Restoring iOS 7 Backup on iOS 6 Device (and Downgrading iOS 7 to iOS 6)

Discussion in 'iOS 7' started by ScForstall, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. ScForstall, Jul 23, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013

    ScForstall macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2013
    This is the only method that worked for me, thought someone would be interested to do the same to preserve their important data. The restore procedure is tested on OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.4. Although the walkthrough is rather lengthy, the whole procedure took me under fifteen minutes with one device. The two iPhones restored with this method are now working beautifully with iOS 6 and at least I'm happy! :)

    # Required software (trial versions are sufficient)

    * iTunes 11.0.4 []
    * Xcode 4.6.3 [] (or other software for .plist editing)
    * Base 2.4.2 [] (or other software for editing SQLite databases)
    * iPhone Backup Extractor 1.2.4 [] (or other software capable of extracting local iOS backups -- note: only sms.db is needed)
    * iBackupBot 4.1.7 [] (or other software capable of modifying local iOS backups -- note: only deletion and replacing of existing files needed)

    # Required hardware

    * Mac with OS X 10.8 and required software installed
    * iOS 7 device (tested on iPhone 5 and 4S with beta 3)
    * USB cable to connect your iOS device to your Mac

    # What will be missing (after a successful restore)

    * Call History (iOS keeps record of the last 100)
    * Cellular and Data Usage History (how long you have talked, amount of data transferred)
    * Safari Browsing History (bookmarks and such will be synced through iCloud)
    * Mail Accounts (other than iCloud, fairly easily restored manually)
    * Applications (need to be installed manually, the app data however is transferred -- for example saved games and such, everything is there)

    Feel free to enhance the restore process to mend these shortcomings (by making extra modifications to the local iOS backup -- it may need some trial and error).

    # The walkthrough

    We will go through some detailed steps beginning with the iCloud synchronization and backup of your iOS 7 device. Feel free to skip any steps not concerning your situation.

    Optional first step: Take screenshots of your Home Screen pages by pressing Home and Power buttons at the same time. This is if you wish to remember which apps were installed on the device (even though all the app data is transferred to iOS 6 from iOS 7, the apps are not installed automatically).

    1. Make sure you are taking advantage of the iCloud syncing by going Settings > iCloud and toggling everything on for your iOS 7 device (and merging your device data with those already in iCloud). This is the best restore method especially for contacts and notes.

    2. While on the Settings > iCloud menu, toggle off Find My iPhone as the iOS downgrade will not be possible otherwise.

    3. While still on the Settings > iCloud menu, go to the Storage & Backup section and toggle on iCloud Backup (if not enabled already), press the Back Up Now button. This will create an iCloud backup of your existing iOS 7 configuration in case anything goes wrong with the local iOS backup restore process for iOS 6 (all you need to do is to install iOS 7 back and use the iCloud restore for your fresh install).

    4. When the device is finished backing up to iCloud, you can switch the Settings > Airplane Mode on to keep your backups fresh (to avoid receiving any new messages during the process, for example).

    5. Now connect the iOS 7 device to your Mac using an USB cable. Open up iTunes and select your device when it's ready.

    6. Make a local backup of the iOS 7 device in iTunes, even when the iCloud backup option is enabled. We will use this local backup to restore most of the iOS content when we have downgraded to iOS 6. If you have multiple local backups, keep note of the current time as it is the most straightforward way to identify the right backup when browsing them (for example in Finder).

    7. After the local backup has been finished, open up Finder and go to your Library folder (you can achieve this easily by using Go menu and holding down the Option button.

    8. From the Library folder head to Application Support > MobileSync > Backup. In this iTunes local backup folder you can identify the right backup (made in the step 6) by using the Modified Date (View > as List).

    9. From your previously made local backup folder edit the Info.plist file. Change the Product Version from 7.0 to 6.1.4 (if your target is iPhone 5 with iOS 6.1.4, for example -- with iPhone 4S it is 6.1.3) and the Build Version to 10B350 (with 4S 10B329). Check the appropriate version and build numbers here []. Save the Info.plist file.

