How to uninstall iOS 14 or iPadOS 14 and go back to iOS 13

Tired of dealing with bugs or poor battery life during the beta? You can leave and go back to iOS 13 on your iPhone or iPad. It just takes a bit of work.

Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
3 min read

You'll need to put your iPhone or iPad in recovery mode to get rid of iOS 14. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Anyone can sign up to try out the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 beta, which gives iPhone and iPad owners a preview of the features coming later this fall. But as with any beta program, there are bugs and issues that have the potential to frustrate those who decide to install it. In fact, there are four reasons you shouldn't install it right now

If you want to try it out, here's how to download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 on your iPhone and iPad. But if at any point you have installer's remorse after joining the public beta program, we'll show you how to retreat back to iOS 13 or iPadOS 13

Wiping the beta from your iPhone or iPad takes a little bit of effort and time. It's a process that goes a whole lot smoother if you back up your device before installing the beta. To roll back to iOS 13, you'll need to have access to a computer and a Lightning or USB-C cable to connect your device to your Mac or PC


If you roll back to iOS 13, you'll still want to use iOS 14 once it becomes finalized this fall. 

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

Restore your iPhone or iPad to iOS 13

1. In order to uninstall iOS 14 or iPadOS 14, you'll have to completely wipe and restore your device. If you're using a Windows computer, you need to have iTunes installed and updated to the latest version. If you're on a Mac, make sure your Mac's software is updated by clicking on the Apple logo at the top of your screen then selecting System Preferences > Software Update.

2. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer using a Lightning or USB-C cable. 

Watch this: iOS 14 hands-on preview: Trying out the developers' beta of the new iPhone OS

3. Place your iPhone or iPad into recovery mode by using the steps, which are specific to your device, listed below. You'll know when you're in recovery mode when your device's screen is black, showing a cable pointing toward a MacBook (like the picture at the top of this post). Your iPhone or iPad will likely restart during this process, but don't let go of the button(s) until you see the recovery mode screen. 

  • If you have an iPhone 6S or older, an iPad with a home button or iPod Touch sixth generation or older, hold in the sleep/wake button and the home button at the same time until you see the recovery mode screen.
  • For an iPhone 7, 7 Plus or iPod Touch seventh generation, hold in the sleep/wake button and the volume-up button at the same time until you see the recovery mode screen.
  • For iPhone 8 or later, quickly press the volume-up followed by volume-down buttons, and then hold in the side button until you see the recovery screen.
  • iPad Pro users will quickly press the volume-up, then the volume-down buttons, followed by holding in the top button until you see the recovery screen.

Restoring to iOS 13 is the only way to uninstall iOS 14. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

4. You should see a prompt on your computer, letting you know a device in recovery mode has been detected. It will ask if you want to Restore or Update your device, select Restore. Your computer will download and install the latest official version of iOS 13 on your device. 

If you don't see a prompt, you'll need to open Finder (on a Mac) or iTunes (on a PC), select your device, and then select Restore.

If created a backup of your phone or tablet before joining the beta program, once iOS 13 is installed you'll be asked if you want to use that backup to restore your device. If you didn't back up, you'll have to start from a fresh install. 

There's nothing wrong with going back to iOS 13 -- there are plenty of features worth your attention. There's even a bunch of hidden features we thoroughly enjoy. Of course, if you're tempted by iOS 14, you can always install the beta again, closer to its full launch.