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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Berger
5 days ago

I have a iPhone 12 and the speakers are so muffled. Are the instructions for the same as 11?

Admin
David Lynch
4 days ago
Reply to  Berger

Yes, the steps for putting an iPhone 12 in DFU mode are the same as the iPhone 11.

Ajay Ram
27 days ago

Hello sir, I have an iPhone 11. When I charge my iPhone, the battery doesn’t increase. However, when I turn off my phone then charge it, it works perfectly. What is the problem? Can you help me with this?

Heather Pierce
1 month ago

I have an iPhone 8 Plus. My phone died and it won’t turn back on. I have tried charging it, it won’t charge. I’ve used multiple chargers and it won’t turn on. Just a dead phone with black screen. What can I try?

Steve
1 month ago

My iPhone 7+ was plugged in overnight. In the morning, it was cycling between the Apple Logo and a black screen. Apple Support worked with me over the phone to try and reset/restore/update. Now, all it will do is show the “Laptop with Cable” message on the screen. I have plugged my iPhone into my Mac and used iTunes to try and restore. When I do this, I get a 4013 error. I have followed instructions to connect to my laptop, then enter DFU mode. It seems to download fine. The whole progress bar fills as I download a 5+… Read more »

Mary
1 month ago

i figured it out. ITunes didn’t recognize my iPhone. I set it up and got to the DFU download screen. Fingers crossed! Thank you.

Mary
1 month ago

Hi. I dropped my phone a few days ago and now I see 3 white lines running vertically on the screen. I am following your instructions but cannot get the DFU screen to pop up on my PC. iTunes is up on my PC, although I never use it. I don’t see an iPhone icon on iTunes as I saw on your video. Do I need to see that? What can I be doing wrong? Thank you.

Editor
Colin Boyd
26 days ago
Reply to  Mary

Hi Mary! Does your iPhone’s Lightning port seem to work when you plug it into other things, such as as charger?

Richard
1 month ago

I hung up a call with a friend and my screen just started flashing random patterns and colors. No idea what happened. So, I connected to my iMac and attempted to follow your instructions and an alarm went off and I inadvertently called 911. Hmmmm. So now I’m in iTunes -> iPhone and clicked “Restore iPhone” and it won’t until I turn off something in my phone which, of course, I can’t. The phone did however successfully call 911 and it came through my computer. Now what? I have an iPhone SE 2020.

Gemma-Louise Boakes
1 month ago

I have an iPhone 11. My phone got smashed a couple days ago and I got it repaired at a phone repair shop near me. it was working fine, but now my face ID won’t work. I have tried resetting it, but it says Face ID is not available. I even reset my phone.

Editor
Colin Boyd
1 month ago

Hi Gemma-Louise! Here’s a link to an article we published all about what to do when Face ID won’t work on your iPhone: https://www.payetteforward.com/face-id-not-working-on-iphone-fix/

Hope this helps!

Blake R
2 months ago

Well, I have an iPhone 8 Plus that can’t or won’t find any internet. When I swipe up to bring up the little menu to try to turn on the internet it wont let me. Nor will it try to find the internet when I go to Settings. Although it has found and been connected to the internet while dealing with this problem, I don’t know how to get it to find the internet again.

Editor
Colin Boyd
2 months ago
Reply to  Blake R

Hi Blake! I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble with your Wi-Fi connection. Here’s a link to a video we published a few months ago with a few more fixes you can try: https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLZ6vj1GD_4H4wVknWFi0yygdklLQ41NoJ&v=-Nmaqp9Drco

I hope this helps!

Jarrod
2 months ago

Hello I’m having some serious issues with my iPhone 8 Plus after getting a screen replacement done at an unauthorized phone repair dealer. I’ve had this phone since October 2018 and have never had an issue with texting until I had the screen replaced after cracking the original screen. My texting has gone absolutely haywire. The keyboard seems to have a mind of its own and it fills in words and inserts spaces randomly. As I’m typing, it will split words in half and create absolute nonsense out of what I’m typing. It seems to just not be functional anymore… Read more »

JMeadows
2 months ago

This was super helpful, thank you!! After 4 days of trying to get help from Apple and looking for solutions online, this finally did the job.

Admin
David Lynch
2 months ago
Reply to  JMeadows

Glad we were able to help you!

