Roxana Penciu
Published by Roxana Penciu,

Apple released iOS 9.3 and this version is seen as one of the biggest updates of iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. iOS 9.3 includes a number of exciting new features such as Night Shift and finger touch & password protected Notes.

If you are one of the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch users who upgraded to 9.3 and started experiencing different issues, you may want to downgrade to iOS 9.2.1. Below you’ll find a step by step guide to help you do this.

Important to know before downgrading

  • This downgrade is possible as long as Apple continues to sign the iOS 9.2.1 firmware file (usually Apple stops signing earlier versions of iOS about a week or two after a new release – March 21st in iOS 9.3 case)
  • It is essential to back up your iOS device to either iCloud or iTunes so that if something goes wrong you can recover your data
  • Please note that Apple doesn’t recommend downgrading, therefore caution should be taken
  • You should use the latest iTunes version

Always back up your iOS data

We said it earlier but we cannot say it enough: make sure you back up your device before you start the following steps.

It is possible to reinstall iOS 9.2.1 on your iPhone or iPad if you regret installing iOS 9.3. Here's our step by step iOS downgrading advice – the easiest and fastest method.

Downgrade in 7 steps

Before proceeding, turn off “Find my iPhone” in Settings> iCloud > Find my iPhone.

  • Step 1. Download the 9.2.1 firmware file for your device. Make sure you download the appropriate version for your iPhone, iPad or iPod.
  • Step 2. Open iTunes and choose your iOS device from the top left corner
  • Step 3. While continuously holding the “Alt/ Option” key on the Mac or “Shift” key in Windows, click on “Check for update”
  • Step 4. Select the iOS 9.2.1 ipsw file you previously downloaded
  • Step 5. iTunes will inform you that it will update your iOS device to 9.2.1 and will verify this update with Apple. Click “Update”
  • Step 6. iTunes will downgrade your device to iOS 9.2.1
  • Step 7. Your iOS device will restart after downgrading. Then a message will pop up "Slide to upgrade". Enter the password and wait for the downgrade process to finalize. You may be asked to activate your iOS device.

This is it! You’ve successfully downgraded to iOS 9.2.1.

Please note that Apple can stop signing iOS 9.2.1 firmware files at any moment and when this happens, you won’t be able to downgrade from iOS 9.3 to 9.2.

If you receive an error message “This device isn’t eligible for the requested build”, this could mean that either Apple has stopped signing the iOS 9.2.2 firmware file, or you’ve downloaded the wrong firmware file.

Restore iOS backup data to iPhone

If you backed up your files on iCloud or iTunes, restoring your data to your iPhone or iPad should be easy. Here are some useful articles on how to restore some of the most important backup data types to your iDevice:

Contact us for additional help when restoring your iOS backup data to iPhone or iPad.

How was your iOS 9.3 experience? Did you manage to downgrade from iOS 9.3 to iOS 9.2.1 using our step by step tutorial? We’d love to hear your story!

We've helped over 3,000,000
people recover their lost iPhone data.
Let us help you too.
 Works with Windows and Mac