I have a device (iPhone 4S) that is running iOS 7, but I was wondering: Is it possible to restore a full backup of the same device running iOS 6.1.3.

I'm not worried about losing data from the iOS 7, but I would like to restore the device to its previous state under iOS 6.

Is this possible?

Again, to reiterate: I'm not looking for clean downgrade/install of iOS 6, I wish to restore a full back-up containing an earlier iOS. Thanks.

  • For anyone interested, we have pinned a meta post to the Community Bulletin that discusses iOS7 and Mavericks. Please join us there for discussion on the scope for the site's questions. meta.apple.stackexchange.com/questions/1712/…
    – bmike
    Jun 11, 2013 at 15:45
  • I'm going to close this since there was a temporary window between WWDC and September 22 where Apple was signing both iOS 7 and iOS 6 software. The answers here no longer apply, but are useful for historical reasons.
    – bmike
    Sep 23, 2013 at 13:44
  • @bmike The appropriate answer appears to be different now. I believe the question is still relevant and worth asking, as well as being answered. Right now, the answer is "You can't, unless Apple change their policy." Especially given the popularity of this question (which is good for the site). Sep 23, 2013 at 19:24
  • Thanks for the note! To be clear, close means it stays visible and searchable, can still be edited, and best of all - we can reopen it if people feel new answers are needed here. Do we need this open today and tomorrow to get more answers? If a policy changes, we can reopen this at that point.
    – bmike
    Sep 23, 2013 at 19:57
  • @bmike There isn't an answer on this page that reflects the current situation. Sep 24, 2013 at 19:40

4 Answers 4


Note: this will only work if downgrading from a prerelease beta OS to a regular version.

You can only ever restore an iOS device to the latest public version.

Downgrading is super easy: Just put your iPhone into DFU mode (plug into iTunes, power off, hold down Sleep/Wake and Home button for 8 seconds, let go of the power button and continue to hold down the home button until iTunes alerts you. The screen should be black) and follow iTunes through there.

  • I have successfully used this method a couple of times. I downloaded the 6.1.3/4 from the iOS Dev centre. When the device starts up, just press alt and the restore button selecting the appropriate file. A recommendation is to turn find my iphone off on iOS 7 to remove the extra validation when restoring a device. You also cannot disable this from iOS 6.
    – Alain King
    Aug 10, 2013 at 14:05
  • Yes, but that doesn't restore back to an old backup from iOS because iTunes automatically overwrites the previous backup as soon as the OS is restored. Aug 12, 2013 at 22:11
  • @DjangoReinhardt You can make a backup of your backups from ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/ if you so desire.
    – Josh Hunt
    Aug 12, 2013 at 23:38
  • @DavidPearce That doesn't appear to work. Sep 23, 2013 at 19:25
  • 2
    This does not work anymore as Apple stopped signing iOS 6.1.3 :( Sep 29, 2013 at 2:25

Don't quote me on this, but I believe there's a download list of ISPWs for iOS 6.1.3 on the home page of the iOS Dev Center. You should be able to download an image and reload your device the same way you loaded it with the beta image. I believe the 6.1.3 images listed here are still being signed (by Apple).

If you can successfully get your device running a clean install of 6.1.3, you should be able to do a restore from there.

  • Didn't work /: The files are there but you can't load them onto a phone that's been put onto iOS7. I think DFU mode would work but my top button is broken and I therefore can't go into DFU mode. /: Jun 11, 2013 at 6:33
  • 1
    So I was able to get into DFU mode with my top button being broken by erasing all content and settings on the iPhone itself from the settings app, then plugging it in to restore from an iTunes backup, halfway through the backup I unplugged the cable which disrupted the backup and sent the iPhone into a reset (not a power-down, but a RESET) mode... then I held the home button for a while and it went into DFU mode! Then I held option/alt and clicked "restore iPhone" in itunes when it popped up saying "iPhone detected" and I select the iphone 6.1.3 image that I downloaded off Apple! Praise God!:) Jun 11, 2013 at 6:43
  • 1
    @Albert Renshaw this has nothing to do with the question but if you have a iphone 5 you should still be under warranty my power button crapped out on me to call apple an said that its cover went into the store an they gave me a new one an for now go into your settings go to accessibility then turn on assistive touch you can control the ft where the power button are required hope i could atlest help with that as you did for my same question as this can you just restore.
    – user50996
    Jun 11, 2013 at 7:17
  • @KingCoopa364 Thanks! Unfortunately I'm on the 4S and they said I'd just have to replace it, a guy at Waffle House showed me the assistive touch trick but unfortunately I can only use that for powering down the device, I can't restart it /: Anyways, all is well now, I'm back on iOS6:) I love assistive touch though because I can take screenshots again :) haha! Jun 11, 2013 at 17:54
  • This worked, but after the update the phone did an automatic full update of itself -- overwriting my previous back-up. ARGH. Jun 26, 2013 at 17:10

First of all

Apple’s official word is that you cannot downgrade your device to iOS 6 after installing the beta. This means you shouldn’t install iOS 7 unless you are happy running buggy software for a few months.

To try to downgrade users must first download the IPSW for their device (from here).

Then connect the device to a Mac or PC with iTunes open. Next press hold the Home and Sleep/Wake button simultaneously for 10 seconds and then release the Sleep/Wake button until iTunes detects your iPhone has been put into recovery mode. While this happens, your iPhone’s screen will remain black.

With the device still connected, in iTunes Option+Click (Mac) or Shift+Click (Windows) the Restore iPhone… button. A window should open, in it locate the iOS 6 IPSW you downloaded, select it and confirm your selection. iTunes will now attempt to downgrade your device, after which point you can restore from local or iCloud backups.


It doesn't look like it:

Newer devices like the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPad 4, iPad 3, iPad 2, iPad mini and the iPod touch 5G are regrettably “stuck” on whichever firmware they’re currently running – no downgrade method exists, as of now.


Also: http://jailbreakmeme.com/you-cannot-downgrade-ios-7-to-6-1-3-iphone-ipad-ipod-touch/


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