    10. Now from the same backup folder edit the Manifest.plist file. Change the SystemDomainVersion from 18.0 to 16.0. It may not be necessary, but to play safe, you can also change the ProductVersion and BuildVersion values in the Lockdown subsection to reflect the values entered in the step 9. Save the Manifest.plist file.

    11. After editing the plist files, open up iPhone Backup Extractor. Press the Read Backups button. The software will list all the available backups from the iTunes backup folder. Now select the one matching your Device Name and Date (with multiple backups on the same date you may need some trial and error). The software will list all iOS application data found on the backup plus most importantly "iOS Files" which can be found from the end of the list. Don't worry about the application specific data as they will be restored to iOS 6 automatically (even though the applications are not automatically installed, more on this later on). Now select the "iOS Files" option and click the Extract button. Select the extract location you want.

    12. Locate the extracted files and browse to Library > SMS. From there open up the sms.db using Base (this is your iOS 7 Messages database). From the tables list select _SqliteDatabaseProperties and click the Data tab. The trick here is to change the _ClientVersion key's value from 7005 to 6100. You may also remove all the keys starting with double _, however this may not be necessary. I ended up doing so as the clean iOS 6.1.4 sms.db did not have those. Save the changes to the database.

    13. Now open up iBackupBot and select the appropriate backup from the Backups list. We will import the modified sms.db to the backup by going System Files > HomeDomain > Library > SMS and clicking Import from the top bar. Now browse for the modified sms.db and import it to the backup. The software will ask whether to replace the existing sms.db, approve it. As the sms.db is already in the backup the software doesn't need to modify the Manifest.mbdb file (which is problematic -- not sure if it's even possible to add totally new files at all, at least iBackupBot allows it and modifies Manifest.mbdb).

    14. After importing the sms.db file, we will need to delete 5 files from the backup preventing iTunes from restoring the backup to iOS 6. These files are:

    System Files/HomeDomain/Library/BackBoard/applicationState.plist
    System Files/HomeDomain/Library/Mail/MailboxCollections.plist

    System Files/WirelessDomain/Library/Databases/CellularUsage.db
    System Files/WirelessDomain/Library/Databases/DataUsage.db
    System Files/WirelessDomain/Library/Databases/UsageAlert.db

    Note: If iTunes refuses to restore the backup even after deleting these files from the backup (this may be the case with future iOS 7 versions), you can follow the syslog (for example with Console application) for errors during the restore process. The errors usually describe any files which fail the restore process.

    15. After modifying the backup, you can close all other software and open up iTunes (make sure to restart it to get the updated backup info).

    16. Restore the iOS 7 device to the appropriate iOS 6 version by using ipsw file downloaded from the Apple website []. For iPhone 5 I used version 6.1.4 and iPhone 4S 6.1.3. Make a custom restore from iTunes by holding down the Option button while pressing the Restore iPhone... button. From the prompt select the downloaded ipsw file.

    17. After the iOS device has been restored to the appropriate iOS 6 version iTunes asks you to Set Up Your Phone. Select the Restore from the Backup of option and browse for the right previously modified backup of iOS 7. After the modifications we have made iTunes will happily allow the restore of the backup to iOS 6 device.

    Note: iTunes may say your phone needs to be activated which you may do by following the setup procedure on the device. Do not however go beyond the restore option at it is crucial to do it from the iTunes. You may reconnect the USB cable between the iOS device and Mac to get iTunes accept the activation.

    18. The restore takes some time to complete and after it's finished the first step is to check your Messages are in place. Of course login and address all the prompts the device may be asking after the restore.

    19. After that go to Settings > iCloud and login to your iCloud account. Check that everything is toggled on for iCloud to sync. Don't enable the iCloud backup at this point.

