Downgrade iOS 6 Beta to iOS 5.1.1

Jun 18, 2012 - 88 Comments

Downgrade iOS 6 beta to iOS 5

If you went ahead and installed iOS 6 beta and determined the buggy nature of the first developer release isn’t for you, it’s time to downgrade. Most developers should know how to do this already, but if not this process is easy and you’ll be back to running iOS 5.1.1 in no time at all.

Downgrading is identical on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

  1. Turn the device off, connect it to the computer via USB, and launch iTunes
  2. Place the iOS device into DFU mode: with the device off, hold down the Power and Home buttons together for 10 seconds then release the power button, continue holding Home button until iTunes notifies you of a device in recovery mode being detected. The devices screen should stay black as if turned off.
  3. Restore within iTunes through either method a or b:
    • a: Restore from the iOS 5.1.1 backup you made prior to installing iOS 6 beta
    • b: Restore to iOS 5.1.1 IPSW by Option-Clicking the “Restore” button, and then restore from iCloud backup when finished
  4. Let iTunes restore back to iOS 5.1.1, the device will reboot when finished

Typically you can’t downgrade iOS versions so easily, but because Apple is still signing iOS 5.1.1 this allows downgrading to commence with minimal effort.

Troubleshooting the Downgrade:
If you get any strange errors (3194, 1013, etc) when trying to restore, you probably have Apple’s servers blocked in your hosts file. This is relatively common for people who jailbroke a device at some point in their iOS usage. Remove any blocks to Apple’s servers from /etc/hosts and try again.


Related articles:

Posted by: Matt Chan in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting


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  1. Jeanne says:

    All set of the downgrade back to ios5, just one concern, i never activated my ICloud even when I had IOS5. It was simply not on. So… Can I still downgrade to IOS5 with success? Oh! On an IPad.

  2. Joanne says:

    should I have the sim card in while downgrading?

  3. Freakin iOS 6 says:

    Why, Apple? WHY?! I had an android before my iPhone 4, and i liked it. But why my android died :( i thought: “Everyone says Apple is a good company, why dont i buy an iphone?” When i did, i liked it as much as my android. But then IT appeared, a couple months later. Me, not thinking and doing NO research on iOS 6, pressed the button…

    That was the scariest story i’ve ever wrote, and worst of all, IT’S TRUE!!! First off, it took an HOUR just to update. And all for nothing good! Then, Y U NO THERE ANYMORE YOUTUBE?! I downloaded the app, and it disgusts me. It’s so slow and… Ugh! I don’t even want to go on! And call quality, hiddeous! Doesn’t matter where i am, or the settings i put it at, i cant hear. And im not deaf! Lastly… NEWSSTAND, Y U STILL NO GO INTO FOLDER?!

    I will try this, and if it does’t work, i swear something bad will happen to Apple! (Out of karma, im a pacifist, there buissness will probably crash soon, anyway.)

  4. Dan says:

    Very disappointed with IOS 6. Looks like Apple and Microsoft got together, remember VISTA…OMG

  5. Pamela says:

    How to get back my original youtube after upgraded to iOS6?
    I lost my youtube app. 😱😱😱

  6. rock says:

    This didn’t work for me. It only gave the option to restore with the same damn iOs 6.
    I’m screwed. :(

  7. viri says:

    if this doent work im gooing to be soooo mad if it only backs up i cloud im screwed -.- all my pics wernt saved to icould Dx

  8. Eric says:

    after i put my iphone 4 into DFU mode i select the 5.1.1 IPSW and it says error (-1)? what dose this mean please some one help i hate ios 6!!

  9. Kyle says:

    Yep it’s true, you can’t downgrade anymore, apple stopped signing ios 5.1.1, you guys are stuck on ios 6 for now.

  10. Will says:

    Will this work to downgrade 6.0 public release to 5.1.1. I am experiencing poor signal reliability and have to reboot often. I so would like to restore my 4s and iPad2 until 6.01.

    I love iOS6 as a concept, with the exception to lack of option to change default browser, email and maps apps, just wish they kept it in beta longer for developers to release fixes because I am finding a bug a day with my apps. Most have been tolerable or fixed quick, until I tried to play FIFA12 on my iPad using my 4s as the controller using the Gamepad app. Devastated!

    If this is possible to achieve by the technically minded, after successfully reflashing, will it be possible to setup devices from their iOS6 iCloud backups?

  11. DerpyDerpDerp says:

    It appears that 5.1.1 is no longer signed and eligible for downgrade. I had used these steps last week to downgrade my iPod Touch and iPads, but yesterday and today my iPhone 4S is now saying “not eligible”… Bummer!

