Differences Between DFU Mode and Recovery Mode

By Lois Green, Tueday, October 11, 2016

DFU Mode and Recovery Mode are known as a failsafe to reflash iPhone, iPad or iPod touch for users. Actually, the two modes can do much more than that. We need to complete the operation like update iOS with the DFU Mode or Recovery Mode. In a certain aspect, they are very similar and people may get confused in the concepts. Now I want to talk about the DFU Mode and Recovery Mode in a more comprehensive way.

Part 1:  What Are DFU Mode and Recovery Mode Used for?

Users always enter Recovery mode to upgrade iOS or solve the system problems. With Recovery mode, You can fix some system problems including:

1. iOS device get stuck in white Apple logo screen or black/blue screen and can not enter the system.

2. iOS device get restart again and again.

iOS Device Get Stuck in White Apple Screen

DFU mode is a state that you can make changes to the iOS system without booting your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. With DFU mode, you can fix the system problems of your device that could not be solved with Recovery mode. It is more comprehensive when compared with Recovery mode.

Besides, you can enter DFU mode to upgrade or downgrade your device. Often, we would upgrade our iOS for more functions or better use. But sometimes we would want to downgrade it because with the new version, the system or the software on our device could not fit it well.

Note: If you want to downgrade your device, you need to use DFU mode but not Recovery mode. The reason would be shown in the second part, please continue to read.

What's more, some users would use DFU mode to make iPhone jailbroken or SIM unlock.

Part 2: Differences Between DFU Mode and Recovery Mode

While both DFU mode and Recovery mode can solve some system problems, you may ask what the difference between them is. The answer would be iBoot.

iBoot is also named iBoot Loader or iBoot Agent. Just like the meaning of its name, iBoot act as the guide agent between the iPhone hardware and iOS. Recovery mode needs to use iBoot during the operation while DFU mode skips iBoot. In recovery mode, iBoot would detect the firmware that flashed in and compare it with the current one. If the flashed one is lower than the original version, iBoot will refuse to carry over the subsequent instruction and it would fail to update the iOS. And that is the reason why we need to enter the DFU mode to downgrade iOS instead of Recovery mode.

For Recovery mode, you can upgrade or restore your iPhone, which requires the latest iOS and firmware. Because of the iBoot, it is not allowed to choose a custom firmware or choose the one you want in Recovery mode.

But for DFU mode, you can not only upgrade your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, but also downgrade the firmware or choose a custom one for jailbreak or SIM unlock.

Are you agreed with the ideas above? Any questions please drop us a comment.

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