DFU mode is the last step on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad troubleshooting ladder.
Whether you want to jailbreak, un-jailbreak, update from an expired beta, or simply recover when nothing else is working, putting you iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad into DFU (Device Firmware Update) mode can be your last, best hope for success.
DFU mode, as opposed to Recovery Mode, puts the device into a state where it can still communicate with iTunes on Windows or Mac, but it hasn't loaded the boot loader or iOS. That allows the device to be restored from any state. DFU mode requires a bit of timing and can take practice to get right, so if at first you don't succeed, don't be afraid to try and try again.
How to put your iPhone or iPad into DFU mode
- Plug your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad into your Mac or Windows PC and make sure iTunes is running.
- Turn Off your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad if it isn't already.
- Press and hold down the On/Off button on the right side (iPhone 6 or later) or top (all other iPhones, iPods, and iPads) for 3 seconds.
- Swipe the slide to power off confirmation slider to the right.
- Press and hold down the On/Off button on the right side (iPhone 6 or later) or top (all other iPhones, iPods, and iPads) of you iPhone for 3 seconds.
- Press and hold down the Home button on the front of your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad while still holding down the On/Off button.
- Keep holding both buttons down for 10 seconds. (If you see the Apple logo, you've held them too long and will need to start again.)
- Let go of the On/Off Button but keep holding the Home button for about 5 seconds. (If you see the "Plus into iTunes" screen then you held it too long and will need to start again.)
- If the screen stays black, that's it! Your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad should now be in DFU mode.
At this point iTunes will show you an alert saying it's detected your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad and it needs to be restored.
Reminder: If you see any logos on your device, you may be in Recovery Mode, but you're not in DFU mode. If Recovery Mode works, great. If not, try for DFU Mode again.
Additional trouble-shooting steps
You may not always need to go to the effort of entering DFU mode just to troubleshoot your iPhone. Sometimes a simple reset, or Recovery Mode can work instead.
Originally published February 2008. Last updated October 2015.