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How to Remove the iOS 13 Beta and Go Back to iOS 12

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You can downgrade from the iOS 13 beta to iOS 12 if you run into problems and apps stop working or you simply don’t want to use the beta anymore. The process isn’t hard, but it will take a little bit of time and is easier if you prepare. This is how to go back to iOS 12 from the iOS 13 beta.

This works for going back to iOS 12 from the iOS 13 developer beta and the public beta. You will want to make sure you have a backup from iOS 12, as you cannot restore to an iOS 13 backup when you are on iOS 12.

Count on this process working through the iOS 13 release date this fall. The only thing that will change is what version of iOS 12 you downgrade to. Apple will not close this downgrade from the beta to a standard release.

What Are the Catches of Going Back to iOS 12?

If you created an archived local backup before you joined the beta, you can go back to iOS 12 and then restore a backup so that you don’t lose anything. If you didn’t make that kind of backup, you can still downgrade, but you won’t be able to restore to a backup.

In most cases, the iOS 13 beta to iOS 12 downgrade process comes with no major catches and will work perfectly fine. While Apple isn’t fully supportive of downgrading from official releases, they are all on board with this process.

In addition to your archived iOS 12 backup, it is a good idea to make a backup of your phone on iOS 13 right before you start the downgrade process so that you are completely covered.

How to Downgrade from the iOS 13 Beta

iPhone 8 Plus in recovery mode with iTunes logo

You need to use recovery mode to go back to iOS 12 from the iOS 13 beta.

When you start this process you will go from the iOS 13 beta back to iOS 12.3.1, or depending on the timing iOS 12.4. This sends you back to the newest official version of iOS. You will basically need to restore your iPhone when it is in recovery mode. Here’s how to put your iPhone into recovery mode and downgrade to iOS 12.

  1. Install the latest version of iTunes.
  2. Connect your device to the computer with a Lightning Cable.
  3. Put the device in recovery mode. This varies based on the device, so follow the instructions for the model you have below.
  4. iTunes will pop up asking if you Want to Restore. Click on Restore to erase the iPhone.
  5. Wait for the restore process to complete and then start fresh or restore to an iOS 12 backup

You will likely need to turn off Find My iPhone for this to work. To do this, go to Settings -> Apple ID -> iCloud -> Find My iPhone -> Off and enter your password when prompted.

How to Put Your iPhone Into Recovery Mode

Choose to Restore to install the current non beta iOS release.

Choose to Restore to install the current non-beta iOS release.

The directions to put your iPhone into recovery mode vary from device to device. For this to work, your iPhone must be plugged into a computer. Here is a breakdown of how it works.

  • iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus – Press and quickly release Volume Up, press and quickly release Volume Down. Press and hold the Side button until the recovery screen shows up.

  • iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus – Press and hold the Power Button and Volume Down button at the same time. Hold the buttons, keep holding when you see the Apple Logo. release when you see the recovery mode screen.
  • iPhone 6s and earlier, iPads, iPod Touch – Press and hold the Power button and the Home Button at the same time. Hold the buttons, keep holding when you see the Apple Logo. release when you see the recovery mode screen.

When you see a recovery screen on your iPhone and a message to plug into iTunes, you can go ahead and follow the restore options on your computer. This will take you back to iOS 12.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. David Frank

    06/06/2019 at 9:36 pm

    This is worthless. No matter what you do it only gives you the choice for the iOs12.4 backup, there’s no way to get back to the archived or any other backup.

  2. Kyle

    06/27/2019 at 3:01 am

    Thank you very much, when i tried out the ios 13 dev beta 2 i ended up with a rare bug that completely stopped me from receiving any incoming calls with the only work around i discovered being completely impractical (miscall someone then have that someone call you back after which you get calls for 2 minutes before it blocks everyone again)…

    so yeah Thanks again for this since i was up poop creek without a paddle since none of the beta reviewers seem to have gotten this bug :(

    • Jimmy Ng

      07/03/2019 at 12:50 am

      Hey, I have the same bug. iOS 13 cannot receive calls once you’re on 4G

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