No way back from iOS 14.8 as Apple stops signing earlier firmware

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Apple stops signing iOS 14.7.1
You're stuck with iOS 14.8 or iOS 15.
Image: Cult of Mac

It’s no longer possible to downgrade to iOS or iPadOS 14.7.1 if you’ve already updated your iPhone or iPad to a newer version of Apple’s firmware.

Cupertino stopped signing the update, first rolled out in July, after releasing iOS and iPadOS 15 to everyone on Monday. The move prevents users from reverting to the earlier build, but it won’t affect devices still running iOS 14.7.1.

Apple stops signing iOS 14.7.1

iOS and iPad 14.8 was a somewhat surprise update that arrived earlier this month to patch a major security vulnerability. In earlier versions of Apple’s firmware, it was possible for Pegasus spyware to bypass the BlastDoor protection that Apple had implemented specifically to prevent these attacks.

Security vulnerabilities like this one — and those that allow iOS and iPadOS to be jailbroken — are one of the reasons why Apple quickly stops signing older versions of its firmware after an update is made available to all users.

And that’s exactly what’s happened to iOS 14.7.1 this week after iOS 15 made its public debut. It’s no longer possible to downgrade to that version of the firmware, however, iOS 14.8 is still available for now.

iOS and iPadOS 15 out now

This won’t affect you if your iPhone or iPad is currently running iOS 14.7.1 — everything will continue to work as it should. However, once you’ve updated to a more recent firmware version, there is no way back.

If you’ve run into issues with iOS 14.8 or iOS 15, then, the only thing you can do is wait for another software update and hope that the problems get addressed. But it seems both releases are stable and relatively bug-free.

If you haven’t already updated to iOS or iPadOS 15, they are well worth the effort. They make big improvements to existing apps and features like FaceTime and Safari — and introduce some new ones, like Live Text and iCloud+.