How to Put an iPhone into DFU and Recovery Mode

Tips • May 31, 2024

iphone dfu mode

Need to troubleshoot software issues on your iPhone? Your iPhone features two powerful modes, DFU (Device Firmware Update) and Recovery Mode, that can help restore your device and resolve various software problems. This guide will explain these modes, how to enter and exit them for your specific iPhone model, and potential issues you might encounter.

Note: Always back up your iPhone data before attempting any troubleshooting steps that involve data loss.

Prerequisites

While booting into these modes and performing actions, it is necessary to follow the below prerequisites:

  • Ensure that all essential data on the iPhone is backed up to iCloud or a computer.
  • Use the Lightning or USB-C cable that came with the iPhone or is certified by Apple to avoid connectivity issues.
  • Ensure your computer and iPhone are connected to a stable power source to prevent interruptions during the process.
  • Be patient and repeat the steps as necessary, as some processes may take several attempts to complete successfully.

Considering there are different iPhone models, the button combinations vary. Hence, we have provided detailed steps for each to enter and exit DFU or Recovery mode based on the iPhone model.

Steps to enter and exit DFU mode

For iPhone 8, iPhone X, and later:
  1. Start by rebooting your Mac/PC, as it lets you establish a proper connection by making resources available for Finder/iTunes.
  2. Once rebooted, plug the iPhone into your Mac/Windows PC via an official or a high-quality lightning cable.
  3. With the connection established, eject the iPhone from Finder by pressing the Eject icon and not disconnecting the iPhone by removing the cable.
    eject
  1. After the phone is ejected, hold the phone and quickly press and release Volume Up, followed by Volume Down. Then, hold the side button right away without delay.
    volumn
  1. While you’re holding the side button, wait for around 8-10 seconds for the iPhone screen to turn off. Once done, quickly press the Volume Down
  2. After exactly 4-5 seconds, release the side button and keep pressing the Volume Down
  3. If you have done everything right, you will find a prompt on Finder/iTunes stating that the iPhone is in DFU mode. Now, ensure that the iPhone stays connected and continue on Mac Finder/Windows iTunes.

Note: If you didn’t get the prompt and the iPhone rebooted, repeat from step 3.

EXIT DFU: To exit DFU mode, press and release the Volume Up button, then press and release the Volume Down button, followed by holding down the Side button until the Apple logo appears.

For iPhone 7 and 7 Plus:
  1. Start by connecting your iPhone to your Mac and iTunes, and make sure it is displayed as connected on Finder/iTunes.
  2. To establish a successful connection, press and hold both the Side and Volume Down
  3. After around 7-8 seconds, release the Side button but continue holding the Volume Down button, and if it is done right, the screen should remain black.

EXIT DFU: Press and hold both the Side and Volume Down buttons until the Apple logo appears.

For iPhone 6 series and older:
  1. Start by connecting your iPhone to your Mac and iTunes, and make sure it is displayed as connected on Finder/iTunes.
  2. To establish a successful connection, press and hold both the Home and Volume Down
  3. After around 7-8 seconds, release the Side button but continue holding the Home If done right, the screen should remain black, stating that the iPhone has booted to DFU mode.

EXIT DFU: Press and hold both the Home and Volume Down buttons until the Apple logo appears.

Steps to enter and exit recovery mode

Compared to DFU mode, the Recovery mode is easy to enter and exit. Here are the steps for all models:

For iPhone 8, iPhone X, and Later:
  1. Start by connecting your iPhone to your computer and ensure that it is recognized on iTunes/Finder.
  2. Next, press and release the Volume Up button, followed by a similar action with the Volume Down
  3. Once done, press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo, followed by the Recovery mode

Exit Recovery Mode: Press hold the Side button until the screen turns black and release when the Apple logo appears to exit recovery mode.

For iPhone 7 and 7 Plus:
  1. Begin with connecting your iPhone to your computer and ensure it is recognized on iTunes/Finder.
  2. Once the connection is recognized, press and hold both the Side and Volume Down We suggest you hold them until you see the Recovery mode screen.

