iPad DFU Mode Instructions for iPads with Home Button

Dec 4, 2010 - 39 Comments

ipad dfu mode

If you need to place an iPad into DFU mode, you can do so with the instructions detailed on this page. These instructions will work to put any iPad model with a Home button into DFU mode.

DFU stands for Device Firmware Update, entering DFU Mode is how you adjust the firmware on your iPad or other iOS device. This can be a helpful trick for troubleshooting some complex issues when you need to perform a DFU restore on iPad, or if you want to downgrade or update the iPad firmware with IPSW firmware files.

Getting into DFU mode on an iPad is the same for all iPad models with a pressable Home button, including iPad, iPad Air, iPad Mini, and older iPad Pro, though it is different on Face ID equipped iPad Pro models. The DFU mode process for iPad is close to the same process as entering into iPhone DFU mode (or iPod touch for that matter) on devices that have a clickable Home button, but it’s different from later models that don’t have the Home button at all. Overall it’s pretty easy, just follow the instructions below to learn how to enter into DFU mode on iPad.

How to Enter iPad DFU Mode

Entering and using DFU mode with iPad requires a computer with iTunes, a USB cable, and any iPad with a HOME button. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Plug the iPad into your computer (Mac or PC)
  2. Launch iTunes on the computer
  3. Hold down the Power button and the Home button at the same time
  4. Keep holding both of these buttons for 10 seconds
  5. After 10 seconds pass, release the Power button but continue to hold the Home button for another 3-5 seconds
  6. iTunes will notify you that it has detected a device in recovery mode, you are now free to restore or you can ignore this message if you plan on jailbreaking

IMPORTANT: When in DFU mode, your iPad screen will stay completely black. If you see an Apple logo or otherwise you did not enter DFU mode, so you would need to start over again. If you see an Apple logo or iTunes logo, you probably entered into Recovery Mode instead, which can sometimes work for restoring. The key thing to remember with DFU mode is the screen stays black, but iTunes alerts you to the device connected and ready for a restore.

Entering DFU Mode is the same on all iPad, iPad Mini, and iPad Pro

Note that for jailbreakers, once in DFU mode your jailbreak or firmware modifying app should take over, so follow those instructions from here on.

The reason most people need to get their iPad into DFU mode is to either perform a jailbreak, or to adjust the iPad firmware IPSW either through an upgrade or downgrade. If you want the latest versions of iPad firmware files you can go here to find the latest iOS versions IPSW firmware files to download.

Exiting DFU mode happens automatically if you restore the device with iTunes, or you can just force reboot iPad to exit DFU as well.

If you have any questions, comments, or experiences with DFU mode on iPad, do share them below!


Related articles:

Posted by: Manish Patel in iPad, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting


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  1. Steve says:

    My ipad2 mini has been in DFU mode for 2-3 hours now but is still in the “preparing iPad to restore” setting.

    It’s not got a lot of data or apps so I’m wondering if it’s stuck?

    Any advice would be useful thanks

  2. Tomahawk says:

    Thanks for the good reading material everybody

  3. Sandra Rowe says:

    I’ve spent HOURS trying to fix my problem and this was the thing that finally worked. THANK YOU!

    My problem was that the ipad mini 5th generation was speaking everything on the screen. I thought my kid had somehow enabled the Accessibility option for blind people, but when I finally navigated to it (after half an hour of mind-numbing fiddling) it showed that it was off. It was so hard to get around. I had to tap each thing three times (once to select, and then a double tap) and most of the time it didn’t select what I was touching.

    My next idea what to factory reset the device, but when I tried, it just kept reading “reset” over and over but not going into that menu.

    I tried to do the reset through itunes, but the tap issues I was having with the text reading thing wouldn’t let me enter my lockcode to verify that I trusted my computer. (YES! I trust you! Grrr!)

    So thank you for this option to hold down the buttons. It worked!

