How to Downgrade iOS 10 to iOS 9.3.5
Want to revert from iOS 10 and downgrade back to iOS 9? You can downgrade an iPhone or iPad and revert back to iOS 9.3.5 from iOS 10, but you’ll need to move fairly quickly. This tutorial will walk through the process of downgrading so that if you’re unsatisfied with iOS 10 for whatever reason, perhaps there’s some compatibility issue, or you think it is too slow and don’t want to wait for indexing to finish, then you can go back to the prior iOS 9 system software.
First a quick note; this is a time sensitive procedure because Apple must be digitally signing the iOS system software versions in order for the downgrade process to work. Currently iOS 9.3.5 is being signed, meaning you can downgrade back to iOS 9.3.5 without an issue. Once Apple stops signing iOS 9.3.5, then all users will have to stay on their current iOS release, or update to iOS 10.
Important note about downgrading iOS 10: you must have a backup from iOS 9 available if you want to preserve your personal stuff during the downgrade. This is because you can not restore an iOS 10 backup to an iOS 9 device. If you don’t have a compatible backup available, you’ll end up with an erased iOS 9 device that has nothing on it, meaning no data, none of your stuff, completely wiped. It is absolutely critical that you have a backup of your device before attempting a downgrade, either from iOS 9 or iOS 10, otherwise you may suffer from permanent data loss. Do not ignore this.
How to Downgrade iOS 10 to Revert Back to iOS 9.3.5
You can downgrade with iTunes on a Mac or a Windows PC, here is what to do:
- Before anything else, be sure you have a backup available of your device
- Next, download the iOS 9.3.5 IPSW file for your iPhone or iPad and place the .ipsw file somewhere easy to find like the Desktop or Downloads folder
- Open iTunes on the computer
- Connect the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch you wish to downgrade to iTunes using a USB cable
- Select the device so that you’re in the summary section in iTunes, then:
- For Mac: OPTION + click the “Restore” button
- For Windows: SHIFT + click the “Restore” button
- Navigate to the iOS 9.3.5 IPSW file you saved in the second step and choose to restore
iTunes will notify you the device will be erased and restored to iOS 9.3.5. This means the iPhone or iPad will lose all data on it as part of the downgrade process, which is why it’s critical you have a backup available before completing this process. If you want your stuff back, you’ll need to use a backup from iOS 9. If you do not have an iOS 9 backup, make a backup with iOS 10 anyway before attempting to downgrade to preserve your data, pictures, contacts, and other information.
It’s worth mentioning there are mixed reports from the beta period of being able to successfully downgrade from iOS 10 reverting to iOS 9 and *without* losing all data by using the ‘update’ button instead of the ‘restore’ button in iTunes to select IPSW, but it is not entirely consistent and you still may lose messages, music, or other information. The only reliable way to downgrade and revert back from iOS 10 and not lose any data is if you have a backup from iOS 9 available, perhaps made before the initial iOS 10 update as recommended.
Remember, you can always update to iOS 10 again any time in the future if you change your mind.
Did you downgrade iOS 10 back to 9? Why? How did the experience go? Share your comments below!