So you’ve installed the iOS 10 beta and, well, you don’t love it. No problem, because you can roll right back to iOS 9.
While we’ve had smooth sailing experience with the beta, we fully understood that when we wrote a guide on updating to iOS 10 beta, the responsible thing to do was to turn right back around and write a guide to downgrading back to iOS 9.
However, note that this will wipe your device completely, which could pose a problem. Let’s say you didn’t follow our advice to do a full backup before leaping into iOS 10 beta. In that case, if you downgrade to iOS 9, you’re looking at a full device wipe and any data you don’t have backed up in another way (like photos copied to your computer outside of iTunes/iCloud), will be erased.
In addition, regardless of whether or not you backed up the device when it was on iOS 9, any changes made/data created on your phone between the iOS 10 beta update and the rollback will be lost.
If you were just playing around with iOS 10 beta on a spare device, that’s not such a big deal. If you somehow found yourself in the unenviable position of installing iOS 10 beta on your primary device and you didn’t back it up first, however, you might want to consider just chugging along with iOS 10 to save yourself the lost data.
Lastly, This tutorial will only help you downgrade from the iOS 10 beta to iOS 9.3.2, and it will only work up until the public release of iOS 10. After that, Apple will stop signing older iOS firmware versions and you will not be able to downgrade to them.
Those cautions aside, let’s just right into the pretty easy rollback process.
What You Need
To follow along today, you need just a few things. You’ll need your device, a USB data cable for said device, an up-to-date copy of iTunes, and you’ll need to download the appropriate iPSW for your device. For the unfamiliar, iPSW files are the firmware files for iOS devices. Using an iPSW file to reset/restore your device is like performing a complete factory reset.
All of the files listed below, organized by device model, are hosted directly by Apple. We’ve merely organized the direct links for ease of use. When you’re ready to roll back, download the matching iPSW file for your device. Unsure exactly which file you should download for your device? Check the model number on the case and use this iOS device list to confirm which device you have.
iPhone iPSW Files:
- iPhone 6S
- iPhone 6S Plus
- iPhone SE
- iPhone 6
- iPhone 6 Plus
- iPhone 5C CDMA
- iPhone 5C GSM
- iPhone 5S CDMA
- iPhone 5S GSM
- iPhone 5 GSM
- iPhone 5 CDMA
- iPad Pro 12.7 inch
- iPad Pro 12.7 inch Cellular Model
- iPad Pro 9.7 inch
- iPad Pro 9.7 inch Cellular Model
- iPad Air 2
- iPad Air 2 Cellular model
- iPad Air Cellular model
- iPad Air Wi-Fi
- iPad 4 CDMA
- iPad 4 GSM
- iPad 4
- iPad 3 GSM
- iPad 3 CDMA
- iPad 3
- iPad 2 2,4
- iPad 2 2,1
- iPad 2 GSM
- iPad 2 CDMA
- iPad Mini CDMA
- iPad Mini GSM
- iPad Mini
- iPad Mini 2 Cellular Model
- iPad Mini 2
- iPad Mini 3
- iPad Mini 3 Cellular Model
- iPad Mini 4
- iPad Mini 4 Cellular Model
How to Roll Your Device Back To iOS 9
With the iPSW file in hand, plug your iOS device into your PC or Mac with the USB cable and fire up iTunes. Inside iTunes, click on the device icon (located in the upper left corner and highlighted in the screenshot below).
Within the device’s Summary page (the default view), locate the Restore [Device Name]… button in the Summary panel. Press and hold the Option key (Mac) or Shift key (Windows) and press on the button. You must press keyboard key while clicking the button in order to load the file explorer to select a custom restore file (otherwise it will only allow you to select from local backups you’ve made).
NOTE: If you’ve enabled the Find My iPhone feature for your iOS device then you will need to, from the device itself, turn that feature off in order to restore the device via iTunes. You can find the toggle for this feature on your phone under Settings > iCloud > Find My iPhone.
When you click the restore button, you won’t be prompted to back up your device, get any data off it, or warned in any fashion. The presumption is that, because you know this super secret key combination, you know what you’re doing.
In the file explorer that pops up, navigate to the iPSW file for your device in the location you saved the download. Select it (make sure, if you have multiple devices, you select the correct one for the device you’re currently wiping and restoring) and then press Open to start the process.
Once you click Open, it’s go time: your iOS device will be wiped and the iOS software will be downgraded from iOS 10 Beta to iOS 9.3.2. When the process is finishes your device will boot back up as if you’d just turned it on for the first time, welcome screen and all. At that point you can either start with a totally fresh copy of iOS 9 or you can copy your old iOS 9 backup (if you made one) from iTunes or iCloud.
If you need to backup all your data on your iOS devices, then you can check Syncios Free Mobile Manager which can help you backup and restore your data for free.