Sorry folks, you can no longer downgrade from iOS 7 back to iOS 6!

PSA: You can no longer downgrade from iOS 7 back to iOS 6!

We're getting a lot of inquiries from a lot of people who, for whatever reason, aren't happy with iOS 7 and want to downgrade to iOS 6 with the set of instructions we provided for the original beta. However, that was then and this is now. if you are on the public release of iOS 7 and you're reading this, you can no longer downgrade to iOS 6 at this time.

The directions we offered several weeks ago were for users that were running the beta version of iOS 7 before it was ever made available to the public. Once Apple released iOS 7 to everyone, they quickly stopped signing iOS 6 installs. This simply means that if you try and downgrade back to iOS 6, iTunes will produce an error message saying that you can't. Users typically still a message saying they aren't eligible for that specific build. You didn't do anything wrong during the downgrade process, it just means you're running a newer version, aka iOS 7, and Apple doesn't want you going to an older version.

This is common practice for Apple and something that they always do when they release a new version of iOS. We wish we could give you another option to get back to iOS 6 but we can't right now. If and when we have one, we promise we'll share!

If you've already tried downgrading back to iOS 6 from iOS 7 and got error messages, simply restore your iPhone back to iOS 7 to get everything back up and running again.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

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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Reader comments

Sorry folks, you can no longer downgrade from iOS 7 back to iOS 6!


Yes, all restorations/updates require verification from the Apple servers. Try restoring with any IPSW file but without an internet connection and you'll see it will fail, but now they're simply preventing verification on older firmwares.

I'm a little surprised they "flipped the switch" so soon on not being able to go back to iOS 6. Clearly they want everyone to go to iOS 7 but I thought they would leave in the back door way to get iOS 6 back on there just to appease those people that REALLY didn't like 7.

I did NOT like iOS 7 when I first installed it but I have to admit that it is now growing on me and I think.... I actually might even like it. That said, I think it's still a work in progress and I look forward to 7.1, if they release it. I find iOS 7 to be buggy and even managed to crash my entire phone (it spontaneously rebooted) using Siri and Apple Maps.

I also have Siri crashes, and on occasion, slow keyboard response. In lock screen, sometimes it will slide just half way even tho I did a full swipe. All minor bugs I am sure.

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I updated my iPad3 the other day and didn't like the new iOS. I was able to downgrade to iOS6 after restarting my computer and restarting the iPad3. Has been working fine ever since.

What if you work offline AND you use Tiny Umbrella with your idevice's key file in your hard disk? Can you provide information about that? No jailbroken devices... Just idevices that were backed up and whose key files were backed up before going to iOS 7

Glad I've decided to stay away from iOS7 and have turned off updates on my devices and iTunes

Would be heartbroken if I had to look at iOS7 every day on my devices

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I agree.
I am the same way. I have the Jailbreak app "No Update" & have it switched off in iTunes as well. I'll keep my iOS 6.x as opposed to the new iOS 7.x!

I like my phone Jailbroken & with the same eye-candy that we've all come to know & love. And iOS 7 with all of it's flat & pastel colours have left me staying as far away as possible.

And now a rouge programmer is close to Jailbreaking iOS 6.1.3 & 6.1.4 and I have no way to update to 6.1.4 to get it, as it took too long to make it. Guess I'll keep the buggier 6.x instead. Also means that I will have to keep getting those pesky App Store prompts about installing a lower version app. But, I'll still get to use my 6' sync cable (as the standard 3' simply isn't long enough), as iOS 7 refuses to allow 3rd party cables & accessories.

I'd love to have iOS return back to the 3D eye catching retina graphics that we have come to expect. They could've just re-designed it with squared borders or something. Why go to the extreme and dumb-it-down by having pastel water colours to make logos/badges? It no longer looks professional looking. It could've been a toggle in settings, similar to the one in Accessibility where you can invert the colours to a mostly white & black theme. Choosing iOS 7 or legacy icons/badges & User Interface.

Hopefully, Apple will re-introduce a more professional set of icons/badges & UI alongside the iOS 7 icons/badges in the iOS 8 release next year. I cannot go 2 years without an update. :-(

Perhaps now might be a great time for Apple to allow the ability to skin/theme our iPhone's (& other iDevices). Allowing us to do so through the App Store where they can get recognised & profit.

