How to Downgrade iOS 9.2 to iOS 9.1

Dec 9, 2015 - 22 Comments

Downgrade iOS 9.2 to iOS 9.1

Though iOS 9.2 appears to run faster than prior iOS 9 releases and fixes many bugs while offering a wide range of improvements, some users who have updated to iOS 9.2 may wish to downgrade an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch back to iOS 9.1 for whatever reason.


Downgrading iOS is possible for a limited time as long as Apple is still signing the prior iOS version. It’s unclear how long this will be possible for iOS 9.1, but it could be a few days or a week or two. Regardless, if you want to downgrade from iOS 9.2 to iOS 9.1, you should probably move fast so you don’t miss the signing window from Apple. This works the same with running iOS 9.2 final and iOS 9.2 beta releases. We don’t really recommend downgrading to iOS 9.1 from 9.2 as it offers no particular benefit, but nonetheless we’ll cover the process for users who wish to do so.

Downgrading to iOS 9.1 from iOS 9.2

This is the same from any Mac or PC, and any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  1. Back up the iOS device to iTunes and iCloud before getting started, don’t skip this or you will lose your data, apps, emails, messages, pictures, and everything else on the device in question
  2. Download iOS 9.1 IPSW for the device here, be sure to pick the proper version for your hardware
  3. IPSW file

  4. Open iTunes and connect the device to downgrade with a USB cable if you haven’t done so yet
  5. iTunes 12

  6. Select the device in iTunes and OPTION click the “Restore” button on a Mac, SHIFT click the Restore button in Windows
  7. iPhone recovery mode restoring

  8. Select the iOS 9.1 IPSW file to restore the device, this will format the device and erase everything on it, but return it to iOS 9.1
  9. When the downgrade to iOS 9.1 is complete, you can either set the device up as new, or restore it from the previously made backup and get your data, apps, etc back onto the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

Should you downgrade from iOS 9.2 to iOS 9.1? Probably not, particularly given that iOS 9.2 has better performance with some devices, but some users may have a compelling reason or desire to do so, thus it’s worth covering. Maybe an app is crashing or something is incompatible, whatever the reason, it’s possible for a limited time.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks

22 Comments

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  1. RM says:

    Still the same old graphic issues – and no real performance difference between 9.1 (on two iphone 6 and and iPad air2). So whatever.

    • ARE YOU KIDDING ME says:

      I downloaded the wrong device and it says device not eligible, I didn’t follow the instructions!

  2. Elm says:

    can’t connect to any wifi network after updating to 9.2, i tried everything to the extent of resetting my iphone to its factory setting and erasing all data, still didn’t work. Luckily found your guide to downgrade to 9.1 so i did and now everything works fine, i’ll be more careful when updating in the future THANKS

  3. ! says:

    I don’t want to update to 9.2, so I deleted the automatic download. Now, every 3 days it decides to re-download, and i have to delete it again. I don’t remember this happening previously.

  4. ugggh says:

    backed up under 9.2, restored to 9.1, but now i’m unable to restore the backup i made under 9.2 as it says that the software on the ipad is too old – forces me back to 9.2 in order to restore the backup…

  5. misleading says:

    Don’t write an article with partial information. As “ugggh” says, 9.2 backups cannot be restored over 9.1. You should do your research first. I’d suggest you to modify the article to remove the part that says “restore it from the previously made backup”. And maybe add some text at the beginning explaining that if you downgrade 9.2 to 9.1 you will need to setup the device as a new iPhone.

    • iClouddy says:

      iCloud backups can be used from iOS 9.2 and iOS 9.1. I know this is technical stuff and it’s not for everyone to understand or try, if you’re not a tech savvy person and you can’t read instructions you shouldn’t try downgrading and you shouldn’t even upgrade your iPhone you will probably do something wrong like you did, you should ask a friend who is technically savvy to help you out, or call Apple and have apple Support walk you through it. It’s ok, not everyone has to be an iPhone expert.

      Just because something is possible doesn’t mean you should do it, for you, you should stay on iOS 9.2

  6. Daniel says:

    Hello, when i Go to restore phone he still Show me the 9.2 update. I can not select the 9.1 file or a other. When i delete all files on the phone without itunes he install me 9.2. dont know what to do. best regards

  7. Rad4Cap says:

    Apple has turned off the ability of the ipad mini (Ipad 4,4) to view any and all 4k video – including any shot on the 6s!

    So that is a very important reason to go back to 9.1

  8. Sam says:

    Apple messed up badly. My iPad 3 won’t connect to ANY wi-fi after I upgrade to iOS 9.2 (showed the infamous “Password Incorrect” message). Decided to downgrade to 9.1, and it asked me to turn off Find My iPad. To turn it off, you need to connect to the internet to be able to enter your icloud password for verification. Is this some kind of joke? I got a bloody nice paperweight! Hurray!

  9. 😡 says:

    ios 9.2 is makeing my battery to go down really fast

  10. anti ios9.2 says:

    You are right “angry” face. the battery in drain fast as the memory ram is working always on full power with IOs 9.2; like a standard of 920 Mb on idle status with IOs9.2 versus 550 Mb with 9.1. I couldn’t find also not even a single additional feature in 9.2 other than slowing my phone :(

  11. Anastasia says:

    hey guys, i need your help ?.. i just restored my iphone, i dont know to bypass the activation screen in ios 9.2 and i forgot and dont know the details of icloud.. i’ve been seeking for help on how to do this..

  12. jair says:

    after shift clicking restore,i cant pull up the 9.1 file I just downloaded, no matter how I try and move it around. is this because its too late to downgrade? or did I miss a step?

  13. Alex says:

    I tried holding OPTION while hitting on RESTORE and it brought me in to the desktop folder in FINDER. For some reason the folder was still empty… Am I doing this wrong? What should I do to fix it?

  14. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) says:

    Get shrekt m8 i r8 8/8 its gr8 2 much h8

  15. Wacko says:

    Is this still working now?!

  16. lucky says:

    can i downgrade iphone 6s from ios 9.2 to 9.1 ?

  17. lucky says:

    when the release pangu jailbreak ios 9.2 ?

  18. Shaggy says:

    Downgrading your iPhone can be done if you made backup of your old iOS and go in to where iTunes saves it to on your laptop copy and move it so they won’t get there hands on it

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