How to downgrade iOS 7 beta back to iOS 6

How to downgrade iOS 7 beta back to iOS 6

Lots of people itch to try new iOS beta versions when they become available and iOS 7 has definitely attracted lots of people that were curious to try out the new features ahead of time. If you were one of those and didn't heed our warning about betas, you may find yourself frustrated with lots of bugs and annoyances.

Fortunately, there's a pretty easy way to get back onto iOS 6 without too much fuss. If you're regretting the decision to install iOS 7 beta, follow along and we'll help you get back to iOS 6.

Update: Are you on the official version of iOS 7?

As of writing this, Apple has released the official version of iOS 7 to the public and has stopped signing iOS 6 altogether. Which means as of now, you can not downgrade to iOS 6 from iOS 7 any longer.

We are receiving tons of messages from users still trying to downgrade. You will get an error message saying you are not eligible for the selected build. These directions were for users trying to downgrade from a beta version of iOS 7 before it was released to the public. If you're running the public version, these instructions will no longer work.

You've been warned.

Before you begin

Please keep in mind that if you downgrade back to iOS 6, you'll only be able to go to the most current version, which is 6.1.4 for iPhone 5 users and 6.1.3 for iPhone 4S and below. When it comes to iCloud backups, you won't be able to use an iOS 7 backup on an iOS 6 device, so be aware that you're going to lose any information you may have in those backups.

You also won't be able to recover any jailbreak with saved blobs. If you're still wanting to downgrade after understanding all this, continue on...

How to downgrade from iOS 7 beta to iOS 6

  1. First download the most recent firmware file for your device from our downloads section. Save it somewhere easy to access such as your desktop.
  2. Launch iTunes on your Mac or PC.
  3. Now you'll need to plug in your device and put it in DFU mode, NOT recovery mode. If you don't know how to do this, you can click here for directions. Once it's in DFU, return to this guide to complete the downgrade. Make sure the screen is black and does not say connect to iTunes. This is recovery mode, not DFU. Try again until you successfully achieve DFU mode and have a black screen before continuing.
  4. Once you're device is in DFU mode, you'll see a message pop up from iTunes saying the device can't be used until it's restored. Just click Ok.
  5. Now hold down the alt/option key (Shift for PC users) on your keyboard and click on Restore iPhone in iTunes.
  6. Navigate to the firmware file for iOS 6 that you saved in the first step and click Open.

Now just let iTunes do its thing and if all goes according to plan, your device should eventually reboot and be downgraded to iOS 6 again.

If you've managed to successfully downgrade your device to iOS 6 again, let us know how it went in the comments!

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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How to downgrade iOS 7 beta back to iOS 6

121 Comments

I just did this last night. It worked fine just restoring with the phone on. I didn't need to put my iPhone 5 into dfu mode at all. It did give me an error at first that iCloud backup needed to be turned off before I could restore the phone. Not sure if that's a new security feature or not.

No you don't have to but not using DFU can create issues. Which is why I recommend the correct and right way to do it. DFU is the safest bet so that's what I feel comfortable telling users to do.

Sent from the iMore App

I put my iPhone 5 is in DFU mode but when I try to downgrade to 6.1.4, I get the message "The iPhone could not be restored because the firmware file is not compatible". It is definitely in DFU mode because the screen is black. Is there anything else I can try?

To be on the safer side, just get a backup recovery software so that important data (like contacts, texts, photos etc) can be kept safe. I got Total Saver and guess its a bargain for the petty price its offered for and for the invaluable data that I backed up and export so that haphazard that could have be caused due to the downgrade could be mitigated. Will totally recommend playing safe on this one. Get a backup recovery software - http://www.myphonedata.com/

Hope this helps you.
~Alyssa

My friend tried downgrading from iOS 7 back to iOS 6 and it won't let him turn it back on, it just says activation error. What should he do about that to fix it?

I am running on ios 7 official update.. And its too slow on iphone 4 as having only 1 ghz processor.. I loved my phone till it had ios6 but regretting that moment when i updated into ios7
How can i get it back.. Please tell me ALLYSON asap, i wnt to see my old smooth running i phone back :(

Hi Allyson

Today I was reading about how you downgraded back to ios 6.1.3. My question is . Is this functional with the ipad 2. I knida upgraded to the new version but I didnt like it can I down grade back to 6.1.3

The phone doesn't need to be put in DFU mode. You can simply restore it from the backup and it'll go through without any problems.

I upgraded to iOS7 on my non-primary device and then rolled back. I may very well be mistaken, but I've been experiencing problems with my cellular network since... (Calls dropping, low signals, etc.) From what I gather, after I restored, my baseband reverted back to that of iOS 6 as well (3.04.25).