This would be a win-win for Apple, as there are as many people whom cannot stand the look of iOS 7 as there are those that do. Allowing custom design (including the icons, badges, bars, etc. would allow those to update to the latest iOS versions without people complaining that it "Looks like a 10-year-old student's art rendering" that we hear about so much.

Changing the theme isn't a security risk to the iOS "Walled Garden" in any way. It would also make Jailbreaking less likely for many whom wish to do so, just to simply theme.

Add in a Smart Cover feature where I don't have to continually press (and quickly wear out) a button to turn the screen on/off would be ideal too. Add Activator type of feature where you can add maybe 5 shortcuts (Home button, respring/reboot, Siri, etc. to not have to press & wear out such buttons) would make Jailbreak almost a thing of the past.

Just some thoughts on this. :-)

Sad person don't know what your missing and all future apps won't work . People and change it is way better them 6 . You will never upgrade to a new phone and apple is not supporting 6 no sense at all

I've used 7 for two weeks. hated it. hard on the eyes. "no sense?" I don't like the way it looks. That's sense enough. I'm an average user not the typical imore iphone enthusiast. Plus I loose the better music player. I didn't have any use for iRadio. There are some nice additions but none i care much at all about. Plus my contract ends in Nov so i'm free to go Android or just stay with what i have. There's rarely some new app i must have and i'm sure plenty of apps will support ios 6 as there are still ios 6 devices out there. I used a 5s yesterday for a while. OS aside i didn't see a reason to upgrade my 64 gb 4s which is still going strong aside from lte. If my 4s had lte i likely wouldn't get a new phone for another 2 or 3 years cause it's perfectly fine for my needs. Well assuming that during that time i didn't have to upgrade to 7. But i saved my blobs and i'm hoping for a jailbreak to come some time in the future. also if ios jailbreak allows me to skin ios 7 to look like ios 6 than i could upgrade.

Have fun with android I had the s4 for a while . It sounds like your a simple person I guess you don't use apps because most will stop working . You could not of used the finished version for two weeks has not been around that long the beta version is not a good comparison but I guess simple people better for you to get a dumb phone and a iPod . It does a lot more if you learn it . You won't like android got to like customizing have fun

I don't really understand why so many find iOS 7 objectionable. Overall, I am really liking it and have no desire to go back. I love the clean look! There are bugs here and there, but nothing major that I have run across.

The idea of ever going back to OS6 makes my skin crawl. I can't grasp anyone other than a user of an older device with lag issues due to hardware limitations wanting to go back that that dated, old, fake felt and wood experience.

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Well, that sucks. So if, for example, you have an iPhone 4 and updated it to iOS 7 and it lags horribly and runs like crap (or if you just simply don't like iOS 7), you're stuck with it being that way, with no way to roll it back to an earlier version of iOS that ran smoothly on it. Nice.

Well I accidently said yes to the upgrade as I thought it was just the app store upgrading apps. What a disaster. Ios7 is so much worse. The letters on the keyboard for me in texting is to thin I can hardly see the letters. Contacts is shit. Overall a very poor upgrade and no way back. Surely if enough people complain they will open a gate to reverse

I was able to downgrade the very next day after I upgraded to ios7 on my iPhone 4 (which I did the day it was released). My phone was previously hacked with Sn0wbreeze, and I was able to downgrade after entering DFU mode to ios6, but reportedly ONLY the iPhone 4 can be downgraded.

You are correct, rspyke. And though this reply is a month and a half after this story ran, it is still possible to downgrade iPhone 4 with saved blobs and custom ipsw through iFaith or sn0wbreeze. It requires iTunes version 10.7-11.0.5. It has to be between those versions, no lower or higher.

i made a dreadful mistake upgrading to 7 on my ipad 3! it is now jerky , buttons need several clicks to operate & it keeps freezing like windows 3.1 used to back in early 90's! WTF are Apple thinking about? they should at least allow folk to revert to IOS6. Ive basically given up with the thing as its unusable now, my wife uses it to play some stupid game now & Im stuck back on my 6 year old Vista desktop PC ( which is 100x times better than IOS7!)

Thank God, I haven't upgraded it yet! But I'm facing a problem... There's always a notification on my Setting/General Icon, and it says "iOS7 is downloaded and ready to Install", and on iTune I can see the Yellow Bar of 'Others' has grown up a lot! Can you please help me to get rid of this crap? Certainly I don't wanna keep any sign of this pathetic looking interface on my phone!

