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


If the redesigned Control Center isn’t enough to outweigh the number of bugs you have encountered with the iOS 11 beta, it might be time to downgrade.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Of the iOS public betas I’ve used the past number of years, the iOS 11 public beta feels particularly buggy. Animations are choppy. Graphic elements are often broken. Apps frequently crash. 

In one particularly frightening episode, my entire photo library disappeared after I took a video (thankfully, it began to restore itself before panic set in). 

If you’ve had enough of this early version of iOS 11 and want to go back to iOS 10, you can. Apple will send you back to a more stable beta version of iOS 10.3.3.

Just follow these steps:

  • Head to Apple’s Beta Software Program page and download the restore image for iOS 10.3.3 that matches your device. It’s an IPSW file that’s a couple gigabytes in size, so it might take a few minutes to download.
  • Open iTunes and check to make sure you are using the most recent version by going to iTunes > Check for Updates.
  • Connect your iOS device to your computer and put it into recovery mode. For everybody but iPhone 7  and 7 Plus owners, press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons. Don’t let up when you see the Apple logo, keep holding until the connect to iTunes logo appears. This means you’ve arrived at the start of recovery mode. For owners of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus phones, press and hold the Sleep/Wake and the volume-down buttons to put your phone into recovery mode.
  • An iTunes pop-up window will appear on your Mac or PC telling you that there’s a problem with your device and will give you the Restore and Update options. On a Mac, do an Option-click (or Shift-click for PCs) on the Restore button, choose the IPSW file you downloaded earlier and then click Restore.
iOS Restore

Option-click (Mac) or Shift-click (PC) the Restore button here to select the iOS 10.3.3 restore image you downloaded from Apple.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Your device will reboot and when it completes the restore process, you will be able to choose to set it up as a new device or choose a backup you created when you were previously running iOS 10. 

If you are staring at iTunes and don’t see a recent backup, don’t worry. Start hopping through the setup screens on your iOS device and you’ll soon arrive on a screen where you can choose to restore from an iCloud backup. In my case, my most recent backup to iTunes was from March, but I had plenty of recent iCloud backups from which to choose. 

You won’t be able to select any iCloud backups you made since you installed the iOS 11 beta, so you’ll need to scroll down and select the last iCloud backup you made before moving to iOS 11.

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