How To Enter DFU Mode On iPhone XS, XS Max, XR

Similar to iPhone X, Apple has also ditched the iconic Home button on their new iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, which was last seen on iPhone 8/ Plus. The removal of the iconic Home button has also changed a lot of tasks, most notably, that is entering and exiting DFU mode in iTunes.

DFU mode stands for “Device Firmware Upgrade” mode and it is the last resort to restore a bricked or bring iPhone back to its initial settings. While you might rarely use DFU mode as iOS is very stable, you’d still better know how to enter this mode to fix issues. You should be aware that DFU mode exists is a step in the right direction. Basically, entering DFU mode on an iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max is similar to doing so on the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X.


Restoring your iPhone XS, XS Max, XR via DFU mode will erase all, so make sure to back up your iPhone first using iTunes or iCloud to protect any important data. Fortunately, it’s also not difficult to exit DFU mode before wiping your phone. If you change your mind halfway through, you can make a backup if your iPhone is up to the task.


  • A Mac or Windows computer
  • Latest iTunes version installed
  • A Lightning to USB or Lightning to USB-C cable

Connect Your iPhone to Your Computer

You can use either Lightning to USB or Lightning to USB-C cable to connect your iPhone to your computer. The iTunes software will then automatically launch on your computer. If not, you can also manually open the app and then connect your iPhone to the computer. After that, you will see your iPhone icon in iTunes next to media dropdown and under the “Devices” section in the sidebar.

If there is an “Unlock iPhone to Use Accessories” notification, you’ll have to unlock your iPhone first before getting started. If it is the first time your phone is connected to iTunes, you need to trust your computer as well.

Enter Your iPhone XS, XS Max, XR into DFU Mode

Once your iPhone is connected to your computer with iTunes opening, perform the following steps to boot your iPhone into DFU mode:

  1. Quickly press the Volume Up button.
  2. Quickly press the Volume Down button.
  3. Press and hold the Power button until your screen goes black.
  4. Release the button when the screen blacks out
  5. Next, quickly press and hold both Power and Volume Down buttons altogether for 5 seconds.
  6. After that, release the Power button without releasing the Volume Down button.
  7. Continue holding down the Volume Down button for a few seconds.

Also see: How To Unlock iPhone XS, XS Max For Using Any Networks

Exit DFU Mode

You accidentally put your iPhone XR, XS, or XS Max into DFU mode whether done inadvertently and want to exit this mode, you can safely do so by simply restarting the device. To do this:

  • Quickly press the Volume Up
  • Quickly press the Volume Down button.
  • Press and hold the Power button for 10 seconds until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

After that, your iPhone will boot up and you need to enter your passcode to unlock the iPhone.

Optional: Restore iPhone Back to Factory Settings

Once you’ve successfully entered your iPhone into DFU mode and don’t want to back out, you can click on “OK” to close the recovery prompt and start restoring it back to factory settings. From here, click on “Restore iPhone” under iPhone Recovery Mode. Once done, your iPhone XR, XS, or XS Max will automatically quit DFU mode and boot up to the activation screen.