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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Leona
20 hours ago

Hi.
I have done the DFU but now when I connect it to iTunes and tap on my phone it comes up again with the restore backup page. I’ve done the backup twice now. Another thing is that my subscribed calendar with university lectures has vanished when I tried to put another event in. This never happened before. I did the whole back up again, the subscribed calendar returned but then the same thing happened. I’m at the and of my tether. Please help…

Editor
Liam Shotwell
1 minute ago
Reply to  Leona

Your calendar may not have been associated with your Apple ID. Was it a Google Calendar by any chance? You may need to sign back into your email addresses and calendars to get that school calendar back. Or, you can try an resubscribe to the calendar the same way that you subscribed to it in the first place.

Sara
3 days ago

Hello there! I really need your help. Due to the Wifi-Greyed-Out problem, I have ended up deciding to do a DFU reset. I have followed your Youtube tutorial but still I am struggeling to get my device back started. I have plugged my iPhone XR to my PC, started iTunes and then put it into recovery mode. After that I click on the ”recover iphone”, which gives me the option to ”update and restart”. It extracts the softwares then starts to download a file. Its about 5GB and for my PC it takes upto a good hour or more. Now… Read more »

Abdulkarim
8 days ago

Hello hope you’re doing well, my phone is not connecting to any wifi network as the button has turned grey and cannot turn it back on. At first; i used to switch it off and on and it would work. Now i need to do that at least 20 times and have to be lucky for it to connect to the wifi signal again; and when it does that when i press the power button when i’m done using my phone it disconnects from the wifi again and cannot get it to connect to it again. Does it need a… Read more »

Editor
Liam Shotwell
6 days ago
Reply to  Abdulkarim

A DFU restore will not damage any software on your iPhone. However, make sure all your files, photos, and videos are backed up so you don’t lose them in the restore. 😊

Abdulkarim
6 days ago
Reply to  Liam Shotwell

Thank you for your reply and that’s great to hear! So regarding my situation the only thing i should do to get my phone working normally is the DFU restore right? Do you have anything else i should try to do before i do the DFU restore?

Editor
Liam Shotwell
5 days ago
Reply to  Abdulkarim

A DFU restore is typically a “last resort” option. It rules out software problems by completely resetting the software on your iPhone. Before doing this, you can try resetting your network settings. This will reset your network settings back to their defaults. You will have to sign back into your Wi-Fi connection since doing this step will erase your saved Wi-Fi passwords. It’s a bit annoying but it might get you back up and running without having to reset your whole iPhone with a DFU restore. If you do decide to go the DFU-route, make sure you back up your… Read more »

Abdulkarim
3 days ago
Reply to  Liam Shotwell

I have in fact tried resetting my network and it didn’t work, i guess the only thing left is to do a factory reset or a DFU restore at this point. I appreciate your kind help thank you🙏🏻

Editor
Liam Shotwell
3 days ago
Reply to  Abdulkarim

No problem! I wish you luck! 😊

Alex
10 days ago

My iPhone 7 doesn’t recover with the message code in iTunes 4005. Any ideas on what can be done?

Haya
10 days ago

Hello! My iPhone 7 crashed when it’s battery died. I haven’t backed it up and the local repair shop told me that I will need a new software update which will wipe out all of my data. Can I still do the DFU restore if my phone won’t go past the iPhone logo sign?

Editor
Liam Shotwell
10 days ago
Reply to  Haya

Yeah you can do a DFU restore, but part of me feels like that’s exactly what they want to do at the repair shop lol, so you can probably save yourself some money by doing it yourself. Only catch is, the DFU restore will delete your data. So, if you haven’t backed it up and can’t do that through a cable connection to iTunes or Finder, you’re out of luck. I hope this helps!

DANIEL
9 days ago
Reply to  Haya

Please have you been able to restore it? I have the same problem..

Lau
13 days ago

on my xr when i hold down the right and down volume i starts to send emergency sos an beeping loudly..doesn’t ever shut off the phone

Editor
Liam Shotwell
13 days ago
Reply to  Lau

Make sure you are following the directions carefully. You don’t want to hold down the volume buttons. It’s a bit confusing because most Android phones reset by holding these buttons down, but it’s different for iPhones!

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.

Also, check out our video to see exactly how to do this! 😀

ramu
15 days ago

Great to know about DFU and many more terms in using apple restore.

Hannah
15 days ago

Hi

Your DFU-steps definitely did something, only: now my phone doesn’t do ANY-thing at all anymore. What now?

h

Editor
Liam Shotwell
13 days ago
Reply to  Hannah

Check out our YouTube video to double-check that you are following all the steps correctly. I hope this helps!

