How to Downgrade from iOS 9 Back to iOS 8.4.1

Sep 16, 2015 - 168 Comments

How to downgrade iOS 9 to iOS 8.4.1

Want to downgrade iOS 9 back to iOS 8.4.1? You can do that, as long as you move fairly quickly. If you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch that has been updated to iOS 9 and decided it’s not for you for whatever reason, you can revert back to the prior release. Maybe you felt the update runs slower, maybe a necessary app isn’t yet compatible with the new iOS, or maybe you just preferred the prior version of iOS, the reason for downgrading doesn’t matter.

A few things to keep in mind here: downgrading only works as long as Apple signs the prior version of iOS, which is typically a short window. Also, you can’t restore an iTunes backup from a new version of iOS to an older version of iOS, so you may lose your data by doing this. You can try an iCloud backup which tends to be a bit more lenient for versions, but it’s not a guarantee. By downgrading and staying on the prior version, you may have to accept losing For the best results, you’ll move quick enough to be able to restore an iOS 8.4.1 backup you made previously to the iOS 8.4.1 device.

Before doing anything else, be sure to download iOS 8.4.1 IPSW from here which matches your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch model. You will need that IPSW file, a USB / Lightning cable, and iTunes to get started. You should also make a backup of your device as it is now if you haven’t already done so.

Downgrading iOS 9 to Revert Back to iOS 8.4.1

  1. On the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, open the ‘Settings’ app and go to iCloud,then turn off “Find My iPhone”
  2. Turn off the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch by holding down the Power button
  3. Launch iTunes on the computer
  4. iTunes 12

  5. 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 appears saying a device in recovery mode has been detected you are ready to start the downgrade process
  6. Select the iOS device iTunes and go to the “Summary” screen
  7. You’re going to press the “Restore” button with a modifier key:
    • on Mac OS X, OPTION click that Restore button
    • on a Windows PC, SHIFT click the Restore button

    Downgrade iOS 9 back to iOS 8.4.1

  8. Navigate to the iOS 8.4.1 IPSW file you downloaded beforehand and select it
  9. IPSW file

  10. Let the downgrade process complete before interacting with the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you’ll know it’s finished because the device will be at the new setup screen, as if it were a new device

Now you’re back on iOS 8.4.1, you can restore the device from a backup made from iOS 8.4.1, but as mentioned earlier, you can not restore an iOS 9 backup to an iOS 8.4.1 device from iTunes.

iPhones running iOS 8.4.1 downgraded from iOS 9

Is there an advantage to staying on iOS 8.4.1 versus updating to iOS 9 or iOS 9.1? This is largely a matter of user preference, but sometimes there are apps that work in some versions of iOS and not others, and sometimes a new version of iOS can be more sluggish than a prior version was. Keep in mind that you can always update the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to iOS 9 or iOS 9.1 again in the future if you change your mind.


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


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  1. Ramesh says:

    I have I phone 6 , post updating iOS 9, my phone started acting very slow, touch not responding , slow, wait, it may work or not, some one suggested pls upgrade iOS, I have done that with Latesh version but still there is prob, not sure what to do, is there any who can help to make my phone normal

  2. John K says:

    I would like to downgrad my iPad2 to IOS8 to speed it back up.

    The install process is now halted with a message that the image I am installing on this iPad is unauthorized. I understand Apple has stopped supporting IOS reversions like this.

    Is there a third party method of downgrading IOS on an older device?

    Thanks. JOhn

  3. Joe says:

    Hello, I have an iphone 5s that I recently acquired. I am not sure which iOS version it has on it. When I connect it to iTunes (latest version) and try to restore, it downloads the restore file and appears to prepare it, but at the end of this process it reboots and winds back up on the restore screen. I’ve also tried placing the phone into restore mode, with the same results. What steps am I missing g?

  4. Ishmeet says:

    Cannot navigate to ios 8 Ipswich please help itunes start downloading ios 9

  5. Chip Tredo says:

    Hey gang… I know I’m a little late to the party here… but…

    My 5c is distinctly more comfortable in my pocket than nearly any other phone (since my 3GS). The one I just bought has iOS9 on it, but I need to roll it back to 8.4 in order to maintain compatibility with my Mac running 10.6.8 (yes… 10.6.8… I have old apps I can’t replace, and can’t do without).

    It looks like I’ve gotten as far as “Restoring” 8.4 on my 5c, but I’m guessing it’s trying to confirm the install with Apple, and Apple isn’t approving it… anymore.

    Is my assumption correct here? Is there a work-around to get iOS 8.4.1 (ipsw) back on my iPhone 5c?

    I’m ready to switch to an Android, if I can’t get the iPhone to sync to my MacBook. I CAN get the Android phones to sync, just fine. Guess my loyalty to a company that’s now only concerned about making money, as opposed to producing decent, innovative product, (as they used to be)… is getting the better of me.

    • in says:

      You can not downgrade to iOS 8 anymore, it is no longer signed by Apple. iOS 9.3.2 is the lowest you can go.

      • JohnK says:

        Is there a third-party method to do this? I still see refurbished iPad2s for sale at Best Buy with IOS8 installed … so someone is doing it.

        • Owen Oont says:

          No, it is not possible to install an older iOS once it is no longer being signed for a specific device. The refurbished models were probably erased and setup as new through settings if they are running iOS 8, or that is the last iOS version that ran on that specific model.