Nashman
2 months ago

iPhone X user here. Doing a recovery but do not know where to get the downloadable file from and which file to download.

krzysztof niewiarowski
3 months ago

I tried to DFU restore my iPhone 8 as per your instructions. It doesn’t work! Screen does not go black – it needs to be slid to be turned off. Can’t do that with fingers on the Power and Home buttons.
Can you please clarify?

Editor
Colin Boyd
2 months ago

Hi Krysztof! Here’s a link to a YouTube video we published on how to perform a DFU Restore: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfas8iSqcaA&t=13s

Hope this helps!

John w Andrews
3 months ago

Hey thanks, David. I used the Network reset you suggested and I think that was the fix – so I didn’t need to DFU restore. I wanted to know about it, just in case But my question is this: my ex and I have identical iPhone 7s. Her’s has a low volume (& I’ve maxed out the volume setting), but it’s barely audible (ringer esp. eg. specifically the speaker, not when talking). Could that be cured with a DFU restore? Since the only other explanation is a chip fail in the audio circuit, but wouldn’t that just be no sound,… Read more »

Alex
3 months ago

Hello there. I have an iPhone XR and suddenly the other party on calls and software like Messenger or WhatsApp could not hear me. I tried Resetting the settings but still the same. I updated to iOS 15 and normal phone calls now function, software based apps, though, will have no microphone functions even if given the access to the microphone on settings. The only way for them is if I insert a headphone with microphone in it. Any suggestions on how I can repair it?

WOWENS
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex

I have a similar issue but mine is in the receiving microphone so I can’t be heard. The other party just hears dead silence if the phone isn’t on speaker or connected to a headset or AirPods. Basically, it’s on speaker all of the time. Replacing the phone isn’t an option at the moment so I would love some feedback or ideas to any kind of available resources we could try to make the volume and microphone work. Mine just one day didn’t work without warning or any alterations or service repairs made to it to give an idea of… Read more »

Meg
4 months ago

Hello there. I have my iPhone SE (2020). It turns out that my back camera is blurry. I already refreshed it many times and close the camera as well, but nothing happens. I don’t know what happened because it was okay before. Any suggestion?

Heather
4 months ago

What do you do when this doesn’t work? The phone isn’t showing up in iTunes or Finder and as soon as I let go of the volume button, after I’ve lost feeling in my finger, the phone returns to the reboot cycle.

kemy
4 months ago

My phone has been stuck turning on. My home button stopped working, and I tried the restore 3 times and it just shows the logo and then turns black and keeps doing it over and over again. I tried putting it in DFU mode but it doesn’t let me because it keeps trying to turn on. I have an iPhone 7 Plus help please.

Danielle Copsy
2 months ago
Reply to  kemy

Did you ever resolve this? My phone is doing the same thing.

Omar
4 months ago

Hi my iPhone 11 microphone suddenly stopped working. The microphone works when recording video with both cameras but not during calls or while using other apps. I have tried everything I could think of to try and fix the problem and I’m considering trying the DFU as my last resort due to the possible risks. Any recommendations or advice for my problem.

nadia
4 months ago

I just used Wondershare to unlock an iPhone 6S. So I had to put it in DFU mode to start the process, and now the processes are all done, and now I can’t exit DFU mode.

Blir
4 months ago

Hello, I just recovered my iPhone 8+ from the Recovery Mode screen using iTunes but it is not turning on?
Can you help me?

Kelsey
4 months ago

Hi there! My iPhone 11 Pro’s Face ID has been disabled. I’ve tried all of the things and I’ve noticed that the front camera has a ring of condensation bubbles in it! It doesn’t effect the camera or the Memojis, but I’m thinking it must be effecting the Face ID. What can I do? I’ve tried rice and kitty litter and a wee bit of silica and the sun.

Editor
Colin Boyd
4 months ago
Reply to  Kelsey

Hi Kelsey! That sounds like it could be a hardware issue. I’d recommend reaching out to Apple’s Support team directly to try to get the issue diagnosed by a licensed Apple Tech.

For future reference, we recommend using rice or kitty litter to dry out an iPhone. Small things like that can get caught in the Lightning port and cause even more damage to an iPhone. I’m sorry we couldn’t be of more help, best of luck!

