How to flash an iPhone or iPad on a computer or over the air


It would seem that it could be easier than restoring an iOS device on a computer. However, a fairly common question that our novice iOS readers ask us is precisely: “How to reflash (reinstall) iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch “… We will devote this post to this topic.

So, in this article we will describe the processes Recovery and Updates any iOS (iPadOS) device (iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch).

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Why do you need to reflash iPhone or iPad?

The main purpose of restoring an iOS device is to reset it to factory settings with an upgrade of the software version (iOS firmware). Flashing (recovery) is usually performed:

  • if there is a software failure of the iOS device;
  • in order to install the latest version of iOS;
  • in case the user has forgotten the password (code) of the screen lock (not to be confused with Apple ID Activation Lock)
  • to create a “clean system” (for example, when changing the owner of the device or for the purpose of the subsequent jailbreak procedure).

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Is it possible to downgrade (rollback) the iOS or iPadOS firmware on iPhone and iPad?

No. Officially Apple does not allow install iOS versions other than the current one.

However, there is a so-called “time window” in which for weeks after the release of the latest firmware, users will be available for installation and previous software version

Also an exception is the ability to rollback to the latest official version of iOS from the beta version of the firmware installed on the device. We talked about how to install test firmware without a developer account here.

It is worth noting that from time to time, hackers still release various software that allows you to downgrade the iOS version. However, in most cases, firmware rollback is only possible on older iPhones and iPads.

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How is Upgrade and Recovery different?

During updates firmware, all data (applications, photos, contacts, etc.) on the iPhone or iPad is saved.

When rebuilding the device will get “factory settings” (clean system), and ALL user data will be deleted.

Important!!!

NEVER do not use Update on a jailbreak device (Cydia icon on the screen)!

Cydia Jailbreak iPhone

This often leads to the so-called “eternal apple” or “eternal loop” in recovery mode (Music (or computer) icon with cable on the screen).

To flash a jailbroken iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, always use Recovery on the computer.

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How to update iOS (iPadOS) on iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch over the air using Wi-Fi?

The most common way to update an iPhone or iPad is to download the firmware directly to the device over the air using a Wi-Fi connection.

To download and install an iOS or iPadOS update:

1. Make sure the device being upgraded is 50% or more charged.

2. Open the app Settings, go to section The main, and then select Software Update

How to update iOS (iPadOS) on iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch over the air using Wi-Fi?

3. Click the link button Download and Install or “Install”if the update was downloaded earlier.

Note If your iPhone or iPad doesn’t have enough free space to download an update, a message may appear stating that you can temporarily remove programs to free up memory. After the iOS or iPadOS update is installed, the uninstalled apps will be reinstalled.

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How to set up automatic iOS or iPadOS updates over Wi-Fi

An iPhone or iPad with iOS 12 or later can be set to update automatically. To do this, open the application “Settings”, go to section “Basic”, select item “Software Update”and then press “Auto update” and set the corresponding switch to position Included

How to set up automatic iOS or iPadOS updates over Wi-Fi

How to set up automatic iOS or iPadOS updates over Wi-Fi<

After completing this step, your device will automatically update to the latest iOS or iPadOS. However, it is worth considering that some updates may need to be installed manually.

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How to update iOS (iPadOS) on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch on a Mac or Windows computer

If you cannot update your iPhone or iPad via Wi-Fi, please update manually on your Mac or Windows computer.

1. On a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15 (or later macOS): start the Finder… On a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14 or older, or on a Windows computer run iTunes (download).

2. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer using a cable.

3. Make sure the computer detects the device. Namely:

On a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15 (or newer macOS), the connected device should appear in the Finder sidebar. Click on it. If the iPhone or iPad does not appear, turn on the display of connected iOS devices in the Finder according to this instruction.

Where is iTunes, or what to do if iPhone or iPad is not detected in macOS

On a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14 or older macOS, or on a Windows computer, the connected device should appear at the top of iTunes. Click on it.