Arabella
19 days ago

didn’t work my phone won’t do LITERALLY ANYTHING, It won’t turn on or won’t charge. The home button doesn’t even work either??? Whenever my phone is dead my home button simply decides it’s time to not be able to press down anymore!!

OtaByte
18 days ago
Reply to  Arabella

chances are you have an iPhone 7 or later, if this is true hold the sleep/wake button and the volume down button until the iPhone restarts.

(the iPhone 7, 8, and SE(gen2) all have “fake” home buttons that are actually touch-sensitive areas and vibrate whenever they are pressed)

Archie
23 days ago

Hie i have an iphone 5s, its stuck on the restore screen and not picking up on iTunes

Editor
Liam Shotwell
22 days ago
Reply to  Archie

The iPhone 5s was released in 2013 — the phone is about 8 years old! It’s probably time to get a new one. If you are looking to get another iPhone, I recommend checking out the iPhone 12 or the iPhone 11. If you are looking for a more budget solution, the newest iPhone SE is an excellent choice.

Gin
23 days ago

I tried the DFU method on my Xs, but its still black screen. iTunes doesn’t seem to get it back on as well. Pls help! No power, can’t charge as well. It’s just completely dead:(

Mark
25 days ago

iTunes is no longer. Is there a way to do this without it?

Editor
Liam Shotwell
24 days ago
Reply to  Mark

iTunes is still available for download. You can also use Finder to put an iPhone in DFU mode as described in the article 😀

cody
26 days ago

thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu. just saved my day super hero

Michael McShan
1 month ago

I have an iphone X that belonged to my now deceased sister. I tried some passcodes and disabled the phone. I just tried the Restore in UFD mode you described. It seemed to work and went through the 11 minutes of downloading updates. I then unplugged it from the I-Book that has I-tunes. (I was able to find the password for IBook) I tried to start the phone and only a message advising to connect to I-Tunes displayed. I plugged into Ibook again and it did very short restore download and message said “Unknown Error Code (10) Can you help?… Read more »

Nia
1 month ago

Thanks <3 That worked.

Tricia
1 month ago

I was able to get iTunes to recognize the phone and click restore. It downloaded and appeared to be working but now all I see (still) is the battery with a tiny sliver of red wanting a charge. It doesn’t recognize the fact that it’s plugged in. Anymore ideas??

marc
1 month ago

Thanks a million. I spent over an hour before I happened to find your 8 second rule. Worked on my second try.

Allen
1 month ago

Thank you so much! My IPhone 6s wasn’t charging and I was getting upset. I did a hard reset and it started back charging. Thank you again

Allen
1 month ago

Thank you so much! My phone wasn’t charging and I was getting upset. I did a hard reset and it started back charging. Thank you again

Alaric S
1 month ago

Hi, Did a DFU restore on my 5s yesterday as it kept switching off with plenty of battery until I plugged a charger in. Worked fine until this afternoon, now it keeps switching off, even when plugged into a charger! Attempted DFU restore several times but the Apple logo keeps popping up, whatever length of time I hold both buttons down for. Any suggestions?

Ronelle Pienaar
1 month ago

hi David! I tried everything, but the apple logo is still in a loop!?

Kate M
1 month ago

hi have you gotten it fixed yet? because i’m experiencing the same thing with mine. i’ve tried everything but it still hasn’t worked

Noel
1 month ago

I have an iPhone 4 (old old yes I know) I use it as an iPod and it was stuck in the reboot loop and now it will only give me the iTunes plug in screen and I have tried everything and I get errors saying it cannot restore. Is it just a lost cause at this point?

Steve
2 months ago

Dfu restore on my iPhone 10. It’s turned off now and won’t turn on. What now? And now there is nothing on the computer about my phone

Nina
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

You could try this it may help: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button. Then press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo.

William Mellet
1 month ago
Reply to  Nina

I did the same thing but it was a 6. Now I cant power on the phone.
Used the press quickly and release but still no Apple Logo.
Any other suggestions? It was fully powered before I started.

Lucy
2 months ago

How do I do this on a iPad Pro 2018? Thanks

Anon
2 months ago

Dunno my passcode and my PC isn’t aware that a device is plugged in. iTunes doesn’t know it’s there either. Phone says to unlock to use accessories. So if I can’t access the phone and nothing is recognizing a device is connected what do I do?

Maria
2 months ago

My phone says it is connected to the WIFI but it is not connecting. I have tried all the steps you have listed here except for the DFU mode. Is there anything else I can do besides that? My phone has not been water damaged. Oops….guess what my daughter just fixed it by removing the VPN app called Touch VPN. That was it! Please share with others in case they are having the same problem!

