How to downgrade your iPad’s software without jailbreaking

Downgrading

Apple allows you to only install iOS firmware that they ‘sign’. After they release a new version of iOS they quit signing the previous version. It’s because of they way Apple uses this secure signature system that prevents people from downgrading there iOS firmware.

Many people believe that to go back to a previous version of iOS software would require them to jailbreak their device. That simply is not true. Jailbreaking makes it easier to downgrade your iOS software because Cydia automatically saves your SHSH blobs for you but you can save your SHSH blobs without jailbreaking.

There are plenty of reasons why someone might want to go back to previous version of iOS. Several people complained about iOS 5 having battery draining issues, not having multitasking gestures, the revamped music app and some people stated they would have preferred to stay on the previous version of iOS.

SHSH Blobs

SHSH blobs are a unique key for your device, this is what Apple checks in their ‘signing’ process. If you have not saved your SHSH blobs you can not downgrade your software.

It’s a good idea for everyone to save their SHSH blobs wether you plan on jailbreaking your device or not. So even if you can’t downgrade right now because you haven’t saved your SHSH blobs, you can save them so you can downgrade in the future.

How to Save Your SHSH Blobs

I recommend using TinyUmbrella to save your SHSH blobs. TinyUmbrella is an application that works on both a Mac and PC that not only saves your SHSH blobs for you locally, but it will trick iTunes into allowing Apple to sign your firmware so you can downgrade to a previous version.

    1. To get started go here and download TinyUmbrella for your operating system.
    2. After you install TinyUmbrella, plug your iPad into your computer. If iTunes opens, you can close it.
    3. Open TinyUmbrella and click on Advanced.
    4. Uncheck all the options except “Save All Available SHSH.”

  1. Click on your iPad on the left under “Connected Devices.”
  2. Click the “Save SHSH” button.
  3. After a few minutes your SHSH blobs should be saved. If you click on the General tab, you should see your firmware(s) that have been saved in the All Saved SHSHs area.

How to Restore to Previous Firmware

After you have saved your SHSH blobs it’s fairly easy to restore to a previous firmware but remember you can only restore to firmware that you have saved your SHSH blobs for, unless you have jailbroken the device (Cydia automatically saves and stores them for you.) Click here to find out how to retrieve SHSH blobs from Cydia.

    1. Download the correct firmware for your device from here.
    2. After you have download the firmware you want to revert to, make sure your iPad is plugged into your computer.
    3. Open TinyUmbrella and click on your iPad under “Connected Devices.” Make sure the firmware you downloaded is listed in All Saved SHSHs.
    4. Click on “Start TSS Server” (this will fool iTunes into thinking that TinyUmbrella is Apple’s server.)
    5. You should see the message that TinyUmbrella’s TSS server is running, like in the photo below.

    1. Now you need to put your iPad in DFU mode. To put it in DFU mode, hold the home and power buttons at the same time for 10 seconds then release the power button while continuing to hold home. After about 15 seconds the device will enter DFU mode.
    2. When your iPad enters DFU mode you should get a popup from iTunes telling you your iPad is in Recovery Mode.

    1. Click OK to dismiss the popup box.
    2. Hold the Option key on your keyboard, then click on Restore (Shift key for Windows.)
    3. Locate the IPSW firmware you downloaded in the step 1.

    1. iTunes will give you a warning, click Restore to continue.

  1. iTunes should now restore your iPad to the selected version of iOS firmware. After it’s complete you can set the device up as new or restore from a backup (the backup cannot be newer than the iOS version you downgraded to.)
  • Coffeejunky

    I keep getting an incompatible firmware error, it’s the correct one, any help?

  • Chris

    I downloaded the iPad IPSW firmware from the recommended site, how do I get umbrella to see it, when I try to “downgrade” I keep getting an unknown error message.