If after installing the iOS 14 beta on your iPhone or the iPadOS 14 beta on your iPad you’ve determined you’d rather wait until all of the kinks have been worked out, you can always dial things back a little by downgrading to the most recent stable version of the operating system, which at post time was iOS/iPadOS 13.5.1. Follow this tutorial for quick instructions showing you how to downgrade the OS 14 beta or the iPadOS 14 beta to an earlier stable release.
What you need to know about downgrades
If you’ve ever downgraded your iPhone or iPad back to an older firmware, you’re already familiar with the whole process because Apple hasn’t changed a thing about it. Importantly, Apple as of this writing was signing only iOS 13.5.1, preventing downgrades to earlier releases.
Without further ado, feel free to follow along with our step-by-step tutorial right ahead showing you how to downgrade iOS 14 beta or iPadOS 14 beta to an earlier stable release.
How to downgrade iOS 14 beta or iPadOS 14 beta
Before we get to it, let us point out that people who own an Apple Watch which runs the watchOS 7 beta should downgrade the wearable device to watchOS 6 before they downgrade their iPhone to a pre-iOS 14 version because they won’t be able to do it afterwards.
And now, follow the steps below to downgrade the iOS 14 beta or the iPadOS 14 beta.
- Using your computer, download the most recent iOS 13 firmware file for your device via our Download section at idownloadblog.com/download — select the latest stable iOS or iPadOS firmware for your device from the menu and click the Go button to start downloading.
- Disable the Find My service on your beta device — open the Settings app and tap your Apple ID profile name and image at the top of the interface. Now tap Find My → Find My iPhone/iPad and slide the switch next to Find My iPhone/iPad to the OFF position to disable the feature.
- Connect the beta device to your computer with the included Lightning cable. iPad Pro owners can use the included USB-C cable or an adapter if their computer lacks USB-C.
- Launch iTunes on your Mac/PC or open a new Finder window on your Mac by clicking and holding the Finder icon in the Dock, then choose New Finder Window from the popup menu.
- In iTunes, click your device icon near the window’s top-left corner and then hit Summary in the lefthand sidebar. In the Finder, click your device in the lefthand sidebar underneath the heading Locations (if you don’t see it listed there, choose Preferences from the Finder menu and click the Sidebar tab, then tick the box next to “CDs, DVDs and iOS Devices”)
- In iTunes or the Finder, click the Restore Backup button while holding left Option key on your Mac or the left Shift key on your Windows PC.
- Now select the firmware file from your computer which you downloaded and saved in step 1.
Your computer will now start extracting the contents of the firmware archive (which may take a while) before it continues restoring your mobile device to the downloaded firmware. Keep the iOS device connected after it restarts and wait for it to finish installing the firmware.
Do not tinker around with your computer while this is all taking place.
You can disconnect after iOS’ Hello screen appears. One of the steps in the iOS setup process is restoration of data from a previously created backup file on your computer or in iCloud.
Important info about restoring from backups
If you had remembered to back up your iPhone or iPad prior to updating to the iOS or iPadOS 14 beta, you can restore from that recovery point. If not, you’ll need to restore the device from an earlier backup file or start anew (which isn’t a bad idea at all).
TUTORIAL: How to install the iOS or iPadOS 14 beta
What you cannot do is restore the iOS device from a recovery point created using a higher iOS version. If you did forget to back up the device before upgrading to the beta, you can still downgrade back to a stable version of the previous iOS release but you won’t be able to restore your settings, data and other content from that iOS 14 or iPadOS 14 backup.
In other words, it is only possible to restore iOS 13 backups on your iPhone after you downgrade it back to iOS 13.5.1. You cannot restore an iOS 14 backup on your iPhone.
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