How to Downgrade from iOS 11.4 to iOS 11.3.1 on iPhone and iPad

Downgrade iOS Firmware

With a possible iOS 11.3.1 jailbreak on the horizon, a number of iPhone and iPad users must be looking for a way to downgrade back to the OS from iOS 11.4. While iOS 11.4 introduces AirPlay 2 and other audio-related improvements, I am sure iPhone owners who follow the jailbreaking scene closely would be ready to give up on these features for jailbreaking their device.

Apple is currently signing the iOS 11.3.1 release which means its the perfect time for you to downgrade back to it from iOS 11.4. In case, the release of the iOS 11.3.1 jailbreak is delayed or you change your mind about jailbreaking your iPhone, you can always upgrade back to iOS 11.4. However, once Apple closes the iOS 11.3.1 signing window, the downgrading process would become next to impossible.

Pre-requisites

Since Apple has stopped signing iOS releases prior to iOS 11.3.1, you will not be able to downgrade to a version lower than that. If you are on a lower version of iOS 11, my recommendation would be that you stick to it for now.

There are two different ways for you to downgrade your iPhone or iPad to iOS 11.3.1 from iOS 11.4. One of them will retain your user data, while the other will wipe your device completely clean. Irrespective of which method you follow, make sure to first check that Apple is signing the firmware file. Open this page and ensure that there are green rows with a tick which means that Apple is still signing that particular firmware. In this case, you need to ensure there is a green tick for the iOS 11.3.1 firmware file.

Method 1

This is a riskier method, but it allows you to downgrade from iOS 11.4 to iOS 11.3.1 without losing data. It is also much faster than the second method which involves wiping your data and restoring it.

How to Downgrade iOS 11.4 to iOS 11.3.1 Without Losing Data

Note: If you’re downloading the firmware file using Safari then ensure that auto unzip feature is disabled or use Chrome or Firefox. Alternatively, renaming the .zip file as .ipsw file should also work.

  • Connect the iOS device running iOS 11.4 to your computer.
  • Launch iTunes and select the iOS device from the top left corner.
  • Then click on Summary in the left-hand sidebar.
  • Hold the Alt/Option key on the Mac or Shift Key in Windows on your keyboard and click on the Check for Update option, instead of restoring.
  • Select the iOS 11.3.1 ipsw firmware file you had downloaded earlier.
  • iTunes will inform that it will update your iOS device to iOS 11.3.1 and will verify the update with Apple.
  • Click Update.
  • iTunes should now downgrade your iOS device to iOS 11.3.1.

Method 2

This method is safer, but it is more time-consuming as it involves restoring data from backup. It is also important to note that you will be able to only restore from the last iOS 11.3.1 or lower compatible backup, and will lose the data since upgrading to iOS 11.4

Notes:

  • Please note that in case of method 2 involves wiping your device, and then restoring it from a backup, so it can take some time depending on how much data needs to be recovered and your internet connection (if you’re restoring from an iCloud backup).
  • Please use this procedure if you have an iCloud or iTunes backup of your device as it involves wiping your device.
  • The standard iCloud and iTunes backup will likely be iOS 11.3-based, so it may not restore properly to an iOS 11.4 device. So it is important to have the archived backup you made before installing iOS 11 as we had recommended.

How to Downgrade from iOS 11.4 to iOS 11.3.1

Note: If you’re downloading the firmware file using Safari then ensure that auto unzip feature is disabled or use Chrome or Firefox. Alternatively, renaming the .zip file as .ipsw file should also work.

  • You now need to put your device in DFU mode (if you want to find out what it means check this post for more details):
  • Plug your device into your computer.
  • Turn off the device by holding the Sleep/Wake or Power button and swiping it off.
  • Hold the power button for 3 seconds.
  • Begin holding the Home button without releasing the Sleep/Power button for 10 seconds.
  • Release the power button and continue holding the home button until you get a popup from iTunes that it has detected that your device is in Recovery mode.
Downgrade iOS 8.4.1 - iTunes - Recovery mode
  • Click on the Ok button.
  • Hold the Alt/Option key on the Mac or Shift key in Windows on your keyboard and click on the Restore iPhone… (iPad/iPod touch…) button. Note: If you directly click on the Restore iPhone button without holding the Alt/Option key on the Mac or Shift key in Windows will result in restoring your device back to iOS 11.4, which is the latest version.
  • Select the iOS 11.3.1 IPSW file you had downloaded earlier.
  • Then click on the Restore and Update button to continue.
Downgrade iOS 8.4 - Erase screen
  • In the next screen, it will give you information about the iOS 11.3,1 update. Click on the Next button, followed by the Agree button to continue.
  •  iTunes will now verify the software and install it on your device. It should take around 10 minutes.
  • After it is successfully restored to iOS 11.3.1, you should see the white ‘Hello’ screen. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your device, and restore your device from the archived backup you had made to restore your personal data.

That’s it. Your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch should have been successfully downgraded from iOS 11.4 to iOS 11.3.1.

Troubleshooting Tips

If you get the error message “This device isn’t eligible for the requested build” then it is probably because you’ve downloaded the wrong firmware file for your device.

Please don’t forget to let us know how it goes in the comments and drop us a line if you any questions or need any help.