How to Restore Firmware on iPad

Need to know how to restore firmware on iPad? If you’re having strange issues with your device, need to roll back an iOS update, or are simply looking to do a reset without updating your software, then an iOS firmware restore is the way to go. This article details what your iOS firmware actually is, common cases where restoring firmware is necessary, and the steps involved in a firmware restore.



So let’s get to it, shall we? First up…


What is firmware?

Firmware is what makes your iPad run. It’s the software that speaks to the hardware to tell it what to do, boots up your operating system, tells your device how to use baseband communications for data and voice, and it’s also iOS itself.

It’s basically all the software and files on your iPad that you haven’t actually put there yourself. It’s what you have when you first purchase your iPad, and it’s all preloaded onto your device so that you don’t have to install it all yourself.


Why would I want to restore my firmware?

There are many reasons that you might want to restore your firmware on your iPad. These reasons might include:

  • Your iPad is stuck in a loop that it can’t get out of – whether it’s continually restarting, showing just the Apple symbol, or something else that is similar.
  • Your iPad is not behaving as it should be, even after a factory reset.
  • Your iPad is not restoring properly.
  • You want to roll back to a previous version of iOS.
  • You want to wipe your iPad, but not upgrade to the latest version of iOS.


How do I check my iOS firmware version?


Need to know which version of firmware you are currently using on your iPad? That’s easy. Simply pick up your iPad and tap on:

·       Home -> Settings -> General -> About

Scroll down until you see ‘Version’, and that’s what version of Apple iPad firmware you’re currently working with.


What is a DFU restore?

A DFU restore is a Device Firmware Update restore, which can restore your iPad using iTunes without updating it to the most recent version of iOS. You may like to do this if you:

  • Are using an old device which may not run the latest version of iOS very well
  • Are perfectly happy with the version of iOS you currently have on your device
  • Want to use a previous version of iOS again
  • Attempted a factory restore previously and are still having issues


How can I restore firmware on my iPad with a DFU restore?

There are two different scenarios here for restoring firmware. The first scenario is a simple restore of your iPad without changing the iOS/firmware version that’s already installed on the device. The second involves changing your device to a different version of iOS/firmware. We cover both here.


Restoring your iPad to its current firmware
Here are the steps involved in doing a regular DFU restore.

1.     Backup everything on your iPad with a tool like Dr. Fone, as everything will be wiped after your restore. This is very important or you will lose everything!

2.     Make sure you’ve got the latest version of iTunes installed on your computer and open it up.

3.     Turn off your iPad and plug it into your computer with the data cable.

4.     Press and hold the On button for 3 seconds.

5.     While still holding down the On button, press down on the Home button, too, at the same time for 10 seconds. If you see the Apple logo, you’ve held down too long and need to start again.

6.     Release the On button, but continue to hold down the Home button for a further 5 seconds.If you see ‘Plug into iTunes’, you’ve held it down too long and need to start again.

7.     Your iPad should now be in DFU mode, and iTunes will pop up a message detecting a device in recovery mode, prompting you to restore it.

8.     Click Restore to restore your firmware.




Restoring you iPad to an older version of firmware
1.     Find the version of the firmware that you would like by Googling ‘download ipsw’ and downloading the corresponding .ipsw file.

2.     Turn off the ‘Find My’ feature on your iPad if you have it on.

3.     Follow steps 1 through 7 above.

4.     On the pop-up message, press Alt/Option (Mac) or Shift (PC) and click on Restore.

5.     Find the ipsw file that you downloaded in the browser box that pops up and select Open.

6.     This will now install the older firmware on your device.



So there you have it on how to restore firmware on iPad. Just follow the steps mentioned above and you’ll be good to go!

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