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I'm in a bit of a predicament. I have the iOS 9.1 beta installed, and I'd like to downgrade to iOS 9 stable (released today, 9/16).

I don't have a backup from iOS 8, so I understand that there's no way for me to downgrade without wiping my phone and reinstalling all of my apps and data. That's fine.

What I'm concerned about are my pictures and videos, especially keeping all of the dates intact. I've had a bad experience before importing pictures onto an iPhone and having the dates all be the same.

What backup service or desktop app should I use to best restore my pictures to my phone after I have restored the iOS 9 base image? I have the images on my computer, as well as on OneDrive. I'm running Windows, and do not have easy access to OSX.

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You can actually use your whole iOS 9.1 beta backup onto the iOS 9.0 stable release (installing backup made in newer firmware onto older firmware). I'm glad I managed it and I want to share the method.

First you have to backup in iTunes (while still in iOS 9.1 beta). Then, you have to find the directory where your backup is.

  • On a Mac, go to finder-->go-->go to folder, and input ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/
  • On Windows, go to \Users\(username)\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\Windows

Find the latest folder (with lots of weird numbers and alphabets). You can sort by date to do this. Open the folder, and you'll get LOTS of text files. Search for info.plist and open it using a text editor or Xcode. Under "software version", it says 9.1. Change it to 9.0 and close the file.

You restore your device to iOS 9.0 in iTunes (since 9.0 is released it will restore it to 9.0 by default, not 8.4.1 anymore), and then after it's done you can restore from the backup you just made. It was made in iOS 9.1 but the computer thinks it's 9.0.

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  • Wow, if it's really as easy as changing the version number in the plist file, I will definitely give that a try. Thanks! – qJake Sep 18 '15 at 14:27
  • This worked perfectly, I got all my pictures and most of my apps and data back, too! Just a few things needed to be re-setup, like some settings, Touch ID, etc. Thanks! – qJake Sep 21 '15 at 13:52
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I have been using Google Photos app online and on my iphone. I open it once a day and it backs up all of the photos I have taken that have not been backed up yet...then I delete them from my iphone and free up much needed space AND it gives me access to ALL of my photos; over a decade's worth of pics and 150GB+ of pics all there online or in the Google Photos App.

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I haven't had any issues using the iCloud photo library to commingle photos amongst iOS 8, 9.0 and 9.1

  1. Enable cloud library on the phone
  2. Wait and check all is there at https://iCloud.com/
  3. Restore to iOS 9.0
  4. Sign in to iCloud and enable cloud library - download originals

My safety valve is of course OS X Photos where I have point in time backups of the originals.

You don't need any software on the PC if you want to move your photos into the cloud before you do the wipe and downgrade. Also, you can use iTunes on the PC to make two backups of the 9.1 device. Assuming your downgrade goes badly, you can at least go back to where you are today with the photos on 9.1 again and re-do the backup or choose a different photo sync solution.

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  • What about putting the photos back correctly on the device once I am on the stable iOS release? – qJake Sep 16 '15 at 17:50

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