Useful Tips

Proven ways to roll back iOS to a previous firmware version


In personal use, I have the first “Minik” and iPod touch 5, and I can say with full confidence that Apple literally killed this generation of devices with every OS update, and as a result, the final version (9.3.5) worked not just badly on them , and disgusting, and this related not only to the smoothness of the interface, but also to the operation of the programs, I will highlight the Procreate graphics editor - in which when creating illustrations in retina resolution (2048x1536) the application crashed and in some cases did not save the project, in the end I had to do it all over again and carry the deadline n delivery of the project. In all other programs, the general symptoms are as follows - friezes, convulsive scrolling and delays in typing. In versions of iOS 8, such a hell was not observed.

Then I purchased another model of an apple tablet, but I continued to use my mini as a portable device for surfing the Internet and watching movies - in principle, it worked fine. But despite everything throughout the year, I continued to look for ways to roll back and jailbreak my mini-device, but everything was in vain, no utilities for this OS existed. And the other day I saw an exploit release on reddit that allows you to make Jail on old devices. The first thought was that this is another fake that can’t do anything. After he went to several domestic sites about Apple and saw articles devoted to this “event” - my happiness knew no bounds. I immediately ran to install the exploit on the device and looked for ways to roll back the firmware, but again it was bad, I didn’t find any utilities to do this and remembered about my iPod, which I updated from iOS 6.1.3 and instead of version 9.3.5 I got 8.4.1, which is very usable on old devices. And what I decided to do next and how to set up a jailbreak you will learn in the instructions below. :)

Is it possible to roll back iOS

The rollback procedure for the iOS operating system is possible on any Apple device - this is a Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV, and Apple Watch. Of course, you should not count on returning to the version of iOS 7, 8 or 9 on smartphones - the rollback works in those conditions that are predetermined by the developers. So, for example, if the opportunity appeared to test the beta version of iOS, then the opportunity for rollback will certainly appear, but until the first stable version following the beta.

Possible problems

The range of possible technical errors is extensive. There may be problems with activating the device after an incorrect rollback (the instructions described in the next chapter exclude such problems) rollback, difficulties associated with using biometric scanners, starting the camera and saving photos, playing music and even activating the mobile network. There are situations and much worse when, with the wrong algorithm of actions, neither smartphones, nor tablets, nor smart watches can no longer turn on without contacting the service center.

The only way not to encounter such fatal errors is to not follow instructions, use the firmware files from verified sources, improvise and in no case slow down devices connected to the PC via USB (if the wire goes away, the recovery process will be violated, but for serious consequences will follow).

Working methods

It is always worth starting the process of returning to the old version of the iOS operating system from the IPSW.ME website, a kind of database where independent developers have created a real cult of fans of Apple technology. Firstly, we have collected a whole collection of instructions and answers to frequently asked questions. So, for example, everyone can find out whether it is possible to install JailBreak on iOS 11.4, whether to download 12 Beta, how to turn off all service notifications and change the wallpaper.

And secondly, they took care of preserving the last ten official updates of the iOS operating system, and those versions to which it was really possible to roll back were marked with special green ticks. And here it is important to understand - the set of versions available for rollback is strictly limited and depends on the actions of Apple.

For example, if iOS Beta 12 appears specifically for developers, they will be allowed to roll back to 11. If beta 13 appears, then to stable 12 and so on. There is no way to install iOS 8, 9, 10 through IPSW.ME (and third-party methods), of course. Therefore, if there is a desire to roll back from beta to something stable - there is a way:

    First of all, it is important to choose a device. You can choose from iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, Apple Watch. Additionally, the iTunes version is restored, starting with 10.5.3 (if for some reason the tool stops working stably, does not process files as before or does not start at all, you can try changing the version. It may be relevant for both Windows and MacOS),

The second important step is to specify the classification of the device. So, for example, an iPhone is available, starting with 2G, iPad 1 or the first generation Apple Watch. If you recall which version of a smartphone, tablet or player is now in your hands, it’s worth going to the “Settings” and selecting “About device”. And further to continue the search. This is important - any inaccuracies at the selection stage can lead to unforeseen consequences. In the best case, to the loss of personal data (which can be easily restored from a backup copy), in the worst, to turning your favorite device into a “brick”,

Further it is important to choose the version of iOS to which rollback will be made. As a rule, the IPSW.ME service offers several options with a difference of several months. You can read more about the specifications of each version on the Apple website in the update logs,

The last step is to go to the build page of the operating system and click “Download”. Any save directory will do.

