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I have an iCloud backup from an iPhone running iOS 8.3. Now, I'd like to restore another iPhone from this backup. The problem is that the other iPhone is running iOS 8.2 (this iPhone cannot be updated to 8.3 as I need it to run this very version).

I found some guides on the internet explaining how to do a downgrade from a beta version (I didn't find anything about downgrading from non-beta versions). But they are about downgrading from a major release to another major release (eg: iOS 8 to iOS 7).

My thought is that, unlike the iTunes backup, iCloud backup saves only information about the data on your iPhone (a list of all installed apps, a list of all downloaded music, movies, etc.) and when you restore from an iCloud backup, it will just re-download this media from iTunes and the App Store.

I didn't just try this yet as I don't know whether some data in iCloud may get corrupted by restoring to an older version.

Does anybody have any experience with this kind of thing?

  • A lot would depend on whether Apple are still signing 8.2, they very likely won't be for long even if they do right now. Replacing the last ipsw file in ~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates/ may help, but I wouldn't guarantee it won't go off to find the latest anyway – Tetsujin Apr 18 '15 at 14:44
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I just got around this problem.

  1. Setup the phone as a new phone, not from backup.
  2. Go to General > Updates and update to iOS 8.3
  3. Go to General > Reset and Reset all Data and Content. This will keep the iOS version on the as 8.3.
  4. Now you can setup the phone and restore those new backups!
  • 3
    He specifically stated that an upgrade is out of question. – David Balažic Jun 21 '15 at 2:32
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You cannot downgrade unless one of the following is true:

  • Apple is still signing installations of the previous version of the OS to which you wish to downgrade, or
  • Your phone is jailbroken, you have saved your SHSH blob from the prior version, and you have a way to run a replay attack with that SHSH blob to trick the device into believing Apple is still signing that version.

You can determine whether a particular version of iOS is currently being signed for a given device on ipsw.me. Simply change 8.2 in the URL to the version you want to check, such as 8.0 or 8.3.

This list of updates, from the same website, shows when Apple starts and stops signing a given version.

In your case, 8.2 stopped being signed on 5/4/15. Therefore it is no longer possible to downgrade. Generally the window is about a month or so after a new version is released.

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If you go to the folder that the backup was made there is a list of different coded long numbered folders there, use the list of the available iphone backups to determine the backup you want to restore. Inside that folder there will be an info.plist file open it with a text editor. It will have the version of the IPSW in that file. Search for "Product Version" and you should be able to find a string below with the version number of that backup. Edit that number to the version of the device you want to restore to and save the file. Then the backup should show up in itunes and you will be able to restore this backup to your device with an earlier IOS version.

Product Version 8.3

Keep in mind this is experimental.

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I had the same problem. You can put your iOS device into recovery mode, then restore it using iTunes.

Try this approach from Apple, if you can't update or restore your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  1. Turn off your device and leave it off.
  2. Plug in your device's USB cable to a computer with iTunes.
  3. Hold down the Home button on your device as you connect the USB cable. Keep holding down the Home button until you see the Connect to iTunes screen.
  4. When you see this screen, release the Home button. If you don't see this screen, try steps 1 through 3 again.
  • 1
    This will not allow you to downgrade to a prior version. Restoring the device will install the latest version of iOS and then restore the user's backed up data onto it. – tubedogg Jun 20 '15 at 20:07

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