Going back to a previous iOS version on your iPhone involves downloading the appropriate firmware file, using iTunes or Finder on your computer to restore your device, and preventing the device from auto-updating. Once complete, your iPhone will function on the older iOS version, but note that this may void your warranty or violate Apple’s terms of service.
After completing the process, you might not be able to access certain features or security updates that come with the newer iOS versions. Additionally, some apps might not function correctly if they require the latest iOS version.
Have you ever updated your iPhone’s operating system only to find that you preferred the previous version? Maybe the new update is slow, buggy, or just doesn’t have the features you loved. You’re not alone in this. Many iPhone users find themselves wishing they could go back to an older version of iOS after an update. This process, known as downgrading, is not officially supported by Apple, but it is possible.
It’s a handy trick for those who are not satisfied with the current version of iOS or have encountered issues with their device after updating. It’s relevant to anyone who has updated their iPhone and wants to return to a version of iOS they are more comfortable with or find more stable.
Step by Step Tutorial on How to Go Back to a Previous Version of iOS
Before we start, you should know that this process will erase all data on your iPhone, so it’s critical to back up your important information. The steps below will help you downgrade your iOS.
Step 1: Check for Signed Firmware
First, you need to find out if Apple is still signing the firmware you want to downgrade to.
Apple only allows downgrading to iOS versions that are still being signed. You can check websites like IPSW.me to see which versions are available. If the firmware is not being signed, you cannot downgrade to that version.
Step 2: Download the Firmware File
If the firmware is available, download the appropriate IPSW file for your iPhone model.
Make sure you download the correct firmware file for your specific iPhone model. You can find this file on websites that host old iOS versions, like IPSW.me.
Step 3: Disable Find My iPhone
You need to disable ‘Find My iPhone’ on your device before proceeding.
Go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Find My iPhone and turn off the feature. You will need to enter your Apple ID password to proceed.
Step 4: Connect to Computer and Open iTunes or Finder
Connect your iPhone to your computer and open iTunes if you are on an older macOS or PC, or Finder if you are using macOS Catalina or newer.
Make sure your iTunes or Finder is updated to the latest version before you start.
Step 5: Put Your iPhone in Recovery Mode
To downgrade, you need to put your iPhone in recovery mode.
For most iPhone models, you can enter recovery mode by pressing and holding the home and power buttons until the recovery mode screen appears.
Step 6: Restore iPhone with the Firmware File
In iTunes or Finder, hold down the Option key (Mac) or Shift key (Windows) and click on ‘Restore iPhone’. Then, select the IPSW file you downloaded earlier.
This will start the process of wiping your iPhone and installing the older iOS version. Be patient as it might take some time.
|Downgrading to a familiar version of iOS can make your iPhone easier to use.
|Older versions of iOS might be more stable on your device, especially if it’s an older model.
|Some users find that newer iOS versions slow down their device, so downgrading can potentially improve performance.
|No New Features
|You will miss out on any new features and improvements that come with the latest iOS updates.
|Older iOS versions may not have the latest security updates, leaving your device vulnerable.
|Some apps may require the latest iOS version to function correctly.
Before you decide to go back to a previous version of iOS on your iPhone, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Downgrading your iOS is generally discouraged by Apple as it can lead to security vulnerabilities and compatibility issues. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before proceeding.
Also, remember that not all iOS versions will be available for downgrade, as Apple stops signing older firmware after a certain period. Always make sure to back up your iPhone before starting the process, as it will erase all data. Lastly, this action may void your warranty or terms of service with Apple, so proceed with caution.
- Check if the desired iOS version is still being signed.
- Download the IPSW file for your iPhone model.
- Disable ‘Find My iPhone’ on your device.
- Connect your iPhone to your computer and open iTunes or Finder.
- Enter recovery mode on your iPhone.
- Restore your iPhone using the downloaded IPSW file.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I downgrade to any version of iOS?
No, you can only downgrade to iOS versions that are still being signed by Apple.
Will I lose my data if I downgrade my iOS?
Yes, downgrading will erase all data on your iPhone, so it’s important to back up your device before proceeding.
Can downgrading improve my iPhone’s performance?
Possibly, especially if you’re using an older iPhone model that’s not handling the new iOS updates well.
Is it legal to downgrade my iOS?
While not illegal, downgrading is against Apple’s terms of service and may void your warranty.
Will my apps still work if I downgrade my iOS?
Some apps may require the latest iOS version to work properly, so you might encounter compatibility issues after downgrading.
Going back to a previous version of iOS on your iPhone can be a bit of a tightrope walk. It involves a few risks, such as losing data, voiding your warranty, and missing out on the latest features and security updates. However, if you’re determined to return to a version of iOS you’re more comfortable with or if you’re facing issues with the latest update, following the steps outlined in this article can help you achieve that goal.
Always remember to back up your data and proceed with caution. If you’re unsure, consider seeking assistance from an experienced tech professional to guide you through the process. Happy downgrading!
Kermit Matthews is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with more than a decade of experience writing technology guides. He has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Computer Science and has spent much of his professional career in IT management.
He specializes in writing content about iPhones, Android devices, Microsoft Office, and many other popular applications and devices.