It has a swipe-to-text keyboard, a systemwide dark mode and plenty of other nifty features. So why would you avoid installing iOS 13?
There are actually several good reasons why you may not want to download and install iOS 13, but Apple certainly doesn’t make it easy to get the latest software off your device. This is primarily for users who still want to continue with their iPhone 6S and other older devices. Several readers wanted to know if there is a way to continue using iOS 12 on their older iPhones.
Here’s how to disable iOS 13 software update prompts on your device.
Why You May Not Want to Download iOS 13
As we alluded to, there are a variety of reasons why you’d want to stay on older software. That’s despite the fact that our usual advice is to update whenever you can.
For one, while Apple continues to support older devices with its new software updates, they can still cause sluggishness on those aging iPhone. That includes devices like the iPhone SE or iPhone 6s.
Furthermore, while Apple made a point of saying it continued to focus on optimization and performance in iOS 13, it doesn’t look like it’ll be as stable as iOS 12 was at launch.
While there were some problems along the way, the latest version of iOS 12 appears to be incredibly stable on a variety of software. Apple also specifically tailored it to speed up older devices, meaning it’s a great option to leave on your iPhone.
Of course, Apple will consistently bug you with software update prompts if you aren’t on the latest version. Worse still, it’s pretty easy to accidentally have iOS 13 installed on your device if you aren’t paying attention.
For the rest of this article, we’ll focus on how to avoid that. And what to do if your device managed to inadvertently install iOS 13.
One simple trick: download a beta profile
One of the simplest ways to stop iOS update prompts consists of two parts. First, you’ll want to disable automatic updates. You can do that by going to Settings —> General —> Software Update. Make sure Automatic Updates is set to Off.
The next thing to do is to install an tvOS beta profile onto your device. This is an old trick that’s been around for a while. But, as of the writing of this article, it still works.
The simplest and safest way to get a tvOS beta profile onto your iOS device is to download one from Apple itself. Unfortunately, Apple has closed the loophole allowing public beta testers to download tvOS beta profiles onto non-tvOS devices.
Because of that, you’ll need to either sign up for an Apple developer account, or you’ll need to download a tvOS beta profile from a third-party source.
Since an Apple developer account costs $99 a year, it’s likely not feasible for most consumers. In that case, we’ll rely on the third-party profile distributor.
There is always a level of risk when it comes to downloading configuration profile from third-party sources. These sources could easily install malware onto your device instead of an actual beta profile.
With that being said, BetaProfiles.com has long been a reputable source for Apple beta profiles. As long as you’re downloading the tvOS beta from your own device, you should be okay. Just make sure that the profile is signed and verified by Apple.
Installing a tvOS profile on your iOS device
- Go to this tvOS page on BetaProfiles.com using your iOS device’s Safari browser.
- You should see the following prompt. Tap on Allow.
- From there, you’ll want to follow the instructions to install the beta configuration profile onto your device. A device restart will usually be required.
- Once you restart your device, you will no longer receive prompts asking you to download iOS 13 over-the-air.
As an additional step, it’s recommended that you delete the actual tvOS software update from your iOS device. You can do that in Settings —> General —> iPhone Storage or iPad Storage.
Can you downgrade from iOS 13 to iOS 12?
But what if you device is already somehow running iOS 13. Is there an easy way to downgrade? In a short answer: no. That’s why we recommend trying to stop an iOS 13 update before it happens (prevention rather than cure).
If you’re reading this after iOS 13 has been released to the public, most downgrade methods that worked during the beta cycle won’t. If you try to downgrade, an iTunes Restore will simply attempt to download iOS 13.
Of course, you can always try to find an IPSW restore image for iOS 12.4.X. We’ll refrain from linking any sites because many of them are pretty ephemeral, but a simple Google search will help you out here.
Do note that Apple will likely stop signing these IPSW images shortly after iOS 13 debuts. The chances of success after that are pretty slim.
There’s also the problem of your data. If you didn’t create a full archived backup of your device before it was updated to iOS 13, you will no be able to downgrade without losing your data. Even if you did, iOS 13 backups are now backwards compatible with iOS 12 — meaning you’ll still lose any data created after the update.
Because of that, the best course of action is to simply stay on iOS 13.
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.