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.
  • Macs running macOS Catalina 10.15 or newer use Finder to DFU restore an iPhone.

How To Put An iPhone 7 Or Older 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.
  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.iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode

How To Put An iPhone 8 Or Newer In DFU Mode

A lot of other websites give false, misleading, or overcomplicated steps when telling you how to DFU restore an iPhone 8 or newer. 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 or newer, including the iPhone 13. If you prefer to read the steps, the process is actually a lot easier than they make it out to be! Putting your iPhone in DFU mode starts off just like a hard hard reset.

  1. 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 while continuing 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.

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. In this video, we also show you how to get your iPhone out of DFU mode and debunk some misinformation about DFU restores.

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.”

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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Christine Renn
1 month ago

My I Phone is stuck on Verifying updates and can’t get it off to do anything. What do I do?

Channon Timmons
1 month ago

My phone restarts every three minutes. Just started today . I can’t even update because it keeps shutting off . I put the data run to see if I had bad apps. There’s one that keeps saying panicfull or panic mode that happened like a lot today maybe fifty or more times . Help I clear phone dumped apps. I just can’t keep the thing on . It’s an 13 pro max only bout eight months old.

1 month ago

I don’t have a Mac, can I use my Windows PC?

3 months ago

I put my password in wrong multiple times and don’t remember any of my apple account information because I broke my recent phone found my old iphone Xr and I guess i didnt use my normal password I use for everything I have no computer to hook it up to so can I fix it

Tamela Young
4 months ago

Hello and Thanks for the great video on putting an iPhone in DFU mode. I’m 59 yr. old grammy, married to a genius businessman, who had to go to work this morning, leaving me to figure this out on my own! LOL (one day he won’t be here, so I should probably figure things out on my own now!) Thanks for helping this grammy!

4 months ago

I just tried the DFU mode thing and i got it too work, but midway in restarting my iphone i didnt have enough storage, any ideas of what i could do

Ronald Wayne Poe
5 months ago

Battery will not charge on iphone 7.

6 months ago

Do you ever reply to messages on here

faith stoneiron
6 months ago

mine iphone sometimes those making: display freezing, applications opening wont, charging wont, forever automatically own closing-opening. what make shall?

6 months ago

My phone wont connect to the cellular service. I’ve done multiple resets and I’ve gotten nowhere. When I go in to check cellular connection it say’s “An update is required to use cellular data on this iPhone,” but my phone is running on the current ios 16.1 update. I have an iPhone XS max. Please help!!

2 months ago
Reply to  Shi

Yeah same, have you found an actual fix

6 months ago

Back in january of this year i shattered my iphone 7 plus screen. I wasnt able to get a screen replacement till recently. i have charged the device since january! i did the replacement how i was supposed to, but the issue i have now is that the phone doesnt cut on. i did research and found that if the phone body vibrates but the screen is black then its the screen replacement but it hasnt vibrated, so im thinking that i left the phone dead for so long itll take a long time to charge up. if anyone has… Read more »

6 months ago
Reply to  samantha

with my 11, I changed out the broken screen for a new one, and it did the same thing, wouldn’t turn on or anything. Then we did a hard reset (volume up/down then hold power button till apple logo comes on) and it worked just fine.

7 months ago

Well I kinda have a big problem…. Long story short I obtained this iPhone 6 from a friend that got it from someone who owed him money for their addiction to drugs.. well I had this phone now for a couple of months and I’ve lost contact with him but whoever he got it from has the find my phone thing on it.. it’s activation locked.. so how can I go about this

7 months ago

After tearing my hair out for days and wasting hours talking to Apple Support I tried this DFU reset. It worked an absolute treat. Thanks for saving my life LOL

Jose Enrique
7 months ago

After I dropped my iphone 12, it shows vertical colored lines in both sides of the screen. Can this be solved with the DFU restore ?

Lemon Kay
7 months ago
Reply to  Jose Enrique

no. i think you need to get a new screen

ebhota James blessed
7 months ago
Reply to  Jose Enrique

I onto think so. I think you got a bad screen

8 months ago

Hi guy’s! My first here and i already saw your iphone warnings no follow me on your tube. Anyways i hope you’ll help me here. My problem and i tried a lot of technics so my iphone 11 pro suddenly went out of wifi. I tried all sorts of technics then when i saw this DFU restore from you, great to know this but how can i DFU when is ask to restore without a wifi appearing on my phone? Thanks in advance before i trow it in the garbage…;-)

8 months ago

En el iPhone 11 no me aparece el menú del Face ID por lo tanto no puedo configurarlo no cambiar mi contraseña, alguien sabe como hacer que vuelva a aparecer en el menú?

GinaT Bray
8 months ago

Thursday 8:00 a.m. I saw IOS 16 I grabbed it and went to my dr appointment I was with sprint 20 yrs recently switched to Xfinity THATS now telling me altho I’m running 1200 Mbs tv is fine but can’t download IOS16 anymore “no internet connection “ plz help guys

1 month ago
Reply to  GinaT Bray

Hey did you find a solution a have the same problem

8 months ago

Thanks bro!!

9 months ago

Thank you sooooo much for this article. The DFU saved my phone without having to hire someone. a Millions thanks!!!!