Tanuja
4 months ago

Hi, I have I phone 8 and it’s back camera is not working after a recent update. I don’t know what happened. Whenever I open my Camera app it’s just all back. Could you please help me?

Denise
4 months ago

Hi, I’ve been trying to recover my iPhone but the past 3 hours. I tried the DFU restore but it keeps failing. It’s an iPhone 7 Plus

To ho
4 months ago

Hi will a DFU restore work for a phone that I believe has XcodeGhost malware on it?

ashley
4 months ago

Hello, I just bought a new-in-the-box iPhone 6. I currently have an iPhone 6 and it has the newest update. However I tried the DFU and I still didn’t get the newest update. How do I update the new iPhone if it won’t go past iOS 12. I know it can because my old one is up to date on the newest iOS.

Editor
Colin Boyd
4 months ago
Reply to  ashley

Hi Ashley, as far as I’m aware the iPhone 6 is only compatible with iOS 12 and earlier. If you would like to make sure of this, you can open Settings -> General -> Software Update. If you see an update is available for your iPhone 6 there, you can install it. However, if it says that your iPhone is already up to date, that means that there aren’t any further updates available for your device. A DFU Restore will automatically update your iPhone to the most recent compatible iOS, so unfortunately iOS 12 might be the latest software available… Read more »

Chrissy
4 months ago

I DFU restored my iPhone when it had been at 1% and not charging with a new battery. It was shutting off and on before I attempted the DFU — in the instructions it said that I can DFU restore even if my iPhone is turned off. That’s what I did and my phone won’t come back on after 24hrs of charging.

AJ456
4 months ago

Hi. My daughter’s iPhone 8 has sound, e.g. when I change the volume in Settings, I can hear the ring. However, when making or receiving calls, she cannot hear the other person, they cannot hear her and she is also unable to press the loud speaker function as it is greyed out. The phone does not think it has headphones connected and I have turned the Bluetooth off. I have also cleaned the receiver. Any suggestions gratefully received.

Editor
Colin Boyd
4 months ago
Reply to  AJ456

Hi AJ! First off, awesome job trying to figure out this problem! It sounds like you’ve already attempted pretty much every go-to fix I’d suggest for this problem.

Unfortunately, that means that the issue is most likely related to a hardware or software problem beyond the scope of home repair. I’d suggest reaching out to Apple Support directly to try to get this issue diagnosed. I’m sorry we couldn’t be of more help, best of luck getting this problem resolved!

Mataa
4 months ago

Hi.
My SE 1st Gen has quit twice during a DFU restore. It ends at “Waiting for iPhone”. I hear the disconnect sound at the beginning of the wait phase which takes a couple minutes. Can i use the alt-select method to get to the iOS download on iTunes?

Eve
4 months ago

Can this fix a phone that says it’s charging but not charging?

Admin
David Lynch
4 months ago
Reply to  Eve

Yes, a DFU restore could fix that problem, but there are several other steps we recommend trying first. Check out our article on what to do when an iPhone won’t charge but says it’s charging.

Jodie Avion
5 months ago

Hi Colin / David. My son dropped his SE 2020 a while ago, the screen is shattered back and front. All of the sudden it has begun to turn off and restart itself roughly every 5 minutes. The microphone also appears to not be working properly. He has done a hard reset with no change. We tried updating the iOS, but the phone keeps shutting down. I’ve also tried a backup but can’t complete that for the same reason. Would a DFU Restore be of any benefit, or is it more likely damage to the internal board? Thanks in advance.

Rajae
5 months ago

Hi David and Colin.
Thank you for all the great information you’re sharing with us.
My iPhone suddenly started glitching. I don’t know what to do.

Smriti
5 months ago

Hello there! My iPhone XR has 99% battery health. It’s been a few months and my phone started dying at 20%. Gradually it has increased and is dying at 44%. I tried almost everything from force restarting, a factory reset, and resetting Network Settings. I tried turning Background App Refresh off as well. Also, sometimes after dying, it wont turn on. I cannot troubleshoot the problem, please help me with it.

Anand Nair
5 months ago

My XR display brightness turns off after locking once after I changed my display.

jeyson
5 months ago

My iPhone doesntt charge. It charges a bit then shuts off, but then it does this over and over again.

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