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[Full Guide] How to Restore to an Unsigned IPSW in 2022

Apple constantly updates its firmware to fix issues on previous iOS versions or introduce new features. However, these updates sometimes tend to come with new bugs and other glitches that can make using the updated iOS very annoying.

One way to solve these issues is to revert to an earlier stable iOS version. The problem is that Apple usually stops signing its older iOS versions once it releases new versions, meaning they are no longer supported by their iDevices.

So, what happens if Apple stopped signing the iOS version that you want to move back to? Can you restore unsigned IPSW of that particular version? Yes, you can. In this article, we’ll show you exactly how to restore an unsigned IPSW on your iPhone to avoid those bugs and other issues that a new iOS update might have brought.

What Is Unsigned IPSW?

Every version of iOS usually has a signature which is technically a piece of digital code that Apple sents from its servers. For instance, when you install a new iOS version using iTunes, a signed code is added. On the other hand, the signature for the older iOS version gets deleted two weeks after Apple releases the updated iOS system.

This digital signature from Apple plays a vital role when it comes to installing newer and older iOS versions. So, how exactly does it work? When you want to install a new iOS version, you have to first download the software update on your iPhone or PC.

However, before the software can be installed on your iPhone which has the previous iOS system, or the PC, the hash version is first sent to the Apple server. This is to confirm in deed the hash exists and also matches an installable generated iOS version.

From there, Apple generates a private key which helps sign the request thereby granting the iPhone or PC permission to start installing the iOS version. That’s it!

You can install a new or any older iOS version that’s still signed. However, if the iOS version you intend to install is one of those no longer signed, then you can’t install it. Apple often stops signing these older versions in order to encourage iOS users to utilize the latest iOS systems.

They also do it in order to stop or make jailbreaking iPhones and other iOS devices and software much more difficult. You can still download IPSW files though. The only problem is that you can’t install them directly like a regular iOS system update.

Restore Unsigned IPSW with SHSH Blobs

In this section, we’ll take you step by step on how to restore to an unsigned IPSW with SHSH blobs. Following these steps will enable you to revert to that unsigned iOS that you want.

Requirements:

  • The unsigned iOS firmware that you intend to restore to. You can download it from Apple’s official firmware download page.
  • Exact SHSH blob file of that unsigned iOS firmware you intend to restore. You can download it right from Retrieve section of the TSS Saver in case you used the TSS Saver to do the saving of the blob file while iOS version was still being signed.
  • Download FutureRestore which is a restore tool that’s designed for Apple users. Go to this Github page to download it.

If you have everything set, then follow these steps to restore unsigned IPSW with the SHSH blob file.

  • Start by putting the three items mentioned above (unsigned iOS firmware, the blob file, unarchived FutureRestore file) into a single folder on your computer.

unarchived futurerestore

  • When that’s done, launch Command Line on your Mac computer or Terminal on your Windows computer.
  • Drag and drop the unzipped FutureRestore file into the Command Line or Terminal. Type -t.
  • Repeat step 3 with the blob file without typing -t. Instead, type --latest-sep --latest-baseband if your device uses a sim card. If it doesn’t use a sim card, type --latest-no-baseband.
  • Drag and drop also the unsigned iOS firmware into Terminal.

use terminal to process ipsw shsh2

  • Recheck that you’ve done step 3 to 5 correctly and then press the Enter key on your keyboard to initiate the downgrade process. Allow the process to complete.

Note:

  • In case you get a notification that your iOS device failed to enter into recovery mode, just restart the process again from the 3rd step.
  • This process will only work if you already saved the exact blob file of the iOS version you intend to restore to before Apple stopped signing it. One of the best online tools you can always use to do the saving is the TSS Saver.
  • Make sure you do a full back of the data and settings on your iOS device to iCloud and iTunes. Don’t take this lightly. A full backup will allow you to easily restore all your personal data and files, including messages and saved passwords once the downgrade is complete.

Bonus: Downgrade iOS with FoneGeek iOS System Recovery

While using the above methods can help you downgrade iOS, they are still risky and very complicated. You can avoid going through all that technical process by using an easy solution like FoneGeek iOS System Recovery. It’s pretty simple to use - no running command lines or handling IPSW files. It takes just a few clicks to downgrade or upgrade the iOS system on your iPhone and there’s no data loss.

Key Features of FoneGeek iOS System Recovery:

  • Requires only a few clicks to downgrade iOS versions without any jaibreak.
  • Free to put iPhone into recovery mode or to exit from it (Mac only).
  • Can solve 200+ iOS system problems with no risk of data loss.
  • Works on all iPhone models (iPhone 7 to 14) and all iOS versions (iOS 7 to iOS 16).
  • User-friendly interface that requires no technical knowledge to understand and use.

   

How to restore to an unsigned IPSW with FoneGeek iOS System Recovery

Step 1. Get first the FoneGeek iOS System Recovery program. Once downloaded, install and launch it on your computer. Select Standard Mode.

choose repair mode

Step 2. With a USB cable, connect your iPhone to the computer, then click Next. Your device will now be detected by FoneGeek iOS System Recovery program.

connect ios device

Step 3. A new interface page displaying your iPhone model plus several iOS firmware packages will appear. Because you want to downgrade, select the iOS version you want to downgrade to (lower iOS to your current version). Click “Download” button.

download firmware package

Step 4. Your firmware will start downloading. Wait for it to finish. When it does, click “Fix Now” to initiate the downgrade process. The program will start installing the older iOS firmware package on your iPhone and prompt you once the downgrade finishes.

fix now

FAQs about Unsigned IPSW

Q1. Can I downgrade iOS with jailbreak?

Apple doesn’t permit iOS users to downgrade the software of their iDevices so as to prevent fragmentation (plus other things). So, the jailbreak community decided to develop its own solution. However, keep in mind that downgrading firmware doesn’t mean your baseband or rather, “modem firmware” will be downgraded too for unlocks.

Q2. What is SHSH2?

SHSH and SHSH2 blobs simply refer to the digital signatures used by Apple to create specific IPSW files (iOS software in other words) for each iDevice they make. It’s a method aimed at ensuring only trusted software gets installed on their iPhones, iPads, and also iPod touches.

Q3. Is it possibie downgrade to unsigned iOS without blobs?

It’s basically not possible to downgrade to or restore an unsigned iOS via iTunes because it’s not an official thing that Apple permits.

Conclusion

You can’t really downgrade to unsigned iOS version without blob files. That’s why there are third parties to help you with that. You can do it unofficially using a third-party program such as FutureRestore or the FoneGeek iOS System Recovery. In fact, we highly recommend the FoneGeek iOS System Recovery if you want to avoid all the technical processes.

Edwin J. Parke

As a professional writer who is interested in technology, Edwin J. Parke has helped thousands of users by offering various tips to solve their problems.

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