Downgrading an iPhone 3G to iOS 2.2.1.

Discussion in 'iOS 5 and earlier' started by strano, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. strano macrumors newbie


    Nov 2, 2016
    Hi, it's like 1 month that i'm trying to downgrade my old iphone 3G to iOS 2.2.1, but i keep having errors: i tried on my sierra MacBook Pro with the lates iTunes version, pwned dfu, but nothing, i get error 20 or error 1600,1601,1602,1603,1604.
    I also tried on an old Vista computer with iTunes 11.0, with the same iphone on pwned dfu, trying either starting from 4.2.1 and iOS 3.1.3.
    Has anyone succeded in downgrading his iphone 3G?
  2. drysdalk macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2014

    I've been able to downgrade an iPhone 3G running iOS 4 all the way down to 2, yes. I had to do it in stages, though: 4.2.1 to 3.1.3; 3.1.3 to 3.0; then 3.0 to 2.2.1. All of this was done on a Windows 7 VM running in VMware on Linux, though strictly speaking that shouldn't make any difference.

    I took some notes at the time, and this was the procedure I used:

    Start on 4.2.1, and downgrade to 3.1.3 by doing this:
    1. Using iTunes 12.5 (latest available), downgrade to 3.1.3 in DFU mode
    2. With iTunes 10.1.2 and iREB 7, kick it out of recovery mode
    3. Activate in iTunes 10.1.2 or greater

    Start on 3.1.3, and downgrade to 3.0 by doing this:
    1. Using iTunes 12.5 (latest available), downgrade to 3.0 in DFU mode
    2. With iTunes 10.1.2 and iREB 7, kick it out of recovery mode
    3. Activate in iTunes 10.1.2 or greater

    Start on 3.0, and downgrade to 2.2.1 by doing this:
    1. With iTunes, run iREB 7 and put the phone in Pwned DFU mode
    2. Using iTunes, downgrade to 2.2.1 in Pwned DFU mode
    3. Using iTunes, run iREB 7 and kick it out of recovery mode
    4. If it doesn't go out of recovery mode, restore 2.2.1 in recovery mode
    5. If you still can't get it out of recovery, keep trying until it works
    6. Activate in iTunes 10.1.2 or greater

    For all these different versions of iTunes, I basically started with the VM with no iTunes installed. I then snapshotted it, installed one version of iTunes, took another snapshot, rolled back to the no-iTunes snapshot, installed another version, and so on until I had multiple snapshots of the VM each with the precise version of iTunes I needed installed on it. This let me easily switch from 10.1.2, and 12.5.x on demand as and when I needed to.

    Hope this helps, anyway - as I say, it worked for me. I had to repeat steps 4 and 5 of the final 3.0 to 2.2.1 downgrade a few times before it took, but it did eventually work.

    As an aside, I run a blog for people who use older iPhones and versions of iOS as their daily driver, with tips on how to get the best out of first and seoncd-gen kit these days. It's at:
  3. BrettApple macrumors 65816


    Apr 3, 2010
    Heart of the midwest
    I just (today, like 10 minutes ago) downgraded my iPod touch 2G (similar to iPhone 3G) to iPhone OS 2.2.1 downloaded from

    I got it on the second try, the first try I was using my current MacBook Pro running iTunes 12 on El Capitan and got an error. I then moved the iPod (on iOS 4.2.1) to my Mac Mini G4 running the most up to date OS X and iTunes as possible for PPC, that would be iTunes 10.6.3 on Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.8. I plugged the iPod in, entered DFU mode (critical step), moved the 2.2.1 IPSW over via flash drive to save time, opened iTunes, option clicked the restore button, selected the 2.2.1 IPSW and off to town it went and completed without any issue.

    Bear in mind this Mac Mini wasn't connected to the internet at the time of the restore. It has no AirPort card and I didn't plug in the ethernet cable either. So that may have something to do with it as well. It is a totally stock install of Leopard and iTunes 10 and I didn't use any iOS tools on the iPod either.


    I have since sync'd it with iTunes and managed to find some 2.2.1 compatible apps still on my MBP, namely Tap Tap Coldplay, Tap Tap 1 and 2, THPS2, Ragdoll Blaster and a few others. I also threw on about 1,000 songs compressed to 128k and still have plenty of space leftover for an 8GB device that is.

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