Understanding the basics of downgrading iOS
Downgrading an iPhone or iPad to an earlier version of iOS can be an enticing proposition for various reasons. Maybe you want to use an old app that doesn’t work on the latest version of iOS, or you’re dissatisfied with the current version of iOS due to bugs and glitches. Whatever your reasons, you can’t just download and install an older version of iOS because Apple prohibits it. Downgrading iOS past Apple’s cutoff points is only possible with an unsigned IPSW file on your device. Here, we’ll walk you through the basics of downgrading iOS using an unsigned IPSW.
The first step to downgrade iOS is to find and download an unsigned IPSW file. An unsigned IPSW represents a firmware version that Apple no longer signs, making it nearly impossible to download through traditional methods. Older firmware versions are saved on third-party websites, so you’ll have to do a bit of searching online. Ensure that the IPSW file you intend to use is compatible with your specific Apple device. Also, make a backup of your current device data because a restore with an IPSW file erases everything on your device.
Once you have the unsigned IPSW downloaded on your device, connect it to your computer and open iTunes. Then, put your device in DFU mode. To enter DFU mode on an iPhone 8 or later, press and release the Volume Up button and then press and release the Volume Down button. Next, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the screen turns black. Then, hold the Sleep/Wake button along with the Volume Down button for five seconds. Finally, release the Sleep/Wake button and keep the Volume Down button held for another ten seconds. Your phone should now be in DFU mode. For iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, hold the Side button along with the Volume Down button for about ten seconds to enter DFU mode. For iPhone 6 and older models, hold the Home button along with the Sleep/Wake button for about ten seconds to enter DFU mode.
Once your device is in DFU mode, hold down the Shift key and click the Restore iPhone button in iTunes. Select the unsigned IPSW file that you downloaded earlier. iTunes will then verify the firmware and install the older version of iOS on your device. If this process is successful, you will have downgraded your iOS to an older version.
If you encounter any errors during the process or your device becomes stuck in recovery mode, you can try putting your device back into DFU mode and restoring it with the IPSW file again. If the process still doesn’t work, it may be best to contact Apple support for assistance.
In conclusion, downgrading iOS with an unsigned IPSW is not recommended for the average user. It’s a risky process that requires a bit of technical expertise. However, if you understand the basics and follow the appropriate steps, downgrading iOS can be a valuable tool for those wanting to experience an older version of iOS.
Checking for Device Eligibility and Firmware Compatibility
Before you begin the process of downgrading your iOS device, it is important to check if your device is eligible for downgrading and if the firmware version you want to downgrade to is compatible with your device. Apple signs each iOS firmware version for a limited amount of time, and once the signing window is closed, it becomes impossible to downgrade your device to that particular version.
To check the compatibility of your device and the firmware version, do the following:
- Make sure to have the device model number.
- Visit the ipsw.me website and enter your device model
- Select the iOS version you want to downgrade to from the list of available firmwares.
- The website will show you the signing status for that particular version. If the firmware is still signed, then you can proceed with the downgrade process.
- Make sure to download the correct IPSW file that matches your device model and firmware version.
It’s essential to note that not all devices are eligible for downgrading, and you can only downgrade to a specific firmware version that Apple is currently signing. If the firmware version you want to downgrade to is not signed, your device won’t accept the IPSW, and the downgrade process will fail. Also, devices on higher firmware versions are likely not to work with older software since the hardware components and system architecture have advanced over time.
Therefore, using an iPhone 7 to explain, the last iOS firmware version was 14.7.1, and if you wanted to downgrade from iOS 15 to 14.7.1, you could, in theory, take advantage of this option to stop a perceived decline in device performance, issues with app compatibility or slow-downs, or even to catch a jailbreak. However, as Apple has stopped signing iOS 14.7.1, this makes it impossible to downgrade to that version, unless you have saved SHSH blobs for iOS 14.7.1.