  6. Dale says:

    I’m sure you’ve answered this many times so I apologize in advance. I’m trying to downgrade an iPad 2 to 8.4.1. I carefully selected the IPSW file and followed the instructions, but I’m getting this error “This device isn‘t eligible for the requested build.” Any suggestions?

    • Chip Tredo says:

      Dale… (HA! Chip & Dale???)

      I’m trying the same maneuver with an iPhone 5c. My guess is that either the phone or computer is trying to “verify” the installation with Apple, and Apple is going “tsk, tsk” while shaking it’s virtual finger at us, and then telling us to buy newer product.

      It’s all about money now. Or so it seems.

      I reiterate Dale’s question… “any suggestions”?

  7. Natured says:

    I agree with many people posting here. My iPhone 6 has become almost unusable after upgrading software. It’s not the first time I am having trouble with Apple. I’m actually looking for a different branch to be my next phone. I have a desktop PC with Windows 7 that works like gold by the way. f**k Apple.

  8. adam says:

    I downloaded the file provided from the link but it’s a zip file and when I go to select it when prompted it won’t work because it’s not an ipsw file or whatever it needs to be compatible. I need to downgrade. This new version isn’t working for our daughter who needs the cover flow to work her ipod. Help. What am I doing wrong?

    • Ell says:

      Just unzip/extract it. Should have ipsw image within the zipfile

      • OTij says:

        No, the IPSW file is NOT a zip file, it will not unzip or extract because IPSW is not a zip file, an IPSW file is an IPSW file to be used by iTunes. Use the Google Chrome browser to download the IPSW file if you can’t figure out how to not mess it up in the download process.

  9. A cepeda says:

    I tried to down grade my Ipad (3) but when I clicked “restore”, a warning light came up saying that it would erase all my data AND it would also INSTALL THE NEWEST IOS VERSION. There seemed to be no way to pick and choose!

    • Chip Tredo says:

      You have to hold down the “Option” key when you click “restore”. Then you will be prompted to select the ipsw file that you should download ahead of time.

      Let me know if you can get this to work, because after trying the install, I think the phone or the computer is trying to verify the install with Apple, and Apple is denying it.

  10. Nippa says:

    If you are running Snow Leopard 10.6.8 and have a 2007 laptop or older, that is unable to update to iTunes 12, then CALL THIS GUY in the UK/ireland.
    The more the better, as this needs to be sorted. I have been on the phone to him for about and hour and a half.
    He suggested they could write an update that allows iTunes 11 to allow OS 9.1 devices to be visible, BUT WE ALL NEED TO COMPLAIN.

  11. Christian Downey says:

    Apple are well and truly ***king us!!!!
    I’ve tried everything, but keep getting errors.

    I was running:-
    Snow Leopard 10.6.8. on an Mac Laptop Intel Core Duo 2.4ghz
    iTunes 11.2.2
    i-Phone 4s with OS8.4.1

    SInce upgrading to OS 9.0 I am now unable to connect my phone to iTunes. It requires me to update iTunes to iTunes13. Unfortunately I cannot update as my laptop will not run the latest OS.
    SO I’M TOTALLY ******D !!!
    I wonder how he would like his life and business being totally screwed.

    I refuse to be herded into a corner then forced to buy an uprated laptop, and external hardware with all the software, just because Apple wants to get you for everything you’ve got.

    I will find a way to do achieve this, as I’m not happy that no warnings were given that once you upload OS9 to your iPhone, they’ve got you by the goat and are squeezing very tight.

    Pandora’s box has just been opened, and the wrath is about to descend. Whatever that means!! Grrrrrrr. I’m really pissed off.

  12. Bazil614 says:

    IOS 9 upgrade really sucks, it just killed my IPad’s Speaker and the device runs very slow… Need to downgrade..

  13. Jackson says:

    Quick update:

    Tried this on 11/11/15 to downgrade an iPhone 5s back to iOS 8.4.1 from 9.0

    It’s not working. It says this phone is not permitted to run this software.

    Really pissed off that Apple did not put a warning as now looks like I will have to update my macbooks OS to use my iPhone with iTunes.

  14. sharen says:

    i was trying to download the ipsw but it just keeps loading and loading and loading. any help?

  15. Garry says:

    Will never ever buy an Apple product ever again!! They are a money hungry company and out date hardware so fast to force you to buy new hardware from them!!!. As i type this on my “PC” not Apple laptop that is 10 years old and still works like a dream, unlike my Ipod touch G5 with ios 9.0.1 thats is sooooo much slower than this laptop….

  16. Bruce says:

    Another long time Apple user here. Yep, my 5th gen iPod is now useless with the IOS9 update. I’m running OS10.6.8 on my Mac Mini and can not sync with the iPod anymore. Updating the Mini OS is not an option due to the other software running on it. Looks like I’ll be going back to the old 3rd gen iPod that is still able to sync with iTunes. I am disgusted with Apple in their sneaky methods to obsolete hardware. They could have easily left the path open for those who want to downgrade but that plug was pulled.

  17. Kumail says:

    Uhhh….ios9 has slowed down my 4s …its now working very slow…i have updated it till ios9.0.3 will it be degraded to uis 8.1.4 ??

