How To Tweak iOS 16 Backup To Restore iOS 15 On iPhone
Last updated on November 15th, 2022 at 02:08 amPosted in How To, TILs by Tyrone on October 13, 2022
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:
- 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.
- 6. Scroll until you see the info.plist file. Right-click it and go for Open With -> TextEdit.
- 7. Scroll towards the end of the backup file until you reach the following section:
<*key>Last Backup Date<*/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
- 9. Use the cmd + S combo to Save the info.plist file and close it.
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.
B. On Windows
The trick is similar:
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.
I cant find my backup file in my laptop for windows the %APPDATA%\Apple Computer\MobileSync doesnt work
now the tweaking wont work idk what to do now
It has to work. You only need to find the MobileSync folder. I assume that you backed up iPhone via iTunes on Windows computer. Correct?
Search Windows computer for the MobileSync folder.
Hi, thx for your help, I found the info.plist but there is no section with the version. Do you have any idea what is wrong with my backup?
You opened it with a text editor and scroll towards the end of it?
Yes, ich found some backup files and opened the info.plist file. in This file I was looking for some strings from your description but I found nothing suitable
What iOS version is the backup made on? Try to make a new backup.
I downgraded to ios 16.1, but on the restore it gives the error, I can get to the plist file but I am on Windows 11 and can’t edit the text. How did you all edit the Text in the plist file on windows???
Try with IPATools PropertyList Editor or SynWrite, should be free software. Let us know if it works.
I used SynWriter and i saved it and retry but it still doesn’t work
Try to close iTunes and restart before using the tweaked backup.
Is it possible to copy my backup file in case the “tweak goes wrong”?
yes, you can duplicate it and save it in another folder or on an external drive.
I’ve tried restoring from iOS 16.1 backup file on iOS 15.7 and everything went fine. However all text messages and iMessages are missing from the messages app!! Do you know any way to get all messages back on my phone? Thanks!
Don’t you have them updated to your iCloud account?
did you find any solution ?
those messages were very important for me
I’m told I don’t have enough space on my phone to restore from the version that I’ve just erased. Huh? Good instruction here, and appreciated, but without being a computer expert and able to troubleshoot, I think this is virtually impossible.
Are you doing this on Mac or Windows? At what step exactly are you seeing this error? After clicking Restore iPhone?
trying to modify the plist from an ios 16.2 backup to downgrade to 16.1. Made the ch
ange as outline above replacing the 16.2 with 16.1 still not working. Any ideas
After changing the software on the text edit, how do i then save the edit i made on windows?
Is it windows key + s
Or is it control + s
What key do i use for thia?
Haven’t used Windows in a while, but if I properly remember it’s ctrl (control) + S.
Your instructions to edit the Info plist file worked (windows). At first I had edited to 15.7 and I kept getting the same “back up too old” error. I then remembered we restored to 15.6. After editing the Info file to 15.6, I was able to proceed with the restore from backup. Thank you. Now I need to see if my intermittent audio issues have been corrected by downgrading to earlier IOS.
Thanks for the feedback. So have they been fixed? When did you get intermittent audio? While listening to music or during phone call?
Took me all evening but it worked. . I don’t like 16.1.1 but could have put up with it, with hindsight and I guess ultimately I will have to take it :(
Just hope Apple can make it better
iOS 16.2 is currently beta tested. It’s expected in December with bug fixes and new features.
Can’t restore the backup. Using windows. iphone 12 pro.
Have you modified the info.plist file? Edit the Product Version to 15.6, instead of 16.1.1 or whatever version was the backup created on.
i tryed also many times .. and i modifed the file to 15.6 .. but still can’t restore
What text editor did you use? Could it have tampered the format of the text file and thus making it unreadable by iTunes?
i have got my phone from screen replace so apple formatted my phone it was on 16.2 beta i have backup of that. when its back from plist i edited it to 16.1.1 and phone has come with 16.1.1 too but backup restore is now showing as corrputed after trying 99% restore. i just need whatsapp chats basically. my back up file is about 7gb. pls help
1.Try to temporary downgrade to 16.1:
2. edit info.plist to 16.1,
4. and after that update over-the-air to 16.1.1.
thanks for the reply patricia. one more thing, i have also uninstalled itunes and reinstalled it after that particularlly that back up isnt showing up anymore. im going to try your method for now lets see. im using windows 11 btw . downing it to 16,1 as we speak.
ok so i am now on 16.1 but the backup itself isnt showing up for restore. that is only cuz i removed and again put itunes is there anywhere i can manually override and install this backup. its clearly not showing up now. seems too messed up.
Can’t restore the backup. Using windows .. and i edite the file to 15.6 as i downloaded .. but still can’t restore .. iphone 11 pro
What error are you getting?
I was trying two times. On MacBook. I was changed iOS 16.1.1 to 15.6.1 – still was 16.1.1
Second time I was changed to 15.7 – still 16.1.1
You don’t need to change to 15.6.1 (it’s not signed), 15.6 (is signed)!
I was trying with 15.6
Still is 16.1.1 after that.
Thank you for answer.
I give up!
Too be honest I don’t fully understand your problem. Please be more specific.
Not really. It worked for me. I was able to modify the text file in a iOS 16 backup file and restore it to a phone with iOS 15.7.1
Thanks for the solution.
You’re welcome. Glad it did.
I have edited the file 3 times already and it still says my software is too old. I changed it from 15.6, to 15.5 to 15.4 and it still doesnt work… is there anything i can do to fix it?
Update: Nevermind, I just had to close Itunes and open it again. Seems to be working now
Glad it does. Thanks for the follow up.
I’m on Windows 11 and I have an iPhone 13 ever since been using SynWrite to tweak the file it still doesn’t work, Does anyone know how to do this?
Sucess. But no longer appear 15.7.1. It is only for me??
Yes. Apple has unsigned it. You have to stick with iOS 15.6 RC.
i have a Iphone 7 plus folowed your instrutions and it workied like a charm ive even updated to 15.7.2 from 15.7.1
Thanks for confirming. Glad it did! Yes, iPhones that are unable to run iOS 16 are getting the iOS 15.7.2 update in Settings.
anyone use the pc to restore try close itunes and open it again change the vaule in two file
is name Info.plist and manifest.plist it had the versiọn of ios the first time i try change the vaule on file name info it not work too old to restore after that i try on two file and it work but the second time i use 3u tools to restore
Thanks for your feedback Giao.
Am I the only one that cannot save the backup script after changing it to my desired ios version? I literally saved it and went to check if it changed and is up again in 16.2. I have tried both with pycharm and latex.. any ideas?
Many thanks in advanced !!
Solved by using TextEdit instead! :)
Glad you managed! Thanks for confirming.
Whenever I try to restore my iCloud backup, the ‘Restore Backup’ button is greyed out and I’ve changed the products version to 15.0