How to downgrade from the iOS or iPadOS 14 beta

Having trouble with the beta on your iPhone or iPad? You can go back, but it's not quick and easy.

Credit: Apple

We know iOS 14 is loaded with awesome features you can’t wait to try out. It’s currently available as a developer beta with a public beta on the way. And you may be tempted to install one right away, but you should definitely not do that on a critical device you use every day.

If you’re having trouble with the iOS 14 beta, you should file a bug report (always file bugs!) and wait it out until the next beta release. But if you can’t wait and just want to go back to iOS 13, you can do that too. You’ll just need to use a Mac or Windows PC to restore your iPhone or iPad.

You did back up before you upgraded, didn’t you?

Deleting the beta profile

You can remove the iOS or iPadOS beta profile by opening Settings, then General, then scrolling down to Profile. Tap on the beta profile and choose Remove Profile.

Whether you’re on the developer beta or public beta, this will prevent you from getting future beta software. When the next public non-beta release comes around, you’ll get that. But this will not actually remove the beta from your device. To do that, you’ll need to restore your device using iTunes or a Mac with Mojave or later.

Restoring your device

First, make sure you have the latest version of macOS or, on a Windows PC, the latest version of iTunes. Then, connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer.

You have to put your device into recovery mode, and you do that differently depending on the device.

  • On an iPad with Face ID: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button. Press and hold the Top button until your device begins to restart. Continue holding the Top button until your device goes into recovery mode.

  • For iPhone 8 or later: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button. Then, press and hold the Side button until you see the recovery mode screen.

  • For iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, or iPod touch (7th generation): Press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Volume Down buttons at the same time. Don’t release the buttons when you see the Apple logo. Continue to hold both buttons until you see the recovery mode screen.

  • For iPhone 6s and earlier, iPad with Home button, or iPod touch (6th generation or earlier): Press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons at the same time. Don’t release the buttons when you see the Apple logo. Continue to hold both buttons until you see the recovery mode screen.

In iTunes (or in macOS Mojave or later, your Mac Finder) you’ll get a message popup that says, “There is a problem with the iPhone that requires it to be updated or restored.” You’ll have the option to Cancel, Restore, or Upgrade. Choose Restore.

ios macos restore screen Apple

If you see this screen, you're on the right track.

This will wipe your iPhone or iPad, then re-download and install the latest non-beta version of iOS or iPadOS. If you don’t see that box, make sure you select your iPhone in iTunes or in the sidebar of Finder, and make sure your device is definitely in recovery mode.

Once the restore process is done, you’ll get the Hello screen and go through the initial setup process on your device. You can now restore an iCloud backup or local backup from your Mac or PC. Note that you can only restore local backups from before you upgraded to the iOS 14 beta.

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Tags iOS 13iPadOS 13iOS 14iPadOS 14

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Jason Cross

Jason Cross

Macworld.com
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