  18. Andreas Fischlin says:

    It is really a nuisance how Apple makes hardware obsolete by introducing software incompatibilities such as stopping to sign iOS 8.4.1 so quickly while not warning me when I am invited to upgrade to iOS 9 via iTunes 11.4 under Mac OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) that I may lose all syncing between the Mac and my iPad 3. This has destroyed my system and I am now really mad at Apple. I am using Apple products since 1985 but have never experienced anything as bad as that.

    • Dontupdate says:

      The message from Apple is pretty clear: if you don’t want your less than brand-new device to become obsolete, don’t update system software. I’ll never update iOS on older iPhones again, it slows them down.

      • Chip Tredo says:

        Yeah… but… what about us poor schlepps that are also “long time users” (bought my first Mac+ in 86) who are kind of locked into 10.6.8 due to hardware and software titles, that now can’t use our “newer” hardware because it has updated OS software that won’t sync with our older files/software?

        I used to be one of Apple’s biggest promoters. Absolutely not, anymore.

  19. Nidza says:

    This isnt worked for me.I had a problem when it starts with restoring and downgradeing,it say’s that there is a problem with something how can i fix?If someone know’s let me know?

  20. Ken says:

    My iPod Touch 5th generation was working great, but now it’s half useless. I’ve tried downgrading to iOS 8.4.1 but I keep getting the message “iPod could not be restored. This device isn’t eligible for the requested build.”

    Outrageous that Apple allowed my iTunes 11.4 (running on OS 10.6.8) to download and install iOS 9.0.2 on my iPod, only to make itself (iTunes) virtually worthless and my iMac incompatible with my iPod. So now my choice is to either upgrade my OS from 10.6.8 and in the process trash a whole lot of critical older software that’s necessary for my business, or just relegate my iPod to a device that is no longer compatible with my apple desktop computer.

    Apple has to fix this if they want to retain me as 25-year-long loyal customer. Apple built it’s reputation on compatibility but now I think Apples has changed its tune.

  21. Mayank says:

    Me to also facing lot problem in my iphone 6 after updating it to ios9 and after tha now its latest update 9.0.2 but then also no issue solved my mobile troublng me a lott

  22. Raini says:

    Help! I can’t get this to work with my iPod Touch 5th Gen. I checked to make sure I downloaded the correct file, and I made sure my iTunes is the most recent version, but I keep getting the 3194 error. Now my iPod is stuck in recovery mode and unusable unless I put iOS 9 back…The whole reason I want iOS 8 back is because a bunch of apps that I regularly use no longer work with the update…

  23. rinku says:

    hello guys? i am phase 3194 error ?? when i downgrade ios 9 to ios 8 then come this error ???? can you tell me that how it fix (for iphone 6)

  24. Larry says:

    My next phone will not be an apple. I’m tired of apple using me to test their buggy software.

    My next desktop may not be an apple either. Why would you support a company that doesn’t provide blackouts!


  25. Mohd says:

    i m try the instruction above but it give me this MSG

    “This device isn’t eligible for the requested build”

    i have the latest itune Version

  26. Matt says:

    This is outrageous!

    So Apple allowed me to upgrade my iPhone using iTunes 11.4 and then effectively bricked my phone immediately (and my daughters iPod) afterwards with regards to backup, using music and syncing

    They’re not signing 8.4.1 so I can’t go back. I can’t upgrade my computer past Lion because Apple put a 32bit Efi in my Octocore MacPro so I’m stuck with iTunes 11.4.

    So I have a useless phone unless I pay for full iCloud and Music Match. Oh Apple, what evil money grabbing bstards you’ve become.

    And yet your page about iOS9 still says that Snow Leopard is the minimum requirement. False Advertising?

    I’m so angry about this, I’m going to go and shout at a ‘genius’.

  27. vamshi krishna says:

    I have downloaded ios 9 to ios 8.4.1 downgrade firmware for iphone 4s dual band and got tired of trying it. It shows error 3194 and i tried in various solutions for it but no use. So, please help me to get out of it.

    I heard that ios 9 can’t be downgraded – by technicians .

    Please help me and reply me through email

  28. Cherrie says:

    I upgraded to IOS9 and just watched my iPhone go from 100% battery to 1% battery in 2 hrs. All I did was check email played a game that does not require using data and went on safari to see why my battery is draining so fast. I have everything turned off. This is awful. They need to fix it fast. #applehelp

  29. Pbsaurus says:

    I allowed the update and then wasn’t able to access iTunes since I’m running snow leopard on an old iMac. It won’t allow me to sync my 5c GSM now. I tried downloading the 8.4.1 IPSW file and tried this process to restore. It will get to the extracting software phase in iTunes 11.4. I then get the message “The iPhone iPhone could not be restored. This device isn’t eligible for the requested build.” I click on more information and it takes me to error code 3194 on Apple’s support page. Is there something else I can do? I want all my apps, music, podcasts, etc. back.

  30. TheCameleon says:

    I spoke with an Apple person today and confronted him with the question about “signing”. He denied that Apple has anything to do with that – He says they don’t have anything on their servers (?) – they only “sign” Beta versions. He did say that he was not authorized to offer any help, because it is an unauthorized action, but did say there is an easy way to downgrade, but he is not premitted to walk me through it. I don’t know what it means, but I’ve tried many times with all suggestions/variations and my 5s still “extracts the files for update”, then gives me the “not eligible” message. I got “not compatible” when I had the wrong IPSW, but “not eligible” I don’t understand. If anyine can explain what that means, I’d be grateful, but I’m still SOL.

