Force restart iPhone 11 Pro Max, DFU, recovery mode, SOS, power off

If you’re upgrading to the iPhone 11 or 11 Pro from a pre-iPhone 8 / iPhone X era device, you might be surprised to learn that the process for force restarting your iPhone, entering recovery mode, and DFU mode is a bit different on modern hardware.

In this hands-on post and video, we detail all that you need to know about handling these sometimes necessary functions on your iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max.



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The basics

You’ll need to familiarize yourself with the buttons on your iPhone in order to perform any of the following functions. There are two volume buttons on the left-hand side of the iPhone, along with a Side button on the opposite side.

Since modern iPhone hardware lacks the once iconic Home button, the Side button, along with the volume buttons, play instrumental roles when it comes to force resetting, entering recovery mode, DFU mode, etc.

Video walkthrough

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How to power off iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Max

Step 1: Press and hold the Side button + either the volume up or volume down buttons until the ‘slide to power off’ text appears.

Step 2: Release all of the buttons and swipe right on the slide to power off text. The iPhone will then commence powering off.

How to power on iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Max

If your iPhone is off, simply press the Side button once, and it will power on if it’s working correctly. If your iPhone won’t power on, you’ll want to make sure it has enough battery power to turn on. Plug in your iPhone 11, and let it charge for a few minutes before trying again.

If your iPhone still doesn’t turn on, you may want to try the steps described below for exiting DFU mode. Otherwise, you may need to contact Apple support for help with a potential hardware issue.

How to force restart iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Max

Note: You’ll need to perform the following steps in quick succession to force restart iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, etc. Watch the video walkthrough above for a hand-on example on how to force restart your iPhone.

Step 1: Press and release the Volume Up button.

Step 2: Press and release the Volume Down button.

Step 3: Press and hold the Side button and continue to hold until the device reboots.

How to enter recovery mode on iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Max

Note: Steps 2-4 must be performed in quick succession. For more details, watch our hands-on video walkthrough embedded above that showcases how to enter into recovery mode on your iPhone.

Step 1: Connect your iPhone 11 to your Mac (or a PC with iTunes installed) with a Lightning to USB cable.

Step 2: Quickly press and release the Volume Up button.

Step 3: Quickly press and release the Volume Down button.

Step 4: Quickly press the Side button and continue to hold the Side button as the device reboots.

Step 5: Even when the Apple logo appears, make sure to continue holding the Side button.

Step 6: You should release the Side button after you see the ‘Connect to iTunes’ logo and text.

Step 7: Open iTunes on your Mac or PC, and you’ll be presented with a message acknowledging that your connected iOS device is in Recovery Mode. You’ll then be presented with options to update or restore your iPhone’s software.

How to exit Recovery mode on iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Max

Press and hold the Side button until the ‘Connect to iTunes’ logo and text disappears. Your iPhone will then reboot back to iOS if it’s working normally.

How to enter DFU mode on iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Max

Note: Steps 2-4 must be performed in quick succession. For more details, watch our hands-on video walkthrough embedded above that showcases how to enter DFU mode on your iPhone.

Step 1: Connect your iPhone 11 to your Mac (or a PC with iTunes installed) with a Lightning to USB cable.

Step 2: Quickly press and release the Volume Up button.

Step 3: Quickly press and release the Volume Down button.

Step 4: Press and hold the Side button for 10 seconds until the iPhone’s display turns black.

Step 5: While continuing to hold the Side button, press and hold the Volume Down button for 5 seconds, and then release the Side button while you continue to hold the Volume Down button for an additional 10 seconds. If these steps are performed correctly, the display should remain black with no text or logos.

Step 6: Open iTunes on your Mac or PC, and you should see a message stating that “iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode. You must restore this iPhone before it can be used with iTunes.” You’ll then be presented with an option to restore iOS on your iPhone.

How to exit DFU mode on iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Max

Note: Perform the following steps while at the black DFU mode screen.

Step 1: Quickly press and release the Volume Up button.

Step 2: Quickly press and release the Volume Down button.

Step 3: Press and continue holding the Side button until you see the Apple logo appear.

How to temporarily disable Face ID on iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Max

Step 1: Press and hold the Side button and then press either Volume button.

Step 2: Tap the Cancel button that appears on the ‘slide to power off’ screen.

Note: You’ll be required to enter the passcode on your iPhone in order to reenable Face ID functionality.

How to invoke Emergency SOS on iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Max

Note: Emergency SOS will contact emergency authorities and send a text message with your location to your emergency contacts. With this in mind, this feature should only be utilized in the case of a real emergency.

Step 1: Press and hold the Side button + either of the Volume buttons.

Step 2: Continue holding this button combination and you’ll see an  Emergency SOS countdown. As you hold these buttons the Emergency SOS countdown will initiate contacting emergency authorities and your emergency contacts. You may also simply  slide the SOS button on the Emergency SOS slider to initiate Emergency SOS.

Note: You’ll be required to enter your iPhone’s passcode to reenable Face ID and unlock your iPhone.

9to5Mac’s Take

It’ll most likely be a rare occurrence where you’ll ever need to enter DFU mode, or even Recovery mode on your iPhone 11.

However, it’s good to have such knowledge on tap, and it’s definitely important to know how to force restart your iPhone if such a need ever arrises.

Many new iPhone 11 customers are upgrading from iPhone 7 era devices and below. As we’ve demonstrated, some of the basic iPhone functions that you’ve likely become familiar with over the years have changed. With this in mind, it might be a good idea to bookmark this page for future use. Be sure to subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for more iPhone 11 video content.

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