So iOS 10 is out. And while we do think Apple’s “biggest release ever” is great and works as advertised on newer devices, the software update might not be to your liking, or it simply doesn’t run well on your iPhone or iPad. Which leaves you with one option: downgrade to the previous version of iOS.
Reverting to iOS 9 isn’t complicated and the process itself should only take minutes to complete. But you should do it sooner than later, as there’s only a small window of opportunity before Apple stops signing (read: approving) the last iOS build before a software upgrade. In due time (perhaps when the next update rolls out), downgrading won’t be possible, and you’ll be stuck with your least favorite iOS version.
But before we walk you through the roll-back process, make sure to backup your device first, either via iCloud or iTunes on a Mac or Windows computer. You won’t be able to use the backup on iOS 9 or older, but it’s better to have a fall-back option just in case things don’t go down so well. Your computer should be using the latest version of iTunes as well.
Oh, and one more thing: The downgrade process will install a fresh version of iOS 9.3.5 onto your device. If you don’t have an iOS 9 backup on iCloud or your computer, you’ll be left with a blank device with a few pre-installed applications.
So here’s how to revert to iOS 9 from iOS 10.
1. Download the appropriate iOS 9.3.5 file (ending in .ipsw) for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod model.
2. While the download is in progress, turn off the “Find My iPhone/iPad/iPod” feature on your phone (head to Settings > iCloud > Find My iPhone/iPad/iPod).
3. Connect your device to your Mac or Windows machine using a Lightning cable.
4. Launch iTunes,
5. Put your iOS device into DFU (Device Firmware Upgrade) mode. To do that, hold down both the home and power buttons for at least 10 seconds. When you see the Apple logo, let go of the power button but continue holding down the home button until the device enters DFU mode. iTunes will notify you when it is in recovery mode.
6. Select the device icon in the upper-left side of the iTunes window, then click on the “Summary” tab in the left column.
7. In the iTunes window, hold down the Option key on a Mac or the Shift key on a Windows computer, and choose the “Restore iPhone…” option.
8. A navigation window will appear, prompting you to select the file you downloaded earlier. Navigate to the folder where you saved the file, then select it.
9. iTunes will proceed to install iOS 9.3.5. Do not unplug your device for any reason until it reboots to the “Hello” screen.
10. At this point, you can restore an iOS 9.3.5 or older backup to get all your data and settings back. Again, you can’t use a backup made using iOS 10.
Were you able to roll back to a previous installation? Sound off in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you.