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How to Downgrade iPod Touch or iPhone from OS 3 to OS 2

By Edited Sep 13, 2016 2 2

There are many leaked pre-released versions of the Apple iPhone OS 3.

Beta versions of the Apple OS are meant only for developers. If you happen to get your hands on one of these leaked versions, you will find yourself unable to activate your device or sync it with iTunes because your device must be registered with the Apple iPhone Developer Program.

This poses an interesting problem, of course.

If you can't sync your device with iTunes, how can you restore it to a working installation of 2.2.1?

You could, of course, try to connect the device in "Recovery Mode" (with Connect to iTunes logo on the screen) but you will find yourself unable to restore the proper firmware.

At this point you're probably thinking, "Great... Now I have an expensive paper weight."

Don't worry, you simply need to fool iTunes and your device into letting you connect and restore a working version of the iPhone or iPod Touch operating system.

Things You Will Need

- an Apple iPod Touch or iPhone
- iTunes 8.2 or later
- an OS 2.2.1 IPSW files

Step 1

Open iTunes and connect the device to your computer.

Step 2

Press and hold the Home button (on front of device) and the Sleep/Wake button (on top of device) at the same time.

The device will restart.

Step 3

After 10 seconds (exactly) release the Sleep/Wake button. (Timing is critical here.)

Keep holding the Home button for a few more seconds. Release it just before you think the Apple logo will appear on your screen. The screen will be black - as though the device is off. Don't worry. This is normal.

Step 4

Wait a few seconds. iTunes should tell you it has detected an iPhone / iPod in recovery mode (even though it's really DFU mode). You will now be able to restore your device with a 2.2.1 IPSW file. To manually pick a file to use Shift-Click (Windows) or Option-Click (Mac) on the "Restore" button in iTunes. A browser window should pop up to let you choose a file.

Once you have restored your device using OS 2.2.1, you will be able to set it up as a new device or restore from an existing backup if you have backed up previously.

If you need to download a 2.2.1 firmware file, do a Google search. IPSW's are everywhere. Be certain you download the firmware file for your specific device. Otherwise the restore process will fail.


Tips & Warnings

NOTE: You follow this guide at your own risk. While this method should not harm your device, you assume any and all risk associated with putting your device in DFU mode.


Mar 20, 2010 5:26am
Thank you! Once again you have written an article about a technical problem, BUT your tips make it easy to understand and follow.
Sep 18, 2011 10:13pm
Simple, clear, step by step. Great help!
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