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Apple stops signing iOS 16.2 after iOS 16.3 rollout

Updated Feb 2nd, 2023 4:25PM EST
iOS 16.3
Image: Apple Inc.

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With iOS 16.3 now available, Apple stopped signing iOS 16.2. With that, you can no longer downgrade to older iOS 16 build versions – but if you are experiencing any bug or unreliability, an iOS 15 version is still available.

If you don’t recall, with iOS 16.2, Apple made available several new features that improved iPhone users’ experience with the Freeform app, which Apple calls “a powerful new collaboration application with a flexible canvas that allows users to see, share, and collaborate all in one place without worrying about layouts and page sizes.”

iOS 16.2 also brought Apple Music Sing, which is a new way to sing along with millions of songs using Apple Music with fully adjustable vocals and new enhanced beat-by-beat lyrics, and Advanced Data Protection that expands the total number of iCloud data categories protected using end-to-end encryption to 23 — including iCloud Backup, Notes, and Photos.

iOS 16.3, for example, expands Advanced Data Protection, brings physical Security Keys for Apple ID, and addresses several bugs iPhone users were experiencing.

One of the reasons why Apple stops signing older versions of iOS, such as iOS 16.2, is to prevent people from jailbreaking their iPhones and iPads. Although there’s no sign of any jailbreak tools for iOS 16 being developed for the new iPhones, it’s also a way to push users to stay up-to-date with Apple’s operating systems. That said, you can still downgrade to iOS 15 if you want.

Here’s how to downgrade from iOS 16.3 to iOS 15

Since Apple is not offering iOS 16 – nor iOS 16.3 – to several iPhone models, such as the iPhone 7, Apple is still releasing minor software updates to these older smartphones. Currently, iPhones that can run iOS 15 can support up to version 15.7.3, which you can use to downgrade from a device running iOS 16.

To do that, you must use a Mac or PC. It’s important to note that this isn’t the first time Apple has offered an older version for users to downgrade. Last year when the company released iOS 15, users could stay for a little longer in iOS 14 by getting bug fixes and security patches.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.