It is highly possible that this may be network issues in my area as WaridTel had been experiencing a few issues the previous week...

This is one of the many issues that can arise when not restoring via DFU. So yes, to avoid issues you must use DFU.

Sent from the iMore App

Hello, i use iphone 4s, i can do jailbreak and use iphone 2 days then i reset iphone then my iphone will processing for reset 6 hours , i cannot do any work for since 8 hours, please tell what i do that my iphone will be in eorking condition

I did this last night and it won't let me get past the activation screen it says that a apple Id has been used with the device and for me to log in I try and it keeps telling me that I input the wrong password or id which is wrong....

Sent from the iMore App

I had the same problem.
Just ignore iTunes and do all the activation stuff on your phone and it will be fine.
Good luck :-)

May I know if I will lose any data if I back up via iTunes before I downgrade to iOS 6 from iOS 7??

Restoring an iOS 7 backup to an iOS 6 device does not work, you can use a data iPhone Backup Extractor to get your data from the iOS 7 iTunes backup if you need it.

So I understand that iCloud iOS7 backups won't apply to iOS6 but will iTunes backups made with iOS 7 apply when you roll back to iOS 6? If this is a no then I might just have to tough it out, I have gotten some important texts since I put the beta on my 4S.

No, iOS 7 backups on iTunes won't work if you downgrade back to iOS 6 either. You could always just use something like iExplorer or PhoneView to make a copy of the texts you need.

what if i saved the backup folder from the ios 6? and when i try to downgrade to ios 6, i overwrite the ios 7 backup folder with the ios 6 (since it's holding the same name).... wouldn't it resolve the issue?

I have many slots available and am activating UDIDs for 5 USD via paypal. Paypal email is Monkeygamer3213@gmail.com please put your UDID in the note with payment. I also accept Bitcoin or Litecoin for a discounted price, email me if you would like to pay with BTC or LTC.

I'm trying to go back but it won't let me. It says the firmware isn't compatible but I know I downloaded the right one. The 6.1.4 for the iphone 5 (GSM)...Following all the steps but it's not working. Someone please help and DON'T EVER DOWNLOAD A BETA... IT'S NOT WORTH IT..I WISH I KNEW THIS. Thanks in advance

You do realize that the betas are mainly for developers that want to test out their apps on the new OS, right? It's a beta because they know that it isn't perfect and isn't ready for general consumption. That's why you need a developer account to download the beta.

Downgraded my iPhone 4 from iOS 7 to iOS 6.1.3 so I could sell it. Now the person to whom I sold it can't activate the device for it asks my Apple ID. Any other ID will be refused. How can I "unlink" my account from that device?

Hey guys, I have an iPhone 4 (gsm, at&t). I just recently tried out ios 7 but it said my phone isn't registered so now I'm trying to rollback to ios 6.1.3 but none of the ispw 6.1.3 or 6.1.2 works, it says they're not compatible with my phone. So now I'm stuck in ios 7 and I cant use it because I'm not a part of the developer's team. please someone help.

Worked perfectly fine for me. Plus i had a backup on my computer before i updated to iOS 7. Thanks for the advice!

please help me ! ******
i updated my iphone 4s to ios7. unfortunately my little bro just tapped to erase everything and now wants to activate from apple, needs a udid account but i dont have. i tried this but n results on DFU mode... what should i do ? :(

I did all these steps, but after I restored it with the firmware, my device couldn't be restored. I'm stuck at iOS 7 :( Help me.

Hey guys just wanted to offer my 2 cents on some help. I too upgraded and got the dreaded downgrade issue when trying to restore to 6.1.4. If you are one of those unfortunate ones that can NOT seem to downgrade to save your life, and can not restore to 7 Beta without activation then take a try at this.

DISCLAIMER : This is what worked for me, it may or may not be your best option. Proceed at your own discretion and understand that risks are being taken. This method is for those who have tried all methods to no avail and have deemed the UDID registration method as a last resort effort to regain some functionality of their phone. I am not responsible for any damages you may incur to your device during or after trying this process.

This is the ONLY fixed that worked for ME. It may be different for you guys but as of now I've spend 2 days non stop trying to restore my iPhone from its brick and the only way to get it to work was to compromise. You can not return it to apple in its bricked state because they will not warranty a device thats on iOS 7 if you are not a registered developer, especially since its the software causing the issue and in their agreement you chose to accept the consequences of a faulty device.

