The first beta of iOS 13 is out for developers to play with (and craftier Apple fans who like living on the edge), but it’s not all fun and games. While there are some awesome new features beta testers can try out if they install iOS 13 right now, the operating system is incomplete and Apple still has a few more months of testing before iOS 13 is ready a for public release.
If you’ve made the early jump to the iOS 13 beta and are feeling some upgrader’s remorse, fret not. You can roll iOS back to the comfort and stability of iOS 12—at the very least, until the public beta hits later next month, which should be a little more stable than the first developer beta.
Download the necessary system files
First, find and download your device’s .IPSW file from https://ipsw.me/. You can use the “Identify my iOS device” tool from the right-hand sidebar menu, or you can search for your iPhone or iPad’s model name (such as iPhone X, iPad Pro, iPhone 8s, etc.). Save the .IPSW file for iOS 12.3, 12.3.1, or 12.3.2 to your computer. While it downloads, this is a good opportunity to make sure you have iTunes installed if you’re doing the rollback on a Windows PC.
Configuring your iOS device
Don’t bother making a backup of your device before you perform the downgrade. While it’s normally good practice to do so when you’re upgrading to a new version of iOS, you can’t perform a restore in iOS 12 using an iOS 13 backup. (One reason why we always recommend making an iTunes-based offline backup of your old version of iOS when you want to install a beta.)
You will also need to disable the “Find my iPhone/iPad” option in the iOS 13. This might seem like an odd step, but you need to turn it off to prevent the feature from causing errors during the rollback.
- Open Settings on your iOS device.
- Tap your account name at the top of the settings window, then go to “Find My””Find My iPhone/iPad,” and tap the “Find My iPhone/iPad” slider to disable it.
- Type in your Apple ID and password to apply the changes.
Installing older versions of iOS
Once you’ve disabled the “Find my device” setting and your .IPSW file has finished downloaded, you’re ready to begin the rollback.
- Plug your iOS device into your Mac or PC. iTunes should launch automatically.
- In the sidebar, click on the iPhone icon under Devices to open the device summary screen.
- Hold down the Option key on Mac, or the Shift key if you’re on Windows, then click “Restore iPhone.”
- In the file browser that appears, find and open the IPSW file you downloaded earlier.
- A a popup window will appear and let you know that you’re installing a new version of iOS. Click “Restore.”
- Wait for the process to chug along. You may be asked to input your device password during the installation process. Installation is complete when the device reboots itself and the “Welcome” startup screen appears.
- If you backed up your phone when you were running iOS 12 and you want to restore your data, tap “Restore from iCloud” or “Restore from iTunes Backup.” If not, tap “Set Up as New iPhone.” Follow the on-screen instructions to complete setup and restore.
With those steps completed, your device is now safely back in the loving, stable embrace of iOS 12.