    • toomuchcoffee says:

      Apple stopped signing iOS 8.4.1 you can’t do it anymore. You must use iOS 9.0.2.

      • TheCameleon says:

        If I upgrade to 9.0.2 would I then have success going back to 8.4.1?

        • Mike says:

          Because Apple stopped signing 8.4.1, it can no longer be used to downgrade a phone at iOS 9.0.x. If you tried the upgrade and it failed, as far as I can tell, your only options are to wait for Apple to release a new 9.0.3 or whatever or possibly jailbrake your device so that you can install the unsigned iOS version.

  31. Tia says:

    Hi. Thanks for your reply. I have completed the file download and restore as well. Even after this error msg ‘device isnt eligibile for requested built’ .
    1. Is it that apple has stopped downgrade to iOS 8.4.1
    2. Mac os is 10.8.5 and itunes is 11.4 ( I cant upgrade itunes to next version 12.2) iphone 6 plus
    Please advise any other suggestion to downgrade to 8.4.1 as I need to restore my new iphone 6 plus from old backup of iphone 5 via iTunes.


    • Coffee_king says:

      I have exactly the same, I believe its because Apple just stopped allowing this yesterday. Does anyone have a work around please? My iPhone 5 is awful on iOS9 and was brilliant on iOS8.

  32. Tia says:

    I have downloaded iphone 6 plus file iPhone7,
    Ever after restore device is stuck on ios 9.0.1. How can I get to 8.4.1 ?

    Many thanks

    • cee says:

      You need to follow the instructions and select the complete downloaded iOS 8.4.1 IPSW file to downgrade to that release. The file needs to complete downloading before you can use it, it will be an .ipsw file

      Otherwise you can update to iOS 9.0.2

      • Tia says:


        Thanks for reply.

        Specs are as follows:
        iphone 6 plus
        mac 10.8.5
        itunes 11.4

        I needed to downgrade to ios 8.4 to backup my new device iphone 6 plus with itunes. However, itunes cant backup unless i upgrade to version 12 which isnt possible as per mac version.

        So now the error message ‘This device isn’t eligible for the requested build’ appears in itunes when try to restore and downgrade.

        Any other solution for downgrade possible to backup from itunes ?

        Many thanks

    • Susan says:

      Where did you go to download it? I’m trying to find 8.4.1 download links for my 5s GSM phone. None seem to be working. I keep getting the following error message on another page.

      “An error occurred while processing your request.
      Reference #30.e0a31645.1443651118.e8cbef9”

  33. smjraft says:

    Just updated iPhone 6 plus. Now I can not connect to app store or ither apps through cellular data. I have tried everything and nothing works. When I use wireless router, there’s no problems. Please help

  34. AkoniSama says:

    Hmmm… strange i get the “this firmware isnt compatible with this iphone” error when i download the iphone 6 iw…
    i thought maybe i had the wrong one cuz i have version (no simcard) but there only one option for 6… so is it they havnt wrote imw or whatever for cardless 6’s??

  35. SALOOMEH says:

    I update my ios today, but unfortunately I lost all of my notes, How can I recover them ?

    Thanks ,

  36. andrei says:

    Can anyone help me? I have an iphone 5 ios 9 and i wanna get back to ios 6. is that possible? thanks

  37. shivendra says:

    can anyone provide me software by which i can flash and install any ios or any flashtool..

  38. shivendra says:

    error 3194 coming..

  39. sam says:

    Hello! I use an iPad 2 (wifi) as the model number is A1395. I downloaded the corresponding IPSW file for that model, however, I keep getting “firmware not compatible.” The IOS is up to date at 9.0.1 and I’m trying to go back to 8.4.1 is this possible or do I need to downgrade to IOS 9.0.0 then to 8.4.1?

  40. hre says:

    I have updated my iphone5 to ios9, and the new font really bother me. Can some one advise me how can I get back the previous font without down grading back to 8.4.1, please?

  41. jo says:

    Is this still working? I tried it and got an error 3014 which is when iTunes can’t communicate with Apple’s software update server. Anyone else had this problem? How do I get around it? I really need to downgrade my phone because of the whole cellular data issue. =(

  42. Bunk3m says:

    The ipsw files appear to have been pulled.

    “An error occurred while processing your request.

    Reference #30.15a1823f.1443229118.1ad2326 ”

    Major bummer!

    • paco says:

      The IPSW files are always available to download, try downloading the file again. Which one are you getting? I just downloaded the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5s IPSW for iOS 8.4.1 and Apple is still signing all of iOS 8.4.1 IPSW so it is still possible to downgrade.

  43. Rucinter says:

    Hi, just make a point:
    a trustly friend just told me you need to do the process with the original apple cable or it wont work… good luck

  44. Allison says:

    Dude. DUDE. This worked so perfectly and I’m a bit stunned because stuff like this never works for me. I was miserable with the ios9 update and thought I was stuck with the lagging and watching my battery drain before my eyes. I can’t believe how well you explained this and I can’t believe I’m back to the phone I loved so much up until yesterday. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  45. Stuart says:

    Awesome !!! This worked for me, for my ipod touch (5th gen)

  46. Raine says:

    I attempted this but I got an error. I think my phone (iPhone 5s GSM) is in recovery mode and it won’t get out. I’ve been receiving error (-39) which involves my network but I’m connected to the network the entire time… Any help?

