Downgrade iPhone 3GS from 4.0 to 3.1.3

Updated Guide

7/15/10: As it turns out, iRecovery has been superseded by RecBoot a simple utility that can force your iPhone into or out of recovery mode.

Use this guide at your own risk, I’ve tested it and it worked for me and I’ve seen a great deal of evidence suggesting that this should work for everyone, but there is always the chance of it not working for you. Luckily, you should always be able to revert back to 4.0 if anything goes wrong.

The new steps are as follows:

  • Put your iPhone inĀ DFU mode.
  • Once iTunes recognizes the device click OK.
  • Download iPhone firmware 3.1.3 from iClarified.
  • Option-click (shift-click on Windows) the Restore button in iTunes.
  • Choose the downloaded firmware file from above.
  • Your firmware should install, it will take 10-15 minutes.
  • After the device restores you’ll receive an error, most likely 1011, 1013, 1015, or 1055. This is normal.
  • Download RecBoot from sebby.net.
  • After the download is finished use RecBoot to exit recovery mode.

And again, if you have any problems with this guide pleaseĀ drop me a line. I’d like to keep this guide as current as possible for all upcoming iOS firmware updates.

Original Guide

I was one of the brave ones, somebody who installed 4.0 on their primary device. Yes, it was stupid. But, I managed to play around with new software before most iPhone users even had a chance to look over the feature set.

I ultimately decided that 4.0 beta 1 wasn’t quite ready yet. I’ll probably upgrade to one of the future 4.0 betas but for now I’d rather be on 3.1.3.

I set about attempting to find a good guide to help me downgrade my device. But, there aren’t very many available and most of the ones that exist seem to be targeted towards users who have jailbroken their device. After 5-6 guides I was finally able to downgrade my device.

So, here’s how to downgrade to 3.1.3 (remember that if you don’t have backups from 3.1.3 you’ll have to start from scratch):

  • Put your iPhone in DFU mode.
  • Once iTunes recognizes the device click OK.
  • Click restore and iPhone firwmare 3.1.3 will be installed. This process should take 10-15 minutes.
  • After the device restores you’ll receive an error, most likely 1011, 1013, 1015, or 1055. This is normal.
  • Download iRecovery from iHackintosh.
  • Open the archive (I suggest the Unarchiver) and then open irecovery-mac.zip.
  • Open Terminal and drag and drop irecovery into it.
  • Add ” -s” to the end of the command and hit enter.
  • Wait for iRecovery to load and run the following commands one at a time:
  • setenv auto-boot true, then saveenv, and finally /exit
  • Hold down the home and lock buttons for ten seconds and reboot your device.
  • It should show up in iTunes and work properly.
  • Luckily I saved my iPhone backups (located in ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup) so I could quickly put my pre-4.0 backups in that folder and then restore from them. But, if you don’t happen to have those backed up (keep Time Machine in mind) you’ll have to start fresh.

I hope this helps all of you that were too excited about 4.0 to think about how difficult it would be going back to 3.1.3. I’ve spent some time with my device and everything appears to be working fine.

If you have any problems with the guide or have found any better solutions or steps please drop me a line. I’d like to keep this guide as current as possible for the latest iPhone 4.0 betas.