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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to downgrade iOS 14 Back to iOS 13.7 on your iPhone with Finder or iTunes «iOS and iPhone :: Gadget Hack

How to downgrade iOS 14 Back to iOS 13.7 on your iPhone with Finder or iTunes «iOS and iPhone :: Gadget Hack



Apple’s latest iPhone update, iOS 14, is finally here. That may not be all good news. Home screen widgets, app clips, and a modernized Messages app may not be worth it if the software itself is a bug mess. If you think iOS 14 is too problematic right now, you can still downgrade your iPhone back to iOS 13.7.

Apple released the update to the world on Wednesday, September 16. Shortly after, it stops signing iOS 13.7, which means that most iPhones will forever be frozen on iOS 14. Until Apple stops signing iOS 13.7, you still have a few ways to downgrade without going through too many rings. The bad news? If you did not make an archived backup of your iPhone before upgrade to iOS 1

4 you will unfortunately lose all your saved data.

Step 1: Disable “Find My iPhone”

Before your iPhone can be reset, “Find My iPhone” must be disabled. You may have needed to do this if you’ve ever taken your iPhone to the Apple Store. While you can wait to do this until further into the process, as iOS will ask you to disable the feature when applicable, do so now only to eliminate any issues or potential issues.

To start, open “Settings”, tap your name at the top of the screen and then tap “Find My”. Now tap “Find My iPhone” and then tap the switch next to “Find My iPhone” to disable the feature. You just need to enter your Apple ID and password before iOS can disable Find My iPhone.

Step 2: Download the correct recovery image

To restore your iPhone to an earlier version of iOS, you need the correct recovery image for both that iOS version and your specific iPhone model. This 13.7 recovery image will be an IPSW file and will require a proper computer download.

We focus on iPhones for this guide, but the process is exactly the same for iPad and iPod touch. You will also find recovery images for these devices. Keep in mind that these recovery files are huge, so do not be surprised if the download time is long. You can find the downloaded file in the “Downloads” folder on your Mac or PC.

iOS 13.7 Restore photos

iPad 13.7 Restore photos

Step 3: Connect your iPhone to Finder or iTunes

Once your IPSW is fully downloaded, connect your iPhone to your Mac or Windows computer via a flash to USB or flash to USB-C cable.

Option 1: Use the Finder

If you are using macOS Catalina, your iPhone should appear as a device below Places in the Finder. If your iPhone does not appear immediately, look for the message “Unlock iPhone to use accessories” on your iPhone. If it’s there, unlock the phone.

When you connect your iPhone to the computer for the first time, you may see a prompt asking you to “Trust this computer.” If so, just follow the instructions to trust it. You can also see “Trust iPhone” when selecting your iPhone in the Finder.

You should find your iPhone below Places in the Finder sidebar. Click on it. Alternatively, you can double-click it from the desktop. Now click on the “General” tab if it does not already exist.

Option 2: Use iTunes

If your computer is running Windows or macOS Mojave or lower, you should see iTunes open on its own. If not, look at your iPhone’s lock screen. If you see “Unlock iPhone to use accessories”, unlock your iPhone.

When you connect your iPhone to the computer for the first time, you may also see a prompt asking you to “Trust this computer.” Just follow the instructions to do so. Finally, iTunes may ask you to update iTunes as well to connect your iPhone properly.

You see your iPhone displayed below Devices in the sidebar, as well as next to the media drop-down menu when connected. Click either to open Summary screen.

Step 4: Install the older iOS version

Apple makes this process similar between iTunes and Finder, but there are minor differences. You will find two separate instructions below based on the app you use to install iOS.

Option 1: Use the Finder

Hold down Alternative and then select “Restore iPhone” in the Finder General page.

A pop-up for a browser is displayed here. Locate your IPSW file, click on it, and then select “Open”.

A popup will now appear instructing you that iOS 13.7 will be installed on your iPhone. This action overwrites iOS 14. Click “Reset” to continue. Keep track of your iPhone – you may need to enter the password during installation.

Make sure to keep your iPhone connected to your computer until it restarts and you see the welcome screen for iOS 13.7. When the screen lights up, you are sure to disconnect your iPhone.

Option 2: Use iTunes

If you are using a Mac, hold down Alternative and then click “Reset iPhone” in Summary in iTunes. On Windows, you should do the same, but hold down Move instead.

A file browse menu will then appear. Locate the IPSW file, select it, and then select “Open”.

A popup will now appear instructing you that iOS 13.7 will be installed on your iPhone. This action overwrites iOS 14. Click “Reset” to continue. Keep track of your iPhone – you may need to enter the password during installation.

Make sure to keep your iPhone connected to your computer until it restarts and you see the welcome screen for iOS 13.7. When the screen lights up, you are sure to disconnect your iPhone.

Step 5: Restore your iPhone from a backup

Because you downgraded your iPhone with a recovery image, all your data will be lost. If you have a compatible backup, either in iCloud or iTunes, use the following steps to get started again with all your photos, settings, and other data.

If you downgrade your iPhone via a recovery image, all your data will be deleted. If you made an iTunes or iCloud backup before this process, you can use the following steps to restore your data on your iPhone running iOS 13.7.

  • If you want your iPhone to start with a clean slate, tap “Set as new iPhone.”
  • If you want your saved apps and data to be restored, tap “Restore from iCloud” if you have a full backup for iOS 13.7. If you backed up your iPhone on iOS 14, iOS would cause you to update back to iOS 14, so you might get stuck with “Set as new iPhone” anyway.
  • If you have made an archived backup in iTunes for iOS 13.7, you can tap “Restore from iTunes Backup.”

If you decide to restore your iPhone from the archived backup, you need to keep your iPhone connected to iTunes and select your iPhone there. Now click on “Restore backup”, select your archived backup and then select “Restore”. You can see if this backup is archived if you see the date and time in the backup name.

If you encrypted your 13.7 backup, you will need to enter your password to continue. Now wait until the recovery is complete before disconnecting your iPhone from your computer. When the sync is complete, your iPhone will run your iOS 13.7 version with all data restored.

An encrypted backup for iOS 13.7 requires your password to continue. Just wait for the recovery to complete before disconnecting your iPhone from your Mac or PC. When done, your iPhone will run your archived iOS 13.7 version, complete with all the data saved at that time.

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Cover image and screenshots by Jake Peterson / Gadget Hacks

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