Apple apparently not ending iOS downgrades

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The official iOS 12 release date is next week, but you can download it now.
The newest beta of iTunes blocks people from downgrading their iPhone to an earlier iOS version, but it’s apparently a bug not a feature.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The most recent beta of iTunes reportedly won’t allow iPhone and iPad owners to reinstall an older iOS version. This is apparently the result of a bug rather than a change of policy by Apple.

It seems Apple will continue to allow users to downgrade to a previous version if a serious problem is found in a new one.

A change in iTunes 12.9.4.61 to prevent people from installing older iOS versions was first noted and confirmed on Reddit.

Cult of Mac reached out to Apple asking if the change was deliberate or a bug. We were informed that Apple hasn’t changed its policy on iOS downgrades.

iOS Downgrades 101

Moving to a previous iOS version requires installing an IPSW file on the mobile device. These come from Apple, and are only available for recent versions of iOS. So, for example, it’s currently possible to downgrade from iOS 12.1.3 to version 12.1.2 or 12.1.1 but not anything earlier.

Moving the IPSW onto the iPhone or iPad requires iTunes. Installing a previous iOS iteration instead of the newest one has always been an option, but that’s not possible in the most recent iTunes 12.9.4.61 beta. Those who want the option to downgrade their iOS devices in the future should avoid installing this pre-release version.

Via: iPhoneHacks

Note: This article was updated with significant new information at 3:45 pm  PT.