"The Cheap's Way Fix"

This fix works if you have the following errors :

ERROR 14
ERROR 21
ERROR 11
ERROR 3914 Or "Corrupt download"

I've encountered all these errors while trying to fix the issue and here's how I finally did it, keep in mind it does involve a compromise. As you will end up having to register to get your iPhone out of this dreaded boot loop , either that or if non of the other fixes work for you, you will have a really luxurious paperweight until fall rolls around with the official iOS 7 Release.

My specs are an ATT iPhone 5 - "28"

1.If you are stuck in the DFU screen/boot loop/bricked state. Restore to iOS 7 Beta. Get your iPhone to the activation screen and touch NOTHING.

( If your iPhone is in this stage retrieving the UDID a normal way will be near impossible. Itunes will give you an error asking to register your UDID I.D. and if your phone is bricked/unactivated you can not install any apps to reveal your UDID. Redsn0w as of now is your only option.

2.Downloaded the latest version of Redsn0w. Open it up and it will recognize your iPhone. Go to the Extra's/More Tab. In there you will see a host of options. Select Device info. It will then display a screen with all of your device information. Scroll down until you see the ucid tab. Copy that 40 digit number.

3. Find a site that registers UDID's. Some are instant some are not, do your own search and choose whatever service fits you best. UDID's registration technically runs around $10.00 USD

4. After you get your UDID registered, try once again to restore your phone to 6.1.4 effectively putting it back into its bootloop stage.

5. After this restore once again to iOS 7 and enjoy your once again half usable phone (Since iOS7 is extremely broken at this point). If everything is done right you should be able to activate your phone with NO issues.

On the upside to all of this madness, yes you will have a halfway broken phone until iOS 7 is polished, but at least since your UDID is registered, for the next year or so you can enjoy all the beta releases that will be offered to developers without having to circumvent the normal process.

Hope this works for you guys and let me know if any issues ! Good luck.

I'm currently on ios7 beta. I wanted to downgrade it since it really consumes too much battery. A lot faster than it was on ios6. My friend did the same thing downgrading it but she lost everything. App, contacts, texts. How can I downgrade without losing everything? Please badly need your advice. I am now downloading the ios6 firmware.

is there anyone that will let me use there developer account because i have ios 7 but i cannot activate because i dont have a developer account please some one im begging i really like the new ios but cant use it. well if anyone is willing to do this please email me at outlookgonzo@gmail.com.

hello i want to downgrade my iphone 4 ios 7 to ios 6 and what i did first was erase everything because i thought it would of erased the new ios 7 software but it didnt. i tried to do everything but nothing works PLEASE HELP ME!

Was ur iPhone a 4? If so exactly what did u do to downgrade. My hubby hates it & I'm going to try to do the 'said impossible' and get his phone back to the ios6. Thanks a bunch

right now i have iOS 7 on my iphone 4s, but it did not work. i want to restore to ios 6.1.3 but it say ''you must turn off find my phone on my iphone'' i cant open my iphone right now because of ios 7 have a problem on my iPhone. any idea to get my iphone 4s into ios 6.1.3 back? please help me, its urgent!!

if you want to downgrade your ios 7 to ios 6.1.3 in your iphone 4s,, first download ipsw compatible on your phone then download redsnow 0.9.15b3..put your device in dfu mode..next open the redsnow then click even more,, next click restore, and then click the ipsw to locate your 6.1.3 ipsw...then click the remote..and wait for the process..:-)goodluck..

I got ios6 back but it deleted my contacts and messages. Also now some of my apps don't work. Including instagram. This is frustrating like crazy. I tried everything to fix my app problem but I still can't use some of my apps. PLEASE HELP

I tried downgrading it from the iOS 7 to the recent one for iPhone 4s but when i connect my iPhone 4s to iTunes it says that my device is not in the iPhone developer program. I can't get onto my phone at all .

Worked like a charm, it was really easy to put it in DFU mode aswell, from the first time. When your USB sound pops for the first time, let go of the top button and keep the home button pressed untill your PC USB sound goes ba-dum again, then it's automatically in DFU mode. No hassle, 10 minute job!

if you want to downgrade your ios 7 to ios 6.1.3 in your iphone 4s,, first download ipsw compatible on your phone then download redsnow 0.9.15b3..put your device in dfu mode..next open the redsnow then click even more,, next click restore, and then click the ipsw to locate your 6.1.3 ipsw...then click the remote..and wait for the process..:-)goodluck..100% working

After putting your iPhone 4 in DFU mode you just click 'Restore iPhone' and it will restore to the latest iOS 6.1.3 (by restoring the iPhone to its factory settings). It uses the latest iOS 6.1.3 that iTunes has already stored on your Mac (in my case) previously. Pushing the 'alt'-button, selecting a downloaded iOS 6.1.3 and then clicking 'Restore iPhone' will get you the 'this firmware is not compatible' error.

