After releasing iOS 16.3.1 last week, Apple has now stopped signing iOS 16.3 and iPadOS 16.3. This means that iPhone and iPad users can no longer downgrade to this version of the operating system if they are already using a newer version of iOS.
Apple no longer signs iOS 16.3
iOS 16.3.1 was released to all users on February 13th. While the update didn’t add any new features, it included several security patches. One of the exploits patched was found in WebKit, the engine behind the Safari web browser, which had been “actively exploited” by attackers.
On Monday, Apple confirmed that iOS 16.3.1 fixes another exploit that could lead to a Denial of Service (DoS) attack. The company said the DoS issue was addressed through “improved input validation.” Of course, users running earlier versions of the operating system are still vulnerable to such security breaches, which is why Apple stopped signing iOS 16.3.
iOS 16.3 was released to all users on January 23rd. Along with security patches, the update also adds the option to protect your Apple ID with security keys. This is also the iOS version that adds support for the second generation HomePod.
Reverting to older iOS builds is a technique commonly used by those who jailbreak their iPhones and iPads. Back in December, the palera1n hacker team released the first jailbreak tool based on the checkm8 exploit, which is compatible with iOS 15 and iOS 16. The tool works with all versions from iOS 15.0 to iOS 16.3.
Restoring an Apple device to a previous version of iOS can sometimes also be helpful for users who are experiencing significant errors after upgrading to the latest version of iOS.
Downgrade from iOS 16 to iOS 15
While you can’t just go back to iOS 16.3, you still have the option to downgrade from iOS 16.3.1 to iOS 15. That’s because Apple continues to provide security updates for users running iOS 15.7.3. If you want to downgrade an iPhone or iPad, you have to do it on a Mac or PC.
This isn’t the first time Apple has offered the option of leaving users with an older version of iOS. Last year, when iOS 15 became available, users could choose to stay longer on iOS 14 while Apple was still releasing security updates for it. However, the company removed this option a few months later.
It’s unclear how long iOS 15.7.3 will remain as an alternative to iOS 16. It’s worth noting that users running iOS 16.4 beta can also downgrade to iOS 16.3.1 or iOS 15.7.3.
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.
Visit 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news: