How to downgrade an iPhone to an older version of iOS that is no longer signed by Apple

At last year’s WWDC 2021 conference, the Cupertinos promised to develop iOS 14 and the new iOS 15 in parallel. It was assumed that users would be able to choose between updating to the latest version of the system or receiving updates to the current version of iOS.

Later, the idea was abandoned, and recently it was announced at all that the iOS 14.8.1 update would be the last and there would be no more new security updates for the fourteenth line of firmware.

The Cupertinos have never allowed downgrading the firmware (downgrade is only available a few days after the release of the new system) on mobile devices and in every possible way block third-party ways to do this. Old versions of iOS simply do not pass the test on the company’s servers and do not receive permission to install.

However, there is a way to downgrade the firmware version by iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, but with certain restrictions.

How it works

Recently, enthusiasts discovered a loophole with which you can downgrade some versions of iOS. This is not a bug, but a specially left “window” for corporate users. Using this method, you can roll back your iPhone or iPad to the previous version of the system. It can be done within 90 days since the release of the next firmware version.

Perhaps this is how they tried to protect the corporate segment from unsuccessful updates or inconsistencies between the software used and the new firmware. For example, if a specific application is found to be incompatible with the new iOS, companies will have three months to fix the problem.

Project authors Delayed OTAs made this downgrade mechanism publicly available. Now you can roll back the firmware on an iPhone or iPad, despite Apple’s restrictions, but with the same requirements regarding the 90-day statute of limitations.

For example, if you go to the site with firmware ipsw.me and select iPhone 11, you will see that the only signed version of the system for this gadget is iOS 15.2.1.

With Delayed OTAs, you can rollback to the following firmware versions:

◉ iOS 15.2 until April 14
OS iOS 15.1 until March 13
◉ iOS 14.8.1 until March 13
◉ and even for iOS 14.8 until January 24th.

Data on the project website are updated in real time, and if the Cupertino team changes the timing of a possible downgrade, the current information will be included in the table.

The ability to roll back to older firmware versions can be useful for jailbreak enthusiasts or those who just want to go back to previous versions of the software.

What do you need to downgrade

► Computer with operating system macOS or Windows.

► Apps Apple Configurator 2 (for Mac) or iBackupBot and iTunes (for Windows PC).

► Backup to recover iPhone or iPad data. During the downgrade process, all data from the iPhone will be deleted.

If you want to upgrade from conditional iOS 15.2 on iOS 15.0, then an up-to-date copy of the data in the cloud will suit you. It can be deployed on a gadget with any version of iOS 15 without restrictions.

If you want to roll back the device, for example, to iOS 14.8.1, then you will need a local backup of data on your computer since using iOS 14, you will not be able to deploy a new backup after a downgrade.

To this topic: Apple Configurator 2 miracle program review. Restorer and multitool for iPhone and Mac owners

You can even roll back, and then manually transfer all the necessary data to the device. You never know, maybe there are such users.

There is a certain limitation: when using this method, you will not be able to use other profiles installed on the iPhone. If you have, for example, a developer profile for app signing or a profile for iOS betas installed, you will need to deselect them for this method to work.

How to prepare iPhone for downgrading on Mac

1. Launch the application Apple Configurator 2 on your Mac and connect your iPhone to your computer with a cable.

2. Click the button Prepare in the top bar of the app.

3. Select an item Manual Configuration and mark the flag Supervise Device.

4. In the next step, select Do not enroll in MDM.

5. You should skip the Apple ID authorization step (button Skip).

6. Next, enter any username.

7. In the next step choose Generate a new supervision identity.

8. In the last step, do not change the settings and click the button Prepare.

By the way, here you can see how you can block certain options and even disable the initial configuration of some modules for a corporate smartphone.

After that, the smartphone will be restarted and reset to factory settings. If everything is done correctly, after turning on in the settings you will see the inscription “This iPhone is accompanied and managed by an organization”. In essence, you made your gadget corporate by acting as an administrator.

It remains only to install a special profile for iOS downgrade.

How to Prepare iPhone for Downgrade on Windows PC

For the Windows operating system, there are no tools for configuring and corporate control of gadgets. You will have to use third-party software and do some manual manipulations.

1. Connect your iPhone to your computer and create a local backup using iTunes. Be sure to remember the backup encryption password, you will need it later.

2. Launch the application iBackupBot.

3. Click File – Open and specify where to save the local copy. You can find out where backups are stored for different operating systems here.

4. After the backup opens in the application, go to the section System Files.

5. Find a folder ConfigurationProfiles (you can use the built-in search).

6. Click the button Restore and mark the flags Reboot device after restore and Don’t copy backup.

7. Enter the backup encryption password that you specified in the first step and click OK.

8. The smartphone will reboot with reset parameters and content.

If everything is done correctly, after turning on in the settings you will see the inscription “This iPhone is accompanied and managed by an organization”.

How to Downgrade iOS

When the smartphone is ready to install the profile, do the following:

◈ Go to DelayOTA website. Here you will see profiles for iOS versions that you can downgrade to. Next to each update is the date until which it will be available.

◈ Select the desired firmware and download the corresponding profile. Please note that the profiles of older devices are different from the profiles iPhone 12/13 and downloaded from a separate section below.

◈ Install the profile on your smartphone along the way Settings – General – VPN and device management (the procedure is similar to installing a profile for iOS beta versions) and restart your device.

◈ Go to Settings – General – Software Update and you will see the available iOS update according to the selected profile.

◈ Download and install the update on iPhone.

After the update is completed, you will be able to deploy a backup copy on your smartphone that is suitable for the corresponding generation of iOS. Recall that iOS 15 backups cannot be deployed to any version of iOS 14.

Get a smartphone or tablet with the right version of the operating system and you won’t need to update your device in the future.


Source: iPhones.ru — Новости высоких технологий, обзоры смартфонов, презентации Apple by www.iphones.ru.

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