How to Install IPSW with/without iTunes

If you have an IPSW file available with yourself, you might want to install your IPSW file with or without iTunes on your iOS devices. This guide tells you how you can do that using an efficient method.

Joy Taylor Last Updated: Sep. 08, 2020

If you have been in the iOS ecosystem for a while, you probably already know what an IPSW file is. Getting these files is pretty easy these days and you might have likely used these files before. Even if you have not, it is pretty easy to get an IPSW file for your iOS device and use it to restore your device.

The following guide talks about what an IPSW file is and how you can go about installing IPSW files on your iPhone and iPad devices. There are various ways to install these files on your device and you will learn how to do that using the iTunes app.

Part 1. What is IPSW Files

An IPSW file is a software update file for many of the Apple products. It is used on devices like the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and even Apple TV. You can think of an IPSW file as a firmware for your device. This firmware decides how your device boots-up and works.

iOS is a closed-source operating system meaning you cannot easily get access to the source code of iOS. However, IPSW files are actually the OS files and you can open and access their contents. There are even modified IPSW files that have certain things removed from them. You can install them on your iOS-based devices.

One of the common reasons why someone would use an IPSW file is that when they want to restore their device. An IPSW file helps you do that. You can also use this file to downgrade the iOS version on your phone. It can be used to upgrade your iOS version, too.

In a nutshell, an IPSW file is your device’s operating system and you can install it however you want on your devices.

Back up your iPhone/iPad before installing IPSW files.

Part 2. How to Install IPSW Files with iTunes

Finding and downloading an IPSW file is actually pretty easy. You are going to come across dozens of sites offering several types of IPSW files for your devices. The main question, though, is how do you install an IPSW file on your devices?

Well, that is when a utility like iTunes comes into the picture. iTunes is an excellent tool to manage both the content and backups for your iOS devices. A good thing about this app is that you can use it to install IPSW files as well.

The option to install IPSW files in iTunes is a bit hard to find as it seems Apple does not want to promote that. However, the following reveals the function and shows how you can use it to restore your devices.

Step 1. Launch the iTunes app using your preferred method on your computer.

Step 2. Connect your iPhone or iPad device to your computer using the original USB cable.

Step 3. Select your device in iTunes and go to the Summary tab. On the right-hand side pane, hold down the Shift key and click on the Restore iPhone button.

Install IPSW files with iTunes or Finder

Install IPSW files with iTunes or Finder

Step 4. Your computer will now prompt you to choose the IPSW file that you wish to install on your device. Select a file from your computer and iTunes will get it installed on your device.

That is how you go about installing an IPSW file using iTunes.

Part 3. How to Install IPSW Files without iTunes

Except for downloading IPSW files from iTunes, you can download and install without iTunes. With AnyFix – iOS system recovery, you can view the IPSW files after downloaded. With those available IPSW files, you can easily repair the iOS system issues and upgrade/downgrade iOS version with ease.

Now, you can get the latest version of the AnyFix – iOS system recovery. Install it on your computer (Mac & Windows). Then follow the simples steps below to get IPSW files without iTunes.

Step 1. Open AnyFix – iOS system recovery and connect your iPhone with computer. Click Upgrade/Downgrade iOS.

Choose Upgrade/Downgrade iOS

Choose Upgrade/Downgrade iOS

Step 2. Choose any one of the panels – upgrade or downgrade and Start Now.

Step 3. Then all the supported firmware package which is higher than the current one for the device will be displayed on the page. Select one or multiple desired .ipsw files and click the Download tab. After that, you can head to Upgrade button to update iOS version. And the IPSW files will be installed, and you can view download history on the page.

Choose one iOS Version to Download and Upgrade

Choose one iOS Version to Download and Upgrade

What’s more, if you are meeting iPhone/iPad/iPod touch system issues, you can go to the homepage of AnyFix – iOS system recovery and head to System Repair panel.

The Bottom Line

You can install IPSW files with and without iTunes. We hope our guide above teaches you how to install these files and upgrade or downgrade your various Apple devices.

Joy Taylor

Member of iMobie team as well as an Apple fan, love to help more users solve various types of iOS & Android related issues.