A friend upgraded my device to iOS7. It didn't work properly so I downgraded it a few days later to iOS6.

I have backups both in iCloud and on OS X (iTunes). When I try to restore either I get a message:

To restore this iPhone from this backup, you must first set up the iPhone as new and restore the software to the latest version.

Without this backup I am very inconvenienced, so I ask is it possible to restore an iPhone from a iOS7 Backup if you downgraded the phone to iOS6?

  • 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 15:52

4 Answers 4


You can edit the info.plist file. I successfully restored my backup to 6.1.4. Edit the build version to your ipsw's build version and product version to the version you want to downgrade to. Using plist editors in windows are highly recommended.

Windows: C:\Users[Your username]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup[Your UDID]

Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/[Your UDID]/

After that just restore the backup normally. If an error popped up at the end, ignore it. Hope this helps.

  • 1
    "Using plist editors in windows are highly recommended." Really?
    – grg
    Sep 12, 2013 at 7:25
  • How did you fix this error message? itunes could not restore the iphone because the backup was corrupt or not compatible with the iphone Sep 22, 2015 at 16:40
  • This works... I did it right now going from iOS 11.1.2 to iOS 11.1. :) The backup was saved while on 11.1.2 and I was able to restore it on 11.1. Changed the firmware version from 15B202 to 15B93 and the product version from 11.1.2 to 11.1 in the info.plist. Nov 22, 2017 at 19:23

In general, you can never restore a backup from a newer version of iOS to an older version of iOS.

So - you can't load 6.1.2 backup on 6.1.1 or 6.1 or 6.0 or 5.x (etc…)

We're not a good place to ask specifically about iOS 7 until it's released to the general public, but this is known to not work for any OS categorically whether your backup is from a current, past or beta(future) iOS release.

You'll need to either run the OS needed for a particular backup or find an older backup or start over with syncing content to a freshly erased device.

Now, in iTunes open preferences and devices and look to see if you have more than one backup for that device. Also, when you restore from iOS - it shows you the latest backup from that device by default - but you can also tap a button to show other backups in case you have other devices or other backups that are older than the most recent backup. I hope you can find a backup here or perhaps restoring the backup folder on OS X by using Time Machine to restore an older version of the folder ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/


I don’t think so. Both should allow you to do a complete restore. Obviously the backup is not everything — your synced items (music, apps, videos, etc) are not included in a backup because they are restored by re-syncing. So an iCloud backup and restore wouldn’t give you back your synced items until you sync again. Never tried it, though.


I had the exact same problem! I have an iPhone 4, so IOS 7 doesn't work very fast.

The only thing I really needed back were my contacts, so I extracted the contacts from the iPhone back files. Once extracted, I downgraded to IOS 6 and used an iPhone transfer application to put the contacts back in. Check Google for iPhone transfer application.

Download the extractor from here: http://www.winavi.com/iphone-data-recovery/index.htm

  • 4
    Could you provide a URL for the developer not a download site which I would not trust
    – mmmmmm
    Jun 30, 2013 at 23:33
  • 3
    Mark is correct - it's very unsafe to install arbitrary files downloaded from the internet. Unless the author is known, I'd recommend not installing this if you don't have good anti virus or a test machine with no sensitive data on it and can evaluate the package.
    – bmike
    Jul 1, 2013 at 3:00
  • Hey guys. Sorry, just checked this today. Here's a link to the Developer's homepage:( winavi.com/iphone-data-recovery/index.htm ) And guys, trust me, there are no viruses in the above file. I uploaded it myself. I don't usually help people out online, but I was stuck with IOS 7 for a week myself and had been looking for a solution and finally came up with one. I just thought there might be other people stuck with IOS 7 like I was. But feel free to download the application from the developers website. I think it's about $60 for the full version from there. :)
    – user52392
    Jul 2, 2013 at 15:06

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