Sometimes iPad Pro should be set to DFU mode for troubleshooting before restoring iPad Pro. DFU means “Upgrading Device Firmware”, and DFU mode is a device recovery state that is lower than normal recovery mode for iPad Pro.
Turning iPad Pro into DFU mode is intended for advanced users and for special troubleshooting scenarios when the iPad Pro cannot recover or restore in the usual ways.
This approach for switching to DFU mode, described here, is applicable only to new iPad Pro models of the 2018 model and later, that is, devices without the Home button and Face ID as the main unlock mechanism, including the iPad Pro with an 11 ″ screen and iPad Pro with 12.9 ″ screen. Other iPad models with the Home button can switch to DFU mode using these instructions, which use a different method.
To properly use the DFU mode, you will need an iPad Pro with a USB cable and a Mac or Windows PC with iTunes or macOS Catalina.
How to enter DFU mode on iPad Pro
A warning. Restoring a device in DFU mode will remove the iPad Pro and may lead to irreversible data loss. If you do not have a backup copy of iPad Pro, you will not have data to restore to your device.
- Connect iPad Pro to computer with USB cable
- Open iTunes on a Mac or Windows computer (this is not on MacOS Catalina)
- Press the volume up button and release on iPad Pro
- Press the volume down button and release on iPad Pro
- Now press and hold the power button until the iPad Pro screen turns black, it may take 10-15 seconds or so
- While holding the power button, press and hold the power button and decrease the volume for another 5 seconds.
- Release the power button, but continue to hold the volume down button for another 10 seconds.
- At this point, iTunes should open a pop-up message stating that “iTunes has detected an iPad in recovery mode. You must restore this iPad before you can use it with iTunes ”, which means that the iPad Pro is working successfully in DFU mode
After the iPad Pro is in DFU mode, you can restore or update it as needed.
If on your computer you do not see “iTunes has detected an iPad in recovery mode. You must restore this iPad Pro before you can use it with iTunes, ”then begin the process of entering DFU mode again. In order to properly enter the DFU mode, you must perform the following steps accurately.
If the iPad Pro screen turns on, or you see the Apple logo on the iPad Pro, or if you see the iTunes logo on the iPad Pro display, then the iPad Pro does not work properly in DFU mode. If you see the iTunes logo on the screen, it most likely means that the iPad Pro is in recovery mode, which is sometimes enough to restore a problem device, but as a rule, people tend to switch to DFU mode due to a failure in recovery mode.
Usually, you can simply restore your device from iTunes or MacOS to any latest available version, but you can also use the recovery firmware if necessary. You can get the iOS ipsw firmware files here if necessary. To use an IPSW file, you must be sure that you are using the correct version for a particular device, and it must be actively signed by Apple. You must use an iOS firmware file that is compatible with the iPad Pro model, and the Apple IPSW file must be signed by Apple for use and repair with.
How to exit DFU mode on iPad Pro
Exit DFU mode can be achieved by successfully restoring the device or restarting the iPad Pro by following these steps:
- Press and release the volume up button.
- Press and release the volume down button.
- Press and hold the power button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.
This actually forces the iPad Pro to restart, forcing it to exit DFU mode. Of course, if the iPad Pro is “locked” and needs to be restored in DFU mode, then quitting DFU mode in this way will not solve anything, because the device must be restored via iTunes or macOS.
Each iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Apple Watch and Apple TV can enter DFU mode (as well as recovery mode), although this depends on the particular device and model. Other DFU mode instructions are as follows:
Ultimately, using DFU mode with iPad Pro (or any other device) is rarely required, since in almost all common troubleshooting scenarios you can restore your iPad Pro either directly via iTunes, macOS, or using recovery mode.
If you have any impressions, thoughts or comments about the DFU mode on iPad Pro, share them with us in the comments below.