Yes, You Can Downgrade iOS 8 Back to iOS 7.1.2 – For Now
If you updated to iOS 8, played around for a while, and found things to be unbearable, too frustrating,or otherwise not an improvement over iOS 7.1.2, you can still downgrade your iPhone or iPad from iOS 8 back to iOS 7.1.2. But this is almost certainly a short-lived opportunity, so if you have any intention on doing it you’ll want to move quick.
A few important notes: downgrading is not supported by Apple and things can go wrong. Also, you can only restore iOS 7.1.2 backups to an iOS 7.1.2 device, you can not restore a backup made from iOS 8 to an iOS 7 device. That means if you don’t have an iOS 7.1.2 backup laying around still, you won’t be able to restore your stuff and the device will have to be setup as new. That alone should be a hefty deterrent to most, since restoring from backups is usually pretty important, so you’ll probably want to identify your iOS backups in iTunes and make sure you have one, if not, you’ll probably want to stay with iOS 8. Also, devices that ship with iOS 8 preinstalled like the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are not eligible for downgrading to iOS 7.1.2 at all.
Though downgrading is fairly easy, it’s considered somewhat advanced due to the restrictions associated with it, and the limited time window that allows for downgrades. You can use this signing status page to determine if Apple is still allowing downgrades on a particular version of iOS or not and on a per device basis.
How to Downgrade Back to iOS 7.1.2 from iOS 8
Be sure to back up your device before beginning this process.
- BACK UP YOUR iOS 8 DEVICE before anything else – do not skip this – this insures that you can restore your stuff to iOS 8 if you have a problem with the downgrading process
- Download the iOS 7.1.2 IPSW here for your device and save it to an accessible location like the user desktop
- Open iTunes on the Mac / PC and connect the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with the USB cable
- Choose the device in iTunes and go to the Summary tab
- Hold down the OPTION key for Mac OS X (use the SHIFT key for Windows) and click on the “Update” button
- Navigate to and select the firmware .ipsw file for iOS 7.1.2 that you downloaded
- Choose “Update” again, iTunes will verify the update with Apple and the downgrade process will begin – if this failed you either used the wrong IPSW file, or the downgrade signing window for iOS 7.1.2 firmware has closed
The downgrade process can take a while depending on a variety of things, when it’s finished the device will be back to the familiar ‘new setup’ screen as if it was brand new. You’ll then want to restore your previously made iOS 7.1.2 backup to get your stuff back. Again, iOS 8 backups do not work on iOS 7.1.2 devices.
If for whatever reason you’re having trouble with this method and you know the signing window is still open and that you have the correct firmware files, you can also use the Restore based downgrade, which is method #2 here , but it shouldn’t be necessary.
If you do go back to iOS 7.1.2, you’ll want to be cautious with future iOS software updates and stay there. The downgrade ability will surely close soon and that means that future updates with iOS will be a one way street.