I don't think Apple did a great job on iOS7, but I was willing to accept it and move forward, so I updated my iPhone 4. Then I discovered that various apps – some of the most essential apps for me – Things, and the new Yahoo Weather for example – run so badly/slowly that they're barely usable. For this reason, I think it should be criminal that Apple prevent me from reverting a machine that I paid them for in full just a few years ago back to a state where it was actually functional. Now I feel like I may to be forced to buy an iPhone 5s, even though it has no features that would prompt me to purchase it – apart from the fact that it can run an iOS that I don't find to be a particular improvement, but which I am now apparently stuck with. This is what Apple has become? In essence, the epitome of the 1984 that they once positioned themselves as a savior against?


I'm done with apple period
They are no longer the company that reined supreme
Like they once were
They should have the option to put back the graphics
People enjoyed on their apple products

Apple just lost a repeat customer. iOS 7 is unpleasant and together with the new version of iTunes you are required to download to work with iOS7, broke the ability to manage podcasts.

Repeated technical support does not respond to technical service requests.

They no longer care. They have become the Congress of the IT world.

I updated my software to ios7 and got it down back to ios 6 there is a boost mobile store on 151 street Morris avenue in the bronx. They fixed my phone with no problem! don't believe that it can't be done :) wish you the best of luck

how did you do that
i am really fed up with ios 7 on my iphone 4
its even hard to type! simple typing, its stupid
i would be grateful if you tell me how did you do that
i downloaded ipsw but seems that my itunes wont verify the phone if i downgrade the phone
any help?

how did you do that
i am really fed up with ios 7 on my iphone 4
its even hard to type! simple typing, its stupid
i would be grateful if you tell me how did you do that
i downloaded ipsw but seems that my itunes wont verify the phone if i downgrade the phone
any help?

For some users, there is a legitimate need to downgrade to iOS 6.1.3 beyond a distaste for the new aesthetics. If you still work on a Power PC, its version of iTunes (10.6.3) will prompt you to upgrade your iPhone. If you click the button, that version of iTunes will download and install iOS 7.0.2. However... that very version of iTunes will no longer sync with your upgraded iPhone!

Yet Apple nonetheless refuses to let you un-install its now incompatible iOS! The only solution they offer? Buy a new computer... just to be able to use your phone.

There is no way that Apple should prompt one to install an upgrade that will no longer work on the hardware and system used for that very installation. OS X will not prompt you to upgrade beyond your platform's limitations. Neither will iTunes. Neither will any other Apple program. But in this case? Apple Support is in effect saying:

"We sure fooled you there with our iOS upgrade alert, didn't we? You took the bait, and now we've got you hooked into the only solution to sync your phone again: spend thousands of dollars to buy one of our newer computers. Thanks, sucker!"



I've got an iphone 5 and I downloaded the ios7 a while back without a developer account and now I've got a problem with this 'activation error' message popping up and i can't use my phone at all. i've read all the comments and been on loads of sites/tried downloading every .ipsw file.
If I can't download back to ios 6 to then upgrade back to ios 7, how do I use my phone at all?

I don't care what software its running on i just really need my phone working again.

Does ANYBODY have ANY suggestions???

The version of iOS 7 you upgraded to with a dev account is expired. You can restore through iTunes to get the official GM final release. If you still have activation error after that contact your carrier or Apple Store representative.

I'm sorry, I hardly see how you can compare a system which treats you in hospital, free at the point of need, irrespective of your financial means, rather than bankrupt you for being unfortunate enough to fall sick, can compare to an admittedly rather rubbish software update. And yes, I am from a country where I know that even without paying out hundreds or thousands of £s in expensive health insurance every year I will get treated in hospital if I need to. thanks

I upgraded back in June. I just got my phone back and it now says activation error. I'm bout to have a heart attack. How can I downgrade to iOS 6 and upgrade using apple's software?

I SWEAR TO GOD! I am NEVER going to upgrade again! I always get sucked in!

First, I HATE the way a new iOS resets your preferences. If I had something customized in version 7.1.2, KEEP IT THAT WAY!

My wife is still on iOS 6. I waited awhile before I went to iOS 8, Then when the patch came out, I "upgraded" to 8.0.2, and now my iPhone speaker is not working. THANKS APPLE!