I hate IOS5. I don't have an SHSH blob.
October 28, 2011 11:59 AM   Subscribe

Is it possible to downgrade my iPhone 3GS from IOS 5 to an earlier version of IOS, preferably 4.3.3? What if I don't have an SHSH blob?

I upgraded to IOS 5 as soon as it was released to the public and I hate it! On my 3GS its slow, buggy, and the iPod music app hangs and crashes on a regular basis meaning that I am having to "Restore All Settings" two or three times a day. I'm fed up and want to go back to IOS 4 (hopefully 4.3.3 because I hear the jailbreak for that one is real easy and I think I'm ready to take the plunge) but I'm confused about how to proceed.

I found this tutorial on how to downgrade and I have read through it several times but am still not clear. In the second paragraph they say: "In order for this to work, you must have previously backed up SHSH blobs for the version of iOS you’re trying to downgrade to." but reading through the later steps I don't see where I am going to use that SHSH blob. Until half an hour ago I didn't even know what an SHSH blob was so needless to say I don't have one. Is there any way to proceed without one or get one someplace else?
posted by Bango Skank to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
iOS 5 ran great on my old 3GS, better than 4.0 did when it was released. I'd say you should try setting your phone up as a "new" phone first (make sure everything is backed up to google/ical/address book first).
posted by Oktober at 12:06 PM on October 28, 2011

Thanks Oktober I already tried setting it up as a new phone and a bunch of other things and I am still having problems. As I said in the question at this point I would much rather have IOS4 with the opportunity for an easy untethered jailbreak than mess around with IOS5 any longer. I'm just trying to figure out if that is possible.
posted by Bango Skank at 12:29 PM on October 28, 2011

Seems like your out of luck. Without SHSH saved on Cydia, it's impossible to downgrade to previous firmware. If need that to use Tiny Umbrella. Was your previous firmware jailbroken?
posted by Parh6512 at 12:46 PM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

No, I've never jailbroken.

So the SHSH blob is used in conjunction with Tiny Umbrella? From the way it sounded in the instructions in the linked article Tiny Umbrella would only be used if the phone does not come out of "recovery" mode - which made me think that there was a chance that wouldn't be necessary.

It still isn't comepletly clear where the SHSH blob come in.
posted by Bango Skank at 12:58 PM on October 28, 2011

Yeah, you needed to backup the SHSH in order to downgrade and there's no way to do that now. I'm sorry.
posted by inturnaround at 1:00 PM on October 28, 2011

Apple is no Apple's policy is once you've upgraded, you cannot downgrade your device. However, you can get around this by saving the SHSH blob for each version BEFORE you upgrade. This allows you go to downgrade to a previous for which you have an SHSH blob saved.

If you don't know what it is, then you most likely didn't save it. You can still check to see if you have it saved by using TinyUmbrella. Just run it and it'll tell you whether you have any SHSH blobs saved and for which version(s).

Otherwise you are out of luck as Apple stopped signing for 4.3.5 about two weeks ago. There was a two week window where you could've downgraded, but it's over now.
posted by yodangson at 1:02 PM on October 28, 2011

Here are a couple of somewhat detailed explanations of the SHSH system: What's SHSH and why do I need it? and Can I upgrade/downgrade from any version to any other version?

But there's another issue, even if you could downgrade to iOS 4.3.3 with SHSH. Upgrading to iOS 5 with iTunes meant that your device also received a permanent upgrade to its baseband (aka phone firmware), a lower-level part of the system than the iOS software, handling the deep-down phone parts like getting signal. And I've seen several reports that taking an iPhone 4 with the upgraded iOS 5 baseband and downgrading the iOS software to iOS 4 causes the phone to barely get signal anymore since the new baseband isn't quite compatible with the old software (so it's ok if they restore back to iOS 5). This is probably true for the 3GS as well.
posted by dreamyshade at 1:31 PM on October 28, 2011

You can't. As already noted you needed to have saved the SHSH from when you had 4.3.3 installed. It's too late now. I agree with Oktober though; iOS 5 runs fine on my 3GS as well. If yours is failing as often as that, you should be taking the phone to the Apple Store to get it serviced.
posted by chairface at 1:34 PM on October 28, 2011

Also, I've heard that starting with iOS 5, Apple is making changes to how upgrades work that will render the SHSH blob method impossible. So I wouldn't worry about it from now on if it's already too late.
posted by Rhaomi at 1:35 PM on October 28, 2011

Just here to say that iOS5 runs terribly on my 3GS too- it's not just you.
posted by Cygnet at 1:55 PM on October 28, 2011

You're out of luck for a downgrade, I'm afraid according to the good folks at iPhone Dev team (the people who drive many of the iPhone jailbreaking advances).

You don't need to have previously jailbroken to have your SHSH blob saved (you could have saved it without jailbreaking with Tiny Umbrella), but if you don't have it now you'll never be able to retrieve it.

Without your SHSH saved you cannot downgrade (Apple approves firmware re-installations on any iPhone 3GS or newer, and they won't approve anything but the newest version). The SHSH method was a workaround solution for restoring to pre-5.0 firmwares, but only if you took effort to save yours while your desired firmware was still being allowed by Apple.

If you don't have yours now and are already at 5.0, there's no going back unless something changes in the jailbreaking world.

Have you considered wiping and restoring your phone from scratch? Not that this is convenient, but it might give you a clean slate to try to avoid some of the bugs you're encountering.
posted by owls at 2:27 PM on October 28, 2011

It's running terribly for me as well. It's disappointing to hear I'm SOL.
posted by brundlefly at 3:50 PM on October 28, 2011

I am curious--has anyone walked into an Apple store with their 3GS and said "Your update broke my phone--please fix it."
posted by LarryC at 10:25 PM on October 28, 2011

If it helps anyone, I had the same problem after updating to iOS 5 and the following worked for me:

1 :: Backup, just in case. (Control-click on the device name in iTunes, choose Back Up.)

2 :: Tell iTunes not to sync Apps, Music, Books etc by going to each tab and unticking it. Press Apply. When iTunes asks you if you want to delete your items, say yes.

3 :: Restore. (Not Restore from Backup, but the big Restore button under Version.)

4 :: Tell iTunes to sync Apps, Music, Books, etc by going to each tab and ticking it. Press Apply. Wait for everything to copy over again.

5 :: Rejoice! (Hopefully.)

I'm not sure why that worked, but my theory is that there was a lot of cruft in the backups, and by deleting and manually copying everything over again, it's like a fresh slate. Whatever the case, my 3GS is pretty much back to normal now.
posted by Georgina at 3:00 AM on October 29, 2011

Something I noticed about the 3GS: Under iOS 4, it ran like crap if you had less than a gig or so free on the device. Under iOS5, that amount seems to have increased, so keep at least 1.5 gb free.
posted by Oktober at 12:31 PM on October 29, 2011

Thanks everyone for the answers - although the news is bad I still appreciate the education.

I'm going to try Georgina's suggestions and if anything substantial happens I'll be sure to come back and let you all know.

If yours is failing as often as that, you should be taking the phone to the Apple Store to get it serviced.

Unfortunately for me I'm separated from the nearest Apple store by 1100 miles of ocean. Either I fix it or I live with it.
posted by Bango Skank at 12:24 PM on November 1, 2011

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