WWDC 2020 was impressive, and you excitedly installed iOS 14 beta on your iPhone! But now you find it to be buggy, which developer betas are. Maybe there are frequent app crashes and other problems you cannot live with. In such situations, you may want to downgrade iOS 14 and get back to iOS 13. Here is how to do that.
Before you begin to downgrade iOS, read this carefully:
- Downgrading from iOS 14 to iOS 13 requires a Mac or Windows PC.
- To download the IPSW file and restore, you need a decent internet connection.
- You can not restore iOS 14 backup to iOS 13. If you have new images, videos, documents, etc. make sure to save them to a cloud service like iCloud, Google Photos, Drive.
- If you have an archived backup of iOS, you are golden. You will be able to restore data that was on your phone before you installed iOS 14 beta.
- Even if you have no iOS 13 backup, you can still downgrade iOS 14. However, you will have to set up your iPhone as new.
- Screenshots in this article are from Mac running macOS Big Sur Developer beta. So it may look visually different. But steps and everything else is the same.
How to Downgrade from the iOS 14 Beta to iOS 13
1. Download the Device Restore Image: You can see how and where to download the IPSW file for your iPhone.
Here are the links to download its appropriate IPSW files for different models of the iPhone.
- iPhone SE (2nd Generation)
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone 11
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone XR
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 6S
- iPhone 6S Plus
- iPhone SE
2. Turn Off Find My iPhone: To disable it, open the Settings app → your Apple ID banner from top → Find My → Find My iPhone → turn off Find My iPhone. Enter the device passcode and tap on Turn Off.
3. Connect the iPhone to the Computer: Use an appropriate cable to connect the iPhone to Mac or Windows PC. A Message may appear “Unlock iPhone to Use Accessories,” use Touch ID/FaceID/passcode to unlock the device.
4. Open Finder or iTunes: On Mac running macOS Catalina and Big Sur, open Finder. On Mac running Mojave or earlier or Windows OS computer, open the iTunes.
5. Locate Your iPhone: In Finder’s left sidebar, you will see it under Locations. On iTunes, click on the tiny iPhone icon. If asked, click on Trust inside Finder. Now tap Trust on the iPhone and enter the passcode.
6. Put the device in Recovery Mode: The steps differ for different sets of iPhone. Follow this guide for detailed steps. In short, here is a recap.
- On iPhone 8 or later: In quick succession, press and release the Volume Up button, then Volume Down button, then press and hold the right Side button even after the Apple logo appears and you see the Recovery mode screen. (a cable pointing towards laptop)
- On iPhone 7 Series: Together press and hold the Power button and Volume Down Buttons. Leave them when you see the Recovery mode screen
- On iPhone 6s and earlier: Together press and hold the Power button and Home button. Leave them when you are on the Recovery mode screen
Finder or iTunes will let you know that it has detected a device in Recovery Mode.
7. Restore iPhone Using the IPSW file: On Mac (whether using Finder or iTunes), press and hold the Option key; On Windows PC, press and hold the Shift key. Now, select Restore iPhone.
A new window will open up. Find the IPSW file you downloaded in step 1. Click to select it and then click on Open.
You will see a popup asking for your confirmation. Read it and click on Restore.
Note: On macOS Big Sur, after clicking on Restore → Restore and Update, it automatically shows to download and install the latest iOS 13 version. It will download the file. You won’t have to use the IPWS file. That’s good. However, you may also click on Cancel from the popup (or unplug and replug the iPhone). Then you will see a screen similar to the picture above this note. After that follow step 7.
8. Let the Computer finish the job: It will take some time for the process to complete. You will see the status on your Mac or PC. iPhone screen will also show the Apple logo with a progress bar. To avoid accidental unplugging, make sure the iPhone is placed properly, and there is no unnecessary movement.
Once the process completes, the iPhone will restart. You will see the setup screen on your iPhone running iOS 13.
9. Set-Up Process: On the Apps and Data screen, you have options namely:
- Restore from iCloud Backup: If you have an iCloud backup, pick this and proceed
- Restore from Mac or PC: If you have a backup locally, tap on this option. Now, connect your phone to the computer and locate it. Click on Trust, if asked. Click on Restore from this Backup, select the archived backup file, and click on Continue or Restore. (If the backup was encrypted, enter the encryption password).
- Transfer Directly from iPhone: If you personally own another iPhone, use this option to transfer data
- Move Data from Android: Transfer (or get) apps and most content from Android to iPhone
- Don’t Transfer Apps and Data: This will set up your iPhone as new. You can sign in with your Apple ID and download all apps again. All your subscriptions etc. will be available. You will also get all data in iCloud (like contacts, messages, iCloud Photos, bookmarks, etc.) if these were enabled
I hope this extensive guide to downgrade iOS 14 and reinstall iOS 13 was helpful. If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask us in the comments down below.
I have been an Apple user for over seven years now. At iGeeksBlog, I love creating how-tos and troubleshooting guides that help people do more with their iPhone, iPad, Mac, AirPods, and Apple Watch. In my free time, I like to watch stand up comedy videos, tech documentaries, news debates, and political speeches.