  12. tungkick777 says:

    if you save shsh 5,1,1 on cydia, i can’t hepl you dowgrading ios 5.1.1 (not iphone 4s).pm yahoo tungkick777:D

  13. MichelleS says:

    Fawk! Anyone else update to iOS 6 and lose sound quality? I can MAKE phone calls, but I can BARELY hear the person on the other end-even with the sound all the way up and I can also barely hear the other person on speakerphone. I’m going to take it to Apple, and I’ve seen a slew of other people experiencing this, but wanted to know if this has happened to you AND if you’ve taken it to Apple and what they’ve said/done.

    • rmm30 says:

      I thought it was my ears!! ugh…apple apple apple…. what did you do? this ios6 is for the birds. dang….. no volume, no maps, no youtube…all crap replacments and out $400…. niiiiiiiiice.

  14. Snazzy says:

    I hate ios 6.. It’s about time apple listens to the customers..aren’t we the ones that buy there products..

    I want ios 5.1.1 back too but I can’t downgrade..I have iPad 2..was told you can’t go back only forward..
    We should have trial version if not happy be able to go back..Apple is going to lose a lot of customers because of this ios 6 version..I miss google maps as I liked the street view version..
    Apple sucks won’t ever buy an iPhone,iPod, or iPad ever again..

  15. Blake says:

    I need help downgrading iOS5 to iOS6 as well. I have tried Tiny Umbrella and I have the .ipsw file for 5.1.1 but I keep getting the 3194 MSG and if I get that one to stop I get the 1600 message.

  16. TUNGKICK777 says:

    pm yahoo tungkick777

  17. Mica says:

    I tried to restore it to 5 but it automatically put 6.0 back on

    • Taylor says:

      Same here! I went through all the steps as it said above and when my iPod turned back on, it was back in iOS 6. :( I hate the update soo much.. Apple needs to make a downgrade feature. I’m starting to look into Android and Samsung products…

  18. Tom d. says:

    Thought apple could do no wrong. Guess again. Should have also researched ios6 but figured it would only be better than ios5. Wrong! I am going to try to downgrade back to ios 5 on my I pad2.

  19. Ady says:

    How to ” Remove any blocks to Apple’s servers from /etc/hosts and try again ” ???

  20. david says:

    Stuck here too. knew i should have researched IOS 6..what with tall the ML problems…no my ipad and iphone have lost almost all their Airplay functionality….
    if i find a way around i’ll post here..others please do the same, im really getting tired of apple where a year ago i was a HUGE fan. starting to look at androids.

  21. sami says:

    what is error 1600??? how can i fix it??? plzzzzzzzzzz

  22. sami says:

    hi…..i’ve just restored my ipod to ios6 … now i wanna downgrade it to 5.1.1…. but there is itunes error 1603.1600.1609… but not error 3194…
    what should i do? plzzzzzzzz

  23. Apple needs to provide an option to downgrade…or this will be the turning point for Apple’s future….i have not heard a single person happy with iOS6.

  24. V platacs says:

    I need my ipad back!!!!! I got it for google maps in the first place!!!! I hate ios6

  25. bob says:

    it won’t work for me either. I’m stuck with iOS 6. IT SUCKS!!!!!!!

  26. doukno says:

    none of this @#$E$$ is working 6.0 is stuck like chuck f#*#, F#**AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHh

  27. doukno says:


  28. nika says:

    yea me too it says “restore and update” any others i have eror 21 and 1600 if i remove host i have eror 3194 when i fix this eror i have 21 eror in recovery mode and dfu mode have 1600 eror so i can downgrade my frone frome 6.0 to 5.1.1 plz some help me link me photos and videos if possoble

  29. bob says:

    Do not do this! It does not work unless your itunes was upgraded before the release!

  30. tulip says:

    When I click restore it says “restore and update”. I am not able to downgrade. please help

    • nika says:

      yea me too it says “restore and update” any others i have eror 21 and 1600 if i remove host i have eror 3194 when i fix this eror i have 21 eror in recovery mode and dfu mode have 1600 eror so i can downgrade my frone frome 6.0 to 5.1.1 plz some help me link me photos and videos if possoble :(

  31. Kevz says:

    I have downgraded my iDevice to 5.1.1 from iOS 6. Now I can’t restore the back-up I made prior Updating to iOS 6. All my contacts are gone. What should I do?

  32. connor says:

    how do i use a backup to restore?

  33. LoG says:

    I have the 5.1.1 ipsw file but i don’t know how to install it to my ipad….please help..

