iPhone Tips

DFU Mode VS. Recovery Mode: What's the Difference?

by Jenefey Aaron   Updated on 2021-01-04 / Update for  Other iPhone Tips

What Is DFU Mode? how to get into recovery mode?

DFU Mode and Recovery Mode are the 2 commonly used modes for iPhone, iPad and iPod users.

When an iOS device encounters software or app-related trouble, it can usually be resolved by Recovery Mode and DFU Mode.

The following is the most comprehensive explanation of Recovery Mode and DFU Mode on the internet, and also will show DFU mode vs Recovery Mode.

recovery mode and dfu mode

What is Recovery Mode?

To clear what is Recovery Mode is necessary for every iOS users.

Here is a quote from Apple's official website. That's If you can't update or restore your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you can put your iOS or iPadOS device in recovery mode, then restore it using your computer.

Recovery Mode, also called restore mode, is a method to make your iPhone enter iBoot bootloader mode. In this mode, you can use iTunes to restore your iPhone to its original factory settings to fix iOS update problem, iOS download corrupt, iPhone no responding issues and more. But your device will run the latest iOS version.

What is DFU Mode?

DFU Mode, Device Firmware Update mode, allows iPhones to be restored from any state. When your device is in DFU Mode, the device screen is totally black but power on.

DFU mode can be used in many situations including upgrading firmware, downgrading firmware, and even rebooting your tethered jailbroken device. In DFU Mode, you can make low level modifications on the running software.


Losing data after iOS firmware update? Try to use iPhone Data Recovery or iPhone Data Recovery for Mac (for Mac users) to restore lost contacts, text messages, photos, etc. on iPhone.

DFU vs Recovery: The Difference Between Recovery Mode and DFU Mode

The main difference between the Recovery mode and DFU mode rests in iBoot. Recovery mode uses iBoot during restoring or upgrading your iPhone while DFU mode bypasses the iBoot so you can downgrade the current firmware because there is no iBoot agent during the DFU mode.

What is iBoot: iBoot is the bootloader on iOS 10/9/8/7 devices. iBoot acts on restore while iPhone is in Recovery Mode. It makes sure that you are flashing a firmware version greater than or equal to a current one. If you are not, iBoot will not allow the restore to proceed.

Firmware downgrading must be done in DFU mode. This means if you need to restore your iPhone to current version simply put the iPhone in recovery mode and iTunes takes care of the rest but if you need to downgrade your current firmware to lower one you need to put your iPhone in DFU mode.

How to Enter Recovery Mode/Exit Recovery Mode

Tenorshare ReiBoot is a free iPhone Recovery Mode tool. The steps to enter and exit Recovery Mode will take iPhone for an example. Steps for iPad and iPod touch are the same.

1 Click to Enter Recovery Mode:

  • Run Tenorshare ReiBoot.
  • Connect your iPhone to computer, and check if your iPhone got detected by ReiBoot.

    iphone in recovery mode
  • Click on 'Enter Recovery Mode'. Wait a while, you device enter Recovery Mode successfully.

    ipod in recovery mode

1 Click to Exit Recovery Mode:

  • Launch Tenorshare ReiBoot.
  • Connect the iPhone which is in Recovery Mode to the computer.

    exit recovery mode
  • Wait patiently, you device will exit Recovery Mode successfully.

    exit recovery mode

Or you can enter and exit recovery mode with buttons. Below takes iPod for an example. Steps for iPad and iPod touch are the same.

Enter Recovery Mode with buttons:

  • 1. Disconnect the USB cable from your iPod touch, but leave the other side connected to your Mac or PC. Then launch iTunes
  • 2. Turn off iPod touch by pressing Home and Sleep/Power button on the top of the iPod touch
  • 3. Continue to hold the Home button while you reconnect the USB cable to your iPod touch, this will cause the iPod touch to turn on
  • 4. Continue to hold the Home button until a pop-up windows will appear in iTunes informing you that an iPod touch in recovery mode has been detected:

    ipod in recovery mode

Exit Recovery Mode with buttons:

  • 1. Hold down the home and power button for about 15 seconds, this shuts off the iPod touch
  • 2. Press the power button to boot the iPod touch

How to Get into DFU Mode/Get out of DFU Mode

For your reference, we summarize the tutorials for you to put iPhone, iPad or iPod in or out of DFU mode. Let's start from steps to enter DFU mode:

  • 1. Hold Home and Power button at the same time for 5 seconds.
  • 2. Keep holding Home and Power button until the device screen turns to black.
  • 3. Release Power button and keep holding Home for 10 seconds.

Follow the steps below to get out of DFU mode:

  • 1. Hold down Home and Power button simultaneously for about 10 seconds.
  • 2. Release the home button and continue to hold the power button until the Apple logo screen comes on, signifying that iDevice is rebooting.

  Updated on 2021-01-04 / Update for  Other iPhone Tips

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