Easy Guide: How to Downgrade from iOS 11 without Losing Your Data


As fascinating as the world of technology can be, iOS 11 – Apple’s eleventh major release of the iOS mobile operating system – comes with its own set of unique features and enhancements. However, as with any software upgrade, there can be unforeseen issues that may compel users to roll back to the previous version. This could be attributed to various reasons ranging from compatibility issues to personal preferences. And while downgrading from iOS 11 is not overly complicated, the real challenge lies in performing this action without losing any data, which can be critical if not backed up properly.

Understanding the Downgrade Process

Before diving into the downgrade process, let’s understand what it actually means. In simple words, downgrading software refers to moving back to an older version of the given software. It sounds straightforward, right? However, it is not without its risks. There’s the possibility of data loss, as the newer version may use a different method of data storage that the older version can’t understand. It’s also important to be wary of software compatibility issues, as some apps may no longer work with the older version.

The Necessity to Backup Data

Given the potential risks, backing up your data before proceeding is critical. Data backup is a process of copying files so that they can be restored in case of data loss.

For Apple users, you can backup data using either iCloud or iTunes. To backup using iCloud, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud. Tap iCloud Backup and then Back Up Now.

Alternatively, you can use iTunes for the backup. Connect your device to your computer, open iTunes, and select your device. Click Summary, then click Back Up Now under the manually Backup and Restore section.

Different Methods to Downgrade from iOS 11

Method 1: Using iTunes for Downgrading

To kickstart, ensure that you have the updated version of iTunes. Connect your device to your computer and navigate to your device on iTunes. Under the Summary tab, you’ll find Restore iPhone. Hold the Option key (Mac) or Shift Key (Windows) and click on Restore iPhone. Choose the IPSW file you had downloaded earlier to begin the downgrade process.

Method 2: Using a Third-Party Software for Downgrading

Several third-party software like dr.fone – Repair, Tiny Umbrella, or RecBoot can be used to complete the downgrade process. Please ensure to choose reliable software, download, and follow the respective steps provided to execute the downgrade.

Method 3: Contacting Apple Support for Assistance

If you’re not comfortable with both methods, consider reaching out to Apple Support. Their services can be availed for technical assistance and guidance on downgrading your device effectively.

Restoration of Data following the Downgrade

After the downgrade, your device will be a blank slate, and therefore, you might need to restore it from a previous backup. You can restore your device using both iCloud and iTunes backups. For iCloud, go to Settings > Apps & Data, and tap Restore from iCloud Backup. Sign in to your iCloud account and choose a backup.

For restoring from iTunes, connect your device to your computer that you used for the backup, open iTunes, and select your device. Click Restore Backup, choose your preferred backup and wait for the process to complete.

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The key to a successful downgrade from iOS 11 to a previous version hinges essentially on a thorough and proper backup process and using a trustworthy method to perform the downgrade. It might seem intimidating, but with careful steps, you can easily roll back to your desired iOS version without losing essential data.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What happens if I don’t backup my data before downgrading?

If you do not backup your data, you risk losing all your data including photos, videos, apps, and more in the process of downgrading.

Are there specific downgrade limits to how far one can downgrade their iOS?

Yes, it is generally possible to only downgrade to the version that Apple is signing, which is typically the current version and occasionally the direct predecessor.

Can I use these methods to upgrade my iOS as well?

Yes, the methods outlined can assist in upgrading to newer iOS versions with backup and restoration methods being similar.

What if the device does not respond as expected after the downgrade?

You should try to redo the downgrade process. If this doesn’t help, contacting Apple Support would be the best action.

How can one prevent unwanted iOS updates in the future?

You can disable automatic updates in Settings > General > Software Update > Customize Automatic Updates.

Can all data types be restored following a downgrade?

Yes, almost all data types can be restored as long as they have been properly backed up before the downgrade process.

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