If you’ve too excitedly updated to iOS 14 and now face remorse (you should have read our guide to everything you need to know about iOS 14), you can always downgrade your iPhone from beta or public release back to iOS 13. All you need is an archived backup of your device from before installation beta version of iOS 14 on your Mac or Windows PC, and to follow the steps below!
Note: If you are reading this article on the iPhone you want to reset, you can either print it first or open it on another iPhone, iPad or computer so you can read on as you go.
Remember to make sure you have an archived copy of the previous version of iOS so that you do not have to start from scratch when downgrading your iPhone from beta or public release.
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To put iPhone or iPad in recovery mode
There is no button press to reset the device back to the standard version of iOS. So to get started, you need to put your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch in recovery mode.
Turn off your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch by following the steps below for your device:
- Touch and hold iPhone and iPad devices with Face ID Side button and either volume button for Slide to Turn off appears and swipe the slider.
- Hold down the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus Side button for Slide to Turn off appears and swipe the slider.
- On iPhone 7 and older, press and hold all iPads with a Home button and all iPod touch models Page or Top button for Slide to Turn off appears and swipe the slider.
- Plug the cable that came with the device into computer.
- Plug the cable that came with your device iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
Press the series of buttons related to your device to trigger recovery mode:
- Touch and hold iPhone iPad devices with Face ID Side button until you see the recovery mode icon.
- Touch and hold iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus Side button until you see the recovery mode icon.
- Touch and hold iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and iPod touch (7th generation) Volume down button until you see the recovery mode icon.
- On an iPhone 6s and older, all iPads with a Home button and iPod touch (6th generation) and older: Press and hold Home button until you see the recovery mode icon.
If for some reason recovery mode does not trigger to let you downgrade iPhone from a beta or public release, you can also try putting iPhone or iPad in DFU mode. Device firmware update mode is a little harder to get into, but will often force a recovery even when nothing else works.
How to downgrade to an older version of iOS on iPhone or iPad
If Finder on your Mac or iTunes on your Windows PC does not start automatically, start it manually. iTunes will detect your device in recovery mode and ask you what you want to do.
Note: in macOS Mojave and older, your device will connect to iTunes instead of Finder.
- Click Restore on the Finder popup.
- Click Restore and update to confirm.
- Click Next on iOS 13 Software Updater.
Click To agree to accept the terms and start downloading iOS 13.
If your device restarts to iOS 14 before the download is complete, just repeat the steps above and put it back in recovery mode. Once the download is complete, the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch will be restored to the older version of iOS.
How to restore the archived iOS backup to iPhone or iPad
Once the device is restored, it has a clean copy of the latest standard version of iOS. To recover your data, you need to restore from a previous backup. If you’ve been running the latest software for more than a day, your default iCloud or iTunes backup is likely to be based on the software release and may not restore properly to a device running the older version of iOS. This is where the archived backup you made before installing the new software comes in. (You made a backup, right?)
- Select Restore from this backup in iTunes (or Finder in macOS Catalina).
- Select archived backup you created before installing the beta software update.
When the recovery is complete, your iPhone or iPad should be back where it was before you installed the new software. If you’ve made some major changes since then and they’s not synced otherwise, you may need to repeat them to get back to exactly where you were before you downgraded.
If you are tired of the performance of your iPhone because it is so old, we have some advice on how to choose the best iPhone for your needs.
If you have problems or have questions, ask in the comments!
Updated September 2020: Updated for iOS 14.