  • Initial preparation is complete - the files necessary for the rollback are downloaded, it remains to figure out the details.
  • Device Preparation

    Before recovering, it is important to disable the “Find iPhone” mode on any device suitable for rollback:

      Go to Settings. At the very top of the menu (on iOS 11) go to the settings of the current profile,

    Find the iCloud menu item. First of all, go to the “Backup” option and be sure to click “Enable”. During any rollback, all data available on the internal memory (including contacts, browser data associated with passwords and texts for autocomplete, as well as photos, applications and all settings) are automatically deleted and not restored without an available backup. If it’s a pity to lose data, then it’s worthwhile to understand the backup preparation right away,

    If there is no space left in iCloud, then an alternative is to create a copy via iTunes by connecting the device to the computer via USB and ticking the “Save copy to computer” option

    The first option is preferable - iCloud accesses memory more often and never misses important system updates,

    Copy created? It's time to move on to the most important thing

  • Scroll through the iCloud settings menu that opens to the “Find iPhone” option and move the lever from the active to inactive position. The system immediately prompts you to enter several passwords and codes confirming the right to use the device. First of all, it is important to specify data from Apple ID (if the data is forgotten, then the password and login are restored through the support service. When communicating with call center operators, you will have to name the key questions specified during registration and answers to them), and at the same time, if one different devices are connected to the profile, go through two-factor authentication. Thus, iOS is trying to protect itself from unauthorized access, and therefore it is worth treating such a sophisticated scan as calmly as possible.
  • And yet - without the function “Find iPhone (iPad, iPod, and so on), any Apple technique is under serious threat, and therefore you should not delay the recovery mode, it is better to get down to business immediately. And, after returning to the desired version of iOS, - immediately activate the function back.

    Recovery mode

    If the save firmware, with the backup and settings, did not encounter any problems, then it is time to move on to the point:

      Connect your iPhone, iPad, iPod, set-top box or smartwatch to your computer using a USB cable. It’s important to understand that the device should work (any battery level is suitable, the main thing is not to disconnect from the USB jack and not interrupt the recovery process, which Apple developers do not consider serious and dangerous, but it’s better not to risk it again),

    Without pressing any buttons (the network has long been offering to hold down the volume and lock key to switch to recovery mode, in fact, the process has long been simplified), go to the device’s page in iTunes (the button is marked in the screenshot and is located directly above the menu in the left part of the interface) ,

    On the page that opens, go to the settings (on the left!) And select the "Overview" item. All necessary information for recovery appears on the right. The current version of the operating system and the “Restore iPhone” button (the rest of the name depends on the device connected to the system), which you need to click on

  • The last rollback step is to select the downloaded firmware from the IPSW.ME website and initiate the rollback process. The process will take from 15 to 30 minutes. During this time, you should not even touch your favorite device, it is better to wait patiently.
  • IOS rollback is possible - the main thing is to carefully deal with the instructions described above and, most importantly, not to use the firmware downloaded from unverified sources.

