How to Restore an iPhone to Its Previous Firmware

By Adele Eliot

Restoring your iPhone to its previous software is an effective way to fix bugs, undo any damage caused by downloading faulty or unauthorized software, or simply return to an operating software you prefer. If you don't have the file for the desired firmware already on your computer, a number of websites have various iPhone firmware versions available to download. But be careful when using third-party websites and make sure you have active anti-spyware software installed on your computer.

Step 1

Make sure you have the firmware for restoring the phone on your computer. On a Mac and PC, you will find the software in the iTunes library under "Phone Software Updates." If you need to download it, many third-party websites offer a variety of firmware downloads.

Step 2

Plug your iPhone into your computer and open iTunes. Wait for the software to recognize your phone.

Step 3

Click on your iPhone in the left-hand toolbar in iTunes. Click "Summary" in the main screen and find the restore button---but don't click it yet.

Step 4

Hold down the "Option" button and click "Restore" if you are using a Mac. On a PC, hold down "Shift" and click "Restore." The folder that contains the firmware updates for your phone will open on the screen.

Step 5

Browse the firmware folder to find the right version you want to restore. Select the file and click "Restore." The update might take a few minutes so do not disconnect your iPhone until you have received confirmation the synching is completed.

Step 6

Ignore any error messages that pop up, including those with the codes 1011, 1013 or 1015. Your iPhone should have been restored to its previous firmware and, once safely disconnected, is ready to use.

Tips & Warnings

  • If iTunes doesn't recognize your iPhone automatically, you can put the phone in Device Firmware Upgrade (DFU) mode. Turn off your iPhone and then connect it to iTunes. Then, hold down the power and home button at the same time. Once the Apple logo appears, release the power button but continue holding down the home button. iTunes will then recognize the phone in restore mode.