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I have just recently upgraded from iOS 4.3.5 to iOS 5.1.1 on my 3rd generation iPod touch, but it seems that my iPod is slower and a little unresponsive, so I want to downgrade back to 4.3.5.

I want to know how to backup the data (mainly game saves) so that when I restore to 4.3.5 my game save is still there.

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You'll have a hard time downgrading unless you've done some steps that open up the way prior to upgrading. –  Andrew Larsson May 18 '12 at 20:16

2 Answers 2

iTunes will backup the data, but there is another option. You can also bring your game saves back to your downgraded firmware, but it will take some work.

Here is a walkthrough focusing specifically on Angry Birds, but you could use the same process for other games as well.

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No, you will not lose your data.

I'm not sure that iTunes will let you downgrade your device - iTunes has been unforgiving with regretted upgrades since iOS 5 was released. However, if you download the firmware file (IPSW) from here, and press the modifier key while clicking "restore" in iTunes, you may be able to give it a shot. (The modifier key is Shift on Windows and Option on Mac.) Before you do this, you're going to want to take a backup.

In iTunes, secondary click (right click or control click) on your device and select "backup" from the menu. After the backup is complete, you can go ahead and try to downgrade, as described above. Once the restore is complete, iTunes will prompt you to set up your iPod - either as a new device, or from a backup. You'll want to select your backup, naturally.

iOS devices keep apps on a separate partition from the firmware, so your game data should be safe.

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You have to use SHSH blobs to restore to iOS versions that Apple is no longer signing (and it generally only signs the latest iOS version). But iTunes doesn't let you use a backup from a newer iOS version on a device with an older iOS version - you'll get this error. You can force backups to work by manually editing them, but I would only recommend trying that for small iOS changes like iOS 5.1.1 to 5.0.1, not iOS 5.x to 4.x. –  britta May 18 '12 at 19:02

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