iPhone DFU mode - what is it?

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Icon Instructions: DFU modeToday a small guide on the topic “DFU mode” for the iPhone. DFU mode is a boot mode in which the iPhone aborts very early after startup and gets stuck in a maintenance mode. This is helpful, for example, if you want to install older firmware on it using SHSH or if you want to transfer the iPhone with an old backup. DFU stands for “Device Firmware Update”.

If you have connected an iPhone in DFU mode to the Mac via USB cable and then start iTunes, iTunes only receives a short ping that an iPhone is in DFU mode on the computer.

Instructions: How to put an iPhone in DFU mode

  1. Connect the iPhone to the computer with the USB cable.
  2. The Mac or PC must be connected to the internet.
  3. iTunes should be open.
  4. Now press the HOME button (the round one below the display) and the on / off button (top right on the housing) for 10 seconds.
  5. After 10 seconds, release the on / off button, but keep the home button pressed.
  6. After another 10 seconds, also release the home button.
  7. A message should now appear in iTunes that an iPhone is in DFU mode on the computer.

Instructions: Switch off DFU mode on the iPhone

  1. As before: Connect the iPhone to the computer via USB and start iTunes. Internet connection must be active.
  2. Hold the Home button and On / Off button for 10 seconds and then release both (please keep the time exactly!).
  3. Now the apple should appear and the iPhone should boot normally.

Switching the DFU mode on and off may also be of interest to people who have jailbroken their iPhone so that it no longer boots properly and hangs. If it is in DFU mode, you can possibly restore it via iTunes or you can play along with it TinyUmbrella SHSH files or other firmware.


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6 Responses to “iPhone DFU mode – what is it?”

    1. Hello helin! No, definitely not with a restart. But if you speak of the DFU mode, then yes. If this is activated on the iPhone, the device gets the latest possible iOS version that is running on the device and imports it. After that, all personal data on the device is gone. However, if you have used iCloud, the data will also be restored after setting up the account in the iPhone.

  1. Hi
    if you have reached that the black screen of the iPhone says ... / restore (what could be the DFU mode ...?) and you click on restore or update in iTunes, how do you know when the thing is finished?
    There is no further display or message, a click on “Eject iPhone” or on “Done” closes the window, or if you wait half an hour it seems to close automatically. Nothing else happens.
    Leaving the DFU mode on the iPhone and restarting it has the same effect (= deactivated) as before, so the hoped-for reset did not take place.

    1. Jen Kleinholz

      Yes, that should have been the DFU mode. The iPhone is completely rewritten and when you start it it should start setting up like a brand new iPhone.

  2. Hello, yes, I've now found out that the whole thing runs in the background (only recognizable by a small button in which a ring rotates; arranged next to the search field in iTunes) and the whole thing can take almost an hour in total. Clicking the button shows the progress: how many% are already loaded, and remaining time 25 minutes or so. At the end there is a big message that the iPhone has been rewritten and can now be set up.
    My mistake was that I didn't expect this long time and didn't even discover and try out the little gray button at first. So patience and a closer look help. At the end there is a completion message, which cannot be overlooked.

    1. Jen Kleinholz

      Thanks for the feedback. I am sure that the info will help one or the other reader. I had only gone through the process once a year or two ago and I couldn't remember the details.

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