How to Downgrade from iOS 9 to iOS 8 for iPad and iPhone

Apple has confirmed that the iOS 9 update would be rolling out on the 16th of September and to this end is a whole lot of enthusiasm as many users have already installed the iOS 9 beta version on their devices. Updating to a higher iOS version gives users a great feeling if and only if the upgrade works perfectly.

Downgrade from iOS 9 to iOS 8

As was the case in September 2014 when the iOS 8 was released, some users upgraded in haste and were also in a haste to look for means to downgrade back to their previous iOS as they felt that the new upgrade caused problems on their devices, but this is not always the case.

However, Apple fixed it but there was still some demand to be able to roll back to an older version of iOS. Apple didn’t encourage this, but it is possible. And indeed, as long as Apple’s servers will still ‘sign’ the older OS, it is possible to downgrade from iOS 9 to iOS 8.

The steps on how to downgrade from iOS 9 to iOS 8 would be highlighted below but this would only work as long as Apple is signing the iOS 8 file. That won’t last for so long after iOS 9 is launched, so don’t hang about if you really want to downgrade.

Downgrade From iOS 9 to iOS 8: Back up

I really consider this first and foremost step as the most important. In order to reinstall an older OS, all apps and data from your iPhone or iPad will be wiped. So make a backup in iTunes or iCloud, this also helps secure your phone in case any problem is encountered in the process.

To reinstall iOS 8 you need the relevant .ipsw file – the latest is 8.4.1.ipsw, although any older iOS 8 file should work, but it depends only if Apple is still ‘signing’ that version.

If you do not have the latest .ipsw file on your PC or Mac, simply run a search on the internet for ‘download ipsw’, select and download the appropriate file for your device. There are plenty of sites to choose from, you may want to try this.

Downgrade From iOS 9 to iOS 8: Open the .ipsw File

It is at this stage you get to find out if Apple is still signing iOS 8.4.1. If it is, good luck but if you get an alert that says ‘this version of iOS is not compatible with your device’ you’re definitely stuck on the iOS 9 unless you want to go for a jailbreak. You will have only a short time to downgrade, in past years as little as one week after the initial release date – not the date on which you upgraded, before it becomes impossible without a jailbroken phone.

Here is how to do it: Plug in to your PC or Mac your iPhone or iPad and then launch iTunes. Click on your device in the iTunes interface and select Summary. Now hold down the Alt/Option key, and click the Restore button. Navigate to the iOS .ipsw file on your desktop and click Open. Your PC will now reinstall iOS 8 on your iPad or iPhone.

Downgrade From iOS 9 to iOS 8: Go into Recovery Mode

If iTunes says ‘you’re already running the latest version of iOS on your device’, you may need to use Recovery mode. Completely power off the device, plug one end of the syncing cable into your computer and hold down the Home button on the iPhone/iPad while you connect the other end to it. When the ‘Connect to iTunes’ screen appears, release the Home button.

iTunes will say ‘Your device is now in Recovery mode’. Hold down the Option key/Alt, click Restore, navigate to the iOS .ipsw file, and install it on your device.

How to Downgrade from iOS 9 to iOS 8


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