This is how you bring your iPhone back to iOS 15 from iOS 16.
If you run into iOS 16 problems on your iPhone and you think moving your iPhone back to the previous version of iOS could help, this guide will help you downgrade.
You can only go back to iOS 15.7. You can’t go back any further than that. The path back to older versions of iOS is closed and it won’t re-open.
Once you downgrade, you can only restore a backup that you made on iOS 15.7 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 won’t lose any customer support or mess with your iPhone’s warranty.
How to Downgrade from iOS 16 to iOS 15
Here’s what you need to do to go back to iOS 15 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 make an archived backup, you can use that after you restore it. If you are doing this right after the iOS 16 release, you might have a iOS 15.7 backup available on iCloud or your computer.
Follow these steps to go back to iOS 15 from iOS 16.
- Download the iOS 15.7 update for your iPhone from this website.
- Make sure there is still a green checkmark in the Apple Signing Status column. If there isn’t one, do not proceed.
- Turn off Find My iPhone on your iPhone. Go to Settings -> tap on your Name at the top of this menu -> Tap on your name at the top -> 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 Catalina, macOS Big Sur, or macOS Monterey, 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 15.7 file you just downloaded, 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 15.
This process takes a little while to complete. When it does, you can start fresh or restore a backup made on iOS 15.7. Most people will want to install a backup.
Install iOS 16.0.2 for Better Security
If security is important to you, and you're still lingering on iOS 15, think about installing Apple's iOS 16.0.2 update right away.
iOS 16.0.2 doesn't have any security patches on board, but if you're still running iOS 15 your iPhone, you'll get a bunch of new patches when you upgrade.
iOS 16.0 brought 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 security website.
If you skipped iOS 15.7, iOS 15.6.1, or any older versions of iOS, you'll get the security patches from those updates with your iOS 16 update as well.
In addition to those patches, iOS 16 brings some additional enhancements to privacy and security including Safety Check which, according to Apple, will help "people in domestic or intimate partner violence situations review and reset the access they’ve granted others."
The feature also resets system privacy permissions for apps and restricts Messages and FaceTime to the device on hand.
Apple's also made some improvements to Passkeys in Safari. iOS 16 brings a brand new sign-in method that's end-to-end encrypted and safe from phishing and data leaks.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.