This post will walk you through reverting an iPhone app to its previous (older) version. Here’s a quick guide to downgrade an app on iPhone based on the latest iOS version.
Downgrading apps in iOS
While keeping apps updated is highly recommended to ensure optimum performance and apps, there are certain instances when reverting an app to its previous version is necessary. This is usually the case when unexpected post-update bugs occur on any of your important applications. For example, when you update an application on your iPhone and then suddenly it stops working or becomes unstable. Apparently, the recent update resulted in unexpected flaws and thus the app needs to be reverted back to its previous version unless a follow-up fix patch is available.
If you’ve faced the same dilemma after updating an app on your iOS device, then it’s likely because the recent update contains some unknown bugs that made the app or any critical in-app data corrupted.
Thankfully, there are plenty of tools that you can use to revert your iOS apps back to the previous version.
Different Ways to Downgrade an App on iPhone
Before you proceed, be sure to disable automatic downloads on your iPhone to prevent apps from automatically installing new updates.
To stop your apps from automatically installing new updates, be sure to disable automatic downloads on the App Store.
So the first thing that you need to do is head over to your iPhone Settings-> App Store menu then toggle to turn the Automatic Downloads switch OFF.
If you have this switch enabled, your apps including the ones you’ve downgraded will automatically update to the latest version available.
Downgrading iOS Apps using IPA Files
In order to downgrade an iOS app, you will need to retrieve the IPA file of the previous version of the app beforehand.
What is IPA?
IPA or iOS App Store package, an application archive file that contains an iOS app. This file is typically installed on an iOS device and used as an application for testing iOS apps. It’s the iOS version of the APK (Android Application Package) file on Android devices. The IPA file is typically downloaded using your Apple ID.
Downloading IPAs for Downloaded iOS Apps using Mac computer
To download or retrieve the IPA file for any iOS app on your iPhone, you will need a dedicated Apple tool on your Mac computer. This tool is available for free thru the App Store and it’s called the Apple Configurator.
So the first thing that you need to do is download and install the Apple Configurator on your Mac computer.
Once you’ve got the Apple Configurator installed on your Mac, launch the app then sign into your Apple Account.
Make sure you’re using the same Apple ID with that of your iPhone. You may be asked to enter a six-digit verification code if you’ve enabled and set up two-factor authentication.
After successfully signing into your Apple account, you will need to connect your iPhone to your Mac computer via USB cable then locate the folder on your Mac computer that stores all downloaded IPAs.
You can use the Finder app then search this address:
Inside the Mobile Apps folder, find the temporary folder. Temporary folders are typically labeled with random numbers. Each of these folders represent an app and each one has another randomly numbered folder within it that contains the IPA.
Copy and paste the IPA to another location that’s easier for you to access like Desktop or Documents.
To open the IPA file, just change the filename extension from .ipa to .zip then unzip the file to view and browse its files. To unzip the file, just right-click on the file name then click Show Package Contents. Select the file that’s named PLIST. This file typically lists the URL types.
Installing old IPA file for iOS apps using iTunes
If you don’t have a Mac but have a Windows computer, then you can use iTunes to retrieve the old IPA file for your iOS app. Just be sure to use the latest version of iTunes app on your computer to avoid any sort of system conflicts.
To start retrieving old IPA files for your iOS apps, launch iTunes on your computer then connect your iPhone to your computer via USB cable. Wait for the syncing process to finish.
During iTunes sync, a copy of your installed iOS apps is saved to C:\Users\<Username>\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Mobile Applications directory as .IPA files by default.
- To install the old IPA file using iTunes, navigate to Apps-> My Apps menu then right-click on the app that you’d like to downgrade.
Select Get Info then verify the version number. If the version number matches the one that you’re trying to downgrade, navigate to the Apps tab on your iPhone then click the Remove button next to the app then click Apply. The Install button will then appear next to the app. Just click the Install button next to the app then click Apply and wait for the syncing process to compete.
After syncing, the old version of the app will be installed on your iPhone.
Installing Old IPA File for iOS apps using Third-Party software
Aside from Finder on Mac and iTunes on Windows, you can also use third-party tools to downgrade iOS apps by installing their old IPA files.
There are plenty of iOS Downgrade apps that you can use for this purpose.
Among the most trusted labels (iOS downgrade software) include Dr. Fone, TinyUmbrella, TaigOne Downgrader, FutureRestore, AnyFix, iFunBox, and AnyTrans, to name some.
You can download and install any of these apps on a compatible computer for free or via a one-time fee.
Just pick the one that works best with your iPhone and computer. Reading previous reviews and user ratings can help you gauge the app’s efficacy and credibility, so take your time looking into this information.