How to Downgrade from iOS 9 Back 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
- On the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, open the ‘Settings’ app and go to iCloud,then turn off “Find My iPhone”
- Turn off the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch by holding down the Power button
- Launch iTunes on the computer
- 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
- Select the iOS device iTunes and go to the “Summary” screen
- 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
- Navigate to the iOS 8.4.1 IPSW file you downloaded beforehand and select it
- 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.
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.