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Home / Tips and Tricks / Here are 2 reasons why you shouldn’t go back from iOS 14.5 to iOS 14.4 (and 1 reason it’s impossible)

Here are 2 reasons why you shouldn’t go back from iOS 14.5 to iOS 14.4 (and 1 reason it’s impossible)


You can roll back to iOS 14.4, but you probably shouldn’t.

Óscar Gutiérrez / CNET

Whenever Apple releases a new software update for iPhone and iPad, you need to decide how fast to update. Are you waiting to see if there are any bugs? Or do you immediately take the plunge and hope it will be smooth sailing? If you opt for the latter, the chances of going back to the previous version of iOS or iPadOS are slim, but you probably shouldn’t.

Every once in a while someone asks me if it is possible to roll back to older version of iOS on iPhone because insert random bug here. For example, Apple has recently been pushing iOS 14.5. If you upgraded right away and started having problems with battery life, there was a small window where you could go back to iOS 14.4. But my reaction is always the same. It is possible, but you must not do it. Either start please wait a little longer before updating to the latest iOS or iPadOS, or wait for the next update which will hopefully fix the problem.

Going back to an earlier version of iOS isn’t easy, and frankly, it’s not something I recommend. You have a short time to make the switch, you have to factory reset your phone and, most importantly, you have to download the update from an unknown third party. Let me explain.


Rollback from iOS 14.5 to iOS 14.4 is possible but not recommended.

Sarah Tew / CNET

You don’t have much time

Every time your iPhone installs a software update, Apple verifies the installation by digitally “signing” the update. By doing this, Apple is basically giving your iPhone a big thumbs up to indicate that it is safe to install the update. The problem is, when new updates are released, Apple will stop signing the previous version within a few days.

The recent release of iOS 14.5, which was quickly followed by iOS 14.5.1, serves as a good example. After releasing 14.5 on April 26 and iOS 14.5.1 on May 3, Apple stopped signing iOS 14.4.2 according to 9to5Mac. This means that anyone with an iPhone or iPad with iOS 14.5 or 14.5.1 installed no longer had the option to roll back to iOS 14.4.2. But Apple didn’t stop there. A week later, on May 10, Apple stopped signing iOS 14.5. That means you can only install iOS 14.5.1 on your iPhone or iPad and the option to go back to the original iOS 14.5 release is no longer available.

You never know how long Apple will wait for it to stop signing the previous OS, preventing you from rolling back to an earlier version. In the two scenarios above, you had exactly a week before Apple stopped signing the previous software. That is not much time.


To go back, you have to restore your iPhone completely.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Going back requires a factory reset

If you load an older version of iOS on your iPhone, you will need to completely erase and restore your phone. That means if you install iOS 14.5 and decide to roll back to iOS 14.4 before Apple stops signing, you may run into a different problem. If your iPhone was last backed up on iOS 14.5, you cannot use it to restore all your apps and information.

You must either have backed up your phone or tablet to your computer before updating to iOS 14.5, which you can then use to restore your device, or you must accept going back to an older version of iOS this will do. force you to erase your Apple device and start over.


Downloading updates from unknown sources can be scary.

Sarah Tew / CNET

You need to download the update from an unknown source

When Apple releases an update, it will be the only OS version you can download directly from the servers. So unless you save every OS update on your computer, chances are you will have to look elsewhere for the update.

There are several third-party websites that host the IPSW files (what Apple calls the iOS update files) that anyone can download.

Downloading software updates from anyone or anywhere other than the direct source, in this case Apple, is always risky and something I don’t recommend.

Some of those third-party sites provide direct links to Apple’s servers where older updates are still stored, but the amount of trust you need to have in third-party sites is great for such a crucial piece of software.

It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to realize the damage a potential bad actor can do by messing with an OS update and making people think it was safe. So stick with official updates direct from Apple for the best security.

Speaking of updates (again, we guess please wait a few days for the update), checking out what’s new in iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5, like a new one Face ID function to make using your iPhone easier with a face mask on. There are also several new Siri voices for you to choose from – they all sound great. And if you are looking for some hidden features, I have your back.

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