Exit Recovery Mode: Press and hold both the Side and Volume Down buttons until the Apple logo appears.

For iPhone 6s and Earlier:
  1. First, connect your iPhone to your computer and ensure it is recognized on iTunes/Finder.
  2. With the connection established, press and hold both the Home and Volumebuttons until you see the Recovery mode screen.

Exit Recovery Mode: Press and hold both the Home and Side buttons until the Apple logo appears.

Potential problems and solutions

Here’s a breakdown of potential issues you might encounter when entering DFU or Recovery Mode, along with solutions to address them:

Accuracy and Timing:

  • Problem: Following the steps incorrectly can lead the device to boot to iOS instead of DFU or Recovery Mode.
  • Solution: Double-check the instructions for your specific iPhone model. Consider setting a timer or verbally counting down the button presses to ensure precise timing.

Connection Issues:

  • Problem: The computer might not recognize the iPhone after entering DFU or Recovery Mode.
  • Solution: Use an official Apple Lightning cable. Close any unnecessary background tasks on your Mac/Windows PC that might interfere with the connection.

Multiple Attempts:

  • Problem: Entering DFU or Recovery Mode sometimes requires several attempts.
  • Solution: Ensure your iPhone has sufficient battery life (at least 50% or more is recommended). Connect your PC to a stable power source to avoid power fluctuations during the process.

Data Loss and Hardware Issues:

  • Problem: A DFU restore completely erases and reloads all software and hardware code on your iPhone. This can lead to unforeseen complications, especially if your device has underlying hardware damage.
  • Solution: Consider alternative troubleshooting methods for minor software issues before resorting to a DFU restore.

Important Note: Water damage can be particularly risky. A DFU restore might disrupt other compromised components, potentially rendering your iPhone completely unusable. If water damage is suspected, seek professional repair services before attempting a DFU restore.

Remember, a DFU restore should be a last resort. Always back up your iPhone data before proceeding.

How to effortlessly manage DFU and recovery mode

While the guide focuses on manual methods for entering and exiting DFU and Recovery Modes, some third-party software can help automate these processes.

Tools like iMazing offer features for managing these modes, potentially simplifying the process.

Here’s how to use iMazing to manage the Recovery and DFU mode effortlessly:

  1. Start by downloading and installing iMazing on your Mac or PC.
  2. Next, launch iMazing and connect your iPhone/iPad to the computer.
  3. After it is loaded, look if your device is connected and select it.
  4. Doing so, you’re navigated to the home screen. Now, click on Tools and then the Reinstall iOS
    imazing ios
  1. Follow the prompts to confirm that you want to put the device into Recovery mode, and iMazing does everything automatically.
  2. Once done with restoring your iPhone, iMazing reboots to iOS. However, if you change your mind and haven’t proceeded with restoration, you can exit recovery mode with just a click using the Exit Recovery

Note: For DFU, iMazing requires you to boot into it manually due to Apple’s restrictions. While this can be limiting, iMazing has you covered by letting you exit DFU mode with ease by clicking the Exit DFU button. For more details about this tool, read our full iMazing review here.

How to recovery data before a DFU restore

Important Note: There is no reliable way to recover data after a DFU restore. DFU is a mode that allows a complete restoration of your iPhone’s operating system, essentially wiping the slate clean and reloading everything from scratch.

So, if data recovery is important to you, explore alternative solutions like data recovery tools or professional data recovery services before attempting a DFU restore.

If you’re looking for straightforward software to manage Recovery and DFU mode on iPhone, consider checking out iMobie AnyFix, and here are steps for it.

  1. Begin by downloading iMobie AnyFix on your PC and finishing the installation.
  2. Once you’re on the home screen, look for the Enter/Exit Recovery Mode section and press Enter to boot to recovery mode and the Exit button to boot to iOS.
    anyfix

Note: While there isn’t any option for booting into DFU mode when selecting your device from the drop-down menu in System Repair, you’re provided with detailed on-screen instructions to boot into DFU mode. Once the repair is done, the iPhone boots to iOS, exiting DFU mode automatically.

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