Crazy Cat
2 months ago
Reply to  Maria

Thanks. A different VPN for me but deleting it fixed data connection for me. Thanks Again

shawna
2 months ago
Reply to  Crazy Cat

Maria thank you!! I have been having this same issue for a long time and I had touch vpn on my phone, the second I deleted it my wifi started working.

Oscar
2 months ago

How to do this on a Iphone 6?

Peter
2 months ago

I am able to put my iphone 6s into DFU mode, but clicking the “Restore” button has no effect. I also tried downloading the latest ios14.2 and option-clicking Restore after manually selecting the firmware file, but I get the same result. Hard reset then brings the phone out of DFU but I really want to do the full DFU restore. Any ideas?

Peter
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter

I should clarify that I am using a new Apple lightning cable, have updated both the phone and my mac to latest OS (iOS14.2, current Catalina), and have disabled FindMy. Still nothing happens when I click “Restore”. Just turns blue for a second then goes back to white unclicked state.

Mike B
2 months ago

I have a XR and updated it back in March to 13. something and it caused my phone to no longer have cellular service and would shut of on back on again. Sometimes allowing me to have full service to the phone, but will only last a day or two then shut off and back on with a message saying that I can’t make calls and have no cellular data service. What would cause this and can it be fixed without sending it to Apple or losing everything I have on it?

Eddie
2 months ago

Just tried DFU for Cellular Update Failed on my wife’s iPhone 7 and it worked! 🙂 Thank you thank you thank you!

Ren
2 months ago

after receiving the failure to download cellular update, and not being able to get service anywhere, I tried doing the DFU restart on my iPhone 7, and it says it cannot be activated because it needs an update. cannot access the backup info on the MacBook Pro I backed it up onto. ive been running into issues on the phone and computer, now I seem to be locked out and don’t even get into the phone to use at all…. please help

Ren
2 months ago

I tried this on my iPhone 7 after receiving the cannot download cellular data. It will not allow me to activate the phone or even access the backup data to do it manually. using on the MacBook Pro I downloaded the backup onto. its saying it needs an update to activate the phone…..

Ren
2 months ago

just tried doing this on my iPhone 7 and its reading cannot be activated by both the phone and the MacBook Pro I backed it up on. I was originally receiving the cannot download cellular update and thought this would help.

Grace
2 months ago

Every time I try to restore my iphone 7 on my PC it comes up with an error at the end of the process

ren
2 months ago
Reply to  Grace

same here, I tried after receiving the cannot download cellular data. tried the DFU reset and now I cannot activate my phone at all or reach the backup data on the MacBook I backed up onto

Terateng
2 months ago

Hi David, I’m trying to do the DFU but I have an iPhone 8 Plus and when I hold down the down volume and side button to get the screen to go black, I get the ems alert , it doesn’t go black

TIm Fulker
2 months ago

Hi, My iPhone XS Max’s screen is non responsive. Have tried hard reset and DFU restore. Screen sometimes allows me to access a few menus, but then becomes unresponsive again. Please help is you can

Editor
Liam Shotwell
2 months ago
Reply to  TIm Fulker

If you did a DFU restore and the problem hasn’t been fixed, it’s unlikely that this is a software problem. There is probably something wrong with the device’s hardware and you’ll need to explore your repair options to get it fixed.

John
3 months ago

i was using my phone earlier today and it was working fine but when I tried to use it right now it’s just black. Not turning on nothing, I have tried turning it off charging it but nothings working 🙁
Help me please

Anna
2 months ago
Reply to  John

I’m having the same issue with my iPhone 7, I tried the DFU restore but it’s still showing a black screen. Do I need to change the screen?

Beswick
2 months ago
Reply to  John

Having exactly the same thing happening to mine. Have you found a fix?

Nicole
3 months ago

Thank you for your assistance. I however have a BIG problem. My Home Button doesn’t work, I’ve been using the home button on my screen. So I am unable to press down the home button to complete the above task.

Is there anything else I can do?

Bendu Sheiff
3 months ago

my iphone7 stuck on restart loop it keep restart over and over. Updated the phone to iOS 14.1 using iTunes, it updated successfully but it keep restart it again please I need your help

mimiemia50
3 months ago

my iPhone8 is stuck on restart loop, showing the logo and going off and then showing logo. Updated the phone to iOS 14.1 using iTunes, it updated successfully but it’s stuck on the loop. What to do?

sunil
3 months ago

my new i phone 7 plus continous
restarting please solution

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