  47. Sophia S says:

    I keep getting a message that says the firmware file is not compatible. I have a 5s and I downloaded the correct ipsw file for my phone, but it still won’t work. I clicked on the ipsw file for the 5s, but noticed that when the file was dowloaded it was named “iphone6,2_8.4.1_12H…” I don’t know if that has to do with the problem? Any help would be great! ios9 completely destroyed my phone.

    • Than says:

      The proper firmware will be compatible, but you may have downloaded the wrong IPSW, there are two available for iPhone 5S. Try downloading the other firmware file of iOS 8.4.1 IPSW for the iPhone 5s, many users pick the wrong one accidentally (it’s easy to mix them up).

      • Sophia S says:

        I downloaded the IPSW from the website: and clicked on 5s (CDMA) and it still won’t work :(

        • Than says:

          Apple is still signing iOS 8.4.1 so this does work to downgrade from iOS 9 or iOS 9.1, the proper IPSW is critical to use however:

          The IPSW file iPhone6,2_8.4.1_12H321_Restore.ipsw is for iPhone 5S GSM (AT&T, T-Mobile, anything with SIM card)

          The IPSW file iPhone6,1_8.4.1_12H321_Restore.ipsw is for iPhone 5S CDMA (Verizon, Sprint, ChinMo, anything without SIM card)

          It looks like they may be backwards in the download list, be sure you get the proper IPSW file, maybe try downloading the other one for iPhone 5s in case you downloaded the wrong IPSW file. Which one did you download?

          • Sophia S says:

            I originally clicked on the link for 5s CDMA, and the resulting file that was downloaded on my computer was file “iPhone6,2_8.4.1_12H321_Restore.ipsw.” I am going to click on 5s GSM in hopes that it’ll provide me with the correct IPSW file.

            Fingers crossed that this works!

          • Sophia S says:

            You’re the best Than! I was able to restore it :)

  48. Robbie says:

    ive tried this many times but i keep getting firmware file not compatible

  49. Warez says:


    i got problems with, the 9.0 version, and i wish to downgrade my 4S, but i cant bypass the 3194 error, already done the host file trick, updated itunes, resuming…
    Whats is the best firmware to my 4S ? 7.1.2 ?
    is there any tool to apply ipsw besides the itunes? like the older jaiulbreak tools used to apply custom firmwares?


  50. Dan says:

    I have iOS 7.1.2 on a iPhone 5. Can I use this same process to upgrade to iOS 8.4.1? I’m finding that more and more apps are no longer updating for iOS 7.1.2 and others no longer support this iOS. (I should have done this 2 weeks ago for iOS 9 was released!!)

    If the upgrade is possible: after upgrading to iOS 8.4.1, can I restore a backup made on iOS 7.1.2? I don’t want to lose all my call logs, voicemail, texts, etc.

    I would appreciate any tips, hints or tricks.


  51. Pouyan says:

    Greet, first i thought it didnt work, but worked fine !!

  52. Ren Petrauskas says:

    Thank you Matt,

    But I create backups monthly. And have used Apple products since 1980. Not really a novice here. The issue is, now that I have properly downgraded back to iOS 8.4.1, then restored to a backup from earlier this week, the sync craps out and cancels every time. So I am doing what I had to do last time I dealt with something similar when upgrading from 6 to 7 or 7 to 8, which is, restore from a slightly older backup, and then add everything back manually. It is a pain in the arse, but it was the only thing that worked last time when even the Apple Tier 2 Support people had no idea how to fix it. I know one of the issues is if you use a lot of Custom Ringtones, or a large Music Library. which I do, that you always have to delete all of those, then restore, then re-add them as a last step. Something about when they switched from Ringtone to Tones that caused an issue that No One over there wants to address. I am almost done getting my third party apps back on the phone now.

  53. Ren Petrauskas says:

    This is the third time an Apple iOS Update has screwed me over and made me waste countless hours trying to get my device back to an older working version. This time without warning, the device, an iPhone 4S running iOS 8.4 had slide to upgrade on it instead of the usual wake the device with passcode. Like an idiot I complied, and now my Phone running iOS 9.0 will not sync with my Mac Pro Tower running Snow Leopard 10.6.8 and iTunes 11.4. The Upgrade had NO NOTIFICATION of system requirements, or that it would require a newer Operating System or newer version of iTunes. So of course it now tells me the phone must have a newer version of iTunes and a newer Operating system in order to sync the device. This happened to me a couple of times before, and I am not dealing with this again, ever. So I have downgraded my device back to 8.4.1 using the iPhone 4.1 8.4.1 12H321 Restore ispw file, which worked successfully, but it will not allow me to restore any of my third party apps, it cancels sync every time I try. If I restore to today’s earlier backup or one from a month ago, it is the same thing. The device is back, with default apps, but none of my music, custom ringtones, third party apps, or documents will sync. That my friends is it for me and Apple Products. After using Apple products since 1980, and being a Mac Advocate through the 80’s and 90’s, and installing their equipment in every job where I was in charge of the Creative Services Departments, this was the last straw. So now I am stuck with a broken phone once again that was working fine an hour ago. Best part is, if you click on Restore iPhone in iTunes, a screen pops up and says this; “Are you sure you want to restore the iPhone to its factory settings? All of your media and other data will be erased, and the newest version of the iPhone software will be installed.”

