It isn’t often that the whole Apple community unanimously agrees that it’s time to downgrade from a recent upgrade. This is one of those times where downgrading from iOS 9.3 is one of the best decisions you can make. Distribution rates hit 70%, but adoption has slowed.
The reason for this is that the latest Apple update has brought serious performance issues along with it. The biggest issue is slow performance, where your Apple device will practically freeze when you try to do too much at once. The security is also a huge issue, with flaws revealed by independent experts. Battery issues long thought eliminated have also returned with a vengeance.
Until Apple comes up with a fix to this nasty surprise, the best option is to downgrade your device. This tutorial is going to show you how to do it.
Prepare for the Downgrade
To begin with, you need to prepare your device for the downgrade. The first course of action is to back everything up. You should use the existing firmware to perform a full backup of everything currently on the device. This will allow you to reset everything should something go wrong, which can happen.
Make sure that these backups are independent of iTunes and iCloud. Apple doesn’t allow you to restore older firmware, so you are going to have to circumvent them on this one. Beware that this could void your warranty if it’s ever discovered that you tampered with the device in this way. Apple tends to be extremely draconian when it comes to manipulation.
Beware that there’s no jailbreak for iOS 9.3 or 9.2.1. So if you want to perform this downgrade for that you are wasting your time and will need to downgrade version.
Finally, in the event that you need to perform a restore, you should do this with the latest version of iTunes.
Step 1 – The Right File
To begin with, you need to get the IPSW file for your device. You will have to download this online, but a quick Google search will bring up literally hundreds of sites where you can get it. There’s no real preference here for a specific device. Just make sure that it’s the right one for your device, whether it’s the iPad or iPhone.
Step 2 – Working on the Device
Before you can actually make the change, you need to work on the device first. Just like any digital marketing strategy, you need to lay the foundations before you can get to the good stuff. Go into your device and get to the Settings part of the app. Within the iCloud section, you will find an option called Find My iPhone. Disable it.
Step 3 – Connect and Go
Now that your device has been prepared, you can connect your device to either a Mac or a PC. You should already have the relevant sync or charge cable because it comes with every device. After your device has been connected, you should launch iTunes.
As already mentioned, this should be the latest version of iTunes. Once it’s open, select the relevant device and find the tab that says Summary. This tab will tell you everything you need to know about whatever device you have connected.
Step 4 – The Restore Process
You now have everything you need to restore your device to the previous iOS version. On Windows, you can simply push the shift key and press the Restore iPhone button that will appear in iTunes. Mac users go through much the same process, but they have to hold down the Option/Alt key instead.
Step 5 – Finishing It Off
The final step in this tutorial is to find the relevant iOS IPSW file you downloaded earlier and to patch it over the newer version. This is where iTunes plays ball because all you have to do is follow the steps on the screen. As long as you don’t deviate, it will automatically resort the device. It will restore the old firmware and then you’re good to go.
The great thing about this process is that it’s exactly the same as downgrading to any other version of the iOS. Until Apple decides to fix this version of iOS you can continue to work on an older version. You won’t be able to automatically update your device, though.
You will need to follow this process again, but the difference is you will use the IPSW file for the latest version. From there, you can go back to automatic updates.
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I am a regular writer for Forbes, Inc., Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Media (among others), as well as CEO and Chairman of Alumnify Inc. Proud alum from 500 Startups and The University of San Diego. Follow me on Twitter @