Update: Apple isn’t signing on iOS 14.8 which means you can’t downgrade from iOS 14.8.1 to iOS 14.8. Do not use these instructions. We’ll let you know when it’s safe to downgrade again.
This is how to go back to iOS 14.8 from iOS 14.8.1.
If you’re experiencing iOS 14.8.1 problems and you think moving your iPhone back to an older version of iOS 14 could help, this guide will help you downgrade.
You can only go back to iOS 14.8, no further. You can only downgrade for a limited amount of time, likely a week or two. After that, you won’t be able to get back to the previous version of iOS 14.
Once you downgrade, you can only restore a backup that you made on iOS 14.8 so keep that in mind in case you need to restore a backup.
Most users will have a recent backup, but you may lose some items if you aren’t regularly backing up your photos and messages to iCloud.
While this isn’t officially supported, it is easy to do and you don’t lose any support or mess with your iPhone’s warranty.
How to Downgrade from iOS 14.8.1 to iOS 14.8
Here’s what you need to do to go back to iOS 14.8 on your iPhone. While you are downgrading you cannot use your phone so you will need to open this on your computer or another device.
If you made an archived backup, you can use that after you restore it. If you are doing this right after the iOS 14.8.1 release, you might have a iOS 14.8 backup still available on iCloud or recently on your computer.
Follow these steps to go back to iOS 14.8 from iOS 14.8.1.
- Download the iOS 14.8 update for your iPhone from this website.
- Make sure there is still a green checkmark in the Apple Signing Status column. If there is not one, do not proceed.
- Turn off Find My iPhone on your iPhone.
– >Go to Settings -> tap on your name at the top of settings -> Tap on iCloud -> Tap on Find My iPhone -> Toggle off and Enter your password.
- With your phone backed up and all the steps above completed, plug your iPhone into your computer.
- Open iTunes and Click on the iPhone icon.
This is how this process works if you are still on macOS Mojave. If you’ve already upgraded to macOS Monterey, macOS Catalina or macOS Big Sur, you will need to start this process in Finder. Instead of opening iTunes, open Finder and click on your iPhone in the left side.
- Click on the Restore iPhone button using a special click. On a Mac, hold alt/option when you click. On PC, hold Shift when you click.
- In the window that opens, find the iOS 14.8 file you just downloaded and click on it and then click open.
- Choose to erase and restore your iPhone. Click Restore to begin this process
- While you wait the iPhone will restart multiple times. When it is finished you will be back on iOS 14.8.
This process takes a little while to complete. When it does, you can start fresh or restore a backup made on iOS 14.8. Most people will want to install a backup.
For more about iOS 14.8.1, take a look at our guide.
Install iOS 14.8.1 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing iOS 14.8.1 right away.
The iOS 14.8.1 update brings 12 new security patches to the iPhone. You can read about all of them over on Apple's site.
If you want to better protect your iPhone and its data, you'll want to install the iOS 14.8.1 update in the near future.
If you missed iOS 14.8, you'll get its security patches with your upgrade. You can learn more about them right here.
If you missed iOS 14.7.1, you'll get its patch with your upgrade. If you want to learn more about iOS 14.7.1's security update, check out its support page.
If you missed iOS 14.7, you'll get its 31 security patches with your upgrade. You can learn more about those on Apple's website.
If you skipped iOS 14.6, you'll get the update's 38 security patches with your iOS 14.8.1 update. If you're curious about the particulars, you can read about them right here.
If you skipped iOS 14.5.1, you get the update's two security patches on board. You can read about them over on Apple's website. Both are related to WebKit.
If you missed iOS 14.5 you'll get its patches with your upgrade. You can read more about those changes over on Apple's website.
iOS 14.5 also brought Apple's new App Tracking Transparency which lets you control which apps are allowed to track your activity across other companies' apps and websites for ads or sharing with data brokers.
If you skipped iOS 14.4.2, you get its security patch with iOS 14.8.1. You can learn more about that patch over on Apple's website as well.
If you missed iOS 14.4.1, you get its patch with your upgrade to iOS 14.8.1. You can read about that patch right here.
If you skipped iOS 14.4, you get the update's patches with your upgrade. You can learn more about iOS 14.4's security patches right here.
If you skipped iOS 14.3 you'll get its nine security updates with your upgrade. You can read more about them on its security site.
iOS 14.3 also included a new privacy information section on App Store pages that includes a developer-reported summary of the app’s privacy practices.
If you skipped iOS 14.2, your iOS 14.8.1 update includes 24 additional security patches. You can learn more about the patches on Apple's security website.
If you're still running iOS 13, iOS 14.8.1 includes iOS 14.0's security updates.
iOS 14.0 brought 11 new security patches to the iPhone. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's website.
In addition to those patches, iOS 14 comes with some security and privacy upgrades including improvements to Home/HomeKit and Safari.
For instance in Safari, you can now tap the Privacy Report button to better understand how websites handle your privacy.
With iOS 14 on board you can now get information on the App Store that will help you understand the privacy practices of apps before you download them.
There is also a new recording indicator that will appear at the top of your screen whenever an app is using your microphone or camera. You can see if an app has used them recently in Control Center.
Researchers also discovered that Apple brought a new "BlastDoor" sandbox security system to iOS 14. The system is meant to prevent attacks from occurring via the Messages app.
You can read more about "BlastDoor" right here.
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