    20. By enabling the iCloud synchronization, shared photo streams, contacts, notes, bookmarks and such should become available to your iOS 6 device.

    21. As you are on the Settings application, you may as well set up everything else needing login such as iMessages (in Messages) and FaceTime.

    22. Set up your mail accounts manually as they were not included in the restore (has to do something with the new MailboxCollections.plist file for iOS 7?).

    23. Now the dumb part: you have to install all your applications manually. Refer to your camera roll for Home Screen screenshots from iOS 7 to refresh your memory. After the applications have been installed manually from App Store, they will be on the exact same location on the Home Screen as on iOS 7 and with all the app data available as on iOS 7. So you will not lose your saved games or something more important data.

    24. That's that. After the iCloud has synced everything, you can approach the Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup menu and enable the iOS backups for this iOS 6 device. Make sure everything's OK device wide before pressing the Backup Now button.

    # Known issue(s) and solution(s)

    1. iOS Camera app may crash after every photo you take (and not save the photos to the camera roll).

    Solution: Use any 3rd party camera app (just once) to take a picture and save it to the camera roll (tested with Camera+).
  2. batting1000 macrumors 604

    Sep 4, 2011
    Seems like way too much to do and your camera crashes after every picture you take.
  3. ScForstall thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2013
    Ah, my bad -- have to clarify a bit: only the other restored iPhone had this problem and it may have nothing to do with the restore procedure. Using a 3rd party camera software just once solved the issue once and for all. No crashing of the default Camera app anymore.
  4. batting1000 macrumors 604

    Sep 4, 2011
    Ok, gotcha.
  5. ScForstall thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2013
    A quick update for those who have problems syncing contacts via iCloud. I haven't tested this myself, but here are the main differences for AddressBook.sqlitedb as were for sms.db.

    * iPhone Backup Extractor: Library/AddressBook/AddressBook.sqlitedb
    * iBackupBot: System Files/HomeDomain/Library/AddressBook/AddressBook.sqlitedb

    Table _SqliteDatabaseProperties:

    _ClientVersion 52 -> 51
    SortingCacheVersion 27 -> 26

    The reason for manipulating the _ClientVersion value in each database file is to make older iOS versions accept them. Otherwise these database files will be discarded and messages, contacts etc. will not be present after a restore. Of course there may be also other differences in the databases, hence the different version number. But as far as I can tell the older iOS versions simply won't use the more advanced features incorporated into the databases.

    I also checked for differences in the notes database, but its format is totally different. The paths for those files are as follows:

    * iPhone Backup Extractor: Library/Notes/notes.sqlite
    * iBackupBot: System Files/HomeDomain/Library/Notes/notes.sqlite
  6. frostbit3 macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2010
    THANK YOU! This was the only way that worked for me to get back to iOS 6.1.4 while keeping my photos. Thank you very much for posting this.
  7. Kackei macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2013
  8. Herbdean macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2013
    Can't get this to work after 3 tries. Is it a possible problem that I'm using TextEdit instead of Xcode?
  9. Herbdean macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2013
  10. MinEderPlayz macrumors 6502a


    Aug 3, 2013
    Hamburg, Germany
    Wondering if that'd be a problem either...
  11. logum macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2013
    I can't change the SystemDomainVersion!!??

    I go onto Manifest.plist, and it just says "H>J5L_SystemDomainsVersion\ApplicationsXLockdownWVersion[IsEncrypted\BackupKeyBag^WasPasscodeSetTDateT20.0fli What does that mean, and why can't i change it`??? help!! :(
  12. logum macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2013
    fuuuuuck it doesnt work

    couldnt restore the backup god damn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  13. Catbodi macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2010
    Worked perfectly, modified my backup after backing up from iOS 7 Beta 6. Modified the backup, restored to 6.1.4 (iPhone 4S), went with a breeze. So happy, thanks bud.
  14. 5H4D0W macrumors newbie

    Sep 2, 2013
    Hey can you maybe send me your logs and plist from your backup so I can compare them to mine? I'm getting an error at the end while trying to restore a backup to i4 6.1.3, and it isnt working. Any ideas, anybody?
  15. techergy, Sep 11, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013

    techergy macrumors newbie

    Sep 11, 2013
    Messages didn't restore from iOS 7

    Thank you so very much for creating this tutorial!

