DFU stands for Device Firmware Update which reloads the software and the firmware of your device. This could be used in case the iPad is set up correctly and not working correctly (more about it you can find in How to set up iPads?) or when first troubleshooting steps do not resolve issues. Usually, this step is used as a last resort since after it all data will be removed completely.


  • Computer with iTunes or Finder:
    • Windows 10 / 11
      • Windows Computer - iTunes installed via Microsoft App Store
    • OS X 10.15 and up
      • Apple Computer 10.15 and up - Finder replaces iTunes
  • Cable to connect iPad to Computer
  • iPad needing DFU

To activate DFU mode, please follow these steps:

  1. Connect the iPad to the computer and power the device off.

    • For an iPad without a Home button: Press and quickly release the volume button closest to the top button. Press and quickly release the volume button farthest from the top button. Press and hold the top button.

    • For an iPad with a Home button: Press and hold both the Home and the top (or side) buttons at the same time. 

  2. Keep holding the button (or buttons) until you see the recovery mode screen:

  3. Locate your iPad on your computer. When you see the option to Restore or Update, choose Update. Your computer will try to reinstall the software without erasing your data. Wait while your computer downloads the software for your iPad. If the download takes more than 15 minutes and your iPad exits the recovery mode screen, let the download finish, then repeat step 3.

  4. After the Update or Restore completes, set up your iPad.

NOTE: If your device shows a screen telling you to connect the device to iTunes, retry these steps again. If you can’t update or restore your device with recovery mode, or you can't use recovery mode, please contact Apple Support.

We hope you found this information useful!