The Firmware File is Not Compatible

If you’re receiving “the iPhone could not be restored because the firmware file is not compatible” error when updating your iDevices, how to fix it? In this guide, you can find a way to solve it.

Joy Taylor Last Updated: Mar. 23, 2020

Question: When updating or restoring iDevice with iTunes, an iTunes window pops up and says, the iPhone/iPad/iPod touch could not be updated because the firmware is not compatible. What does it mean? How can I fix it?

– A User from Yahoo Answers

iTunes Backup & Restore Problem - Firmware File is Not Compatible

iTunes Backup & Restore Problem – Firmware File is Not Compatible

Many users have been stuck on the same situation mentioned above when trying to update or restore your iPhone. Are you one of them, and have you gotten a way to fix it? Read this guide to learn how to fix the problem of firmware file is not compatible.

Firmware file is not compatible that means the IPSW you got is not the right one for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, or your iTunes doesn’t recognize your firmware file. Therefore, to fix this problem, you need to get a right firmware file or make your computer recognize this file. We will show you some methods you can try below:

Solution 1: Restart Your Computer

Maybe your computer does not recognize the firmware file. So the first thing you need to do is restarting your computer. Then connect your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch to computer again, and then launch iTunes. Try to restore your iDevice again.

Solution 2: Disable Your Antivirus Software

Sometimes, the antivirus software you installed on your computer may cause some issues. So you can disable them when you have any trouble with updating or restoring your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch. This method may work.

Solution 3: Upgrade Your iTunes to the Latest Version

Make sure you have upgraded the iTunes to the latest version, if you haven’t, follow the steps to make it:

  • Open iTunes > Help > Check for iTunes Updates. (For Windows PC)
  • Open System Preferences from the Apple menu > Click Software Update. (For Mac Users)

In many cases, once you update the software, the problem will be fixed.

Further ReadHow to Update iTunes to the Latest Version >

Solution 4: Reinstall iTunes

In some cases, upgrading iTunes can’t solve the problem of firmware file is not compatible. But sometimes uninstalling iTunes from your computer, the files and something caused this problem may be removed. So you can try to uninstall iTunes from your computer, and then install it again.

Solution 5: Download the Right Firmware File

If you still can’t update or restore your iDevice after trying the 4 solutions mentioned above, you can visit ipsw Downloader to download the right firmware file. Here we offer you the detailed steps to download right ipsw file as followed:

On Homepage, select the device you want to download for (here we take iPhone as an example) > Select the right ipsw file according to your device mode and iOS version > Download it.

Download Right Firmware File for Your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch

Download Right Firmware File for Your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch

After getting right firmware file for your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch, you need to update or restore your iDevice in iTunes with ipsw files. Follow us to make it with followed steps:

  1. Connect your iDevice to computer with USB cable.
  2. Run iTunes and then click Device button on iTunes.
  3. Hold down Option key (Shift key on PC) and then click on “Update” or “Restore”.
  4. Select the IPSW file you downloaded and click “Choose”.
  5. Let the iDevice update or restore as normal.

Have you found that it is very troublesome to restore iDevice in iTunes with IPSW files? If you are also fed up with the boring iTunes, next we will offer you another solution to fix the iTunes backup & restore problem of the firmware file is not compatible – with an alternative to iTunes.

Solution 6: Get an iTunes Alternative to Back Up or Restore

People want to give up iTunes and find an alternative due to many reasons, like, often fail to upgrade/restore because of some unexpected errors, lost important data or files after upgrade or restore, have no choice to backup all the things on device, etc. Then how to restore iPhone without itunes? Here we recommend you an alternative to iTunes – AnyTrans, which is fitted with many powerful functions in comparison to iTunes, like:

  • Supports transferring and backing up 20+ types of iOS contents, including photos, videos, music, contacts, notes, bookmarks, etc. among computer, iTunes library and other iDevices.
  • Supports extracting anything you like from iTunes or iCloud backup, it can help you restore iPhone/iPad/iPod easily when you met the problem like firmware not compatible.
  • Also, it helps you migrate your data when you got a new iDevice.

iMobie AnyTrans Overview:

iTunes Alternative Overview

iTunes Alternative Overview

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Solution 7: Restore in DFU Mode

The Device Firmware Update/Upgrade (DFU) Mode allows all devices to be restored from any state. You can use it to solve more difficult problems, like downgrading the iOS or jailbreaking the device. Here are the guides on how to enter/exit DFU mode.

Restoring your device in DFU Mode is the last step on iPhone/iPad/iPod troubleshooting, you need to remember that it’s potentially dangerous.​​​​

The Bottom Line

In this guide, we provide you 7 solutions that you can try to fix firmware is not compatible when restoring your iDevice with iTunes. Hope it can help you. Also, if you have other solutions to the problem of firmware files is not compatible, be free to leave your comments below to share your ideas with us.

Joy Taylor

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