Update Aug 24th, 2015: Apple has stopped signing iOS 8.4 firmware, which means you cannot upgrade or downgrade to iOS 8.4 anymore. More info here: iOS 8.4 Firmware Signing Stopped by Apple
Take an example: You are using an iPhone 4S and you don’t feel comfortable upgrading to iOS 8.4.1 firmware because of the number of problems linked to it.
But you are also running your iPhone on iOS 8.1 or iOS 8.2 firmware, and you feel that the older firmware isn’t good either. So the question is: Can you directly upgrade to iOS 8.4 and skip iOS 8.4.1?
In short, the answer is yes. Before we dig deeper, it is important to put forth a couple of important points:
- You can upgrade to specific firmware only if Apple is signing it. If you didn’t know, only firmware that is signed by Apple can be installed on iPhones and iPads. If the firmware it not signed, you cannot upgrade or downgrade. We will explain this point as you read the article.
- You can upgrade to specific firmware manually. You cannot install iOS 8.4 and skip iOS 8.4 via OTA (Over The Air). This is because during the OTA update, Apple doesn’t give you any option to select the firmware or your choice – it will automatically ask you to download / install the latest firmware. (Learn more about OTA update)
Now that we have covered these two key points, it is important for us to answer the question: How can I upgrade from iOS 8.1 or iOS 8.2 to iOS 8.4 firmware (and avoid iOS 8.4.1)?
At the time of writing this article, Apple is NOT signing iOS 8.3, which means you cannot upgrade from iOS 8.x to OS 8.3.
But Apple is still signing iOS 8.4 firmware, which means you can upgrade from iOS 8.x to iOS 8.4.
And to do this, you need to manually install iOS 8.4 on your device, for which you will require the following: a Windows / Mac computer, latest iTunes player on your computer, USB cable to connect iPhone to your computer.
With that said, follow this step-by-step guide to begin installing iOS 8.4 on your device:
Step 1: Download The Right IPSW File
First step is to download the correct IPSW file. As you want to install iOS 8.4, check out our iOS 8.4 IPSW page to download the file. Get the file that is designed for your Apple device.
Step 2: Setup Everything
As mentioned earlier, now you have to connect your iPhone / iPad to your computer and launch iTunes player. Just make sure you do backup the device data.
The option to backup data is available on the iTunes screen.
Step 3: Restore iOS 8.4 Firmware
This is the crucial step. Hold Alt key (on Mac) or Shift key (on Windows) and click on the “Restore” button from your iTunes player.
You will get a new window with the option to select the IPSW file. Now select the downloaded iOS 8.4 firmware and iTunes will begin restoring.
That’s it! You have successfully installed iOS 8.4 firmware and bypassed iOS 8.4.1 (which doesn’t support jailbreaking yet) with this installation tutorial.
For more info, you can also go through our article: How to Install IPSW Files.
Note: If you get the error on iTunes “The iPhone could not be restored because the firmware file is not compatible” – then what you have downloaded is not complete. Maybe the file is damaged or partially downloaded.
Or you have downloaded the wrong file (wrong as in you are using an iPhone 6 Plus, for example, but you have downloaded IPSW file for iPhone 5). Just get the right IPSW file to get rid of this error.