    Rollback to previous iOS version

    So, if you have prepared the necessary things, and also created backup copies to restore your data, we will go directly to the rollback process, which, it is worth noting, is much easier to complete than it initially seems. We describe further actions in the form of a list:

    • First you need to disable software protection on your device. Go to Settings → iCloud → Find iPhone or iPad, and then deactivate protection. This is necessary in order to reflash your device.
    • Next, go to your computer and open iTunes on it. We remind you that you need to use the latest version of the program in order to avoid problems when flashing.
    • Now connect your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad to your computer using the USB cable. iTunes will begin the process of determining the device connected to the PC.
    • Once iTunes has completed the determination, go to the device’s control page.
    • Next, hold down the Shift button on the keyboard, and then click on "Update" in the open window for managing your device.
    • A Windows Explorer window will open in front of you, in which you will need to indicate the previously downloaded firmware. Once you do this, a confirmation message will appear asking you to install iOS. Confirm the request.

    That's all. By clicking on the confirmation, iTunes will begin the process of installing the previous version of iOS firmware. This may take some time, so you can get distracted by something. It is also worth recalling that the process of rolling back the firmware can in no case be disturbed only if you do not want to create a real brick for yourself, which will be much more difficult to bring back to life.

    The iOS firmware rollback will be completed when a welcome message appears on the screen of your device. After it, you can safely configure the device again, as well as use a pre-created backup to restore personal data and settings. As you can see, the process is extremely simple and does not require deep knowledge.

    When to roll back iOS

    The reasons for installing an older version of the operating system may be the following:

    • With new firmware versions, the design changes, and not all users may like the new design.
    • The most common cause is the appearance of freezes and glitches. There are similar problems for two reasons: either the new version of the firmware has become available to users in a too crude form, with errors in the code and flaws, or the device that has been updated has become outdated for the loads created by the new version of IOS.

    Please note that rollback of any device for any version is not possible, detailed information about which device to which firmware version can be rolled back can be viewed on the following website - All data is in table format.

    How to roll back iOS to a specific version on an Apple device

    Before you begin the process, you need to prepare the following things:

    • ITunes installed on your computer and updated to the latest version.
    • Downloaded to an easily accessible folder, the software version of your choice that has the IPSW format. You can download it from trusted websites that distribute iOS firmware for free, for example, at the following link - Download the firmware strictly for your device model, otherwise there will be problems during installation.
    • A USB adapter that connects your device to a computer.

    If all of the above conditions are met by you, then the next step will be to prepare the device itself for the rollback process.

    Saving important data

    Please note that when you roll back the device, all data, applications and media files from it are permanently erased, so you should take care of them. There is an option that allows you to delete files from the device, it will be discussed below in the article, but it is no less stable. You can save everything with a backup created as follows:

    1. Connect your device to your computer and launch iTunes.

    Firmware rollback

    If all the previous preparatory work has been carried out, then you can proceed to the rollback itself. It doesn’t matter from which device you are rolling back, and from which and to which version of IOS the transition will be made.

      Connect the device to the computer using the USB adapter.

    Rollback without data loss

    This rollback option also exists, it allows you to roll back without losing data on the device. To do this, in paragraph 4 of the "Rollback firmware" section, click on the "Restore" button, and the "Update" button. All other steps are exactly the same. The only thing worth considering is that performing a full recovery, that is, resetting the system and installing it from scratch, is safer, since the chance that any elements will remain from the previous version is much lower.

    Third-party rollback programs

    If for some reason the iTunes method is not suitable for you, then you can use the third-party RedSnow program. It is distributed free of charge for both Windows and Mac OS on the official website of the developer -

      After downloading and opening the program, select the Extras section.

    Is it possible to rollback individual applications

    If the goal of your system rollback is to install older versions of applications, then you should not carry it out, since there is a better option - use the special App Admin program. You can download it directly from the App Store for free. Thanks to this application, you can view all available versions of applications installed on your phone and roll back to them. To use the program, it is enough to select applications for rollback and enter a unique version number to which you need to drop the selected application.

    So, installing an older version of the software is possible on all devices from Apple, but you can not roll back to any version, but only to those that have the SHSH signature. The process can be performed both through the official iTunes application, and through third-party programs. The main thing is to download the correct version of the firmware and not interrupt the update process until it is completed.