    I have one issue, I have done everything exactly as written and yet my messages did not come back from iOS 7. Can someone help me figure out why my messages disappeared?

    Note: I can see that my messages have been moved over to the backup in ibackupbot
  16. BehzadHD macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2013
    How to Fix Camera Crashing after Use This Solution

    First Special Thanks from ScForstall for this useful Solution \m/

    How to Fix Camera Crashing after Use This Solution :

    1. Close Camera App from Multitasking.
    2. Go to "Settings > Privacy > Location Services".
    3. "Turn Off" Camera then Go to Home Screen and Run Camera App and Take a Shot. anything is OK ?! Yes :p
    4. Now Again Close Camera App from Multitasking.
    5. Go to "Settings > Privacy > Location Services" then "Turn On" Camera and Enjoy Your Camera app. ;)
  17. louriman macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2013
    do you know if this will work downgrading from iOS7 (not beta version) to iOS6 on a iPhone 4 with itunes 11.1 ?

    i've updated my phone yesterday and it's slow as hell, so i just want to get back to iOS6 as quick as possible and while i still can, case i read that some days after a launching of a new iOS itunes will not approve the installing of a old iOS.

    please help, i'm very frustrated with my experience with iOS7.

    Also i have a doubt, when i go to the back up folder in /Library/(...)/Mobilesyncs it shows two different folders named with a lot of number, how do i know which one is the correct ?

    I would be very very grateful if somebody could give a hand with this. THANKS
  18. BehzadHD macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2013
    yes, that is possible! ;)
    iOS7 Final to iOS 6.1.4 with iTunes 11.1 Tested by me and Worked Fine ;)
  19. louriman macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2013
    but when i try to restore the iphone it gives me the message that the firmware is not compatible. i've used "iPhone3,1_6.1.3_10B329_Restore.ipsw", should i use the 6.1.4 version even though my iphone is a 4 not a 4S ?
  20. Tyler23 macrumors 603


    Dec 2, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    1) 6.1.4 is only for the 5, it will not work with any other iPhone.

    2) You can only downgrade a 4 is you have SHSH blobs saved. If you don't know what those are, you probably don't have them saved and cannot downgrade.
  21. louriman macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2013
    i don't have a clue what those are, i'm just hearing about them now in the blogs and sites i'm reading to try to solve this issue. so, it's completely impossible? no chance at all ? this is really bad, cause my phone is really really slow running ios7.
  22. Tyler23 macrumors 603


    Dec 2, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    It would be impossible, yes. Have you tried doing a restore on your phone? Back up, and restore using iTunes, then restore your back up. See if that helps, if not, you may need to restore again but without restoring your back up.
  23. louriman macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2013
    yes, of course i've done that. do you think that if i restore my phone without the backup it will improve the speed of the device? i'm just asking because it seems to me that the problem is the fact that the processor is not able to render the new effects of the iOS7 quite properly.
    what about the near future, do you think that some "hacker" will come up with a solution to downgrade the device without this SHSH blobs?
    or maybe the apple updates of the iOS7 will solve this "speed bugs" and improve the device performance?
    anyway, thanks a lot for your help.
  24. demonsked macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2013
    Hi everybody.
    I have restored ios 7 backup to ios 6. But camera crashs everytime. Maybe are there new solutions? Or you can update the guide?
  25. bbfc macrumors 68040

    Oct 22, 2011
    Newcastle, England.
    There are no solutions to this problem. This is an unsupported method that can cause all sorts of issues.

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47 July 23, 2013