Apple is blocking downgrades from iOS 16.3.1
You won't be able to downgrade after upgrading to iOS 16.3.1.
Apple has stopped signing iOS 16.3, meaning that it is now blocking downgrades to that version of iOS on the iPhone. This means that anyone who wants to install a version of iOS must now install iOS 16.3.1.
Apple is known to stop signing older versions of iOS as it releases newer versions in order to make sure that users are running the latest version of Apple's software for the iPhone. Newer versions of each software not only include new features and bug fixes but performance improvements and security updates as well.
Now, anyone who attempts to restore an iPhone will have only iOS 16.3.1 as Apple is now blocking downgrades to iOS 16.3. Those who are on the developer and public beta train can, of course, still install the latest iOS betas.
You can't downgrade anymore
While some do enjoy the option of downgrading to an earlier version of iOS as a backstop to issues with a newer version of the software, that opening is usually short. If you are running iOS 16.3.1 and experiencing issues, you'll need to wait until Apple releases a newer update.
iOS 16.3.1 is the latest public version of iOS 16. In addition to running the latest version of iOS 16, Apple has also recently released the first developer beta of iOS 16.4, the next version of iOS that is expected to launch to everyone sometime later this spring.
iOS 16.4 will bring with it a number of new features including new emojis, Safari web push notifications, the before-pulled HomeKit architecture upgrade, more precise availability for Emergency SOS via satellite, potentially the Apple Card Savings account, and a lot more.
iOS 16.3.1 is available for users to download now if they are running the public version of iOS. Developers and public beta testers, of course, have access to iOS 16.4.
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Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.