    • Matt says:

      When you set it up as new you have the option to restore from a prior backup made from iOS 8.4.1 (assuming you made one), choose that to get your old backed up stuff back. If you didn’t make a backup with iOS 8.4.1 prior to updating to iOS 9, you’re out of luck unless you manually export contacts, pictures, etc from iOS 9, then move those to iOS 8, which is a huge hassle but possible.

      My new mantra with iOS updates is; don’t update. There is never a feature that is worth the potential hassle!

    • Steve Hoge says:

      Dude I feel your pain – I’m in the same boat due to blindly updating a newly purchased (used) iPad2. Now I’m looking at a whole effing system upgrade, and since in late Oct 2015 I’m apparently outside of the signing window and can’t downgrade to 8.4.1 – I get the dreaded “device isn’t eligible for the requested build” error.

  54. Robert Glass says:

    I just gone back to 8.4.1 Successfully with my 4S…Better wait for 9.3 or even 9.5.1 LOL…..

  55. Tapedoctor says:

    Holy Mother of God Batman, it worked and my iPhone 5c is now restored to what it was 2 hours ago! Thank you with a deep bow and a tip of the hat to you Mr. Horowitz. You posted the easiest to read and follow directions I found online for this problem. Everything: phone logs, contacts, text messages, etc. seems to be there. I had to restore because I still use Snow Leopard for my MacBook Pro.

  56. Tapedoctor says:

    I am doing this now. I had to download 3 versions of iOS 8.4.1 before finding the right one for my iPhone 5c model. Your computer’s operating system will automatically put the wrong restore file into your trash if you got the wrong one. Your library folder will be empty. That’s how you will know you do not have the right version. Keep trying, you will get it.

  57. Carol says:

    Hi there
    I need your help please – I just upgraded my itunes and ipad to the latest version – BIG mistake.
    I now cannot see my ipad in itunes and therefore cannot sync.
    I have so many playlists that i really cannot afford to loose. Does anyone know how I can fix this problem? I wish I had never done the upgrade

    • sunlit says:

      Connect the iPad to the computer with a USB cable, try a different USB port if it doesn’t show up. Sometimes you need to reboot the computer after updating iTunes too.

      Once you can see the iPad, you can restore it or downgrade it in iTunes as described above.

  58. Mandy says:

    I downloaded .ipsw file however, when i go to my iTunes, the only option is restore & update and automatically loads iOS 9.

    • Zippity says:

      Option+Click the Update button, select the IPSW file for iOS 8.4.1 and your iPhone

      Follow the instructions, downgrading from iOS 9 to iOS 8.4.1 works if you follow the instructions as described

  59. Danny says:

    Will i lost all my notes after downgrading from iOS9 to iOS8? i do back-up in itunes and i have icloud but i just want to make sure that i won’t lost all my important notes. Help please!

    • Mathew Deer says:

      As stated in the article, users can restore a backup to iOS 8.4.1 made from iOS 8.4.1, you can not restore iOS 9 backups to iOS 8.4.1. Apple does not allow backups from new versions of iOS to go to older versions, but it does allow older backups to go to newer versions.

  60. Ariana says:

    I can’t go back! I keep getting error 3194, and my host files are perfectly fine… Please tell me I’m not to late to downgrade. Can anyone help me out?

  61. gabby says:

    I would like to sincerely thank this website for putting this information out here for people like me to find. I updated my iphone to IOS 9 without realising my mac version was to old to then sync to the newly updated phone (thank you apple for that important bit of information NOT!) and by having this information to downgrade has saved me hours of frustration and money

  62. Rob Adlam says:

    I am having problems with the iOS 9 upgrade on my iPhone 6 Plus. Is there any time limit on the ability to restore back to iOS 8.4.1? I have downloaded both the .ipsw files for my iPhone and my iPad Air 2, but would prefer not to have to downgrade back to iOS 8 at the moment; at least until I have updated to El Capitan on my MacBook Pro. Would I be able to move back to iOS 8.4.1 in October if I wish?

  63. Jay says:

    I tried to restore my iPad Mini, received this message: The iPad could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (4005). Any advice?

  64. Emma says:

    Trying this right now, Nothing works with the new iOS9! no iMessage, wifi connections, mobile internet, app store.. literally nothing.. I’ve never used iTunes before but I’ve tried to back everything up and am now waiting for i iPhone 5 restore thing to download… Just really hoping this isn’t some fake website :(

    • tna says:

      As long as you download the IPSW files from Apple it is fine, don’t download the firmware from anywhere else except an Apple server.

  65. Alex says:

    I tried to Restore iPad with the ipsw 8.4.1, but when I clicked it, an error came up and said: “The iPad “iPad” could not be restored because the firmware file is not compatible.” I tried all the ipsw files that I found for my iPad mini wifi but nothing seems to work. IOS 9 made my iPad mini much slower and I really want to swithc back.

