Mobility

How to downgrade from the iOS 11 beta back to iOS 10

Feeling like installing the beta wasn't the best idea? Here's how to revert to iOS 10 and get on with your life bug-free.

Apple just released its iOS 11 beta for the public, setting off a scramble of early adopters who want to be the first in their circle of friends to try it out.

If you're the type of person who can't resist testing the latest iteration of Apple's mobile OS that rush to the front of the line can come with drawbacks: Bugs, missing features, and compatibility issues are all waiting for you behind the download link.

For some users it's simply too much. Sure, you're living on the cutting edge of iOS technology, but at what cost? The apps you rely on may not be working, bugs and glitches are silently lurking, and performance issues may be more than just irksome—they can bring your work to a standstill.

SEE: Apple iOS 11 public beta: Follow these steps to install it on iPad and iPhone

If you need to revert to iOS 10, just follow the steps below.

Downgrading from iOS 11 to iOS 10

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Image: TechRepublic/Brandon Vigliarolo

Apple has thankfully provided a thorough help page on the iOS 11 beta, but downgrading is just a piece of it. Here's an easier-to-read version of that help page with only the steps you need for escaping the iOS 11 beta.

1. You better have a backup

The first thing you should have done before installing the iOS 11 beta was create a backup of your phone. It's easy to back up an iOS device—plug it into a computer with iTunes on it and follow the steps for an iTunes backup at this link.

If you didn't do this before installing the beta, bad news: You're going to lose everything on your device since the downgrade process involves a total device wipe. Those in this unfortunate category should take the time to store photos and other important data in the cloud before beginning.

The easiest way to back up data, but not device settings, is to plug your device in and be sure everything is synced. You're still going to have to deal with all the manual labor of resyncing, but at least you won't lose everything outright.

2. Download the restore image

Before you start be sure you have the latest version of iTunes. Once you've verified, or updated, it's time to download the restore image.

SEE: iOS 10 & Swift 3: From Beginner to Paid Professional (TechRepublic Academy)

For the sake of this article I'm only including the link to the public beta restore image. If you're a developer or an AppleSeed customer you can find the download links for your image on the general iOS 11 beta support page.

Download the image you need and then connect your device to your computer.

3. Restart in recovery mode

Apple gives good instructions on how to reboot into recovery mode, so I've included them here:

  • For iPhone 6s and earlier, iPad, or iPod touch: Press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons at the same time. Don't release the buttons when you see the Apple logo. Continue to hold both buttons until you see the recovery mode screen.
  • For iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus: Press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Volume Down buttons at the same time. Don't release the buttons when you see the Apple logo. Continue to hold both buttons until you see the recovery mode screen.

4. Perform the restore

Successful execution of a recovery boot will lead to your computer giving you a few options. The one you're interested in is Restore, which you'll Command-click (on a Mac) or Option-click (on a Windows PC).

Point iTunes at the restore image you downloaded and then click Restore. This click is the point of no return, so be sure you're ready for a full device wipe before clicking!

5. Restore from your backup

Once your device has been downgraded to iOS 10 it's time to restore your backup (if you made one). iTunes should see your connected device as a new iPhone/iPad/iPod and ask if you want to restore from a backup. Find the one you just made and click Continue.

That's it—if you've done everything correctly all you have to do is wait for your backup restore to complete and you'll be back in familiar iOS 10 territory.

Also see:

About Brandon Vigliarolo

Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.

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