iOS 12 users can’t downgrade to version 11

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Once you go iOS 12 you'll never go back.
No backsies. Once you go iOS 12 you'll never go back.
Photo: Wendelin Jacober/Pexels

Be warned: anyone who upgrades their iPhone or iPad to iOS 12 no longer has the option to downgrade. It’s not possible to go back to any version of iOS 11. Not that there’s much reason to want to.

This isn’t an unusual move. With today’s release of iOS 12.0.1, going to iOS 11 would be two jumps back, and it’s very rare for Apple to allow that.

A primer on downgrading

Moving between iOS versions — whether up or down — requires a copy of the replacement operating system. Obviously. The only source for these is Apple. 

And the new copy must be “signed” for the iPhone or iPad to trust it. Starting today, Apple stopped signing copies of iOS 11.4.1. It had already stopped signing all previous versions.

That means the only upgrades or downgrades possible are iOS 12 and iOS 12.0.1, as they are still being signed.

Moving forward from iOS 12

Being “stuck” with the very latest iOS version is hardly a disaster. It’s true, quite a number of people complained of charging problems if they didn’t wake up their handset or tablet before plugging it in, but that problem was fixed today in iOS 12.0.1.

And the move up from iOS 11 brought quite a few improvements that would be lost if a downgrade was possible. The 2018 version of this operating system is significantly faster than last year’s. And there’s Memoji and Siri Shortcuts too.

Speaking of iOS 11, it still included numerous bugs when it was first introduced, but that’s not the case with iOS 12. A message that’s clearly spreading because more than half of iOS 11 users have already upgraded.