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I have an iPhone 4 with iOS 5.1.1, and the other day I found that it had downloaded on its own the iOS 6 update and it was sitting there in my phone, ready to be installed and taking about 2 GB of space. Since I have no interest at all in iOS 6 right now, I'd like to delete that update, but I don't know how. Does anyone know if it can be done?

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It sounds like the update has been downloaded, but not actually installed, correct? And you're trying to reclaim the space taken up by the yet-to-be-installed update payload. –  Dave DeLong Oct 10 '12 at 13:42
    
Yes - I want to get rid of the downloaded file rather than go forward with the update. –  PaulJ Oct 10 '12 at 14:39
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There is nothing you can do. This is how things are now. Either update to iOS 6 and reclaim your space (which isn't 2 GB, but less than half that) or stick with iOS 5.1.1 and be short on space. iOS will always pull down an update if you aren't running the latest version. –  cksum Oct 10 '12 at 17:10
    
I would imagine that the installer files are kept in some kind of tmp folder, which may be deleted upon device reboot. Have you tried and checked if the space is reclaimed? –  myhd Oct 13 '12 at 14:47
    
Yes, I've tried rebooting the phone. No, the update doesn't go away. –  PaulJ Oct 16 '12 at 18:59
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3 Answers

I had exactly the same problem: OTA will download software updates and they take up space on the device until the user installs them. Then when the next one is released, it takes up more space. You notice them under 'Other' on the capacity graph in iTunes.

To fix I jailbroke and installed the package called "Software Update Killer". It not only prevents future automatic downloads, it deletes the software that's awaiting installation. Notice the shrink in 'Other' next time you sync. For me both 6.0.1 and 6.1 were downloaded and I recovered almost 1.5 GB.

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Restoring the iPhone might help as well (see other questions concerning the "Others" part on this site) –  patrix Feb 2 '13 at 18:25
    
It will have an effect- most notably by updating the software. The package in waiting will be gone but this issue is unique to folks who don't want to update. Restoring without updating is much more involved. –  flatroad Feb 2 '13 at 18:37
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It can probably be done if you have a copy of iOS 5.1.1 lying around on your computer, but people have had not much success doing that.

One sure way, though very tedious, is to save your SHSH blobs and use online guides to downgrade to iOS 5.1.1.

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One word: Maps. In more words? Well, I have an Iphone 4, so most of the enhancements in iOS 6 simply don't work in my phone. And more importantly, my philosophy is "if it works, don't break it", and I'm currently happy with iOS 5. It does everything I need, doesn't get in my way, and I don't see anything in iOS 6 that I lack right now. –  PaulJ Oct 10 '12 at 13:00
    
I live in Spain. But honestly, IK'm not interested right now in learning first-hand whether Maps works in my region or not. My current iOS 5.1.1 already does. –  PaulJ Oct 10 '12 at 13:14
    
There isn't a public jailbreak for iOS 6. And upgrading to downgrade is pointless (even if you could) because iOS will just pull the update again once you revert to iOS 5.1.1. The cry to update is not a one time occurrence. –  cksum Oct 10 '12 at 17:07
    
@cksum Check again. There is a jailbreak, though it is tethered. redmondpie.com/… –  duci9y Oct 11 '12 at 10:13
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I would imagine restoring the iPhone via iTunes would work (as long as you have a copy of iOS 5 (a *.ipsw file) on your computer). You might want to sync your iPhone with iTunes and/or iCloud before restoring the software.

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Apple is no longer signing iOS 5.1.1; so that won't work (unless the iPhone is jailbroken with saved shsh blobs). That holds even if restore is done from a local ipsw file; iTunes still verifies the iOS version. –  lupincho Oct 10 '12 at 13:08
    
I do have an "iPhone3,1_5.1.1_9B206_Restore.ipsw" in my "Iphone Software Updates" folder, dated from the day I upgraded to iOS 5.1.1. But if you're saying that it won't work..., well, that's a bummer. –  PaulJ Oct 10 '12 at 13:21
    
@PaulJ: if you try to restore to iOS 5, you will get "iTunes Error 3194 - This device isn't eligible for the requested build". There is a workaround, but it would require you to jailbreak your iPhone. On the other hand, if you jailbreak it, you can delete that file without having to restore (e.g. by using iFile, or ssh'ing to the iPhone). However, if the jailbreak process fails, you won't have an option, but to install iOS 6, but then you may or may not be able to downgrade. I would say, unless you really really need the space, don't bother. –  lupincho Oct 10 '12 at 13:42
    
The question is not about how to downgrade from iOS 6 to 5, but how to reclaim space for the uninstalled iOS 6 install files. But if it was, and you had saved your shsh blobs with TinyUmbrella beforehand, you could downgrade with ease. –  myhd Oct 13 '12 at 14:45
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