Apple opened up public betas for the new versions of iOS and macOS; you can find the betas for iOS 10 and macOS 10.12 (Sierra) via either the Apple Developer Portal for developers or the Apple Public beta website for anyone else.
Betas are great for allowing a multitude of users and device types to test the software and uncover any issues before the software is released to the widest range of users this fall; however, you may find that after using the software for an extended period of time, you want to go back to the latest stable release of iOS. Here’s how to do just that.
Back up your data
The first step is to ensure that you have either an iCloud or iTunes backup of your device before starting the downgrade process. Through the downgrade process you should not lose your data, but to be on the safe side, you should always ensure that you’ve performed a backup before continuing with the downgrade.
Learn more about how to back up your iOS device by reading one of my previous articles (see the section titled Create a full backup in iCloud and iTunes).
Download the iOS 9.x firmware IPSW
Before you can downgrade, you need to download the latest iOS 9.x IPSW file. This firmware file contains the necessary software to flash your iOS device back to iOS 9.
There are a few ways to download this file. If you have a developer account, you can log into the Apple Developer Portal to download the latest firmware version.
The easiest way to get the latest iOS firmware IPSW file is by using a service called ipsw.me. On the main page of the IPSW Downloads website (Figure A), you can select your device, and then select the compatible iOS software version to download. This server does not host the files, so they are safely and securely downloaded directly from Apple’s firmware distribution servers.
Uninstall iOS 10
To uninstall iOS 10, follow these steps.
- Connect your iOS 10 device to a Mac or PC.
- Open iTunes and select your device from the device selector.
- Click the Summary tab.
- Option + Click the Check For Update button (Figure B).
- In the dialog that appears, locate the IPSW file you downloaded in the previous section and select it.
- Click the Update button that appears in the dialog stating iTunes Will Update Your iPhone To iOS 9.3.2 And Will Verify The Update With Apple (Figure C).
After a few minutes, the iOS 10 device will reboot into software update mode. In this mode, iOS 9.x will be replaced on the device, removing iOS 10 from it entirely. Ensure your device remains plugged in for the duration of this process, until iTunes says it’s OK to remove the device.
Once your device has rebooted into iOS 9, it is safe to set it up again. Ensure that all data is still on the device–if some things have been removed during the downgrade process, then you can easily restore the device using the backup created using iTunes or iCloud.