Apple have just released software updates to fix a rather serious security problem where a valid SSL response wasn't checked properly to ensure it matches the site actually being browsed. I have an iPhone 5, but unfortunately I have a strong personal aversion to the iOS 7 look and feel, so this far I've kept it on iOS 6.1.3.

Other users have better reasons than I to stay on iOS 6. For example, some people might be reliant on an app that has no iOS 7 version (as per bmike's comment), or the device might not have enough memory for the upgrade (as in this duplicate post).

Apple have released iOS 6.1.6 ("Available for: iPhone 3GS, iPod touch (4th generation)"), but my iPhone 5 gives me no option to upgrade to any iOS other than 7.0.6. Similarly, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, iPad 2, [new] iPad (3rd gen), iPad Mini and iPod Touch (5th Gen) all ran lower versions of iOS 6 but do not have builds of iOS 6.1.6 to install.

My iPhone is not currently jailbroken, but I would consider doing so in order to avoid having to use the iOS 7 interface. I'd rather not have to choose between the iOS version I prefer and this security patch for SSL. What options are feasible?

  • 1
    I've done some light searching and I believe Apple only released iOS 6.1.6 for devices that cannot upgrade to iOS 7.0. We have a large group of iPads that we are intentionally not upgrading while we wait for one app to be certified for 7.0. It will be a painful decision to keep them unpatched as we can't really jump to iOS 7 yet on them.
    – bmike
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 3:04

6 Answers 6


Sadly, no.

The iOS 6.1.6 patch (as was 6.1.5) is an update only available for iPhone 3GS and the fourth generation iPod touch. Apple appears to only be maintaining that branch exclusively for devices which were never compatible with iOS 7.


If your only reason is for patching your OS there is a easy solution, jailbreak your phone, and patch the security flaw patch.

How to jailbreak or more information

i say this because the IPSW released does not exist for your phone, only the 3GS therefor not compatible with your phone. so jailbreaking is your only option!

  • This presupposes that Apple even built iOS 6.1.6 for that hardware. I don't see any signs that there is even an IPSW to load which makes jailbreaking a moot point.
    – bmike
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 3:05
  • what are you talking about? the iPhone that he has is on 6.1.3 witch is jail breakable. if he only wants to patch the security flaw, he can jailbreak then patch. instead of downloading 7.0.6 you don't need the IPSW to jailbreak 6.1.3
    – Macmaniman
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 13:44
  • 2
    The OP asks for 6.1.6 - if you're telling the OP to not go to 6.1.6 and just trust that some other binary modification - you might want to explain that explicitly. You don't have to - you can link things just as you do, just that some won't ever click the link and will likely dismiss / down vote based on grammar alone.
    – bmike
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 14:49
  • i explained that it his phone can't be upgraded to 6.1.6 and later removed that because i thought it would be easer not to, the OP wants to patch the bug and stay on iOS 6 which he can do with an Jailbreak. and for @AndrewLarsson the link I've provided explains and shows how you can jailbreak 6.1.3 so i have no idea what you're talking about. and the grammar can be because of my dyslexia, however it doesn't make what I'm saying any less true!
    – Macmaniman
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 0:50
  • Ok, so here's my question: if I update to iOS 7 now, without jailbreaking, will I later be able to jailbreak my phone and install this patched iOS 6? I'm thinking of upgrading and seeing if I can get used to those nasty icons, but I want to know if jailbreaking can give me a way back if I find I can't stand them.
    – N. Virgo
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 2:53

No, you can't install iOS 6.1.6 on an iPhone 5. You can jailbreak and patch iOS 6.1.3 if you don't want to upgrade to iOS 7.0.6. You can't downgrade once you upgrade and you can only upgrade to the newest version released for that device.

  • Does the "you can't downgrade once you upgrade" comment also apply to jailbroken phones?
    – N. Virgo
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 6:11
  • 1
    Yes, only older phones such as an iPhone 4 may downgrade if you saved the "blobs" not an iPhone 5.
    – Bob
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 6:18

If you're not willing or able to Jailbreak your device and only going to use the services Apple uses there is no way you can install a previous version of iOS.

Apple only supports the use of the latest iOS as this is the most secure and best working version around. When a major version is launched (e.g. iOS 6 to 7) iOS 6 will be available for a short period and a downgrade is possible for a few days after. This period has expired for iOS7 to iOS6.

Sidenote: iOS 6.1.6 is only available for iPhone 3GS (and iPod Touch 4), so you can never install it on an iPhone 5.

  • It is available for iPod Touch 4 generation also. Because its last supported iOS version is also iOS6.
    – Laszlo
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 15:05
  • True that, but he's talking about an iPhone
    – Rob
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 15:08
  • Are you sure? "Is it possible to update any iOS 6 device to iOS 6.1.6?"
    – Laszlo
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 15:09
  • User nloveladyallen makes a good point on why it would be difficult to jury rig a mixed release for iPhone 5 hardware on iOS 6. apple.stackexchange.com/a/122040/5472
    – bmike
    Commented Feb 26, 2014 at 14:27
  • @bmike iOS6 is available on an iPhone 5 when you get it from the store. iOS6 has screen support for iPhone 5.
    – Rob
    Commented Feb 26, 2014 at 14:46

Probably not.

Even if you wanted to try to patch the OS to make a build from the iPhone 4 build work on iPhone 5 hardware, given that all the devices Apple released iOS 6.0.6 for use the old screen layout, the OS would not be optimized for iPhone 5 screen.

There would be significant engineering effort to back patch all those assets to make the patched OS compatible with the bigger screen on an iPhone 5.

  • 2
    The iPhone 5 shipped with iOS6, so there should be no screen optimisation issues, I think it's just through policy that Apple aren't making iOS6 updates for devices that support iOS7. Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 1:46
  • 2
    no, the 6.1.6 only exists for the 3GS and therefore not compatible with 3GS<
    – Macmaniman
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 2:26
  • iOS 6 had the iPhone 5 screen support, so your answer is invalid.
    – Rob
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 14:03

No it is not possible.

The reason: These software packages are compiled for each phone individually (since they feature different hardware), and Apple has not complied one for the iPhone 5. Therefor only Apple (or, in theory anyone else that has the source code) could create a software update for your phone.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .