2021 Ultimate Guide: How to Use iPhone DFU Mode

Campbell Adams | Last Updated: Jan 22, 2022

5-year smartphone engineer, with rich experience in iOS software issues. He presents the most actionable solutions for readers in the most easy-to-understand manner.

iPhone’s DFU mode is a pretty handy thing. It can help you solve a lot of issues on your iPhone without any complications. But understanding DFU mode and its capabilities is something people find hard.

So, in this article, I will take you through everything you need to know about iPhone’s DFU mode. I will cover everything from what DFU mode is and how to enter it, to how you can exit it. Let’s get started!

Part 1: What does DFU Mode Mean?

DFU stands for Device Firmware Upgrade. Just like BIOS on a Windows computer or Recovery Mode on a Mac, it is a state you can put your device in. Essentially, it does what BIOS or Recovery Mode does and helps to solve issues related to your iPhone.

DFU is a layer underneath the operating system (iOS) in an iPhone, but it still has the ability to interact with Finder or iPhone on a computer. The only thing different is your level of access. This mode allows iTunes or Finder to change things in iPhone that would not be normally possible.

Possible Uses of DFU Mode

DFU mode can help you in a lot of tough situations when nothing else seems to be working. Possible scenarios in which you might be looking to put your phone into DFU mode include:

  • Repairing and/or restoring a bricked phone.
  • Trying to downgrade your iPhone to an earlier version of iOS.
  • Jailbreaking a device to use it in another country or on a different network.
  • Restoring a device in case it's stuck and other possible solutions are not helping.

Part 2: Entering iPhone into DFU Mode

Putting your device into DFU mode can significantly help you in solving a lot of issues related to the iPhone. It helps the iPhone to restore back to its factory settings, no matter which state your phone might be in. This makes DFU really useful.

Let’s find out how you can put your phone into DFU mode to solve its issues.

Firstly, use a USB cable to connect your device to the computer. The next steps will depend on which iPhone model you currently have.

iphone dfu mode via usb

For iPhone Model 8, 8 Plus, X, XS, 11, 11 Pro, 12, and 12 Pro

Step 1 – After connecting your device to the computer, press the volume up button quickly.

Step 2 – Now, press the volume down button quickly.

Step 3 – Press and hold the side button on your device till the screen blacks out.

Step 4 – Now, press and hold both the volume down button and the side button.

iphone dfu mode - iPhone8

Step 5 – After a period of 5s, let go of the side button but still keep pressing the volume down button. If the Apple logo shows up on the screen, then it is a sign that you held the side button too long.

Step 6 – Alternatively, if nothing shows up on your screen, it is a sign that your phone has entered into DFU mode. At this point, iTunes will show you a notification saying that your phone is in recovery mode.

Note: If your phone doesn’t go into DFU mode or tells you to connect to iTunes, please reconnect your device to the computer and try the above process again.

For iPhone Models 7 and 7 Plus

Step 1 – After connecting your device to the computer, press and hold both the volume down button and the side button.

Step 2 – After a period of about 8s, let go of the side button but keep on pressing the volume down button.

iphone dfu mode- iPhone7s

Step 3 – If nothing appears on the device screen, it means the device has entered DFU mode. If iTunes is open on the computer to which you connected your device, it will notify you that your device has entered DFU mode.


You will need to retry the above process if any one of the following happens:

  • The Apple logo shows up on the screen signaling that you held the side/power button for too long.
  • A screen shows up on your phone telling you to connect to iTunes.
  • For iPhone Models SE, 6s, and below, iPod touch and iPad

    Step 1 – After connecting your device to your computer, press and hold both the Lock/Side button and the home button.

    Step 2 – After a period of about 8s, let go of the lock/side button but keep on holding the home button. If you see the Apple logo on the screen, it means you held the lock/side button too long and you need to repeat the process.

    iphone dfu mode- iPhone6 and earlier versions

    Step 3 – If your screen is black and nothing shows up, it is a sign that your phone went into DFU mode. iTunes will also inform you of this with an alert.

    Note: If your phone screen is not black but rather tells you to connect to iTunes, then you should reconnect your device to the computer and repeat the above process.

Part 3: Exiting iPhone DFU Mode

The easiest way to exit DFU mode is to press and hold both the power/sleep button and the home button. You should do this while your device is still connected to iTunes.

This should work fine on all models of iPhone along with iPad and iPod touch. After that, you can power them on as usual by holding down the power button.

Part 4: Use an Advanced Tool (Perfix) Instead of DFU

If you don’t feel comfortable putting your device into DFU mode or your device is not in a position to go into DFU mode at all, don’t worry. You can use a professional tool like Perfix on your computer instead.

Perfix is simply a professional repair tool for all things and issues related to iOS. So, if your iPhone is giving you trouble, try using Perfix to solve the problem with ease. To use Perfix:

Step 1 – On your computer (Mac/Windows), download and install Perfix.

Step 2 – Launch Perfix and connect your iPhone to the computer via a USB cable.

Step 3 – Click on Start and select the option that says Advanced Repair.

iphone dfu mode via perfix start

Note: You might be asked to install related firmware for your iPhone.

Advantages of Using Perfix

Using prefix instead of DFU mode comes with a lot of benefits:

  • You don’t need to install iTunes or Finder on your computer.
  • You can fix your iPhone without losing your data.
  • The whole process is extremely simple. In fact, you only need to click a single button.
  • Perfix supports all iPhone models and iOS versions, so you don’t need to worry about that.
  • It solves all issues for which every other solution has failed.
  • It is completely safe and protects your data.

Part 5: What to Do If All Else Fails?

If you’ve run into a problem with your iPhone, you should try to look for solutions online and try them. If they don’t help, you can put your phone into DFU mode to restore it and solve the problem. Alternatively, if you’re not comfortable using DFU mode, you can use an advanced repair tool like Perfix.

However, if you’ve tried everything and the problem still persists, it is time to enlist external help. Contact Apple support and try to get their assistance. If you have an Apple store or professional repair center near you, take your phone to them to get more help.

To Sum Up

Phones are a major means of communication, so it sucks when they don’t work due to weird issues. You can try DFU mode to solve these issues and get your phone back to normal by following the above article.

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of understanding DFU mode and all that it entails, just use Perfix and fix your phone with a single click.