  66. Alex says:

    I tried to Restore iPad with the ipsw 8.4.1, but when I clicked it, an error came up and said: “The iPad “iPad” could not be restored because the firmware file is not compatible.” I tried all the ipsw files that I found for my iPad mini wifi but nothing seems to work. IOS 9 made my iPad mini much slower and I really want to swithc back.

  67. John says:

    Any idea if I’ll be able to restore a backup that was made with the phone on 8.40 if I’m using 8.4.1?

  68. Looks like I may have broken my iPad 2 trying to downgrade. As I suspected, iOS 9 was just waaay tooo slooow for this old machine.

    Here’s the error I got. — As you can see, not helpful at all.

    • rahbeen says:

      Put your iPad into DFU mode and restore with the proper IPSW in iTunes for the iPad model, there were like 5 iPad 2 models made so picking the proper firmware is important (if not frustrating).

  69. A Sad User says:

    Hi, is this downgrade jailbreaking?

  70. Ahsen says:

    I am a doctor and found myself without a phone for 2 days after the OS9 update which left me with the ‘white slide scree of death’. Your help has saved me – words cannot express my gratitude. Thank you.

  71. JamesIndy says:

    My iPhone 4S (just months old) was ok. But then started going to black screen all the time. Hope this helps.
    Easy to follow at least.
    It would be cool if we could dual-boot; and of course multi-user iOS devices would be great.
    Ok, rebooted and it’s back to 8.4.1
    Thanks everyone who makes this possible. But APPLE should be the ones to help US the most. Billions in the bank.

  72. Juan says:

    I couldn’t complete downgrade. I got the message “Phone is not eligible for completing….” and aborted the process…any ideas why? I have iPhone 5 A1428

  73. Vansh says:

    Will it really work for ipad mini 2

  74. Lola says:

    I too get the incompatible firmware message and cannot downgrade. As my iPad2 is presently at 7.x, my sense is that I first must upgrade to iOS 9, THEN downgrade.
    Too bad they make this so painful. They’ve forgotten some of their roots: Alan Kay and the Parc….

  75. mitzi says:

    Help !! I have no idea what ton do , I got the message to ‘update’ clicked okay and now my screen is white telling me to swipe it but it wont do it :/ Iv read earlier comments and tips buit am so confused as to what am supposed to do :'(

  76. Adrian says:

    Installed iOS9 on my wifes 1 week old iphone6..

    Phone refused to recharge, switched cables, tried everything, hard reset, reset all, even re-installed IoS from apple direct via ITunes.. all to no avail.

    Additionally the phone started auto rebooting every 5 minutes or so…

    Wife is PI**ED.. :(

    Dloading 8.4.1 as I speak & hope it will get installed..

  77. SG says:

    Thank you … I upgraded my iPad and it went really weird.. background all over the place… games not working properly… couldn’t swipe up to get rid of apps… now I’ve gone back to ios 8.4.1 and I won’t be going back to 9 ever again… phew :)

    • Robert Glass says:

      I just do the same…gone back to iOS 8.4.1 my 4S was running weird also..I couldn’t use cellular data for some of my apps…It freeze all the time..

  78. joppe says:

    The iOS 9 Podcasts app crashes on launch for me so this is what I’ll have to do. I hope they fix it in 9.1.

  79. stuntz0rZ says:

    I don’t see much reason to go back to ios 8.4.1.. I enjoy the new power saving feature in the new 9.0. Hopefully I am able to do a full jailbreak on ios9 soon though so i can use f.lux

    • Nathan says:

      You can use the power saving feature by jailbreaking your iPhone. They introduced it in 8.3 actually. It’s been on my brother’s phone for months haha.

  80. jm says:

    thank you, thank you, thank you! Using old mac and can’t update anymore without lots of great software becoming useless – thank you! My ipod was almost useless!

  81. Marius says:

    I have a question: can I go now back to 8.4 and 8.3 and …. To 8.0 ?

  82. kayne says:

    mail app will not open both on iPhone 6 and iPad mini 2 on ios9

  83. Kevin102k says:

    I found ITunes dumped the last ios 8.4.1 in my recycle bin and I restored using that and it works didn’t know the shift tip thanks!

  84. Marius says:

    Thank YOU sooo much , i have a iPhone 6 plus , but iOS 9 didn’t work properly. Just lags and battery draining like hell. Thanks again and good luck !!

  85. Riolucake says:

    Thank you i love IOS 8 ill never give it away :)

  86. green viper says:

    I have tried to downgrade IOS 9 to IOS 8.4.1. each time I followed the process given here but it says iphone firmware error… what should I do?

    iPhone 5s and iTunes 12.3

    • mbaz says:

      I have same problem, any solution?

    • dan says:

      make sure you have the right firmware for your exact model number (on the back of your device), then really important!! to turn the find my phone in icloud and turn the icloud off too, and the passcode also has to be turn off … after this it should work as this tutorial says, as long as apple sign 8.4.1

    • dan says:

      before you start turn the passcode and find my phone off, and icloud too just to be sure…. download the right firmware for you exact model (on the back of your device)
      after that it should work as this tutorial says,
      good luck! for me it worked perfectly the way i described

  87. Not A Happy Camper says:

    Does not work. Keep getting a “not compatible” firmware error. :(

    • Seth says:

      This works, I used it to downgrade my iPhone 6 which is running worse in iOS 9 than it was in iOS 8.4. You probably downloaded the wrong firmware for your device, be sure to pick the right one, it can’t restore firmware that is not compatible with the device hardware, they are specific to each model.

