Downgrading my iPad 2 to iOS 8 ⚓11 Aug 2019
Update: Apple is no longer signing iOS6 for the iPad 2, so this is no longer feasible.
I own a iPad 2 (GSM), which is rarely used these days because it is too slow with the latest iOS 9 upgrades. It is a 8 year old device, but I can’t just install Linux on it and make it usable, which is what I do with most other devices.
The next best thing was to downgrade the iOS version. The device is anyway un-supported at this point, so I might as well go there. Apple has restrictions on which iOS releases are installable at any point on any device, ~but thankfully they are still signing iOS6 for my device for some legal reasons~.
- Download the iOS firmware for your device from https://ipsw.me/#platform
- Launch iTunes
- Option+Click on the Restore button in iTunes
- Select the file you just downloaded.
- Disable iCloud on the device
- Upgrade to iOS8
This is possible as long as Apple is signing the IPSW for your device. The case of iOS6 being signed seems to be true for:
- iPhone 4S
- iPad 2
Running an unsupported OS is not something I take lightly. Here’s a list of defensive measures I took to ensure that I’m not at risk while doing so:
- Try to keep the device always in Airplane mode.
- Keep sensitive data off the device. No photos/keychain sync for eg. Don’t enable Calendar/Contact/Media sync.
- Enable Restrictions on the device:
- Restrict Safari to limited websites.
- Disable application installs.
- Disable iTunes store/iBooks store etc.
- Disable GPS/Bluetooth.
- Limit Background Refresh to very few trusted applications.
- Limit number of applications (I only have Kybooks installed).
If possible, I’d recommend using a separate Apple Account on the device.
Published on August 11, 2019 in ios,downgrade,ipad