How to Go Back to a Previous Version of iOS on Your iPhone

Going back to a previous version of iOS on an iPhone involves using iTunes on a computer, downloading the appropriate IPSW file for your iPhone model, and using the Restore iPhone option with the downloaded file. This process is also known as downgrading and can be helpful if you’re experiencing issues with the latest iOS version or prefer the features of an older one.

After completing the downgrade, your iPhone will be running the older iOS version you selected. Keep in mind that you will lose any data that was not backed up before the downgrade, and some apps might not work if they require a newer version of iOS.


Have you ever updated your iPhone to the latest iOS version only to find out that you preferred the old one? Or perhaps the new update is causing problems with your device’s performance? If you’re nodding along, then you’re in the right place. Downgrading to a previous iOS version can sometimes save the day. But why is this topic important, and who needs to know about it?

Well, Apple periodically releases new iOS updates to introduce new features and improvements. However, not all updates go as planned – some may come with bugs that affect user experience. In such cases, going back to a stable version can be a wise move. This process is particularly relevant for app developers who need to test their apps on different iOS versions or for regular users who have compatibility issues with the newest software. Understanding how to downgrade iOS can come in handy in several situations and can save you from a lot of frustration.

Step by Step Tutorial on Downgrading iOS

Before starting the downgrade process, it’s crucial to understand what to expect. The steps below will guide you through downgrading your iPhone’s iOS to a previous version. However, you should only proceed if you’re certain about the change, as it involves restoring your phone and potentially losing data.

Step 1: Check for iOS Version Signing Status

Ensure that Apple is still signing the iOS version you want to install.

Apple only allows downgrades to iOS versions that are still being ‘signed’ – this means they are officially available for installation. You can check the signing status on websites like If the version is not signed, you won’t be able to downgrade.

Step 2: Back Up Your iPhone

Back up your iPhone to save your data.

Before you do anything drastic, it’s essential to back up your iPhone. You can use iCloud or iTunes for this. Remember, downgrading will erase your phone’s data, so this step is crucial to keep your photos, messages, and apps safe.

Step 3: Download the IPSW File for the iOS Version

Download the appropriate IPSW file for your iPhone model.

An IPSW file is a software firmware for iPhones. You’ll need to download the IPSW file for the iOS version you want to install. Make sure to download the correct file for your specific iPhone model from a reputable source.

Step 4: Connect Your iPhone to a Computer

Connect your iPhone to your computer and open iTunes.

With the IPSW file downloaded, connect your iPhone to a computer with iTunes installed. If you’re using a Mac with macOS Catalina or later, you’ll use Finder instead of iTunes.

Step 5: Enter DFU or Recovery Mode on Your iPhone

Put your iPhone into DFU or Recovery Mode.

To downgrade, your iPhone needs to be in Device Firmware Update (DFU) mode or Recovery mode. The process varies depending on your iPhone model, so look up the specific instructions for your device.

Step 6: Restore iPhone with the IPSW File

Use iTunes to restore your iPhone with the downloaded IPSW file.

In iTunes or Finder, you’ll find the option to ‘Restore iPhone’ while holding down the Option key (Mac) or Shift key (Windows). Select the IPSW file you downloaded earlier, and iTunes will begin the downgrade process.


Solves Performance IssuesIf the latest iOS version is causing your iPhone to lag or freeze, downgrading can restore performance to the level you enjoyed before the update.
Restores Preferred FeaturesSometimes, new updates remove or change features you loved. Downgrading lets you go back to a version with those features intact.
Helps with App CompatibilitySome apps may not work well with the latest iOS update. Downgrading ensures these apps run smoothly again.


Data Loss RiskIf you don’t back up your data before downgrading, you could lose it all. Always ensure you have a recent backup.
Security RisksOlder iOS versions may not have the latest security patches, making your iPhone more vulnerable to threats.
Limited Time Window for SigningApple only signs older iOS versions for a limited time after a new release. If you miss this window, you cannot downgrade.

Additional Information

When considering downgrading your iPhone’s iOS, there are additional factors to keep in mind. First, you should know that downgrading is not officially supported by Apple, meaning if you run into problems during the process, you may not get help from Apple support. Additionally, ensure your computer has the latest version of iTunes to avoid any compatibility issues during the downgrade.

It’s also worth noting that you can’t restore a backup made on a newer iOS version to a phone running an older iOS version. So, you may need to set up your iPhone as new after the downgrade, which can be a hassle.

Lastly, always check the latest tech forums or discussions about people’s experiences with the iOS version you’re planning to downgrade to. Sometimes, the grass isn’t greener on the other side, and staying with the latest version, despite its flaws, can be the better choice. It’s all about weighing the pros and cons before taking the plunge.


  1. Check for iOS version signing status.
  2. Back up your iPhone.
  3. Download the appropriate IPSW file.
  4. Connect your iPhone to a computer.
  5. Enter DFU or Recovery Mode on your iPhone.
  6. Restore iPhone with the IPSW file.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is IPSW?

IPSW stands for iPhone Software. It is a file format used by Apple to install iOS firmware on its devices.

Can I downgrade without a computer?

No, you need a computer with iTunes to downgrade your iPhone’s iOS.

Will I lose my data if I downgrade?

If you don’t back up your data before downgrading, yes, you will lose it. Always ensure you have a recent backup.

Can I downgrade to any iOS version I want?

No, you can only downgrade to iOS versions that Apple is still signing.

What if Apple is not signing the iOS version I want to install?

Unfortunately, you cannot downgrade to an iOS version that Apple is no longer signing.


Downgrading your iPhone’s iOS may seem daunting, but it’s a straightforward process if you follow the steps carefully. Whether you’re troubleshooting issues with the latest update or simply prefer an older version, knowing how to revert to a previous iOS can be a valuable skill.

Always remember to back up your data and check the signing status before attempting to downgrade. While it’s not without its risks, such as potential data loss and security vulnerabilities, the benefits of a more stable or preferred iOS experience can be worth it. So next time you’re contemplating a change, don’t be afraid to take the leap – armed with the right knowledge, you can confidently go back to a previous version of iOS on your iPhone.