How to Downgrade From an iOS Beta

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    If you've installed an iOS beta either through Apple's developer program or the public beta testing website, you may find yourself wanting to downgrade if you've run into issues. iOS beta software can be notoriously buggy, especially during the first few betas of a major update.

    Apps often don't work, devices crash, battery life is poor, and entire features can be rendered non-functional. In some cases, these problems are a big enough deal that users will want to downgrade back to the more stable release version of iOS.

    It's possible to restore your iPhone or iPad to the release version of iOS, but you're going to need an archived iTunes backup to restore your iPhone or iPad to its pre-beta state, so hopefully you have one on hand (this is the first step in any beta installation).

    If not, downgrading will require wiping your device, so you'll need to start from scratch with apps, accounts, and preferences. Here are the steps to downgrade:

    Click here to

    Article Link: How to Downgrade From an iOS Beta
  2. Pakaku macrumors 68000


    Aug 29, 2009
    Too bad you can't downgrade to older release versions.
  3. Giantscruz macrumors newbie


    Nov 6, 2013
    Yay Area
  4. psycho93 macrumors member


    Sep 1, 2010
    Have read a lot of reports re messed up notifications on Apple Watch after upgrading to iOS 9.3 Public Beta 4.

    I'm running iOS Public Beta 9.3 on iPhone 5s with my Apple Watch and no problems
  5. jayducharme macrumors 68030


    Jun 22, 2006
    The thick of it
    Although I liked the thought that I was helping Apple by debugging the Betas, I stopped participating because I experienced a lot of serious issues with a previous version. My iPhone and my Mac are too important to me to have a lot of down time. I'm glad there's a way to back up from a Beta, but it's not worth the trouble for me any more.
  6. DavidTheExpert macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2012
    Juli, were you the mysterious Lory Gil all along?
  7. StudyFlo macrumors member


    Sep 13, 2014
    Hamburg, Germany
    Someone on Reddit gave a hint that there's a much easier way of restoring from a beta without wiping the phone / clean install.
    I'll update if I find it.
  8. Quu macrumors 68020


    Apr 2, 2007
    If you don't want to restore like this (I didn't). Just wait a little while until a normal release comes out, update to that and remove the certificates on your iOS device that force it to seek out the betas from the update system. And of course remove your iOS device from the beta.

    I just had to wait a couple weeks while on a Beta to get back on Stable and didn't need to faff around with restorations. Also last time I tried to restore my phone from backup it failed. The backup was not corrupted but an app installed on my Phone got backed up and it was for whatever reason unable to be restored to my iPhone and that stopped the entire restoration from being able to complete.

    I had to get a 3rd party app that could open and modify the backup to fix the issue.
  9. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    9.3 Beta has been mostly pretty good, in my experience. But (and I am by no means saying this is why Juli posted this now) there's a lot of trepidation among the jailbreak community that any upcoming jailbreak will be for 9.2 only - so at least on that end of things there is a lot of people talking about downgrading while 9.2 is still being signed by Apple.

    Personally, I think this is a silly assumption to make... it seems to largely be based on people talking out of their ***. But still, the perception exists.
  10. kpeex macrumors newbie


    Oct 22, 2013
    I threw in the beta towel on my iPhone 6 when the lock screen button turned into a 'hang up the phone' button. The phone audio selection screen was gone, too. I never had any beta troubles in the past.

    After the call is established, I habitually hit the lock screen button and put it in my pocket. Creature of Bluetooth headset habit, I couldn't unlearn it. I terminated too many phone calls before I realized what was causing the problem.
  11. naeS1Sean macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2011
    Scranton, PA
  12. scott523, Feb 27, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016

    scott523 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 8, 2006
    St Charles, MO
    You are correct and it's pretty similar to Juli Clover's post.

    Just complete steps 1 through 5. Now for step 6, instead of clicking "Restore", just click the "Update" button and continue the process of downgrading to the latest non-beta version, no backup or significant data loss required (see newer post).

    If you don't want to take my word for it, check out this link along with the user comments at the bottom of the page.
  13. jclo Editor


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2012
    I tried this method on two different devices and both times the installation was corrupt for me. On one it didn't end up downgrading me from iOS 9.3 and on another, it broke it so bad that while all my apps are installed, they're not visible. It was weird. That's why I didn't end up recommending "update" over "restore." So use with caution!
  14. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    I hang out on the Jailbreak subreddit somewhat frequently, and I haven't seen anyone say they've been able to do this more recently than (downgrading from) iOS 9.1 beta. So if you're going to suggest something, if would be incredibly useful if you'd explicitly state whether you've done this yourself to get back specifically to 9.2 or 9.2.1.

    Based on my own and others' experience, it seems like a number of things changed internally from 9.0.x to 9.2/9.3. For instance, downgrading and then restoring a specific app's data from an iTunes backup using iBackupBot doesn't seem to work anymore either.
  15. Fiestaman macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2009
    My device also did the apps not being visible thing too. However, I'm running iOS 9.3 beta 4 with no real issues. Couple random restarts but nothing else besides that. Notifications working okay on my watch too, it seems.
  16. scott523 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 8, 2006
    St Charles, MO
    Agreed. Long story short, it may be too unstable to downgrade in this manner.

    The only benefit in doing it this way is to retain data in Apple's stock apps (messages, call history, voicemails, alarms, photos, music, etc) and maybe the possibility to back that data up in a non beta version (not sure if restoring from that backup is even possible). Other apps manually installed in beta are not visible and therefore unusable (either a side effect or to prevent apps from conflicting after downgrade).

    The first time I did this was when I wanted to retain data from Apple stock apps in my 5S on beta in order to migrate to the 6S at launch day. I was successful in doing so without any side-effects and I just reinstalled the apps that disappeared.

    I did again today (9.3b3 to 9.2.1) and the same result came out. However this time, Siri Suggestions also broke and I had trouble getting past the Hello/Welcome screen without resetting settings. I reinstalled beta and the previously missing apps reappeared in alphabetical order.
  17. Sandstorm macrumors 6502


    Sep 27, 2011
    Riga, Latvia
    Clunky. If Apple went for public beta testing, the whole process of opting in and out should be just a simple toggle in system settings (like OS X). If I no longer want to experiment with betas, the next time a stable release comes out the device just stays on it (currently it keeps pushing next wave of betas and it's not obvious how to opt out). Restoring/downgrading should be left only for extreme situations.

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