Well i know i got the right one but it still says the firmware file is not compatible please help i got it for my mom and she just cant cope with the fact this is a beta pls pls pls help me

seriously, is there any way to do this without wiping all the data? because all my icloud backups are made on ios 7 so there's no way to restore it. so i will lose all my data. i really wanna go back to ios 6, please help meeeeeeeeee

I backed up my phone before I upgraded to ios 7, if I downgrade to ios 6 will everything I backed up before the upgrade be restored to my phone? -iphone 5 t-mobile

Hey, I just did the same thing, and yes, everything is back as it was. Make sure you stop the sync when you plug your phone in, though.

Okay, so. I have a 4s, and I have the old backup from before I upgraded to iOS 7. I hate iOS 7 so I want to go back to iOS 6.
I know how to do everyhting else, except I don't have a lock button so I don't know how to enter DFU mode, and I'm scared to do it without being in DFU mode. I don't want things to not work.
I youtubed videos to figure it out but they're all scams and people being jerks.
Please help me.

I cant put mine into DFU mode.. but also the Ios6 is a 'zipped' folder so I cant open it in the restore part? what do I do?

This worked beautifully, thank you. Watching the video instruction on putting the phone into DFU mode was very helpful.

This worked GREAT for me! I was so miserable with iOS 7 beta 3 on my iPad, and these directions worked just fine for that as well. Please note, that you'll need 6.1.3 for iPad. It was pretty easily located via Google search!

Thank you!! Worked like a charm! IOS7 is NOT for me, and with quite a few of my apps not working correctly, I saw no reason to keep it. Unfortunately I tried to restore from a backup which is NOT the way to go, and got myself in a jam. Your instructions worked perfectly, thank you so much!!

To anyone who might be reading this BEFORE upgrading to iOS7: DO NOT UPGRADE! This article just SAVED MY LIFE! I have been using the iOS7 beta since it came out, and it has been NOTHING BUT TROUBLE!!! I've tried downgrading once before, without any luck. Today, my phone went into a complete shutdown, and I was freaking out for quite a while, until I finally stumbled upon this article, followed the instructions and saved my phone! THANK YOU!

I have installed iOS 7 Beta 2, but there was many bugs in that and my most of apps was crashing so I downgrade from iTunes by "Restore iPhone" then iTunes Download the iOS 6.1.3 for my 4S and I successfully installed and restored my phone.

I don't understand why people still publish tutorials like this.
Developer Previews are not for Muggles.
If you couldn't wait for the final release, live with it.
iOS downgrades are not supported by Apple.
So please don't complain if you tried anyway.

Ok I've got a huge problem. I successfully downgraded back to the latest iOS 6 version and my back up worked fine, but now more that half my apps don't load. They don't crash they just sit on the loading screen forever (I let one sit just to see what happens and It sat for an hour and a half still "loading"). I've done everything that anybody would do with app that don't work, deleted and reinstalled, multiple phone reboots, syncs, all the works but they still get stuck on the infinite load screen. My only theory is that because these apps were run in ios7 beta, they won't run in earlier iOS versions. If anybody can help me solve this problem, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks for the help. Worked great. In my experience, after I restored to iOS6, I saw that iCloud had several iOS7 backups and several iOS6 backups. I was able to choose the latest iOS6 one and am now happily restored. Regardless of my success, I would recommend doing a local iTunes backup of iOS6 before upgrading again. Just to be safe. I had only upgraded a few days previously. I have no idea how long iCloud keeps old backups.

Dear Allyson
Thank you for the Post. I have successfully downdraded my iphone 4s from ios 7 beta 4 to ios 6.1.3
also naturally all the data is lost.
but i need my contacts back, please tell how to get it..

well i have an iphone 4 and its IOS 7 beta and it says activation error and when i do my pass it says activation error so then when i tried to restore it, it said turn find my iphone off when i cant even open or go 2 home screen. Plz HELP me?

i change the format from zip file to ipws, but after extracting the software it checks with apple server and gives me this massage "The ipod "ipod " could not be restored and unknown error occured (3194).please help out

I just downgraded from the iOS7 beta back to the iOS6 according to the steps above, and now I can't activate my phone?? Says "Your iPhone can not be activated because the activation server cannot be reached. Try connecting your iPhone to iTunes to activate it (which I did, nothing), or try again in a couple of minutes. (which I did)" OH NO! What do I do?! Please tell me I didn't mess my iPhone up.

Can I use this very same method to downgrade from iOS 7 to 6.1.4? Will I be able to activate my phone after that? What should I do? I don't like the iOS 7 mainly because of the battery drainage, even though I turned off a lot of services...