    • bruce says:

      i’d like to know to.

      using W7 and when i select the file, it says it’s going to restore to to 5.1.1, but it gets about 90% done and then i get an ERROR message.

  34. rox says:

    after i turn it off and connect it to the computer it just turnes on by itself. i cannot seem to restore since it won’t stay closed for me to push both buttons and when i turn it off after i’ve connected it to the computer and try pressing both then it just turnes on as usual. what am i doing wrong?

    • Taylor says:

      You have to hold the power button and the home button for exactly 10 seconds, you’re not holding it long enough, which causes it to turn on instead of going to restore mode.

  35. January says:

    Do you lose your warantee if you downgrade?

  36. Sunny Tebak says:

    Thanks a lot

  37. Yuivra says:

    hey all!

    Please help me, how can i get my icloud info from ios6 to ios 5.1.1 after completing a DFU restore, it says no backups found… :(

    • Ryan says:

      I’m in the same boat. Last night I made the mistake of upgrading to iOS 6 (full version); after all the bugs I encountered, I decided to return to the latest version of iOS 5 that I had right before the upgrade.

      I followed all the directions but got the notice once iTunes opened up (my MacBook was lagging a bit, so I accidentally didn’t connect to iTunes first…). Now my only option is to restore to factory settings!

      When holding Alt/Option and pressing the Restore button, it opens a window for me to then open the backup file. What would it be called, and where do I find it?

      PLEASE HELP. I’m afraid I may have just f*cked myself over completely and lost years of data on my iPhone 3GS :'(

  38. Valentin Lietz says:

    Not working with iOS 5.1 on iPad 2

  39. thanks says:

    thanks help for crystal, u really helped me.
    I upgraded on my main phone – obviously before i read this. when i tried to activate it told me i wasnt a developer so i was out of luck. what worked was what “help for crystal” suggested, using itunes to help restore it with the previous ipsw. thanks again

  40. Bitwise Operation says:

    You guys are funny!

  41. Gabriel says:

    Instead of going into DFU mode and restoring, downgrade by control clicking on check for updates, and select iOS 5.1.1! I just tried it and it worked without losing any information!

    • Meena says:

      How to downgrade by CONTROL clicking? If i go to settings and select check for updates, it only says ios 6 is up to date. It doesnt show iod 5.1.1.

  42. kole says:

    how long doese it take to downgrade from ios 6 to ios 5.1.1?

  43. Chris says:

    This worked great. I previously tried doing it with the iTunes sync logo on it and it would only reinstall the 6beta3. Thanks for the reminder about making sure the screen was off. Downgraded without a hitch and restored the backup I made prior to the beta.

  44. Tamby says:

    Hi Everyone, Thanks in advance.

    I have recently tried to upgrade to iOS6b1 on an iPad 3 GSM. However as I’m not a developer I’m now stuck at the activation page. So now I want to restore to iOS 5.1.1 however this is not working. I put my iPad in to DFU mode and tried to install the software however I get an error message say I can’t downgrade.

    What have I done wrong?

    Thanks Everyone again

    • obvious says:

      You can’t use iOS 6 BETA without being a registered developer. Wait until Fall like everyone else.

      • JMAY810 says:

        What you guys can do to get a fully restored IPhone, iPod or iPad on iOS 6 is shift update with the downloaded .ipsw and then once it’s done you can go to settings>general>reset>reset all content and settings and it will be restored with iOS 6. Instead of doing shift restore on iTunes. iTunes will always let you do a shift update but you have to be a developer to do a shift restore. And if you update you risk the iCloud backup on iOS 6 to overwrite your iOS 5 backup on there.

    • Help for Tamby says:

      Before upgrading to ios6b, restore (to 5.1.1) and set up as new iDevice.

  45. Badri says:

    Apple please fix the battery drying issue first and concentrate on new IOS 6

    • ur on the Mic w/Mike says:

      iOS 6 Beta 4 has the most amazing battery life ever I am getting at least two full days now on what i consider medium usuage and easily a full day from wake up to bed time with about 30% to spare under heavy use

  46. Dave says:

    Hi, i install the beta, and i cant activate my iPad2 beacuse i’m not a member of the ios development … i cant downgrade to ios 5.1.1, i put it in DFU mod, i got errors: 21,1600,1602… any1 can help me?

