How To: Downgrade iOS 11 Back to iOS 10.3.2 on Your iPhone

Downgrade iOS 11 Back to iOS 10.3.2 on Your iPhone

How to Downgrade iOS 11 Back to iOS 10.3.2 on Your iPhone

There's lots of new stuff in iOS 11, but just because things have changed doesn't mean they're better. So if you've updated to Apple's latest OS and decided it wasn't for you, you'll be happy to know that you can still go back to iOS 10.3.2.

But this window of opportunity for downgrading won't last forever. Sometime after iOS 11 goes official in September 2017, Apple will stop signing old firmware versions, meaning you won't be able to roll back unless you've saved your SHSHS2 blobs.

Until that day comes, however, it's actually quite easy to revert to iOS 10.3.2. All you need is a Mac or Windows PC, and the process only takes a few minutes of work. Even better, you should be able to preserve all of your apps and data, so let's go ahead and get started, shall we?

Method 1: 'Update' to iOS 10.3.2

This guide will outline two methods that both center around restoring an IPSW firmware file using iTunes, and for most people, the steps outlined in the Method 1 section should be all you need.

However, there's a slight chance that data from iOS 11 may cause bugs or glitches after you've downgraded to iOS 10.3.2. Again, this is rare, but if that ends up being the case, you can use the steps outlined in Method 2 to wipe away the corrupted data, then restore an older iCloud backup of your data.

Step 1: Download the IPSW File for Your Device

First up, you'll need to download the iOS 10.3.2 IPSW file for your particular device. This is a firmware file you'll be installing with iTunes to roll back your operating system, and luckily, we have a highly trusted source where you can get this file. So head to the following link from your computer, then pick your device and model.

Next, choose iOS 10.3.2 when prompted, then click the "Download" button. The file is rather large, so it may take a while to download, but make sure to note the file's location once it's finished.

Step 2: Install the Older Firmware with iTunes

Next, connect your device to your computer with a Lightning cable, then open iTunes if it doesn't launch automatically. From there, click the phone icon near the top-left corner of the window to head to the device menu.

From here, make sure the Summary tab is selected on the left side of the window. After that, if you're using a Mac, hold down the Option button on your keyboard. Otherwise, if you're running Windows, hold down the Shift button. While still holding the keyboard button, click "Check for Update."

Next, a file browser menu will appear — use this to find and select the IPSW file that you downloaded in Step 1. Once you've done that, click "Open."

After a few seconds, you'll see a popup informing you that iTunes will now install iOS 10.3.2 on your device. Click "Update" here, then sit back and wait, because the process of installing the older firmware will take up to 30 minutes. Along the way, you may be prompted to enter your PIN on your device, so make sure to do that if asked.

Once iTunes has finished installing the older firmware, your device will automatically reboot. When that happens, disconnect your phone from your computer, then follow the prompts on your phone to re-enter your password and finalize setup.

Step 3: Uninstall Your Beta Profile (Beta Users Only)

Now you'll be back on iOS 10.3.2, but if you used a beta profile to install iOS 11 in the first place, you'll soon be prompted to re-install iOS 11.

So to avoid that, head to the General menu in Settings, then scroll down and tap "Profile." From there, select your beta profile, then press "Delete Profile" at the bottom of the screen. With that done, you won't be prompted to install iOS 11 again until the official rollout in September.

At this point, you're all set and ready to go. The vast majority of users won't have to worry about the second method outlined below, but if you end up encountering any bugs or glitches, just come back and run through the next section.

Method 2: Restore from an iCloud Backup (Only if You Have Bugs)

This next method is only for people who are experiencing bugs after downgrading to iOS 10.3.2. This is rare, but it can happen when there's leftover data from iOS 11 that isn't fully compatible with iOS 10.3.2.

If that's the case, the easiest workaround is to restore from the IPSW file again, but this time, don't preserve your existing data, and instead, restore it from an old iCloud backup. Alternatively, you could perform a factory reset to clear away the corrupt data, but the method outlined in the following steps is a little faster.

Step 1: Find Your iOS 10.3.2 Backup

First up, be aware that downgrading your firmware with this method will delete your existing apps and their data, which means you'll need to have the important stuff backed up. However, iOS 11 backups cannot be restored on iOS 10.3.2, which presents a problem.

You'll only be able to restore all of your data if you have an archived iOS 10.3.2 (or older) backup that was made prior to downgrading with Method 1. You should have made this iTunes backup when first installing iOS 11. You could try backing up after using Method 1, but some of the issues could still persist.

iCloud should have automatically created a backup when you were last running 10.3.2, so most folks will be fine. But to verify, connect your device to your computer, then click the phone icon in iTunes to view your backups.

The information listed here doesn't contain iOS version numbers, so you'll have to check the dates of the backups to make sure they were created when you were last running iOS 10.3.2 (or an older version). If they were, you'll be able to get your data back. Otherwise, you'll have to start fresh.

Step 2: Disable Find My iPhone

Next, you'll need to disable Find My iPhone. To do that, head to Settings, then tap your name at the top of the list and select "iCloud." From here, select "Find My iPhone," then make sure to turn off the toggle switch on the following screen.

Step 3: Downgrade Your Firmware Again

Next, re-download the IPSW file for your device if you've lost it since using Method 1, then the rest of the process will be rather easy. It's mostly the same as the first, but with one minor exception, so you can use the above screenshots for visual reference. To start, connect your iOS device to your computer, then follow these steps:

  1. Open up iTunes.
  2. Head to the "Device" menu.
  3. Select the "Summary" tab.
  4. Hold the Option key (Mac) or left Shift key (Windows).
  5. Click on "Restore iPhone" (or "iPad" or "iPod").
  6. Open the IPSW file.
  7. Confirm by clicking the "Restore" button.

Just like with Method 1, iTunes will take care of the rest, and your device will reboot after it's done.

Step 4: Restore Data from iCloud

Once the process has finished, run through initial setup on your iPhone, then select "Set Up as New" if you want a fresh start, or "Restore from iCloud Backup" if you want to get all your apps and data back. If going with the latter, just sign in with your Apple ID, then select the most recent iOS 10.3.2 backup, and your apps and data will be restored. You can also choose "Restore from iTunes Backup" instead if you archived iOS 10.3.2 before installing iOS 11.

Without the corrupt iOS 11 data, you should no longer have any issues on iOS 10.3.2. But if you're having any trouble with either of the above methods, let us know in the comment section below and we'll try to steer you in the right direction.

Cover image and screenshots by Dallas Thomas/Gadget Hacks

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