It’s worth noting that downgrading the iOS version of your device is not recommended and should only be done under strict consideration. It’s wise to keep your device running on the latest firmware version as it ensures optimal performance, security, and feature access. Only initiate the downgrade process if it’s imperative, and if you know what you’re doing.
Downloading an unsigned IPSW file for downgrading
When Apple releases a new iOS/iPadOS, it is always exciting to experience and explore the new features. However, users may experience performance issues, battery drain, or other problems on their old devices after updating to the latest iOS. To solve this issue, you can always downgrade iOS to a previous signed version.
Before downgrading to an older iOS version, you must download an unsigned IPSW for the iOS version that you want to downgrade to. This process is relatively easy, and you can do it using iTunes on your computer. It is essential to keep in mind that Apple only “signs” the current version of iOS, which means that older versions are not accepted by Apple anymore. Therefore, you will need to download an unsigned IPSW from a reliable source.
When downloading an unsigned IPSW for downgrading, you should follow these steps:
Step 1: Choose a reliable source
When searching for unsigned IPSW files online, you must be careful to choose a reliable source. Some sources might contain viruses, malware, or corrupted files that can damage your device. Always download from trusted sources to ensure that your device remains safe and secure.
Step 2: Download an unsigned IPSW file
Once you have selected a trusted source, you can go ahead and download the unsigned IPSW file. Depending on your internet speed, the download process may take some time. You should ensure that your device has sufficient battery life before starting the download process.
Step 3: Put your iPhone/iPad into recovery mode
Once you have downloaded the unsigned IPSW file, you need to put your device into recovery mode. To do this:
- Connect your iPhone/iPad to your computer using a USB cable
- Open iTunes on your computer
- Press and hold the power button and home button on your device at the same time
- Once you see the Apple logo, release the power button but keep holding the home button
- Your device should enter recovery mode, and iTunes should detect it shortly after
Step 4: Select the unsigned IPSW file
With your device in recovery mode, iTunes will show a message informing you that it has detected an iPhone/iPad in recovery mode. To downgrade iOS, you need to select the unsigned IPSW file that you downloaded earlier. To do this:
- Hold down the Alt/Option key if you are using a Mac, or the Shift key if you are using a Windows device
- Click on “Restore iPhone” (or iPad) in iTunes
- Select the unsigned IPSW file that you downloaded in step 2 and click “Open” to start the installation process
- Wait for the process to complete, and your device will restart with the older version of iOS installed
Once the downgrade process is complete, you should set up your device as new, or you can restore from a backup that you created before updating to the new iOS version.
In conclusion, downloading an unsigned IPSW file for downgrading iOS is a relatively easy process. However, it is essential to choose a reliable source and ensure that your device has sufficient battery life before starting the download process. Also, always remember to keep a backup of your important data before downgrading iOS to avoid losing essential data.
Using the IPSW file to downgrade the iOS version via iTunes
If you want to downgrade your iOS version using an unsigned IPSW file, here are the necessary steps to follow:
- Download the right IPSW file: The first thing you need to do before downgrading your iOS version using an IPSW file is to download the right file for your device. Make sure that the IPSW file is compatible with your device model and iOS version. You can easily download the right IPSW file from various websites online.
- Prepare your device: Before you connect your device to your computer, it’s important to back up all your important data to avoid losing them in the downgrade process. You can use iTunes or iCloud to back up your data. Also, ensure that your device has enough battery life or plug it into a power source to avoid interruption during the downgrade process.
- Put your device into recovery mode: Connect your device to your computer using a USB cable and launch iTunes. To put your device into recovery mode, follow these steps:
- Press and hold the Power button and Home button simultaneously until you see the Apple logo on your device’s screen.
- Release the Power button but keep holding the Home button until your device’s screen turns black.
- Once your screen turns black, release the Home button. Your device should now be in recovery mode.