    • ur on the Mic w/Mike says:

      unfortunately if downgrading is failing you will have a brick until iOS6 is released this fall then you can “restore” from iTunes and it will download the official iOS6. hope you learned that Apple Betas are for devs only… sorry about your luck but shoulda read the fine print

      • jack says:

        dont put it into dfu mode. get out of dfu then connect to pc and hold both buttons and when screen turns black, turn it back on while holding home. after that it should turn to a connect to itunes screen. then itunes should open and press restore

    • Help for Dave says:

      To upgrade to ios 6 beta, after restoring, SET IT UP AS A NEW DEVICE. Otherwise, your iDevice(s) won’t activate.

  47. mahony says:

    I followed the above steps.

    Not working.. I am still getting:
    This device isn’t eligible for the requested build

    Does anyone know how to solve this?

    • Aimee says:

      Argh I’m having the same problem with the same message

      Wifi access on my iphone 3gs hasn’t worked since upgrading to ios6!!!!! Extremely annoyed is an understatement!

  48. Zacky says:

    I got the beta had it for 2 days and I am now restoring it back to 5.1.1 has my warranty got void as i have had it for less than a month.

    P.S it looks good ios 6 but will wait till fall for it

    (i had a friend who jail-breaked an iPod touch restored it and his volume rocker stuffed up and he gt it fixed from apple)

    It’s an iPad 2 32gb WiFi+3G

  49. Reid says:

    I tried to downgrade my wife’s phone, I backed up to iCloud before putting it in DFU mode and restoring to 5.1.1.

    Once it was finished I tried to restore from the iCloud backup but the backup wasn’t listed! Any possibility that since it backed up as an iOS 6 device it wouldn’t be visible to an iOS 5 device?

    • Reid says:

      I restored to 6 Beta 2 and lo and behold the iCloud backup I did before trying to downgrade was there. I then tried downgrading to 5.1.1 again thinking maybe my Wi-Fi crapped out or something and maybe the backup would be visible there. Same thing. Not visible.

      So I’m restoring to 6 Beta 2 again, going to restore from that backup, backup to iTunes this time, and try to downgrade to 5.1.1 after that.

      What’s strange is her iPod touch backups have been visible every time regardless of what iOS I have installed…

  50. Jeff says:

    Does anyone know how to fix my iPhone Bluetooth is not connecting since the 5.1.1 upgrade?

  51. Help for crystal says:

    that happened to me also,connect the phone to iTunes and then just hold the power and home button for 10 seconds and release the power button and keep on holding the home button untill there is a message from iTunes, dont forget: before you hold down the buttons and stuff, CONNECT TO ITUNES!!!!

  52. Berat says:


    Do you have sprint?

  53. Krystal says:

    So my cousin tried getting me to the iOS 6 but said there error and now its saying “We are unable to complete your activation”
    its at the start of setting up the iphone but not allowing me to do anything. Please help !!! i just want it back to 5.1.1

    • jack says:

      hey u can connect to pc and hold both buttons and when screen turns black, turn it back on while holding home. after that it should turn to a connect to itunes screen. then itunes should open and press restore

  54. thomas says:

    tested my apps in that update. did my backup in icloud – now i do not have any 5.1.1 backup of my data. anyone knows how to move my data from 6 beta back to 5.1.1?

    • ur on the Mic w/Mike says:

      you dont need to convert the backup data from iOS 6 to 5 all the backup does is make a list of installed app/music/contacts addressbook etc… the backup does not contain any specific OS information starting from OS4 and on

      • Shanice says:

        That’s actually not true. You can’t use a backup of a newer is with an older OS on your phone most of the time. Especially with the beta software I had this issue downgrading to 4 from 5.

    • emma says:

      I’ve got the same problem.. but I didn’t use iclaud.
      I’ve lost all my photos,videos,contacts etc. Sucks so much, I’ve been searching for solutions on the internet all day, and nothing works..
      I restored my iphone 4 yesterday to get rid of my jaikbreak so I could update to ios 6… When that was done I was gonna restore my backup.. And it didn’t work.. Any of the 100 times I tried.. So I tried downgrading ios 6 to ios 5.1.1… but I keep on getting errors. And now I fear I’ve lost all my stuff on my phone forever.. If someone knows the solution, please help. I’ve got a lot of important stuff on my phone.

      (Sorry for bad english)

  55. bruno says:

    error 1600: how can i fix it?
    i already tried ireb

  56. Andre says:

    Download IOS 5.1.1 psw put you phone DFU mode open iTunes hold down option key select the the 5.1.1 psw you downloaded click restore it will downgrade it to 5.1.1 good luck.

  57. Tim says:

    I regret it… I jumped onto beta 6 on my primary phone and now I keep getting errors trying to put it back

  58. ding dong says:

    No one but developers have any business using this beta. Do not put it on your primary iPhone either, you will regret it.

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