How to Put iPad in DFU Mode

Has your iPad become unresponsive, and you need to put it in DFU Mode but don't know how? Learn all about activating DFU Mode on iPad in this article.
How to Put iPad in DFU Mode

iPads, like other smart devices, are prone to software issues and system breakdowns. Apple provides two ways to deal with complex problems in its handheld devices. One of them is DFU mode which allows access to the firmware level of iOS devices through iTunes or Finder. If your iPad is unresponsive, you can fix it through DFU Mode.

If you don’t know how to put your iPad in DFU Mode, this article will help you. It will also recommend a great tool if your iPad is stuck in DFU Mode.

Part 1: What Is iPad DFU Mode?

To begin, let’s first review what DFU Mode exactly is on iPad. DFU or Device Firmware Update mode is a state in which an iPad can be put to update its firmware or restore it to factory settings. It is a low-level mode that allows the iPad to communicate with iTunes or Finder to install new firmware, downgrade firmware, or fix software issues.

iPad in DFU Mode differs from the iPad’s normal operating mode, allowing you greater control over the device’s firmware. In DFU Mode, the iPad’s bootloader is activated, which allows iTunes or Finder to communicate directly with the device’s firmware without loading the operating system. This mode is helpful and used when the OS or system issues cannot be fixed through normal methods.

what is ipad dfu mode

Part 2: When to Put iPad into DFU Mode?

Since DFU is the deepest level of access you can get on an iPad, you should be careful when to put iPad in DFU Mode. While most iPad issues can be resolved normally or in Recovery Mode, some require iPad in DFU Mode. Below are some situations which can force you to activate DFU Mode on your iPad:

  • Restore or Update the iPad’s Firmware: DFU Mode is recommended when updating or restoring the firmware if the normal process isn’t working. As this mode allows you to interact with iPad at a lower level, it can fix software issues that can’t be resolved normally.
  • Fix a Bricked iPad: If the iPad is completely unresponsive, stuck on the Apple logo, or won’t turn on, DFU Mode can be used to factory reset the device. It will erase all data on the iPad, but it can fix the issue and allow the device to function normally again.
  • Downgrade Firmware: Is the new iPadOS update creating issues on the iPad? If yes, you can downgrade it to the previous version using DFU Mode. It may be necessary to use DFU mode as iPadOS can’t be downgraded using normal device functions.
  • Resolve Software Issues: It is also a great way to fix various software issues on an iPad, such as a frozen or unresponsive device. DFU Mode is recommended if you cannot resolve system issues using normal fixes or Recovery Mode.

Part 3: How to Put iPad into DFU Mode?

Activating DFU Mode on iPad is not a complex task. It can be annoying as you have to perform all steps in order and accurately; otherwise, you will have to start again. Moreover, you will need a computer/Mac with the latest version of iTunes or Finder to enable DFU mode on your iPad. Below are guides for how to put iPad in DFU Mode:

3.1. iPad with Face ID

Step 1: Turn off your iPad and connect it to the computer/Mac with the latest iTunes/Finder. Now, press and hold the “Top” button; after three seconds, press and hold the “Volume Down” button. Keep holding both buttons for 10 seconds.

Step 2: After 10 seconds, release the “Top” button, but hold the “Volume Down” button for 5 seconds. Now, the iPad screen should be illuminated but completely black. It means the DFU Mode has been successfully activated.

3.2. iPad with Home Button

Step 1: Connect your device to the system with iTunes/Finder after turning it off. Then press and hold the “Top” button for three seconds. Next, press and hold the “Home” button without letting go of the “Top” button for 10 more seconds.

Step 2: Release the “Top” button and hold onto the “Home” for 5 seconds. If you see an illuminated black screen, your device is in DFU Mode. Otherwise, you need to do the steps again.

activate the ipad dfu mode

Part 4: What to Do If iPad Stuck in DFU Mode?

Enabling DFU Mode on your iPad is not risk-free. Since you are accessing the firmware-level settings, any wrong move can negatively affect your iPad. One of these side effects is iPad being stuck in DFU Mode. If your iPad in DFU Mode is stuck, there is no need to worry. We have a great iOS System Recovery tool to resolve this issue in minutes.

Tenorshare ReiBoot is a complete solution box for system issues regarding iOS devices. Using this tool, you can resolve over 150 system issues in iPhones and iPads. In addition to its repair and recovery functions, ReiBoot offers a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to use even for those with limited technical skills.

Tenorshare ReiBoot has a clean and user-friendly interface that allows you to resolve the iPad stuck in DFU Mode efficiently. Here is how you can exit the DFU mode with ReiBoot:

Step 1: Launch Tenorshare ReiBoot and Connect Your iPad

>> Get Tenorshare ReiBoot <<

Launch ReiBoot on your system and connect your iPad. Once the program has detected the iPad, click “Start” in “iOS System Repair.” On the next screen, click on “Fix Now.”

Launch iOS system recovery

Step 2: Select the Repair Method

Now, you will need to choose between “Standard Repair” and “Deep Repair” to fix your iPad. It is recommended that you select “Standard Repair” first, as it won’t affect your data. Next, click “Download” to start downloading the firmware.

choose the standard repair option

Step 3: Complete the iPad Repair Process

Once the firmware is downloaded, tap “Start Standard Repair” to initiate the iPad repair process. I will take some time to complete the repair process. Afterward, click “Done” to finish the procedure. If the issue isn’t resolved, repeat the process using “Deep Repair.”

start the standard repair process

Frequently Asked Questions About iPad DFU Mode

In this part, we have answered some of the FAQs regarding how to put the iPad in DFU Mode to further help you:

What is the difference between DFU Mode and Recovery Mode?

Recovery Mode and DFU (Device Firmware Update) Mode are two different modes on iOS devices that are used for troubleshooting and restoring purposes. Recovery Mode allows the iOS device to be restored or updated with the latest version of iOS via iTunes. On the other hand, DFU mode is a mode that will enable you to access the deepest level of iOS devices.

DFU Mode bypasses the iBoot agent of the iOS devices while restoring or upgrading them, which is not bypassed while being in Recovery Mode. This puts a noticeable difference between both modes, defining their needs on a better scale.

Another physically differentiating factor between DFU and Recovery Mode is the screen display on the device during the activation of both modes. When an iOS device is in Recovery Mode, a special display is prominent on the device’s screen, showing that the device is in Recovery Mode. Meanwhile, the screen is entirely black for an iOS device in DFU mode.

How to activate DFU Mode on the latest iPhone devices?

The process to activate DFU Mode on the latest iPhone doesn’t differ much from iPad with Face ID. To start, you will need to connect it to a system with iTunes or Finder after turning the device off. First, hold the “Side” button for 3 seconds.

Afterward, press and hold “Volume Down” without releasing the “Side” button for 10 seconds. Now, release the “Side” button and hold the “Volume Down” button for 5 more seconds to activate DFU Mode.

What are the risks of DFU mode?

There are many risks attached to the DFU Mode as it allows you the deepest access to an iOS device. Since it deals with the device’s firmware, any wrong step can lead to irreversible damage to the firmware. Using DFU Mode also deletes your iPhone data and causes other hardware issues.


To sum this article up, DFU mode is a great way to resolve the complex software issues in iPad. With iPad in DFU Mode, you can update or downgrade the firmware and troubleshoot other problems via iTunes or Finder. If your iPad gets stuck in the DFU Mode, there is no need to panic. You can use Tenorshare ReiBoot to restore your iPad to its original settings.

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