iOS 11 is finally available to download around the world, and brings with it a redesigned control centre and notification centre, drag-and-drop functionality and ARKit for high-end augmented reality experiences. But not everybody is happy with the update – especially those on older devices where performance has been affected. What are they to do?
Update: Following the release of iOS 11, Apple has stopped signing iOS 10.3.3. This means that the below tutorial no longer works, and you shouldn't attempt it as it'll most likely fail and require you to restore your iPhone or iPad.
iOS downgrade warning
So, you want to downgrade from iOS 11 to iOS 10? While it’s possible for a short time, there are a couple of things worth noting before you do so.
First up, downgrading from iOS 11 to iOS 10 will require you completely wiping your phone – all your contacts, photos, apps and everything else will be deleted. It’s not like the upgrade process where all your data remains intact.
While it will be possible to restore from a backup once you’re running iOS 10, you won’t be able to restore from an iOS 11 backup. What does that mean? If your iPhone or iPad has automatically backed up via iCloud since you’ve upgraded to iOS 11, you won’t be able to access any of your data if you downgrade. You’ll have to start again from scratch, or restore from an older backup (if available).
Finally, you need to be sure that Apple is still signing the last version of iOS 10: iOS 10.3.3. As a rule of thumb, Apple tends to stop signing the older version around two days after the release of the new version. That means that while it’s possible to downgrade at the time of writing, the window is small, and it’s worth checking that it’s still available BEFORE following the below tutorial.
While there’s no official resource, you can head to this site to check the status for your iOS device. If Apple has stopped signing the software and you still try, chances are your phone will be wiped and you’ll be prompted to re-install iOS 11.
How to downgrade from iOS 11 to iOS 10.3.3
So, how do you downgrade from iOS 11 to iOS 10.3.3? Follow these instructions:
- Open iTunes on your PC or Mac. If you haven’t got it already, download it from the Apple site.
- Download the iOS 10.3.3 software update. There are many sites that offer IPSW downloads, just make sure you’re downloading the software for your specific device or the restore will fail in iTunes.
- Connect your iPhone or iPad running iOS 11 to your PC or Mac, and select it in the drop-down in the top-left of iTunes.
- Click Restore iPhone while holding down the Option key (Mac) or the Shift key (Windows) and locate the IPSW file you downloaded earlier.
- Once you select the software, it should be verified and extracted by iTunes and loaded onto your iOS device.
And that’s it! Once the process is complete, you’ll be welcomed by the iOS 10 welcome screen. Simply follow the setup instructions and select an iOS 10 backup to restore from (if available).