If you've downloaded and installed iOS 12 on your iPhone or iPad and now regret having done so for some reason, maybe a critical app is not supported or some other serious problem stopping the game, then you'll be relieved to know that you can run the iOS 12 downgrade returns to iOS 11.4.1 for a limited time. Downgrading effectively removes iOS 12 from the iPhone or iPad and places the previous stable iOS build on the device again.
There are some risks in trying to downgrade, mainly the risk is data loss. If you do not have backup of appropriate iOS devices, you can lose data permanently. In addition, backups made by iOS 12 can not be restored to iOS 11, so if you do not have a backup compatible with iOS 11, you will need to configure the device that is downgraded as new, losing all data in that process. This should not be taken lightly, so make sure your iOS backup situation is sufficient to ensure you avoid data loss.
Requirements for downgrading from iOS 12
To successfully downgrade from iOS 12, you need to:
- A Mac or Windows PC with the latest version of iTunes (iTunes 12.8 or iTunes 12.6.5)
- An internet connection
- USB cable
- The IPSW iOS 11.4.1 firmware file for the device that you want to downgrade
- Backups performed by iOS 11.4.1 and iOS 12
Important note about backups: You should have a recent backup since the iPhone or the iPad was running iOS 11 previously (before updating iOS 12 in the first place) because you can not restore an iOS 12 backup on an iOS device 11.4.1. If your last recent backup is from iOS 12, the iPhone or iPad will hang on iOS 12 or you will need to reset the device and erase all data from it to downgrade and accept that data loss, because it would not be possible to restore data using iOS 12 backup. Do not take backups slightly. If you are unsure about backups or any other process, do not attempt to downgrade the device.
Status of iOS signature 11.4.1: The opportunity to downgrade from iOS 12 to iOS 11.4.1 will probably not be open for long, and it depends on whether Apple is signing IPSW firmware files iOS 11.4.1 or less. If you are interested, you can learn how to check the status of the IPSW signature here. Once the firmware is no longer signed, downgrading will be impossible, and once on iOS 12 you will be able to upgrade only to future releases.
How to downgrade iOS 12
You will need to back up your iPhone or iPad before starting this process, in case something goes wrong. If you already have a recent iOS 11.4.1 backup and do not want to back up while running iOS 12, this is your decision. You can back up to iCloud or iTunes or both.
If you're backing up your iOS 12 device with iTunes, make sure to back up your iOS 11.4.1 backup using your iTunes preferences so that the backup you just created does not overwrite the previous one.
We are hammering home the importance of backups because data loss is permanent and unrecoverable, which is why it is absolutely essential to have backups of your iPhone or iPad made before you start. If you do not have adequate backups, you may have experienced permanent data loss, you have been warned.
- Do you have a square iOS backup situation? If not, do it first
- Next, download iOS 11.4.1 IPSW for your specific iPhone or iPad model, you must have the IPSW file corresponding to the exact model on your device
- Place the .ipsw file you just downloaded for iOS 11.4.1 somewhere easily accessible like the Desktop or Documents folder
- Launch iTunes on your computer
- Using the USB cable, connect your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with iOS 12 to your computer with iTunes
- In iTunes, choose the connected iPhone / iPad and then go to the Summary section for that device
- In the device overview screen, look for the section where you see the "Update" and Restore options, then do the following by pressing and holding the appropriate key:
- Mac iTunes: hold OPTION + click on the "Update" button
- Windows iTunes: hold down Shift + click on the "Update" button
Once the downgrade process is complete, the device will reboot into iOS 11.4.1. You successfully removed iOS 12 from the iPhone or iPad and return to the previous version.
If for any reason this approach fails, you can restore it back to iOS 12 via iTunes or use DFU mode to try again.
Have you downgraded and removed iOS 12 from your iPhone or iPad? Because? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below.