How-To: Downgrade From iOS 5 Beta To iOS 4.3.3

Posted in Apple News, iOS on 14/06/2011 by J. Glenn Künzler


With all of the fun and adventure surrounding beta software, many people flocked to install the iOS 5 beta on their devices. Some of those people now regret their decision, and Apple claims it’s impossible to downgrade. It turns out that it’s possible to downgrade, and we provide a tutorial below.

If you’re tired of dealing with bugs, quirks, and oddities related to running iOS 5 on your device, and regret using your only device – which you depend on – with iOS 5, worry no more. The good folks at OS X Daily have figured it all out, and have provided a tutorial (which we have rewritten and shared below).

There is a cautionary tale to tell here: because Apple has indicated that iOS 5 is a one-way street, it’s possible that they can tell that the baseband has been updated by installing iOS 5 beta, and they may not service your device. Also, we want to be clear that this tutorial should be followed at your own risk, and neither Apple, OS X Daily, nor MacTrast accepts any responsibility for damages.

Before beginning, do make sure you have backed up your device, as it’s possible you will lose data in this process. If, after these words of caution, you’re still feeling brave and would like to proceed with the download, read on. Note: This process required iTunes 10.5 beta, which you probably have if you got the iOS 5 beta on your device.

The easiest way to perform the downgrade involves the following steps:

  • 1. First, put your device into DFU mode – this is done by turning the device off, then holding the power and home buttons down simultaneously for a full 10 seconds (we recommend using a timer). Then, release the power button, but continue holding the home button until iTunes tells you your device is in recovery mode. This is how you know you are in Direct Firmware Upgrade (DFU) mode.
  • 2. If you’ve made any changes to your computer’s “hosts” file (you’ll know if you’ve done this), make sure you remove the changes before proceeding. Otherwise, don’t worry about it and simply proceed.
  • 3. Now, go into iTunes, and click on “restore” from the summary tab. This will present you with the option to either restore from backup (which does not always work), or restore directly to iOS 4.3.3. This is the option that you want.
  • 4. iTunes will do its thing, and once the process is complete, you should have a device that has been successfully restored back to iOS 4.3.3, and should have no issues. I have tried this myself, and found it to be successful, but remember: we’re not responsible for problems you may have.

If you find yourself in this predicament, we hope that the above steps will work for you.


J. Glenn Künzler

Glenn is Managing Editor at MacTrast, and has been using a Mac since he bought his first MacBook Pro in 2006. Now he's up to his neck in Apple, and owns an old iBook, a 2012 iMac with an extra Thunderbolt display for good measure, a 4th-generation iPad, an iPad mini, 2 iPhones, and a Mac Mini that lives at the neighbor's house. He lives in a small town in Utah, enjoys bacon more than you can possibly imagine, and is severely addicted to pie.