How to Restore IOS 11 If You Are Out of IOS 12 Beta

You probably shouldn’t be running the iOS public beta on your primary device. But maybe you still have made a decisive step – anything to take part in this sweet action Memoji – and now you regret it. Perhaps the app you use every day is not yet compatible with iOS 12 and you want to go back.

You can . Whether or not you can get everything back to how it was before you jumped into beta depends on how (and if) you backed up your phone.

How to Restore iOS 11 from iTunes Backup

When you install the iOS 12 beta , you are prompted to first make an iTunes backup of your iOS 11 device. ICloud backups are, after all, not backward compatible, so even if you back up to iCloud all the time, it’s smart make a linked backup in iTunes before major OS updates like this one.

When you do, we recommend that you check the box to encrypt the backup, which will preserve your state information and app login information. Apple also prompts you to go to iTunes> Preferences> Devices, right-click your device’s backup in the list, and select Archive. This will prevent this backup from being overwritten by subsequent backups of the same device. It’s like backup insurance.

If you have an archived backup, restoring your phone is a simple process. If you don’t, skip this section for now, keep reading, and come back to it later when you decide what to do.

  1. Connect your phone to your computer and launch iTunes. Click the phone icon in the toolbar to open its summary page.
  2. Put your device into recovery mode. This procedure depends on your device. On iPhone X, iPhone 8, or iPhone 8 Plus, press the volume up button once, volume down once, and then hold the sleep button on the side until you see the recovery mode screen. On iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, press Sleep and Volume Down at the same time. Keep them behind the Apple logo until you see the recovery mode screen. On iPhone 6s or earlier, iPod touch, or iPad, hold the Sleep and Home buttons at the same time as if you were restarting the device, but don’t release them when you see the Apple logo. Hold until the recovery mode screen appears.
  3. When your device is in recovery mode, iTunes will ask if you want to update or restore. Select Recover. Your phone will be completely wiped – which is fine, since you have a backup.
  4. Sign in to your refurbished device using your Apple ID to activate it.
  5. You will then be asked if you want to restore the data from the backup. Since you are still connected to iTunes, simply select the backup of your iOS 11 device and click Continue to restore.
  6. When this is done, the iPhone will turn off. Run it again and follow the installation instructions.

How to restore from an iCloud backup

Once again, iCloud backups are not backward compatible, so if your iCloud backup was made with iOS 12 beta, you won’t be able to restore it. But if you have an older iCloud backup that existed before you upgraded to iOS 12 beta, it might work – and worth a try.

To see how old your iCloud backup is, go to Settings, tap your name to view your iCloud settings, then tap iCloud> Manage storage> Backups and your device. This will tell you how old the backup is. If this was before you upgraded to iOS 12, be careful.

First, follow steps 1 through 3 above and you will have a refurbished phone running iOS 11. This process will erase all your data and you will be left with a new iPhone.

As you progress through the setup process, the Apps & Data screen asks if you want to set it up as a new device, restore from an iTunes backup, or restore from an iCloud backup. Click “Restore from iCloud Backup”, then “Select Backup” and choose one from the list.

If you set up your refurbished iPhone with iOS 11 as a new device, you can still try this method by going to Settings> General> Reset and clicking Erase All Content and Settings, which will wipe the iPhone again without iOS updates. This will take you through the setup process again, giving you the option to try “Restore from iCloud Backup” instead.

How to restore if you have no backups at all

It’s hard. You are mostly stuck on iOS 12, otherwise you will lose all your data back to iOS 11. Do you understand why it is so important to make a backup before joining the beta program?

If you don’t mind starting with a fresh iPhone, follow steps 1 through 3 above to restore your phone to a fresh copy of iOS 11. Before erasing your phone, check your iCloud settings to see if you’re syncing everything you can. iCloud, including your iMessages, contacts, calendars, emails, reminders, notes, Safari bookmarks, health data, and any photos you’ve saved to your iCloud library. This way, they will all sync with your phone after you restore it and sign in to iCloud again.

You will have to reinstall all your apps and sign in to all your accounts again. And many apps store your data in the cloud (like Kindle, Google Photo, Facebook, Twitter, pretty much anything to do with login), so when you log back in, everything stays there.

In fact, starting from scratch can be a good idea. This is a chance to assess which apps you really need. I like to start with just my day to day apps that I love and then add others when I miss them, which may never happen. To find older apps, search the entire App Store, or browse the list of apps you own by going to Updates, tapping your avatar, then tapping Purchased.

Use iMazing to save some data before restoring

The biggest downside to getting started from scratch is the loss of any messages or photos that are not backed up using iCloud. If you’d like to keep them safe before going back to iOS 11 and erasing your phone in the process , get a handy Mac or PC app called iMazing .

iMazing can back up your iOS 12 beta device and then extract the data you want from the backup. This allows you to save all messages in Messages, including their attachments, all your photos, voice memos, anything you really want to keep. iMazing can transfer it all to your computer for safe storage.

The free trial limits how much you can save (50 photos, 10 messages, 1 voicemail, etc.) before you have to buy a $ 40 license, but that’s a small fee for all the photos you forgot to copy. Mac users can also access the full version of iMazing through Setapp , a $ 10 / month Mac app bundle with a free 7-day trial.


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