This tutorial tells you the basic difference between iPhone’s DFU and Recovery modes and what mode is used for what purpose. If you already know the difference between the two modes and looking for just the instructions on how to put iPhone into the two modes read:
Difference Between DFU and Recovery Mode:
What are these modes for and why should I know about them?
If you are a new iPhone user or don’t care about jailbreaking chances are that you might have never come across these two modes and won’t need to in the future either. But if you use Cydia or custom IPSW firmware on your iPhone or other iOS devices you will definitely come across this.
DFU stands for Device Firmware Update. Both of the modes can be entered by pressing a particular series of buttons on your iPhone. They help you update or install firmware when the normal iTunes method fails. Here are some situations when you might need to use these modes.
- Reset iPhone if your forgot Passcode
- Downgrade Firmware version
- Install beta iOS Firmware
- When iTunes returns errors like 1013, 1603 etc.
iPhone Recovery mode vs DFU mode:
iPhone Recovery Mode:
Recovery Mode boots your iPhone and stops at the Connect to iTunes screen. You can use it to install the latest firmware but not downgrade. You can click on Restore in iTunes to let iTunes download firmware and install. Alternatively, you can download firmware from here and press Alt + Restore(Shift + Restore on Windows) to browse for firmware manually.
The recovery mode and iTunes will prevent you from restoring to older firmware than the current firmware. You will keep getting error in iTunes every time you try doing it. This is because iPhone has already booted and knows the current firmware version.
iPhone DFU Mode:
DFU mode on the other hand does not fully start up the iPhone or iPod Touch. The screen remains off and appears as if your iPhone is turned off but it will be recognized in iTunes and be ready for restoring to any firmware. Since, the firmware is not booted you can downgrade iPhone to previous versions or even custom firmwares with Cydia and other packages created from jailbreak tools like PwnageTool.
Learn how to put iPhone into DFU mode:
So now you know the difference between the two modes. Let us know if you have any related questions via comments.