How to Downgrade from iOS 12.1.1 to iOS 12.1 on iPhone and iPad

iOS 12

Earlier this week, Apple released iOS 12.1.1 for compatible iPhones and iPad. While minor in nature, iOS 12.1.1 enhances a number of existing new features for improved usability. However, if for some reason, if you want to downgrade back to iOS 12.1 after using iOS 12.1.1, follow this guide. 

A downgrade back to iOS 12.1 from iOS 12.1.1 makes sense if you are hoping for a possible jailbreak release. There has not really been any word from any major jailbreaking team about a possible iOS 12 jailbreak, though a recent discovery might very well change that. Nonetheless, Apple tends to stop signing the second last release of iOS within a few weeks of the release of the latest build. So, if you want to go back to iOS 12.1, you should do it as soon as possible.

Pre-requisites

There are two different ways for you to downgrade your iPhone or iPad to iOS 12.1 from iOS 12.1.1. 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 12 firmware file.

Method 1

The riskier method of the two but you can downgrade back to iOS 12.1 with this process without wiping your device clean. This makes it notably faster than the second method which involves wiping clean your iPhone or iPad.

How to Downgrade iOS 12.1.1 to iOS 12.1 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 12.1.1 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 12.1 ipsw firmware file you had downloaded earlier.
  • iTunes will inform that it will update your iOS device to iOS 12.1 and will verify the update with Apple.
  • Click Update.
  • iTunes should now downgrade your iOS device to iOS 12.1.

Method 2

A safer method but it takes more time since you will have to erase your iPhone completely. You will also have to ensure that you already have an iOS 12.1 backup since you cannot restore your iOS 12.1.1 backup on your iPhone or iPad after the downgrade. If you don’t have an older backup, you won’t be able to restore your iPhone after downgrading it back to iOS 12.1.

How to Downgrade from iOS 12.1.1 to iOS 12.1

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 from iOS 9 to iOS 8.3 - Restore and Update
  • 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 12.1.1, which is the latest version.
  • Select the iOS 12.1 IPSW file you had downloaded earlier.
  • Then click on the Restore and Update button to continue.
Downgrade from iOS 9 to iOS 8.3 - Restore and Update
  • In the next screen, it will give you information about the iOS 12.1 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 12.1, 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 or iPad should have been successfully downgraded from iOS 12.1.1 to iOS 12.1.

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.

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