- Select IPSW file and downgrade: Next, hold down the Shift key (on Windows) or Option key (on Mac) and click on the “Restore iPhone” button. A new window will pop up, allowing you to select the IPSW file you just downloaded. Click on the IPSW file and then click on the “Open” button to continue. iTunes will now verify the IPSW file and start downgrading your device to the specified iOS version.
- Wait for the downgrade process to complete: The downgrade process may take several minutes, depending on your device’s model and the size of the IPSW file. Your device may restart several times during the process, so don’t be alarmed. Once the process is complete, iTunes will display a message that your device has been restored to the selected iOS version.
- Set up your device: Lastly, you will need to set up your device and restore your data from your backup. Follow the prompts displayed on your device’s screen to complete the setup process. Once done, you should now be able to use your device with the downgraded iOS version.
It’s important to note that downgrading your iOS version comes with some risks. Your device may become unstable or lose some of its functionalities, and some apps may stop working. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you know what you’re getting into before downgrading your iOS version. It’s also recommended to consult with an expert or do extensive research before undertaking the process.
Troubleshooting common problems during the downgrade process
Downgrading iOS can be a tricky process, and problems are bound to arise during the process. Here are some of the common problems that people encounter during the downgrade process and how to fix them:
1. iTunes Error 3194
This error is one of the most common errors that people encounter while downgrading their iOS. This error occurs when iTunes is unable to connect to the Apple server to authenticate the firmware because the firmware is no longer being signed by Apple. Several methods can be used to resolve this error. One of the most popular methods is to edit the host file on your computer.
To edit the host file on your computer, follow these steps:
- Open the “Notepad” app on your computer with administrative privileges.
- Click on “File” and select “Open”.
- Go to the “C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc” folder.
- Choose the “All files” type from the drop-down menu in the bottom right corner of the screen and open the “hosts” file.
- Add this line at the end of the file: 18.104.22.168 gs.apple.com
- Close the file and restart iTunes.
2. IPSW File is Corrupted
If you receive an error message stating that the IPSW file is corrupted, you will need to download the IPSW file again from a trusted source. This error is typically due to a poor internet connection or an incomplete download of the IPSW file. Ensure you have a stable and robust internet connection before attempting to download the IPSW file again.
3. iPhone stuck in Recovery Mode
Sometimes, when downgrading an iOS, the iPhone might get stuck in recovery mode. It can be frustrating to be stuck in this mode. The good news is that there are several ways to fix this problem, and the most straightforward way is to exit recovery mode. You can quickly exit recovery mode by doing the following:
- Press and hold the “Power” and “Home” buttons simultaneously for about 10 seconds.
- Release the “Power” button but keep holding the “Home” button until you see the “connect to iTunes” logo graphic on the screen.
- Connect your iPhone to your computer and click “OK” when prompted by iTunes.
- Click on the “Restore iPhone” option.
- Wait for iTunes to download the firmware and restore your device to the previous iOS version. This process may take several minutes.
4. DFU Mode not Working
DFU (Device Firmware Update) mode is a process that helps to restore your iPhone to a particular firmware. However, this process can fail, and you might need to troubleshoot this problem. One of the most efficient ways to deal with DFU mode not working is to ensure that you have the correct timing when entering DFU mode. You must follow these steps below to enter DFU mode correctly:
- Connect your iPhone to your computer and open iTunes.
- Press and hold the power button and home button simultaneously for 10 seconds.
- Release the power button but keep holding the home button for another ten seconds.
- You will know you have entered DFU mode when the iPhone’s screen goes black.
5. iTunes Error 9
Another common issue that occurs while downgrading iOS is iTunes Error 9. This error can occur because of a faulty USB port or insufficient power supply. Ensure that you have a strong enough power supply to support your iPhone’s firmware updates. Another approach to troubleshoot this error is to use a different USB port or another computer entirely.
If none of these tips fix the error, you may need to take your device to an Apple service center for a more in-depth diagnosis.