    • Oktanol says:

      Same here! I tryed ALL the FW for the ipad mini (1): keep getting a “not compatible” error. I don’t know what to do anymore.

  88. Pablo says:

    When upgrading to iOS 9 the my screen stopped working for some reason. I couldn’t even unlock my phone or restart it. I didn’t now you can restart by pressing the power button and home button at the same time. That did the trick.

  89. Javi says:

    I’m running The latest OS “El Capitan” on my 2009 MacBook, no issues with sync. And I’m also running iOS 9.1 and my phone is actually running a lot better than it did on iOS 9.

    Just make sure you do a clean install and you shouldn’t have any issues and have a decent internet speed so there’s no issues with the download. Downloading an OS at a local Starbucks doesn’t help.

  90. Gilbert says:

    Thank you so much for this guide. I’m sad to see iOS 9 is not working well in my iPhone 6 :(

    • INDC says:

      Same here. I have an iPhone 6, 64gb on Verizon. I am getting strange font renderings in some of the settings (due to the new font?), and my phone has started running very, very hot – never had that problem prior to the updgrade. Grrrr, apple!

  91. Joe W says:

    iTunes 12.3 requires 10.8 released in 2012 or Windows 7 released in 2009!
    Come on Apple, Support OS X released in 2009!
    I can’t even use Lion anymore if I wanted to.

    iPhone 6, iOS8

  92. JimM says:

    The real advantage this gives is that iOS 9 requires iTunes 12.3 and that only runs on OX 10.8.5 so people having older Macs can no longer sync. Thanks for the info.

    • OliverC says:

      Trying to figure this one out,I have iOS9 on my iPhone 6 and 12.3 iTunes verision.OS X El Captain 10.11 on my early 2009 iMac so what can’t we sync??My problem after updating to iOS9 on my iPhone I am not getting sounds all the time,mail,Imassage,viber,what sup sometimes I do sometimes I don’t how can we go back or how can we fix these problems as my gmail is not making a Ping incoming sound 60% of the time or even more when the mail comes…what is going on here,major issue ….A friend of mine has iPhone 6 no updates stays as factory iOS and never updates,no problems runs perfect!

      • bugville says:

        I have also encountered the issue where Mail alerts stop sounding, and I usually get 2 or more alerts for the same email when they do arrive too. iOS 9 is a buggy mess, hopefully iOS 9.1 fixes it but don’t hold your breath.

  93. CharukA says:

    After the upgrade, the call log and Phone book just doesn’t work…

    what should i do now

    • Petar says:

      I have same problem since yesterday, restored several times- same, but finally the easiest way is to make around 10-15 phone standard restarts and finally start working smooth.

      • P. Welch says:

        What do you mean “phone standard restarts”. Please explain exactly how you do this (have obviously lost my call log and Phone book as well). Thank you.

  94. Hariprasad says:

    After the upgrade, the call log and Phone book just doesn’t work…

  95. Avenged110 says:

    “…the reason for downgrading doesn’t matter.”
    At least someone understands.

  96. Jim says:

    Thanks for this timely tip. iOS 9 killed cellular data on my iPhone 5s and iPad Mini 3 wifi+cellular. So I used your guide and ISPW download links to roll back to iOS 8.4.1, and it works again. Good thing I did backups this morning before updating to iOS 9. I’ve never had to roll back an Apple software update before. Further proof, at least to me, that Apple’s pushing out version updates without paying proper attention to quality and reliability.

    • H. Feenstra says:

      Agree, never rolled back either. But iOS 9 is awful!

      • P. Welch says:

        IOS 9 turned my iPhone 4s into a heat-producer so hot I could barely touch my phone…and on top of it, the battery that used to last all day now lasts only 10-20 minutes (even with every app turned off and just ‘resting’). Trying now to revert. I will never upgrade automatically again; have learned my lesson.

        • Gaga says:

          For my 4S i did this and now I’m happy….

          I downgraded my 4S to 6.1.3 !!!!!

          F*** YOU APPLE !!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

          • Michael Polisi says:

            i attempted the ios 6.1.3 via worked, but didnt have service at all verizon a1387 – went to 8.1.4 per menu settings of 6.1.3-…installing since verizon doesn’t support the signal 3g-4g any more had to move up a couple :( getting a SE, :)

        • Elaine Williams says:

          Me Too! The exact same thing happened. WTF if wrong with Apple? Remember the disasterous Windows 8? about a month after the release there were signs in every computer shop tell you they will remove it for $125. You think they’d learn by now.

    • julieta says:

      Hi, I accidentally updated to iOS 9.1 and my iPhone 5 is working extremely slow. I tried downgrading but I think I might be doing something wrong. I downloaded the ISPW for my phone but I don’t really know how to access it through iTunes. Could someone helo me? I did the whole process but it still downloaded iOS 9.1. My last backup is from iOS 8.4.1 so I don;t see why it wouldn’t work. This iOS 9 is driving me crazy!!

    • jayne says:

      hi i have downloaded 8.4 how did you get iphone to read the file

  97. Elvis says:

    You can use the exact same technique to downgrade from iOS 9.1 to iOS 9 or downgrade iOS 9.1 to iOS 8.4.1 too

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