Downgrading an iPhone From iOS 17 to iOS 16 is No Longer Possible

Following the release of iOS 17.0.3 earlier today, Apple has stopped signing iOS 16.6.1, iOS 17, and iOS 17.0.1, preventing iPhone users from downgrading to any of those software versions. Apple continues to sign iOS 17.0.2 for now.

ios 16 lock screen feature
Notably, this means that it is no longer possible to downgrade an iPhone from iOS 17 to iOS 16. It is not possible to downgrade to iOS 16.7.

Apple routinely stops signing older iOS releases over time in order to prevent users from downgrading to previous software versions.

iOS 17.1 is expected to be released later this month.

Related Roundups: iOS 17, iPadOS 17
Related Forums: iOS 16, iOS 17, iPadOS 17

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Top Rated Comments

Skyscraperfan Avatar
10 months ago
Users should always have the right to downgrade to the iOS version the iPhone came with. Apple does not have to nanny its users. If they prefer an old version, they should be able to keep it.

At the moment only rich users have the option of downgrading by buying a second iPhone in the first place just to have the option to return to the old version.

"Signing" iOS should only be a security measure to make sure that it really came from Apple, but Apple uses signing to make users keep a new version against their will.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ebika Avatar
10 months ago
Reading the iOS 17 forum ('https://forums.macrumors.com/forums/ios-17.241/'), it seems like 17 is still a mess. I normally update fairly soon after releases, but I'm waiting for at least 17.1 this time.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
btrach144 Avatar
10 months ago
IDK, iOS 17 is pretty stable. Only real issue was a warm 15 PM but 17.0.3 seems to have solved that today.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
platinumaqua Avatar
10 months ago

Reading the iOS 17 forum ('https://forums.macrumors.com/forums/ios-17.241/'), it seems like 17 is still a mess. I normally update fairly soon after releases, but I'm waiting for at least 17.1 this time.
only the last version of every major release is worth upgrading to if reliability is important
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coolfactor Avatar
10 months ago

Users should always have the right to downgrade to the iOS version the iPhone came with. Apple does not have to nanny its users. If they prefer an old version, they should be able to keep it.

At the moment only rich users have the option of downgrading by buying a second iPhone in the first place just to have the option to return to the old version.

"Signing" iOS should only be a security measure to make sure that it really came from Apple, but Apple uses signing to make users keep a new version against their will.
That's a loaded topic.
[LIST=1]
* User chooses to remain on an older version of the operating system.
* Developers have moved on and only support the latest.
* User has an issue with an app due to an incompatibility between the app and their chosen operating system.

Should Apple or the developer have the burden of providing support because a user is refusing to keep up with the latest?

Users *do* have the choice to keep using a particular operating system by turning off automatic updates and never upgrading, so that argument doesn't hold water. The signing prevents downgrading *after* an upgrade has already taken place — either automatically, or manually. In both cases, the user is responsible for the upgrade happening, not Apple.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Skyscraperfan Avatar
10 months ago

Users *do* have the choice to keep using a particular operating system by turning off automatic updates and never upgrading, so that argument doesn't hold water. The signing prevents downgrading *after* an upgrade has already taken place — either automatically, or manually. In both cases, the user is responsible for the upgrade happening, not Apple.
The user can't know the downsides of a new OS. He trusts Apple and hopes that there are no major downsides or even bugs. Of course there is a period when the user can test the new OS and still has the chance to downgrade, but what happens if the user discovers a flaw later?

If it is possible not to upgrade at all, why is it than not possible to downgrade later? I do not mean a real downgrade software, which would be complicate to implement, as you would need ways from every version down to every other version the phone technically supports. I was just thinking about reinstalling from a backup while keeping at least the compatible user data.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)