I too am horrified by iOS 7. It is absolutely hideous. Did your downgrade work immediatly? I'm getting an error from iTunes, saying "The iPhone could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (3014)". Not sure what to do about it...

Thank you very much. I upgraded to the official IOS 7 and totally hated it. With your method using DFU I am now back to 6.1.3 on my iPad. I'm so grateful! - Zeana

Many thanks. I much regretted upgrading. The new graphic design was a total crap. My iPhone looked and felt like a cheap $10 toy. So, I rolled it back.
"If It Works Don't Fix It!"

Help me too please as i my phone iz having ios 7 official version not beta as i updated it from settings thinking that it would b awesome but rather it was aweful ..

If i already downloaded ios 7 before its release date, and i downgrade back to ios 6 is there any way i can upgrade to iOS 7 again but this time using apples update software?

WHO CARES IF IT DELETES YOUR STUFF?! I would rather have a wiped phone then iOS 7.....just sayin'. By the way, it worked for me. iPhone 4, cdma, 8gb.... apps and all work, service is a little sluggish but I've only had it changed for 10 mins.

Bravo thanks for the great instructions!

Now I've got a little red "1" over my "Settings" icon, indicating that iOS7 is ready to download. How on earth do I get rid of this notification?

Jon can u help mee ?
I am running on ios 7 (officially launched as update version) how can i get back to ios 6 safely ? I dont care about the data i jst want me ios 6 back safely !

I did everything as advised but I get an info that the iphone could not be restored cause this device isn't eligible for the requested bulid. What should I do? My Itunes is up to date.

I tried this today, managed to put it in DFU mode, so thought it went perfectly, but after it finished "restoring", the recovery mode screen came up and I had to click on the iTunes button again, but not only my phone didn't downgrade, I lost all of my data as well. :(

Anyone know if this process will work on the iPad? I downloaded ios7 on my iPad wirelessly and haven't charged or connected the iPad to iTunes yet. My iPhone is still ios6, but I want to downgrade the iPad back to 6 as well. Any tips on what I should or shouldn't do to get ios 6 back on the iPad?

I am the latest being itchy finger to upgrade to iOS7. If I have know that the upgrade will disable all my non-Apple cable and adaptor, I would not upgrade over my dead body!
Apple really pissing people with such act.

Am going to downgrade soon and like to check with you guys will I lost my contacts, app, and setting? My last backup happen to be the iOS7 and iOS6 has been erased. :(

it doesnt mean jailbreak the phone? its official version right? i still be able use app store, and use guarantee from apple?

Guyz i am having official version of ios 7 not beta version as i updated it frm my setting option.. N i want my ios 6 back.. Do these instruction work for official version if yes how ? Pls help mee guys i want my apple back

M afraid of getting my device deactivated as per above comments so please can any1 tell me a safer way to restore me ios 6 back... Please help guys i wnt to get rid of this f***ing ios 7

After extracting the firmware file I am getting an error 3194 in i tunes. Can anyone help me please.
Thank You. :) I am using i tunes 10, my phone is an i phone 4, I am trying to downgrade to ios 6.

I do not know how I lost my contacts. Yesterday morning a phone call came in and it was my daughter calling which is in my contacts and then I checked and all my contacts were gone, I create a backup of your phone on your PC using iTunes? I 'm trying to use 3rd party software such as iPhone Backup Extractor to extract your data from the backup, there are many third party out there, I don't which one is better.

Coolmuster iPhone contacts recovery
http://www.coolmuster.com/ios-recovery/how-to-restore-deleted-contacts-o...

Vibosoft iDataRecuser
http://www.vibosoft.com/ios/recover-deleted-sms-from-iphone.html

istonsoft iPhone/IPad/iPod data recovery
http://www.istonsoft.com/iphone/extract-iphone-contacts-from-backup.html

When the article was first published, you could downgrade to iOS 6 using the instructions above. I think now, it is too late. Apple took away the ability to downgrade. You'll get an error such as:

This device isn't eligible for the requested build.

Thank you so much for your help! After 10 minutes with IOS7 (which i downloaded by mistake) I was horrified. Steve Jobs must be rolling in his grave. How can Apple release such a sloppy version? The only part I had trouble with was the DFU mode. I think this site had a more clear explanation. I got it on the first time after reading this:

http://www.recover-deleted-text-messages-samsung-galaxy.istonsoft.com/
http://www.recover-deleted-contacts-samsung-galaxy.istonsoft.com/
http://www.transfer-music-from-iphone-to-mac.istonsoft.com/