FAQ: Can I downgrade from iOS 7.1.1 or iOS 7.1?

ios-7-1-jailbreak

Last weekend, I answered one of the most frequently asked questions since Apple released iOS 7.1.1: Can I jailbreak iOS 7.1.1 or iOS 7.1?

So the next logical question that people who want to jailbreak their iOS device want to know is: Can I downgrade from iOS 7.1.1 or iOS 7.1.1 to iOS 7.0.6 – iOS 7?

People, especially those who are new to the jailbreaking world are hoping that they can downgrade back to iOS 7.0.6, so that they can jailbreak their device using evasi0n7, the jailbreak for iOS 7 – iOS 7.0.6.

Answer:

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is also “No”. It is not possible to downgrade from iOS 7.1 or iOS 7.1.1 to iOS 7.0.6 or any older version of iOS as Apple has stopped signing the firmware files. It also means that you can’t update to an older version of iOS. For example: You can’t upgrade from iOS 6.x to iOS 7 – iOS 7.0.x.

Apple has used this strategy to keep jailbreakers at bay. It not only releases new software updates that fixes the vulnerabilities used by the jailbreaks, it also stops signing the older iOS firmware file, which prevents users from downgrading back to the older iOS version that can be jailbroken. Apple did the same thing with iOS 7.1. It patched a number of vulnerabilities that was used by the evasi0n7 jailbreak so that it does not work with iOS 7.1 or iOS 7.1.1, and also stopped signing iOS 7.0.6 firmware files so users cannot downgrade to it.

Apple has been doing this for quite a while. The now defunct iPhone Dev team had explained how Apple had made it difficult to downgrade to older version of iOS:

Starting with the iOS5 beta, the role of the “APTicket” is changing — it’s being used much like the “BBTicket” has always been used.  The LLB and iBoot stages of the boot sequence are being refined to depend on the authenticity of the APTicket, which is uniquely generated at each and every restore (in other words, it doesn’t depend merely on your ECID and firmware version…it changes every time you restore, based partly on a random number).  This APTicket authentication will happen at every boot, not just at restore time.  Because only Apple has the crypto keys to properly sign the per-restore APTicket, replayed APTickets are useless.

This will only affect restores starting at iOS5 and onward, and Apple will be able to flip that switch off and on at will (by opening or closing the APTicket signing window for that firmware, like they do for the BBTicket).

It is still be possible to downgrade iPhone 4 (note only iPhone 4) from iOS 7.1 to iOS 6.1.x or lower if you’ve the SHSH blobs.

There also hasn’t been any news for quite a long time, which suggests that anyone in the jailbreak community is working on a way to downgrade to an older version of iOS. It would be a major breakthrough if someone can figure out a way to downgrade back to iOS 7 – iOS 7.0.6 as it would be give users a workaround to jailbreak their device.

Note: Frequently Asked Questions or FAQ is a new initiative where I plan to answer questions that you may have about iOS or your iOS device. So please feel free to ask a question in our Forums. The most frequently asked questions will be featured on the site.

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