How to put your iPhone or iPad into DFU mode

Whether you want to jailbreak, un-jailbreak, update from an expired beta, or simply update when nothing else is working, putting you iPhone or iPad into DFU (Device Firmware Update) mode can be your last, best hope for success.

DFU mode, as opposed to Recovery 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

  1. Plug your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad into your Mac or Windows PC and make sure iTunes is running.
  2. Hold down both the Sleep Button (on top of your device) and the Home Button (on the front underneath the screen).
  3. Keep them both held down from about 10 seconds. (If you see the Apple logo, you've held them too long and will need to start again.)
  4. Let go of the Sleep Button but keep holding the Home Button for about 5 seconds. (If you see the "Plus into iTunes" screen than you held it too long and will need to start again.)
  5. 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.

If you're curious as to the difference between DFU mode and and Recovery Mode, Ally Kazmucha explains it this way:

Recovery mode will implement iBoot (basically a portion of the bootloader than runs an integrity check) which will not allow you to downgrade your device. DFU mode will still talk to iTunes but it bypasses iBoot which will then allow you to downgrade firmware.

If you're having trouble and need any extra help, check out our Jailbreak Forum.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 36 comments. Add yours.

HungWell says:

Geez. Learn something new every day. I thought DFU stood for "done f'ed up".

B. Bambao says:

A great post guys! Very helpful especially for those looking to downgrade their iOS version.. Cheers!

Anonymous says:

You should also mention in the post, that in DFU mode, the screen will be black.
If you see the iTunes logo and cable, then you're NOT in DFU mode, as I've seen a lot of people confused about this.

Groupviul says:

You can follow these steps :

Press and hold the power button that is present on the top edge of the iPhone and along with that press home buttonfor at least 15 seconds

Wait till the iphone device turns off and then release the power and home button. It could take around fifteen seconds to power off.
Turn iPhone On by pressing iphone button. And hwen the iphone reboots, it will not be in recovery mode.
And for More info visit : http://www.ipadconverter-mac.com/how-to-put-ipod-touch-into-dfu-mode/

Brianmay says:

Just to help others that may find themselves in my situation...

I have solved my problem. I used the instructions on this site:

http://tinyurl.com/kxr434g

My phone was displaying Recovery Mode and I was stuck in a Recovery Mode loop. Using these instructions I put it into DFU Mode, directly from Recovery Mode (while connected to

my PC). As I did this, my computer installed a driver for my iPhone and said it was "Ready to Use" in a Windows pane. I then tried the "Restore iPhone" button in iTunes again

and after it worked! It downloaded the update and restored the phone to factory settings. I had backed up my phone last night (I backup my data locally on my PC) so I got all of my data back.
Follow the instructions on that site and you're golden. It took me a couple tries to get the timing of the holding of the buttons.

ohferfuxsakes says:

Make sure Georgia watches this tutorial plz. :)

zero credibility says:

I really thought this post was going to be from georgia ;)

Ramon says:

How about when the power button is not working? Tried several options, for example RecBoot, but my iPhone 3G still gets stuck at the apple logo. iTunes won't recognize it either. Bummer.

Confused says:

This article is all wrong. You have to wait to see the apple logo to let go of the sleep button and you have to continue to hold the home button until iTunes says it detects an iPhone/iPad in recovery.

Thankful says:

Thank you so much!!!!! I tried what the article had written to no avail, however, your method DID work!

Christopher Tobias says:

YES! This is correct. Ignore article. I was struggling until reading this comment.

Christian says:

There is an app called LAST DFY r5[beta 5] that will automaticly put ur iOS in DFY mode flair you. Im pretty sure it's for Mac only but it's pretty old so u never know If they updated and added a wiinsmdows version. If not and u still have problems manually getting in dfu mode google dfu apps for windows and there is most likely a version for windows. Also if it jbing or downgrading fw's and get an error code at the end of the process u can use tiny umbrella to kick ur device out of recovery mode( or if ur on Mac 10.5x get "reboot" it works flwalessly and has come in handy many times(especially 2day lol.) any question feel free to contact. I'm really good with iOS/iPhone tweaks/troubleshooting. Hope this helps.
Sent from my iPhone

Brian Hardwick says:

Hi I have 8gb iPhone 4s and the other day the sound on it stopped working. I could only listen to music if there were headphones plugged in, sometimes it won't ring when someone calls, but mainly it is the issue of not being able to listen to music without headphones, but once I plug headphones in sometimes when I unplug them the music will work for a minute then go silent again.... Is there anything you could tell me that would help me fix it please.

