Apple’s upcoming iOS 12 is packed full of important, useful and fun updates. From the new Memoji feature to full-fledged privacy additions, you should definitely download it when it officially launches in the fall.
In the meantime, iOS 12 is being beta tested. Beta versions of the software are available to registered Apple developers and members of Apple’s public software testing program. Starting this week, Apple has made the iOS 12 Public beta available to non developers.
You might be eager to get your hands on iOS 12, but we don’t generally recommend you do so on your primary device. Beta software can be buggy. And even though some of iOS 12’s primary features are performance and stability, you could still run into problems.
That being said, you might already have iOS 12 installed on your device. If you do, and you want to downgrade back to iOS 11 for any reason, here’s how.
How to Properly Downgrade from iOS 12 beta to iOS 11
Downgrading from an iOS 12 beta to iOS 11 is a multi-step process. But, thankfully, it’s not a hard one.
However, it does assume that you have an archived backup of your iPhone or iPad before you installed an iOS 12 beta.
This is really a best practice when testing beta software. (Also, if you’re planning on getting an iOS 12 beta, make sure to backup before installing it.)
If you don’t have a pre-iOS 12 backup handy, you won’t be able to get your data back. Otherwise, you can proceed with the following steps.
Note: Before beginning, make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed on your computer. Additionally, it’s probably useful to have your phone charged to at least 70 percent. You may also want to backup to iCloud before downgrading to mitigate any data loss.
Put Your iOS Device into Recovery Mode
First off, you’ll need to put your iOS device into recovery mode. This lets iTunes on a connected computer “take over” to reinstall software. You’ll need to connect your iPhone or iPad to a computer with iTunes installed.
If iTunes is open, close it and reopen once you plug your device back in. Then, follow one of the steps below (depending on your specific device model).
- iPhone X, 8 and 8 Plus. Press and release the Volume Up button. Press and release the Volume Down button. Press and hold the Side button until you see the Connect to iTunes screen.
- iPhone 7 or 7 Plus. Press and hold the Side button and the Volume Down button simultaneously until you see the Connect to iTunes screen.
- iPhone 6s and earlier. Press and hold both the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button simultaneously until you see the Connect to iTunes screen.
Downgrade to iOS 11
Once your device is connected to iTunes and is in recovery mode, you can proceed with the following steps. This process will erase your device and install the latest non-beta versions of iOS.
- iTunes should detect that your device is in recovery mode and prompt you for instructions. Click on Restore.
- Click on Next.
- You should see an iOS 11 software agreement. Click on Agree.
If all goes according to plan, your device should reboot to the newest version of iOS 11 (currently iOS 11.4). If not, then simply put your device back into recovery mode and repeat the steps above.
Get Your Data Back
Once you downgrade to iOS 11, you might notice that all of your data is missing. That’s where this next step comes in: restoring your data from a backup.
It’s important to note that you’ll want to use an archived backup. Preferably, one that was made right before you installed iOS 12.
Any backups you’ve made after you installed iOS 12 might not function or restore correctly to an iOS 11 device. Just something to keep in mind.
With your iOS device plugged into a computer with iTunes, follow the steps below.
- Click File.
- Select Devices.
- In the drop-down menu, click on Restore from Backup.
- Choose the most recent archived pre-iOS 12 backup.
- Then, click Restore.
Keep in mind that you might be missing some data or preference changes, depending on how long you’ve had iOS 12 installed on your device.
If putting your device in recovery mode and restoring from there didn’t work, you might want to try additional measures.
For example, you can try putting your iOS device into DFU mode. You can read our article about everything you need to know by clicking on the link below.
Also, note that some sites instruct users to download an IPSW firmware file to downgrade their devices. According to official Apple support documents, this isn’t required. It’s really only complicating the process unless you have a really good reason to restore to a non-current version of iOS 11.
Mike is a freelance journalist from San Diego, California.
While he primarily covers Apple and consumer technology, he has past experience writing about public safety, local government, and education for a variety of publications.
He’s worn quite a few hats in the journalism field, including writer, editor, and news designer.