3 Ways to Downgrade iOS 16 to an Older Version [2023]

Peter Aaron
Last updated: May 15, 2023

Regret updating your iOS to the latest iOS 16.3? Wondering if it's possible to downgrade your iPhone to an older version? Read this blog to find out how.

Updating your iOS to the latest version is exciting because Apple is constantly updating iOS to provide an even better experience for iPhone users. But once you do, you might regret it, because the new iOS might have unexpected bugs, and it might not be as good as you thought.

Wondering how to downgrade your iOS to an earlier version? Check out this blog where you can find 3 methods.

How to Downgrade Your iOS to an Older Version

Preparation Before Downgrading Your iOS

Since unexpected things can happen during an iOS downgrade, the first thing you need to do is back up your iPhone. You can easily do it using iCloud, Finder, or iTunes.

In addition to creating a backup of your iPhone, you need to do the following:

  • Make sure your iPhone is well connected to your PC or Mac.
  • Your network is stable.
  • You have turned off Find My iPhone on your iPhone.
  • Your Windows PC has the latest iTunes installed.
  • You have downloaded an old IPSW file for your iPhone.
  1. Apple does not provide an option to download iOS firmware, but you can download it from third-party sites like ipsw.me. All you need to do is select your iPhone model and then choose the signed firmware file you need.
  2. Normally, Apple stops signing the old iOS firmware files within two weeks after the release of the new iOS. That said, you may not have an available iOS firmware to download.

How to Downgrade iOS Using Finder or iTunes

The official way to downgrade your iPhone is to use Finder or iTunes. While Apple doesn't allow you to download iOS firmware directly, you don't have to worry about tampering with IPSW files downloaded from third-party sites, as Finder and iTunes will verify the signature and integrity of the firmware you download before performing the firmware downgrade.

Now that you have downloaded the available iOS firmware, let's see how to downgrade your iPhone.

  1. Connect your iPhone to a computer via a USB cable.
  2. Open iTunes on Windows or Finder on Mac.
  3. If you haven't backed up your iPhone, use Finder or iTunes to do so.
  4. If you're using Finder, hold down the Option key while clicking Restore iPhone. If you're using iTunes, hold down the Shift key.
    Downgrade iOS with Finder
  5. Select the iOS firmware file you downloaded, and click Restore to confirm.
    Select a Firmware to Restore
  6. After the restore process is complete, set up and restore your iPhone.

How to Downgrade iOS Using DFU Mode

DFU mode is a more advanced mode than recovery mode. It can be used to downgrade your iOS. If the above method cannot help you restore iOS successfully, follow the steps below to do it in DFU mode.

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac or PC.
  2. Open Finder on your Mac or iTunes on your PC.
  3. Put your iPhone into DFU mode. If you successfully enter DFU mode, your iPhone will be on a black screen, and a window will pop up in Finder or iTunes saying it detected your iPhone in DFU mode.
    Downgrade iOS in DFU Mode
  4. If you are using Finder, hold down the Option key while clicking the Restore iPhone button. If you're using iTunes, hold down the Shift key while clicking the Restore iPhone button.
  5. Select the old iOS firmware you downloaded and click Open > Restore.
  6. Wait for the restore process to complete, then set up your iPhone.
You can also put your iPhone into recovery mode and follow steps 5-7 to downgrade your iOS. But the downgrade in DFU mode is cleaner.

How to Downgrade iOS Using a Downgrade Tool

Another way to downgrade iOS is to use an iOS downgrade tool. The best part about using a downgrade tool is that you don't need to go to a third-party website to download the iOS firmware you want manually, it will automatically match you with the old version of iOS that you can install.

You just need to choose an iOS downgrade tool you like, install and open it, follow the on-screen guides to connect your device, and proceed to the next step to complete the downgrade steps.

The Bottom Line

Now that you have three ways to downgrade your iPhone, which one would you like to try?

Please be aware that unexpected things may happen during the downgrade, and the best way to avoid data loss is to back up your iPhone.