How to Roll Back to an Earlier iOS / iPadOS Version Using iMazing

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Silverdragon
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Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:39 pm Post

WARNING: This is not for the faint of heart. It will require an hour or more for EACH device you want to roll back. It makes use of the iMazing app for Mac. (There is also an iMazing version for Windows, but as I only have access to a Mac, I can't guarantee the directions below will work quite the same on Windows.) Finally, Apple is reputed to "unsign" older versions of iOS rather quickly so that restoration is impossible. Roll back as soon as you're sure that you want to!

If you've already been using iMazing to back up your iOS devices, great! Scroll through your backups to locate one that was made on the iOS version (in this case, iOS 12.4.1) that you want to restore, If you've got one, super! If not, but you have one on your Mac that was made by iTunes before you upgraded to the version you want to avoid, you may still be OK. Honestly, I've never used the iCloud iOS backup option, so I don't know if it will work, but it's worth a shot.

Worst case, with no device backup for the earlier version, you'll have to set up your iPhone / iPad as if it were brand new, manually download your apps, fix your settings so they suit you, etc. But—you'll have your old iOS version back! And if you can restore from a version before the problematic system upgrade, you're golden. If you have more than one iOS device to revert, I suggest you revert one at a time all the way to configuration complete, A working iOS device will make your reversion easier—you can copy some settings from it after reversion automatically, and you'll have an example of how you like to set up your devices if you have to restore manually.

Be sure to backup any data that doesn't reside in a cloud service so you can restore it later!

The process:

  1. Install Imazing if you haven't already.
  2. Download the .ipsw image file for the iOS version you want to revert to from IPSW Downloads.
    1. You'll need your "Axxxx" model number for your iOS device. You can find it either on the back of your iOS device, or under Settings->General->About. If the Settings app shows a model number that begins with an M, just tap it and the model number beginning with A should be shown.
    2. Click on the "Identify My Device" link on the IPSW.me site, select your device type (iPhone, iPad, etc.) and enter the Axxxx model number.
    3. Select the version you want to download, and then click the download button. WARNING: the site is heavily ad-supported. Be sure to click the real download link! it's inside a blue box and will have the download size in parentheses.
  3. Connect the device you're going to revert to your Mac with a USB cable.
  4. Launch iMazing.
    1. You''ll see that iMazing has four panels. Select the device you want to revert from the left-hand panel. It should appear in the right-hand panel.
    2. Scroll down in the third panel, and click on "Reinstall iOS / iPadOS".
    3. Tap on the "Restore from .ipsw" button and select your downloaded ,ipsd file
    4. Be sure to check the "Erase all data" box. My experience is that the installation won't work if you don't.
    5. You'll get a warning dialog as in Figure 1 below. Go ahead and click Continue, but heed the warning about iTunes! If iTunes pops up (and it did for me, twice), click "Cancel" in its dialog box, and quit it, as in Figure 2 below.
    6. Eventually, you will get the set of screens on your iOS device that you get on a brand new out-of-the-box device! Ignore the offer to restore for now, and get to the Home screen as quickly as you can. But be sure to NOT turn on automatic updates!
    7. Your should now have the iOS / iPadOS verson you want! If you have a backup from before your ill-considered upgrade, go ahead and use it to restore now in whatever backup software you have. Otherwise, go about updating your settings, installing apps, etc. to bring your device back to life. Again, check to be sure you've turned off automatic updates! This is at the very bottom of the Settings app->General->Software Update panel. Triple check this!
    8. Ignore all of Apple's future pernicious attempts to get you to upgrade before you're ready.
Screenshot_2019-10-01_15_11_26.jpg
Figure 1. Cancel iTune's dialog and quit iTunes.
Screenshot_2019-10-01_15_11_26.jpg (104.04 KiB) Viewed 3840 times

Screenshot_2019-10-01_15_12_32.jpg
Figure 2. Erase your device before re-installing an older system.
Screenshot_2019-10-01_15_12_32.jpg (129.82 KiB) Viewed 3840 times
  • Fiction-writer curled up on her TP hoard.
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Silverdragon
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Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:50 pm Post

I'm glad you found it helpful, @TerranceM!

I do have an update: the IPSW Downloads site https://ipsw.me/ has changed they way it asks you to identify your device. It now asks you to first select your device from a list of images---fine. It then asks you to select a "platform." If you're lucky, there's only one choice for your device. For my iPhone 8+, though, I was asked to choose between a "global" and a "GSM" version. This is not something that can be found in the "About" section of the "General" settings, and I've never seen that designation on any of Apple's literature. But you can find out!

Go ahead and find the "Axxxx" model number as I described above. Then go to https://www.theiphonewiki.com/wiki/Models and search for your Axxxx model number in the page. You'll find an entry in a table which will let you find the "model identifier". For example, my iPhone 8+ has a model number of A1897. The Model Identifier for that model number is iPhone 10,5.

Back at IPSW Downloads, click on one of the possible "platforms" for your device. Then click on "Device Information". You'll see a Model Identifier listed. If it matches the one you found on theiphonewiki, great! If not, return to the "select platform" page. Repeat until you've found the downloads page that matches your model identifier. Then, select the system version you want to download, and proceed as I described above.

Hope this helps!
  • Fiction-writer curled up on her TP hoard.
  • Mac Scrivener 3.1.5, MacBook Air 11, MacOS 10.15.6 (Catalina)
  • IOS Scrivener 1.2.1; iPad 6; i(Pad)OS 14.0.1
  • Website: https://silverdrag0n.wordpress.com

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Lewis-H
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Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:21 pm Post

How to Roll Back to an Earlier iOS / iPadOS Version Using iMazing
Install Imazing if you haven't already.
Download the . ipsw image file for the iOS version you want to revert to from IPSW Downloads.
Connect the device you're going to revert to your Mac with a USB cable.
Launch iMazing.

Ma
Max44
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:25 pm
Platform: Mac

Sat Apr 18, 2020 2:08 pm Post

Press and hold the "Shift" key, then click the "Restore" button in the bottom right of the window to choose which iOS file you want to restore with. Select the file for your previous iOS version from the "iPhone Software Updates" folder you accessed