How To Downgrade iPhone 3G From iOS 4 To iPhone OS 3.1.3

BY Andy

Published 3 Jul 2010

Downgrade from iOS 4 to iOS 3.1.3

The launch of iOS 4 has received a mixed response from users. While a vast majority of iPhone users are really enjoying the new features and performance improvement in the latest iOS, some iPhone 3G users have reported that iOS 4 has slowed down their iPhone.

If you have seen a performance deterioration and want to downgrade your iPhone 3G to the previous version then this tutorial will take you through the step-by-step process to downgrade from iOS 4 to iPhone OS 3.1.3.

Before you proceed, please note the following caveats:

  • This guide may not offer consistent results. So please proceed at your own risk.
  • Do not forget to backup your iPhone before you proceed. You can refer to this post for instructions on how to backup your iPhone 3G.
  • This procedure is strictly for iPhone 3G users. Apple has stopped signing the iOS 3.1.3 firmware and hence this guide will not work on iPhone 3GS as Apple has stopped signing the older iPhone OS 3.1.3 files that is required to restore iPhone 3GS.

Step 1: Download iPhone OS 3.1.3

In all likelihood, users may already have a copy of the older iOS firmware stored on their computer. If you are a Mac user, navigate to ~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates and look out for a file named iPhone1,1_3.1.3_7E18_Restore.ipsw or iPhone1,2_3.1.3_7E18_Restore.ipsw. Windows users may check out this file at C:Documents and Settings[username]Application DataApple ComputeriTunesiPhone Software Updates. Alternately, you can click here to download a fresh copy of the iPhone OS 3.1.3 firmware to your computer.

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Save a copy of this iOS firmware on your computer desktop

Step 2 : Download RecBoot

RecBoot is an important utility that will help in completing the downgrade process. Download this tool by clicking here and save it to your computer desktop.

Step 3 : Set iPhone To DFU Mode

(a) Plug your iPhone to the computer

(b) Switch OFF the iPhone by pressing the Sleep/Wake button. Swipe across the ‘Slide to Power Off‘ option to turn your iPhone off

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(c) With the Sleep/Wake button pressed, press and hold the iPhone Home button for ten seconds.

(d) You can now release the Sleep/Wake button while the Home button is kept in the pressed state.

(e) iTunes will display a window that reads, “iTunes has detected an iPhone in recover mode“. The iPhone screen will now turn black. This indicates that your iPhone is in the DFU mode. Click ‘OK’ to close the iTunes pop-up message

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Step 4: Restore iPhone 3G using iPhone OS 3.1.3 firmware

(a) Under the ‘Devices‘ section on the left pane of iTunes, click on your iPhone device.

(b) Hold the Option/Alt key down and click on the ‘Restore‘ button

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(c) Navigate to the computer desktop and click on the downloaded iPhone OS 3.1.3 firmware to restore.

(d) iTunes will now begin the restoration process. This process will take close to 10 minutes or more for completion.

(e) iTunes might throw 1011, 1013 or 1015 error as seen below. You don’t have to panic. It’s normal, just ignore this error as the firmware has been successfully installed on your iPhone 3G. You need to use RecBoot utility to exit out of recovery mode.

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Step 5: Exiting Recovery Mode

For Mac users:

Navigate to your computer desktop and launch RecBoot. Click ‘Exit Recovery Mode‘. This will reboot the iPhone to the newly downgraded iPhone OS 3.1.3.

For Windows users:

(a) You may require .NET 4.0 firmware for the application to work. Click here to download Microsoft .NET 4 firmware.

(b) Navigate to the desktop. Right click on RecBoot and choose Properties -> Compatibility -> Run this program in compatibility mode -> Windows XP. You may skip this step if you are already on a Windows XP platform.

(c) Click here to download and install Libusb. You can checkout this link if you’re trying this on a 64-bit system. WARNING: Some of our readers have reported issues installing Libusb on their 64-bit systems, so please proceed with caution and read their comments below to figure out possible workarounds.

(d) From the computer desktop, launch RecBoot. Select the ‘Exit Recovery Mode‘ option. This will reboot your iPhone to the downgraded iOS 3.1.3 platform

Step 6: Restoring Backup

iTunes will now prompt you to set up your iPhone. You can restore from a backup that you had created before upgrading to iOS 4 to sync your apps and data or set it up as a new iPhone. Please note that it is only possible to sync with a pre-4.0 backup. Any backup file created after upgrading to iOS 4 might not be supported.

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The downgrade process is complete. We hope you enjoyed this tutorial. As always, do not forget to drop us a line about how it goes.