OS is the latest version. Will I be able to perform this DFU on my Mac? I ask as your tutorial mentions 10.14 in bold.

Robby Lj
16 days ago

how to fix speaker problem with an iphone 6. hearing people from incoming calls are not good.

Liam Shotwell
14 days ago
Reply to  Robby Lj

I think this article may be able to help you.

Muhammad Subhani
17 days ago

i have an iphone 7 plus and i have had it for i think three years and it has never fallen on the ground and has never gone near to water however last night i stopped auto update cause updates make the phone slower and i went to bed. i woke up to find the iphone unresponsive. i have tried everything and it has been a day. im positive its no hardware issue as it gets mildly warm when i leave it for charging any advice will be helpful.

20 days ago

Hi David,
I need help I just bought 6s plus and its blinking try the hard reset but its nota working.

21 days ago

the bottom speaker on my iPhone 8 has stopped working. Is a dfu restore likely to help this problem? I’ve tried everything else and it’s still not working. I don’t want to break my phone but it’s also annoying as I want both speakers working. The phone is only just a year old, did get dropped in water when I first had it and have never had any problems with the phone until now, could it be water damage? although iPhone 8’s are IP67 rated so in theory being submerged in a small amount of water for literally 2 seconds… Read more »

Liam Shotwell
21 days ago
Reply to  Lizzi

In my experience, water resistance is almost never guaranteed. So, don’t rule that out, but I do think it’s more likely that this is another issue. If it’s a software issue, a DFU restore should fix it. You won’t break your phone when you do this because a DFU restore only affects the software. It’s like performing a ‘factory reset’ on any other machine.

If putting your iPhone in DFU mode doesn’t help, then you should explore some of your repair options. I hope this helps, and good luck!

21 days ago
Reply to  Liam Shotwell

I’ll give it a try and see if it works, thank you for your help!

Yoga Reswara
24 days ago

My Iphone X wont turn on, i had already try all the methods(i think) that’s on the internet, and i already contact the costumer service. The problem is i lived in a remote place that doesn’t have the service that the costumer service told me, any help?
Also this is not the first time that happen,my mother used that phone before and the screen sometime went black but usually i can fix it, but now i can’t fix it anymore. A help would be appreciate

Laura Pearce
24 days ago

Awesome, really saved the day. iPhone 6s was constantly turning off and on and battery health was saying that the battery needed a services. I was about to take it to a repair shop for a £50 charge for a new battery I did not need. I did the DFU and was really simple and my battery health is back to 85 percent and no other issues with turning off and on ! Thanks 😊

26 days ago

My iPhone 7 plus has been on boot loop for the past 2 days, I have tried with DFU mode many times as well as other things. My issue is that when the bar underneath the Apple logo is shown during restoring, it quickly goes away and it fails to restore. How can I fix this?

27 days ago

the usb cord was pulled out during the recovery mode of iPhone 6. I have plugged it back in and itunes re-recognized the phone again. i click restore again but cant see whether or not the recovery process is in progress. will this be work? how long should I wait for some kind of sign?

Liam Shotwell
27 days ago
Reply to  Tom

I’d wait maybe a few hours at most. If the process doesn’t complete, try to restart the process again.

28 days ago

Hey david ,i tried the steps above to get out of DFU mode ,but its still not working,the screen is still blank. Please help me with this!!

28 days ago

I am beyond frustrated. After an hour of trying, when ITunes didn’t recognize the phone at all, now it’s extracted but won’t restore. One of the suggestions was to update operating system, so I spent another hour trying to upgrade to Mojave, and got the dreaded “broken” message time after time. I’m trying to install Catalina, which I didn’t really want. Now the phone has an image of a computer, with a usb cord and an arrow between them. The usb is already plugged into the computer. I’ve spent the whole afternoon with no results that I can see. I… Read more »

1 month ago

My screen is showing a computer screen and usb cable with arose pointing to computer screen

joseph paik
1 month ago

how can i do the dfu mode if my volume button and sleep button isn’t working?

Yoshi hill
25 days ago
Reply to  joseph paik

Get them fixed at the apple store and then do it

1 month ago

Hi David ,

I have tried the recovery mode as well as the DFU restore . Still y Iphone X does not turn on . Any idea what might be the problem? Should I take it to apple store to fix?

lewis curry
1 month ago

absolutly great thank you so much

1 month ago

Thanks David. Worked for my iPhone 8

Santosh Paswan
1 month ago

sir ihave a iphone 6 but thereis not sim card working onmy showing there serching for network please help if possbility

Mary Ann
1 month ago

My iPhone went black after DFU, no logo, nothing. With everything going on making it hard to get in & get my iPhone 11 fixed, is there a way I can fix this at home & can I downgrade to a previous unsigned version without any more problems? The phone went through the restore up until the last part where it finished then froze there.

Thank you

1 month ago

Hi my IPhone 11 speaker volume Is too how to fix it

1 month ago

hola David,

I have perform the process torestore the iphone X with DFU restore and itunes, but it doesn’t work. are there any chance to recover the iPhone¿?.

Please, look at the attachment image.

Thank you, indeed


3 months ago

what if i dont have a macbook

Joy Carter
4 months ago

Hi guys!

Got a video for DFU on an iPad?

David Lynch
4 months ago
Reply to  Joy Carter

Yes we do, here’s how to DFU restore an iPad

4 months ago

after i restore the phone there is still the “activation lock screen” saying i need the apple id and password. how do i get past this, as i have no way of contacting original owner? thank you

Tommy P
1 month ago
Reply to  matt

You don’t. Phone is now useless. Sell it for parts or find the original owner

Steve lush
4 months ago

thank goodness for this page. I tried many fixes to my battery woes, but this is the only one that worked (so far). My battery life seems stable again. It has only been a day, but for the first time in months my battery life isn’t dropping like a rock. Hope it holds.

4 months ago

iPhone 7 camera is blurry

David Lynch
4 months ago
Reply to  Scott

Here’s what to do when your iPhone Camera is blurry. A DFU restore should fix the problem if it’s software related.

Peter doyle
4 months ago

Hold the buttons, black screen … on restore, wait an age for it to download, gets to the end and i get a pop up saying there was a problem and I don’t have enough privilege for it to complete??

Reita K Nipper
4 months ago

so I went through this process to the point that a message popped up that the phone could not be activated because the activation information could not be obtained. Then it instructs to check the sim card. So I did that. Disconnected the phone and still get the same message. Any suggestions?

Jo And
5 months ago

Nothing works! I’m still locked out of my phone! Upon trying to access iTunes its message states..”to allow access, please respond on your phone…” Therein lies the problem Apple.

5 months ago

Thank you for this video!!!

5 months ago

iPhone 8 plus follow steps and it goes to sos call.

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