LarsGrunfeld says:

@BrianHardwick - Did you ever get this figured out? I have very similar issues all of a sudden on my 16gb 4s - sound will only play when I plug in headphones, doesn't always seem to ring, is totally hit or miss on text tones, sometimes even cutting them off if it plays them at all. Driving me crazy...can't trade it in for six months yet. Don't really want to be doing anything to brick the thing, or do any hardware replacing!

Christian says:

" sry for the spelling mistakes lol. But it's called "recboot" ( get the enter and exit one. GL. And enjoy! Also by the way my buddy has a iPhone 3G 4.2.1 can sone1 in my situation tell me what's the best option( or what worked the best for them? Thanks in advance. Im not a noob and have been hacking 4 yrs now(havent been keeping up with 3g) but short cuts r always appreciated &
welcomed.
Sent from my iPhone!

pilowatts says:

just follow the instructions on installing the redsnow
make sure it is off
press the sleep button 1st for 2-3sec
then without releasing the sleep button
press and hold the home button for several sec
then without releasing the home button
release the sleep button

Maison Vitor says:

fiz o jailbreak da 4.3.3 e não ta amarrado, ta funcionando normalmente.
Observação: fiz com Redsnow 9.06 rc17
I did the jailbreak of 4.3.3 and not tied ta, ta functioning normally.
Note: I made Redsnow 9.6 RC17
Falo de Manaus- Amazonas Brasil, me ajudaram muito obrigado.
Talk of Manaus, Amazonas Brazil, helped me very much.
Aprendi direito com tantas dicas.

Dennis says:

Useless, does not work with latest release of IOS.

Dennis says:

Useless, does not work with latest release of IOS.

Jack says:

Any guys know how can jailbrake or downgrade (without SHAH) ipad 2 (A5) wifi with ios 5.1 ?

Simple Electronic and Microcontroller Projects with says:

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tisha001 says:

what can I do to restore my iphone3 when my top button does not work at all??

misseducation says:

thanks so much for this :)

Chris Finnerty says:

was about to order parts for phone thanks guys easy quick fix

Amandla Astor says:

My home button does not work so then what do I do... Get a new phone??

emluka says:

how do i put my phone in DFU mode if i tried to download ios7 and it tells me the device isnt registered?

Stay Cold says:

Does your phone have to start out with the power off or does that not matter in this instance?

Vii91 says:

the website: http://www.imore.com/how-update-ios-7-beta-or-gm-official-release-version brought me here :-). Thanks man! downloaded a couple of ispw files and all saided version wasnt compatible... with the DFU mode it is updating to the new version! :-)!!!

Joemari Dela Cruz says:

Hi guys! I'm newbie here. I currently downloading the update for my ipad. I just wanna ask if, is it ok if suddenly my ipad is disconnected to itunes? But it is still downloading the update.. Hope for your reply...

Jimmy WilliaMS2 says:

Joemari Dela Cruz...have you gotten a response about this yet? I too had the same issue and when I go to restore everything to my phone, I also get a message saying the phone has disconnected from iTunes and it will not fully restore everything. None of my music, photos, apps, anything. I did not back up to the iCloud feature, straight to the computer.
I am using a different computer than the one my phone was initially set up on a few years ago (it's an iPhone 4) so I wonder if this has anything to do with it.
I hope someone has some suggestions. I'd really like to at least be able to get some of my photos of my kid back on there.

Jimmy WilliaMS2 says:

Joemari Dela Cruz...have you gotten a response about this yet? I too had the same issue and when I go to restore everything to my phone, I also get a message saying the phone has disconnected from iTunes and it will not fully restore everything. None of my music, photos, apps, anything. I did not back up to the iCloud feature, straight to the computer.
I am using a different computer than the one my phone was initially set up on a few years ago (it's an iPhone 4) so I wonder if this has anything to do with it.
I hope someone has some suggestions. I'd really like to at least be able to get some of my photos of my kid back on there.

Ashlie Crain Flores says:

my lock button is broken. So how do I put it in DFU mode like that?

Jesus Castro says:

My IPhone is now in dfu mode but when it starts restoring, it still won't let me. It says the same error thing. Now my IPhone is stuck in dfu mode and won't let me restore