Find that your iPhone 12 is not entering DFU mode? Here’s how to resolve this issue with several possible fixes.
If you’re looking into jailbreaking, un-jailbreaking, updating from an expired iOS beta, or just need a solution when all else has failed and an issue continues to persist, then you need to to go into DFU (Device Firmware Update) mode. First, you need to dig out a Lightning cable, then you have to remember how to connect to iTunes.
But this time, there’s something wrong. Whether it’s iPhone 12 not appearing in iTunes or you’re getting a cryptic “0xE” error, you just can’t get your iPhone 12 to enter DFU Mode. While this can be a tough problem to solve, the fix is often surprisingly easy. We’re here to help.
What is DFU Mode
The iPhone Device Firmware Update (DFU) Mode makes low-level changes to the software running the device. While it is related to Recovery Mode, it’s more comprehensive, and you can use it to solve more difficult problems.
When an iOS device is in DFU mode, the device is powered on but hasn’t booted up the operating system. As a result, you can make changes to the operating system because it’s not running yet.
When to Use DFU Mode on iPhone
For most ordinary uses of the iPhone 12, you won’t need DFU Mode. Recovery Mode is usually the only thing you’ll need. If the device is stuck in a loop after updating the operating system or has data so corrupted that it won’t run properly, Recovery Mode is your first step. Under most circumstances, use iPhone DFU Mode in the following situations:
You might think you’ve got a bricked iPhone when actually it’s suffering from firmware problems. Among other tasks, the firmware is responsible for telling your iPhone how to respond to the different buttons on your device.
When you press the Side button and either of the volume buttons, for example, the firmware starts booting up iOS. If your iPhone 12 doesn’t boot up, it could be because the firmware isn’t responding to those buttons correctly.
Boot Loops and Failed Startups
A boot loop is the term for when your iPhone can’t get past the Apple logo during startup. This happens if there’s a problem with the operating software on your device.
It’s difficult to try other troubleshooting suggestions if you can’t get past the boot screen, but you can still put your iPhone in DFU mode. This lets you reinstall the software, overwriting any errors that caused the boot loop.
A lot of people already know how to use the iPhone’s recovery mode to fix corrupt software, but corrupt firmware is another matter entirely. If a popup message says your iPhone firmware is corrupt, your only option is to fix it using DFU mode.
Firmware corruptions affect all manner of components in your iPhone. They can lead to anything from slow performance to bad Wi-Fi connectivity. When you reinstall the firmware via DFU mode, it fixes all kinds of problems like this.
Failed Software Updates
There’s a reason your iPhone doesn’t start software updates when the battery is low. If you lose power mid-update, your operating software will end up in limbo. That usually means your iPhone can’t finish updating and can’t use the previous software either.
When you use DFU mode to restore your device, it overwrites the incomplete software with fresh code, updating your iPhone to the latest version of iOS in the process.
Your iPhone firmware tells the device how to work with different hardware components. As a result, problems that seem as though they need a physical repair can actually be the result of faulty firmware.
Some of these issues include:
- Erratic battery life
- Unresponsive buttons
A blank display that’s all white or black
- Unpredictable touchscreen responses
How to put your iPhone 12 into DFU mode
- Plug in your iPhone 12 into your Mac or PC.
- Make sure that iTunes (macOS Mojave and PCs) or Finder (macOS Catalina and later) is running.
- Turn off your iPhone 12 if it isn’t already.
- Quickly press and release the volume up button.
- Quickly press and release the volume down button.
- Press and hold the side button until the Power Off slider appears.
- Drag the slider to power your device off.
<li>Press and hold the <strong>side</strong> button (On/Off) of your iPhone for <strong>3 seconds</strong>.</li> <li>While still holding down the <strong>side</strong> button, press and hold down the <strong>volume down</strong> button on the left side of your iPhone.</li> <li>Continue to hold both buttons down for <strong>10 seconds</strong>.</li>
- If you see the Apple logo, you’ve held them down for too long and need to try again.
<li>Release only the <strong>side</strong> button (On/Off) but continue holding down the <strong>volume down</strong> button for another <strong>5 seconds</strong>.</li>
- If you see the “Plug into iTunes” screen, then you’ve held it too long and need to try again. The timing can be tricky, so don’t be afraid to try again until you get it.
<li>If the screen has stayed black (but it's clearly illuminated), then you're in DFU mode.</li>At this point, iTunes or Finder on your computer should have detected an iPhone and allow it to be restored.
How to troubleshoot and fix iPhone 12 not entering DFU Mode issue
iPhone 12 not entering DFU Mode? Start Here
If your iPhone 12 is not entering DFU Mode, you need to follow the steps accurately. Make sure you are pressing and holding the right buttons at the right times, ensuring to keep holding the volume down button when you release the side button – and releasing the side button only after counting as indicated.
Check Your Lightning Cable
Another common problem that can lead to your iPhone 12 not entering DFU mode is a bad cable. First, have a look at both ends of your cable. If it seems wrinkled or frayed on either end, this is a bad sign.
However, a cable can also have connection issues even without any visual evidence. Perhaps one of the inside prongs is bent, or it came in contact with water and was ruined.
Even if your cable is in perfect shape, it can cause trouble if it isn’t MFi-Certified. This basically means that Apple has approved the cable for use with its hardware. If you have spare Lightning cables, try using a different cable to see if it solves your problem. Try buying a replacement Lightning cable if you need a new one.
Inspect Your Ports
Cables aren’t the only part of the physical connection that can lead to iPhone 12 not entering DFU Mode. Your Lightning port can get dust and debris in it, causing incomplete connections.
If you see lint or anything else in your Lightning port, you may need to remove it. The SIM card ejector tool that comes with most phones is the perfect size to do this. Be careful not to damage the port.
The USB port on your computer can lead to trouble as well. If your iPhone won’t enter DFU Mode and you’re using a USB hub, try plugging directly into your computer instead. If you’re already plugging in directly, try using a different port if one is available.
At this point, you’ve ruled out most of the basic issues, but there’s one left. If you’re getting problem of iPhone 12 not entering DFU Mode, try updating iTunes.
There are two different ways to update iTunes on windows. Which you should use depends on how you installed the app: from Apple’s website, or via the Microsoft Store.
For the version downloaded via the Apple website, select Help in the menu bar at the top of the app, then click Check for Updates. Follow the prompts to update iTunes through Apple Software Update.
If you’re using the Microsoft Store version, it should check for updates automatically. You can run a manual check by opening the Microsoft Store app. Click the three-dot menu button in the top-right and choose Downloads and updates. Then at the top-right, choose Get updates.
iPhone 12 Still Doesn’t enter DFU Mode?
In the vast majority of cases, one of the above tips should sort out your problem. That said, your iPhone 12 not entering DFU Mode can have many causes. When you’ve run out of fixes to try, it’s probably time to contact Apple support.
iPhone 12 not entering DFU Mode: Fixed!
No I don’t need it
Yes, it can be a little tricky to fix iPhone 12 not entering DFU mode issue since the timing is a little tricky. However, with perseverence, you should get it. It just takes a few tries, even for us pros. If you still have questions about how to fix an iPhone 12 that is not entering DFU mode, drop them in the comments