How to Downgrade iOS 9 to iOS 8.4.1
There’s still a way to downgrade iOS 9 to iOS 8.4.1 in case you are unhappy with it, experience lags or freezing or lock-ups. Here’s a guide on how to downgrade iOS 9, which should work as long as Apple is still signing the firmware. At the time of writing, this is still the case. All you need is a computer (Mac or PC) running the latest version of iTunes and a USB cable for your iPhone. And a few minutes of your time, of course.
How to downgrade iOS 9 using the 8.4.1 IPSW file (Tutorial)
Step one: Firstly, we’ll need to download the appropriate firmware file (IPSW) for your device. You can get the right iOS 8.4.1 IPSW Download from ipsw.me and save it to your download folder on the Mac or PC.
Step two: Connect your iPhone to the computer via the USB cable and launch the iTunes application, if not already open (it tends to launch automatically, as soon as an iDevice is connected). Make sure to run the latest version of iTunes and update it if in doubt.
Step three: Create a backup using iTunes, just in case something goes wrong. You can also use the backup to facilitate the restoration speed if you plan to get your apps and settings back after the downgrade. If you need help with creating the backup, check out our iPhone backup tutorial.
Step four: On a PC, hold the Shift key. If you’re on a Mac, press and hold the Option/Alt key. Then click the “Restore iPhone…” button, which will bring up a file selection window. Navigate to your download folder and select the IPSW file we acquired in the prior steps. After confirming, the downgrade process should begin. Do not disconnect or shut off your iPhone during this procedure.
Step five: After a couple of minutes, you should see your iPhone rebooting once or twice. At some point, the device will ask you to enter your passcode and run you through the initial setup, concluding with the choice of setting the device up as new or restoring one of your earlier backups. That’s it! Enjoy running iOS 8.4.1 on your freshly downgraded device. See this article for help on how to restore a backup.
While iOS 9.0.1 ties a few loose ends (including the dreaded slide to upgrade bug) and iOS 9.1 certainly runs a lot smoother, there are still a bunch of improvements Apple needs to make to give iOS 9 the polished quality of iOS 8.4.1, making the older version of the operating system a viable alternative for the time being.