9 months ago

Thanks for this updated article. I used an earlier version of your article about a year ago to restore my iPhone 6s. It worked a treat. Two things about this current article: 1. The ads on this page are obnoxious!!! I understand that you need to be paid for your expertise. Surely there is a better way! The page keeps refreshing and I lose my place while reading/typing. Most annoying! 2. Would you please make a note for future readers about just how long it takes for iTunes to download the software and restore the phone when one doesn’t have… Read more »

9 months ago

have an iphone 11 and it has damage on the back (could have water damage ) is there a way to confirm this is so ?

viictor manuel sarabia
10 months ago

elefono lenovo se congela al abrirlo y asi se queda ya hise lo necesari y sigue igual como lo conecto a mi lap top y lo reinicio no me importa perder todo gracias

10 months ago

have an iphone 6s dfu mode but home button not working? please help

10 months ago

iPad Air 2020 stopped working overnight unexpectedly. Tried an update then restore now I’m stuck in a restore loop. It only powers on to tell me to restore it which I’ve done several times now. Otherwise dead. Seems like dfu would be the next step but can’t find how to attempt this with air. Also don’t think I have iTunes anymore just “music”?? Thanks

10 months ago
Reply to  Nick

iTunes got replaced with the Music app a while ago.

7 months ago
Reply to  Nick

Hello Nick, any updates? I have a 7th gen ipad that experienced the same issue. Took it to apple and since it was out of warranty they estimated the fix to run around $300. I will try the DFU process today.

Lemon Kay
7 months ago
Reply to  Nick

Nick look for Finders on ur air. that’s what you gonna make use of instead of itunes

10 months ago

I just bought an iPhone 5s from a friend of mine, but the phone cannot connect to App Store, please how can that be fixed?

11 months ago

have an iphone 6S – I forgot the password, iput the password tooo many times and now the phone is disabled. Am not able to reset it to factory settings using iTunes, because (a) I don’t have a back up (b) the laptop that had the back up was formatted. So now am stuck.. How do I restore the phone to factory settings to be able to use it again. ?

David Lynch
11 months ago
Reply to  Patience

Check out our other article that explains what to do when your iPhone is disabled.

T. Boxer
11 months ago

Not sure if it’s battery or I need to reset. My iphone 7+. home button frozen, screen is grey/white with apple logo. Completely frozen up. Last very quick view, Red and a battery sign before the freeze. I have kept it plugged in over night.

11 months ago

Hi I have an iPhone XS Max and the phone would always shut down on 62% with plenty of battery in it what should I do it’s a refurbished phone from Dubai

1 year ago

Thank you, I panicked when charging my phone all night but nothing in the morning !!!! followed your video and wella !!! it’s charging again.

Last edited 1 year ago by Carolyn
1 year ago

Hice una copia de seguridad con ITunes de mi IPhone 5S. Después restablecí y borré todo los datos. Luego con ITunes quise restaurar la copia de seguridad y horror! ITunes me avisa que no puede activarse porque no ha podido obtener la información de activación del dispositivo. He probado en modo DFU y empieza bien todo pero casi terminando me vuelve a decir el mismo aviso de ITunes. Me estoy volviendo loco!

Brian Moore
1 year ago

iPhones have the be the worst sort of device. I’m forced to use one for work, and ever since I upgraded from the 8 to an XR, then an 11, and now a 12, I’ve had the same issues. 1st, the speakerphone being activated right as you put it on your ear. No telling how much damage this has done to my ear drum. It not only activates the speaker, but it seemingly amplifies the sound. From one end of an isle in the big box supermarket to the other, I had a lady that heard what was being said… Read more »

1 year ago

Hello, my iphone xsmas back camera 1x and flashlight not working but if changed to 2x it works perfectly and using third party like instagram to take pictures it works well. pls help

1 year ago

Thanks boys Victor from Australia I’ve been trying everything to get my wifi back up on phone it was grayed out you showed me some options the quick way with r three kids and homework etc you helped your mate. From Australia

1 year ago

My phone has no cellular data even went an upgraded my phone only way I have data is wifi turned on if it’s off I have no data

8 months ago
Reply to  Joey

The same thing is happening to me! My carrier and Apple support have not been able to figure it out, was trying this DFU restore but I can’t seem to get into DFU mode… did you ever find a solution?

1 year ago

Dear David, thank you so much for your article. I did not do a dfu but your site was the only place that actually said you have to leave your phone off at least a minute. I read so many help articles and kept doing everything it said, and did soft resets and all but nothing would work. After your ariticle i left my phone off for more than just a minute, I kept it off while if finished reading the whole article and all the comments and then i turned my phone back on and it worked. So happy… Read more »

Hazel Walker
1 year ago

Siri has stopped working. I have repowered. Turned Siri off and on, location services are on, etc. Reset the airplane off on and off. Just upgraded to 15.4 as well. Any ideas

1 year ago

hello my iPhone was a bypass and when i resetted it, it couldnt go back to home screen

Kim Padgett
1 year ago

I recently changed password for an app that was Face ID activated.
Since Face ID does not work on app.
I checked Face ID in settings and it is no longer listed as an app using Face ID. Short of DFC reset I have checked everything else including reinstalling app. Can you help me?

1 year ago

so Tried regular and DFU, it is stuck at the apple logo. Phone was almost full, tried to delete stuff, then was using sorting out how to backup pics and ids on windows. On the old Macs I used Image Capture and thus I could sae my ids this way.

Robert Ronacher
1 year ago

My iphone 12 plus says disabled and connect to itunes. How do i fix without knowing my icloud or apple id?

tyson Mulwa
1 year ago

My iPhone says Touch ID is not activated

David Lynch
1 year ago
Reply to  tyson Mulwa

Try going to Settings -> Touch ID & Passcode on your iPhone. Make sure the switch next to iTunes & App Store or iPhone Unlock is on, and that you have set up one or more fingerprints on your iPhone.

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