  4. Karen Phillips says:

    My iPad started flashing black screen to a white screen with the black apple logo, I was able to get it connected to my computer through your steps – it does the restore then goes to your iPad will now restart … it goes straight back to the 2 flashing screens? I re-connect it and iTunes tells me it needs to be restored again?? Any help would be great as I’m going around in circles

  5. Kams says:

    I have tried to connect an ipad A1460 to DFU using itunes but nothing is happening and not detecting either……kindly help me guys

  6. Pankaj says:

    I tried dfu mode. It was taking more than 12 hours and it went dead . I again tried after charging the ipad. This time it’s not detecting in iTunes. I tried several times . It’s not working. Pls help if any ideas.

  7. Luke Lahens says:

    I have an iPad and two Apple watches that have Apple ID’s in Activation I needed to see about getting the around activation lock.

  8. Abby says:

    I work at a motel and an iPad was left for 3 months. Nobody ever called to claim it. We tryed the restore mode but it says you need the old Apple ID. Without knowing that am I just S.O.L with not knowing any of this info???

  9. amy says:

    how do i bypass not knowing an apple id info? my 7 yr old locked herself out ipad mini and i did the recovery through itunes and now it needs apple id to set up ipad. i nor her remember this info. please help!

  10. Adrian says:

    Hi guys pls help me. I both an iPad4 GSM on eBay with a given firmware malfunction problem. When i connect the iPad4 GSM to my MAC and iTunes is up and running, the iPad will be recognized but but i’m getting the message to run this iPad in recovery modus which i tried but somehow after 5 min i’m getting a msg telling me that im not connected to the internet (wrong – i am) and i can not restore my iPad. Please help me. Thank you!

  11. Dw says:

    Hey guys,
    I manage to get the ipad into dfu mode(there’s this graphics showing the cable to connect to itunes),
    I’ve connected the ipad to itunes but itunes won’t detect the ipad at all.

    Any tips pls? =[

    • will says:

      this is not dfu mode this is recovery mode. dfu mode will be completely black so you have to try it again. remember to hook your device up powered off open itunes and then hold the power and the return (home) button down for 8 to 10 secounds and release the power button ONLY then hold the return (home) button for 3 to 5 secounds. The screen should stay black. your itunes will detect your device and tell you that it is in recovery mode. but remember if the screen is not completely black you will have to try again. If it is completely black it’s in DFU

  12. dclantes says:

    Can’t get the timing right…Frustrating, any more ideas out there?

  13. Mave says:

    I keep getting an error code (3194) wont detect the device (ipad)… Any help?

  14. Roz says:

    Genius Bar restored my iPad #1 via DFU. But at times the iPad turns off while using. What is the probllem?

  15. carlos says:

    i was sold a ipad 2 and it was not restored to factory reset and i don’t have the computer that it was first syct to or the restriction passcode is there any way to bypass the restriction code

  16. Mohamed says:

    Thank you…:) It worked awesome.

  17. dovydas131 says:

    but how do i turn it on cause i have no idea i accidently turned my ipad into dfu mode

  18. BASiQ says:

    To ANYONE getting the “please connect your device”. You are in DFU mode… Go into Recovery mode. Open Tiny Umbrella, plug in your device ON and click “Enter Recovery” works like a charm.

  19. Rohit says:

    Thanks is a small word for this tip. Can’t thank you enough.

  20. 2fast4u says:

    My IPad 3 wont Go into DFU mode
    any help?

  21. loldi says:

    holy jeez thank you for this almost had a heart attack when my iPad wouldnt activate after loading iOS 6

  22. […] -> Restore? DFU instructions: iPad DFU Mode instructions __________________ Romans […]

  23. tootaa says:


  24. jon says:

    I’m just curious, am i still able to get apps from the app store/ use previously purchased apps if i jailbreak my ipad?

  25. vector says:

    Thanks for the tips… :-)

  26. Parakeet says:

    piece of cake

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