How to downgrade from iOS 8 to iOS 7.1.2 without beating yourself up

How to downgrade from iOS 8 to iOS 7.1.2 without beating yourself up
Some Apple users found themselves installing iOS 8, only to end up missing iOS 7 for a number of reasons - mostly performance and app compatibility problems. Don't worry, folks - you still have the freedom to downgrade, although it might not be there for long. Apple could disable downgrading from iOS 8 at some point in the future. 

So if you are determined to downgrade and have an iPad 2 to iPad Air, iPad mini to iPad mini with Retina display, an iPhone 4S to iPhone 5S, or even a fifth-generation iPod touch on your hands, you must act now.

Before you proceed, you must be aware that downgrading your device means "restoring" it to an older software version through iTunes, which will obliterate your user data in the process. So make sure to back up your stuff first.

Speaking of backups, you should know that it's impossible to restore iCloud backups made under iOS 8 onto iOS 7. You will get an error message. Thus, only computer-made backups can be restored. With this knowledge, you can proceed to the restoration steps below.

Step 1: Go to this address to check whether Apple will let you downgrade your device to iOS 7.1.2. To make sense of the website, use the device identifiers (iSomething #,#) which correspond to different Apple devices to identify yours, then check whether it's marked with a green "YES" icon. It means you can install iOS 7.1.2 if you follow the next steps.

Here's how the device identifiers correspond to Apple devices:

  • iPad 2 - iPad2,1 to 2,4
  • iPad 3 - iPad3,1 to 3,2
  • iPad 4 - iPad3,3 to 3,6
  • iPad Air - iPad4,1 to 4,3
  • iPad mini - iPad2,5 to 2,7
  • iPad mini with Retina - iPad4,4 to 4,6
  • iPhone 4S - iPhone4,1
  • iPhone 5 - iPhone5,1 to 5,2
  • iPhone 5C - iPhone5,3 to 5,4
  • iPhone 5S - iPhone6,1 to 6,2
  • iPod touch 5 - iPod5,1

Step 2: Are you still in the green? Great! What you have to do now is download an IPSW package which contains a build of iOS 7.1.2 for your device. Just click on the correct link and grab some coffee while the massive 1GB+ file is downloading. In case you don't know, GSM is for European iPhones, and CDMA is for US phones. And if you are in another region, it's best to check which network is supported by your telecom to be on the safe side.

Download iOS 7.1.2 IPSW:

Step 3: Finished? Ok - connect your iDarling to your computer and fire up iTunes. Turn off the “Find My iPhone” feature if you have it enabled. Then Click on the "Summary" tab, hold Shift (if on a Windows PC) or Alt (if on a Mac). Select the .IPSW file you just downloaded, click “Restore” and the downgrading process will begin. This should get your device back on iOS 7.1.2 territory in no time!

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22 Comments

1. iluvsonynokia

Posts: 161; Member since: Aug 27, 2013

TIME TO DOWN GRADE APPLE

2. phantom_six_man

Posts: 82; Member since: Feb 12, 2014

lol,that face matches your comment :D

3. f35hunter

Posts: 238; Member since: Dec 12, 2013

Apple always impressed me with their evolutionary products !!! Go backward Apple ( Oh ! I mean go ahead apple) :O

4. RaKithAPeiRiZ

Posts: 1488; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

if all else fails , beat your ios device up

5. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Why hurt your own fist just because of the iOS? Just bend it.

6. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

All the problems you experienced with iOS 8 is because you don't use it properly. It was all your fault, not Apple fault.

12. Takeharu

Posts: 285; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Uhm yes it is Apples fault. My iPad was doing just fine with iOS 7 (although iOS 6 is still the most stable one)! Now explain to me how the hell an update can make your device so sluggish and unresponsive that you wanna throw it out of a window and not being Apples fault?!

7. Tritinum

Posts: 471; Member since: May 06, 2014

My dad's ipad mini retina crashed while he was browsing and it also restarted. Worst update Apple.

8. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

iOS 8 is new, a bugfix is due in the next week, what's the stress about? All new firmware has this.

9. der_damo

Posts: 213; Member since: Sep 16, 2014

I'd love to use iOS 6 - that was one hell of a stable OS :(

10. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

The funny thing is that phobearena is the website that crashes and freezes like hell on my iPad air. The other tech sites run fine on iOS 8.

11. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Phonearena does have problems on mobile browsers and their popup ads are definitely not helping there.

13. VLaRueC

Posts: 189; Member since: Dec 18, 2012

I agree with the AD problems. Sometimes, I can't deal with them and go to a different site.

14. p51d007

Posts: 703; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

I've never had an iOS device, but even with windows, android, DR-Dos (in the day), I always hold off on xxx.0 releases until some other bleeding edge type tries it. Most generally, I'll wait until after the first patch cycle to update.

15. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

The 4 finger swipe for recent apps on the iPads is like the best thing Apple ever came up with but its not always working anymore on IOS 8. Frustrating. I never had to use the home button until now. Which makes me realize how useless Touch ID is going to be on an iPad.

16. menaV1

Posts: 21; Member since: Oct 14, 2013

got my 5s working good again! missed ios 7 so much.

17. tunali

Posts: 5; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

Thanks for this post, i followed the instructions. While restoring the ios 7.1, it gave me an error. After that ipad wont turn it on, (it has an image of connection of itunes..) I tunes doesnot recognize ipad windows doesnot recognize ipad. ipad warranty is over. Any suggestions?

18. ngyixian96

Posts: 91; Member since: Feb 05, 2012

Restore back to iOS 8. I experienced before iOS 8 officially release, feel pissed off.

19. jetlag

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 25, 2014

Help please..... I am trying to revert to iOS 7 on my iPAD 2. Followed the directions to download the file onto my windows laptop and opened itunes. However, the download is a zip file. When unzipped, there is no .ipsw file to be found although there are many others in the zip. Please advise how to proceed. Thanks.

20. Caldwell1

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 25, 2014

Same problem as jetlag - iTunes doesn't seem to know what to do with the downloaded "zip" file for my 4S phone downgrade because it's not an "ipsw" file

21. cherylsouthwood

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 25, 2014

Same problem as jetlag & Caldwell1

22. bonbon

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 26, 2014

thanks now we back again to ios7.1.2 on my ipad mini ios8 i update you later hehehehe

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