How to Downgrade iOS 9 Beta to iOS 8
iOS 9 may be exciting with new features and refinements, but running beta software on a primary iPhone or iPad is rarely recommended, as the experience is less than optimal at the moment. For
those who installed iOS 9 beta only to discover it’s current state is a bit of a buggy battery drain, the best solution is to downgrade back to a stable iOS 8 release. Reverting from iOS 9 is fairly easy to do, though it’s a bit more technical than your average iOS restore process, if you follow along you’ll be back on 8 in a few minutes.
To get started, you’ll need a USB cable, a computer with the latest version of iTunes, and the relevant iOS 8.4 IPSW file for the specific device being downgraded (yes, signed iOS works too).
Downgrading an iPhone or iPad with iOS 9 Beta Back to iOS 8
You’ll probably want to back up your iOS device before beginning this process, otherwise you may lose data that you find important. You can not restore an iOS 9 back up to iOS 8 however, so keep that in mind.
- On the iOS 9 device, open Settings and go to iCloud, and turn off “Find My iPhone”, then turn off the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch by holding down the Power button
- Launch iTunes and connect the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch to the computer using the USB cable, then immediately start holding down the Power and Home button together for 10 seconds, then release the Power button but continue holding the Home button
- When a message in iTunes pops up saying a device in recovery mode has been detected, you are successfully in DFU mode and the hardware is ready for the downgrade
- In iTunes, select the device under the “Summary” tab, look for the “Restore” button – on a Mac, OPTION click that button, on a Windows PC, SHIFT click that button, then navigate to the iOS 8 IPSW file you downloaded earlier
- Let the downgrade process complete, when finished the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch will reboot into a fresh iOS 8 install, at this point you can go through the typical setup process and restore from an iCloud or iTunes backup, or set it up as new
For the unfamiliar, this works works because the iPhone or iPad is placed into DFU mode, which stands for “Device Firmware Update mode”, a special hardware state that allows for downgrading and updating iOS versions to supported firmware. Note that DFU mode is not always required to downgrade iOS software, and prior beta versions of iOS (like going from 8 back to 7) could be done with a simple IPSW restore, nonetheless, BGR recommends using DFU mode, and in our testing it worked just fine.
Now that you’re back on a stable iOS release, if you want to dabble in future versions of iOS 9, the best thing to do is either wait for the iOS Public Beta program to launch more stable versions, or, perhaps better yet, is to simply wait for the final release to enjoy it on the iPhone or iPad.