Forcing an iOS device to Update or Restore

Forcing an iOS device to Update or Restore 1

Typically, getting an iOS device to update is as easy as plugging it into your computer and hitting the Update button in iTunes—or even easier if you have an iOS 5 device, as you can handle the update directly from the Settings app. But what if you need to downgrade your OS, or install an Update image that iTunes can’t retrieve from the server—such as the just released iOS 6 beta? Doing so is easy. Simply connect your device to your PC or Mac, make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed and the necessary update image downloaded, click on your device in the iTunes sidebar, and when the main tab appears, hold the option (on Mac) or shift (on Windows) key in and hit the Update or Restore button, then choose the location of the update image. Click done, and iTunes will begin its normal process of updating or restoring the device’s software, no separate download required.

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  1. On Windows:
    Hold the SHIFT key while clicking the “Update” or “Restore” button in the iPhone tab in iTunes

    On Mac:
    Hold the option key while clicking the “Update” or “Restore” button in the iPhone tab in iTunes

    Keep in mind you will not be able to restore to just any image on the image Apple is currently signing. So “downgrade” only happens as long as it is still being signed which stops about the same day or with 48 hours of a new IOS release.

  2. On Windows:
    Hold the SHIFT key while clicking the “Update” or “Restore” button in the iPhone tab in iTunes

    On Mac:
    Hold the option key while clicking the “Update” or “Restore” button in the iPhone tab in iTunes

    Keep in mind you will not be able to restore to just any image on the image Apple is currently signing. So “downgrade” only happens as long as it is still being signed which stops about the same day or with 48 hours of a new IOS release.

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