I have an iPad 2 that is currently running iOS 5.0.1. I'm generally happy with it but some applications require a more recent iOS version. So I started to look into upgrading it, but the only upgrade that it offers is to iOS 7.

From the look of it I don't like the new design of iOS 7 too much and also upgrading to a version this fresh doesn't appeal to me. So my question is: is there a way to upgrade to some version of iOS 5.x or iOS 6.x instead of upgrading to iOS 7?

  • What is the current Baseband of your device? It is under Settings > General > About > Modem Firmware.Also, what is the model of your iPad? Look at the back of your iPad. Down towards the center bottom you’ll see the word iPad, and below it the amount of storage space it has (16,32, or 64GB). Below that you’ll see some fine print about the iPad. The first line begins with ‘Designed by Apple in California.’ At the end of that line you’ll see ‘Model’ and a 5 character model number beginning with the letter ‘A’. For example, my iPad is Model A1430 – an iPad 3rd gen 64GB WiFi + Cellular model. Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 10:27

2 Answers 2


Currently, no, your only option is to upgrade to iOS 7. This is because Apple is no longer signing iOS 6 and the firmware signing status for iPad 2 shows iOS 7 as the only signed version.

iPad 2 Apple Signing Status

Note: Lookup the signing status (or get the direct download links) for all iOS versions here.


You probably want to check out this website, which has all past iOS updates. Scroll down and click the iPad 2 model you have (Wifi, GSM, CDMA). Then, simply choose the iOS you want (probably 6.1.3). It will download an .ipsw file.

enter image description here

Then, in iTunes, plug in your iPad. Now, here's the important part: Press Option/Shift while clicking the Check for Update button. A dialog box should open up, and you should navigate to the .ipsw file and then click it. Similarly, if, for some reason, you want to restore your iPad and update, press Option/Shift while clicking the Restore button.

  • How does these ipsw get signed so iTunes will actually install them?
    – bmike
    Commented Sep 22, 2013 at 4:07
  • I believe that they are already signed by Apple. According to this link, you can use a single .ipsw file for an infinite amount of users. Commented Sep 22, 2013 at 4:12
  • 2
    FWIW - Friday, you could have downloaded iOS 6.1.3 for iPad 2 and Apple would have signed it at the time you restored and all would work. Today, no signing of iOS 6 for iPad 2 and newer...
    – bmike
    Commented Sep 22, 2013 at 4:12
  • Apple won't sign anything below iOS7 for your iPad anymore. They removed it. I will look into a possible second scenario that may be able to rectify the situation for you. Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 8:26
  • Yes, I realize that this answer is not useful, but I am keeping it as just a reference for others. The correct answer has already been accepted. Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 11:30

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