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4. On the settings screen of the connected device that opens, click “Refresh” and follow the instructions on the screen.

How to update iOS (iPadOS) on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch on a Mac or Windows computer

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How to restore iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch on Mac or Windows?

Recovery of an iOS or iPadOS device is possible in two ways, using the normal recovery mode or by flashing in a low-level mode, which is called DFU… The latter is often used in situations where the owner of the device has forgotten the lock password, when errors occur during the recovery process in normal mode.

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How to Reflash (Restore) iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch on Mac or Windows Computer Using Normal Recovery Mode

1. On an iPhone or iPad with iOS 13 (iPadOS 13) or later, open the app Settings, select the menu Apple ID (where your name is written) go to the section Locator and disable the function Find iPhone

How to disable Find iPhone in iOS

How to disable Find iPhone in iOS

On devices with older iOS versions, open the app Settings, select the menu Apple ID (where your name is written) go to the section iCloud and disable the function Find iPhone

2. On a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15 (or later macOS): launch the Finder app… On a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14 or older, or on a Windows computer run iTunes (download).

3. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer with a cable.

4. Make sure the device is detected on the computer. Namely:

On a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15 (or newer macOS), the connected device should appear in the Finder sidebar. Click on it. If the iPhone or iPad does not appear, turn on the display of connected iOS devices in the Finder according to this instruction.

Where is iTunes, or what to do if iPhone or iPad is not detected in macOS

On a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14 or older, or on a Windows computer, the connected device icon should appear at the top of iTunes. Click on it.

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5. On the settings screen of the connected device that opens, click “Reestablish <название устройства>” and follow the instructions on the screen.

How to reflash (restore) iPhone, iPad

If you need to select an IPSW firmware file

If you need to restore your iPhone or iPad to a version different from the current one, for example, from the latest beta version to an older, but official firmware, then first download the IPSW firmware file for your device (link).

Then holding Shift on the Windows keyboard, click the button Reestablish (for Mac, you need to hold down Alt (⌥Option) and press the button Reestablish).

In the window that appears, select the IPSW file of the firmware downloaded earlier and click Open… The recovery process begins.

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How to Reflash (Restore) iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch on Mac or Windows Computer Using DFU Mode

1. If you have forgotten or do not know the lock password from iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, skip this point.

If you know the lock password and can enter the device, open the app Settings, select the menu Apple ID (where your name is written) go to the section Locator and disable the function Find iPhone

How to disable Find iPhone in iOS

How to disable Find iPhone in iOS

On devices with older iOS versions, open the app Settings, select the menu Apple ID (where your name is written) go to the section iCloud and disable the function Find iPhone

2. On a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15 (or later macOS): launch the Finder app… On a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14 or older, or on a Windows computer run iTunes (download).

3. Connect the device to the computer with a cable and enter it into DFU mode (detailed instructions).

4. Make sure the device is detected on the computer in recovery mode:

On a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15 (or newer macOS), the connected device should appear in the Finder sidebar. If the iPhone or iPad does not appear, turn on the display of connected iOS devices in the Finder according to this instruction.

How to put iPhone into DFU mode and reflash

On a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14 or older, or on a Windows computer, the connected device icon should appear at the top of iTunes. Click on it.

iPhone 7 in DFU mode

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5. On the settings screen of the connected device that opens, click “Reestablish <название устройства>” and follow the instructions on the screen.

How to restore (reflash) iPhone on computer

If you need to select an IPSW firmware file

If you need to restore your iPhone or iPad to a version different from the current one, for example, from the latest beta version to an older, but official firmware, then first download the IPSW firmware file for your device (link).

Then holding Shift on the Windows keyboard, click the button Reestablish (for Mac, you need to hold down Alt (⌥Option) and press the button Reestablish).

In the window that appears, select the IPSW file of the firmware downloaded earlier and click Open… The recovery process begins.

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