How To Tweak iOS 16 Backup To Restore iOS 15 On iPhone

tweak iOS 16 backup for iOS 15

Tweak iOS 16 backup for iOS 15

Are you looking for a way to tweak an iOS 16 backup to be able to restore an iPhone running iOS 15? Getting iOS backup is incompatible or corrupt? Finder or iTunes could not restore this iPhone error? Here is what you can do to fix it!

Can You Restore iOS 16 Backup On iOS 15 iPhone?

Theoretically this isn’t possible! Apple informs that backups generated on a superior iOS version won’t work when restoring an iPhone running an older version.

Practically, you can modify the backup and make it compatible with almost any older iOS version. This requires locating the backup on your computer and editing the info.plist file.

It’s not complicated, but you should be aware that you’re doing this at your own risk and in case it won’t work you acknowledge the risks of losing valuable data.

iOS Backup Is Incompatible, Corrupt or Too Old?

Getting the following error messages in Finder or iTunes:

“iTunes could not restore the iPhone because the backup was not compatible with the iPhone that is being restored.”

“Finder could not restore the iPhone because the backup was corrupt.”

“The software on this iPhone is too old to be restored.”

How To Tweak iOS 16 Backup To Work In iOS 15.7

In these early iOS 16 there are a couple of annoying bugs and issues, that determine a lot of users to downgrade to iOS 15, to get back to normal iPhone functionality.

However, users that haven’t backed up before upgrading to iOS 16, won’t be able to restore their data after a downgrade unless they perform the following steps:

A. On Mac

  • 1. Open Spotlight Search (Use cmd + space shortcut).
  • 2. Copy/paste the following string in the search field:
    ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync
  • 3. Click on the MobileSync folder.
  • 4. Click on Backup folder and it will open in a new Finder window.
  • 5. Double-click on the backup folder that you want to hack.
  • Tip: Backup folder names are long strings of numbers. You can identify the backup that you’re looking for by checking out the Data Modified field.

    how to find iOS backup folder on Mac

  • 6. Scroll until you see the info.plist file. Right-click it and go for Open With -> TextEdit.
  • edit info.plist file

  • 7. Scroll towards the end of the backup file until you reach the following section:
    <*key>Last Backup Date<*/key>
    <*key>Product Name<*/key>
    <*string>iPhone XS<*/string>
    <*key>Product Type<*/key>
    <*key>Product Version<*/key>
    <*key>Serial Number<*/key>
  • 8. Modify the value under Product Version. You have to edit the version number that you’ve downgraded your iPhone too. For example, if you downgrade iOS 16.0.3 to 15.7 you have to replace 16.0.3 with 15.7:
    <*key>Product Version<*/key>
    <*key>Serial Number<*/key>
  • edit ios backup product version

  • 9. Use the cmd + S combo to Save the info.plist file and close it.

B. On Windows

The trick is similar:

  • 1. Open Run (instead of Spotlight Search). Use the windows key + R combo.
  • 2. Search for:
    %APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync
  • or %userprofile%\Apple\MobileSync\Backup

  • 3. Open the MobileSync folder, open the Backup folder, double-click on the backup that you want to modify, search for the Product Version line of code and edit the values.
  • Fact: That’s it! Now you can return to Finder/iTunes and select the back up again in the Restore from this backup section! Does it work? Share it in the comments.

    Have you managed to restore iPhone from a backup saved on a higher iOS version? Did this article help? Do you have a better solution or more questions? Use the comments section to share your feeback!

    Related: You can use this trick to restore a backup from iOS 16.1 to iOS 16.0.3 or from any other higher iOS version.