iPhone Tricks > How To
Posted in How To by Tyrone on August 7, 2023
Are you looking for a way to downgrade iOS 17 to 16 without losing data? Yes, you can do it even if you don’t have a backup saved before updating to iOS 17! You only need a Mac or Windows computer and the Lightning to USB-C cable for connectivity!
iOS 17 Downgrade Requirements
If you want to revert to the most recent iOS 16 version without losing data, you need the following:
- A Mac / Windows computer and the Finder / iTunes software.
- A Lightning to USB-C cable.
- A backup made before updating to iOS 17, or a recent full encrypted backup that can be done right now.
- The .ipsw file of the most recent signed iOS 16.x public release! You can download it here.
iOS 17 Downgrade Tips
Any iPhone or iPad running iOS 17 / iPadOS 17 can be downgraded to the latest version of iOS 16, 16.6 at the time of writing.
If you want to downgrade without losing data you need to perform a full backup of your device on your computers or in your iCloud account.
Trick: If you haven’t performed an encrypted backup before installing iOS 17, you can use this backup editing trick that will allow you to make an iOS 17 backup compatible with iOS 16.x.
Important: If you also updated Apple Watch to watchOS 10 Beta you won’t be able to downgrade yourself from watchOS 10 to 9.
Your two options are to update iPhone back to iOS 17 or to ship your device to Apple and ask for an assisted watchOS 10 downgrade!
How To Downgrade iOS 17 to 16
Here is a step-by-step guide for reverting to iOS 16:
A. Disable Find My
This is done in Settings on both iPhone and iPad:
1. Go for Apple ID -> Find My -> Find My iPhone -> Turn Off
B. Connect iPhone To Computer
- 2. Open Finder on Mac, or iTunes on a Windows computer.
- 3. Connect iPhone or iPad to computer using the Lightning cable that shipped with the device.
- 4. Click on your [iPhone name], available in the left sidebar under Locations.
- 5. Trust iPhone on Mac and vice-versa if requested.
- 6. Perform an encrypted backup of your iPhone using the Back Up Now option.
C. Start iOS 17 Downgrade
- 8. On Mac, press & hold option key + click Restore iPhone option and select the recently downloaded iOS 16.x ipsw file!
- 9. Click Open and then Restore to confirm that you want your Mac to erase and restore your iPhone to iOS 16.6.
On Windows: press & hold shift key + click Restore iPhone to be able to select the iOS 16.x ipsw file.
Tip: Be patient until Mac extracts software, prepares iPhone to restore (the Apple logo is displayed on iPhone), restores the software, verifies the iPhone restore and restores iPhone firmware!
D. Restore iPhone From Backup
- 10. iPhone reboots when downgrade is completed. Swipe-up on the ‘hello’ screen and return to Finder, on Mac. Click on iPhone, in the sidebar, under Locations. Wait until device is activated!
- 11. Use Restore from this backup option. Select the backup that you want to use and enter the password to unlock backup. Click Restore and be patient.
- 12. On iPhone, tap Continue, on the Restore Completed screen. Configure Face ID, set up a new Passcode (can be the same as your old one), sign in to your Apple ID and be patient until the iCloud settings are updated! Follow the other on-screen prompts until you reach the Welcome to iPhone screen. Swipe up to get started!
Tip: If you’re prompted with the “Could not restore the iPhone ‘iPhone name’ because the backup was not compatible with the iPhone that is being restored.” you have to tweak the backup file and make it compatible with iOS 16.6! After that, redo Step 11!
Downgrade iOS 17 Without Computer
Unfortunately, you can’t downgrade iOS 17 / iPadOS 17 without connecting device to a Mac or Windows computer. You need the Finder or iTunes software for the process to work.
Have you managed to downgrade iOS 17 to 16 without losing data? Encountering any problems? Share your feedback in the comments!
Related: You might be also interested in how to downgrade macOS Sonoma on Mac!