Apple stops signing iOS 14.5.1, blocking downgrades from iOS 14.6

Apple today stopped signing iOS 14.5.1, an update that was released in early May with important security fixes. That means users who have updated their devices to iOS 14.6 or iOS 14.7 beta can no longer downgrade to iOS 14.5.1.

iOS 14.5.1 was released on May 3 with a fix for a bug that prevented some users from seeing App Tracking Transparency prompts. In addition, the update patched a security breach in WebKit that allowed attackers to use malicious web content that led to arbitrary code execution. Now iOS 14.5.1 is no longer signed by Apple.

This follows last week’s iOS 14.6 release, which brought Apple Card Family, new features for AirTag users, Shazam’s App Clip, initial support for Apple Music Lossless, and more. Apple is also testing iOS 14.7, which is currently available as a beta for developers and users registered in the Apple Beta Software Program.

Reverting to older iOS builds is often used by those who jailbreak their iPhones. Restoring an iPhone or iPad to a previous version of iOS can also sometimes be helpful for users who experience significant bugs after upgrading to the latest version of iOS. If you have experienced any serious issues with iOS 14.6, unfortunately, you’ll now have to wait until a future update rather than downgrading to iOS 14.5.1.

The only possible downgrade for now is from iOS 14.7 beta to iOS 14.6. Both iOS 14.6 and iOS 14.7 are likely to be the last major updates to iOS 14 before the announcement of iOS 15 at WWDC 2021 next week.