A couple of weeks back Apple finally released iOS 6 to the public. The response was much more than enthusiastic but unfortunately iOS 6 comes with a number of issues which are compelling users to want to downgrade iOS 6 to 5.1.1. By default, Apple does not allow downgrading of iOS firmware once a user has upgraded their device.

However there is a tool called redsn0w, mainly used for jailbreaking iOS devices, that can also be used to downgrade iOS 6 to 5.1.1 iOS on older A4 based devices. This tutorial will show you how to do just that by following some very easy steps, to the letter.

iOS 6, while being an important and amazing iOS platform update, comes with its fair share of problems. Users have been complaining about battery drainage issues on various iOS 6 compatible devices. Moreover the horrendous Apple Maps application has done nothing to keep iOS 6 in its users’ good books. It should also be noted that iOS 5.1.1 can be jailbroken untethered on A4 based devices, iOS 6 can only be jailbroken tethered.

Redsn0w can currently only be used to downgrade iOS 6 to 5.1.1 on A4 based devices, which include iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4G. All of these devices are susceptible to the Limera1n bootrom exploit, whereas devices released after it such as iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and New iPad are not and therefore their firmware can not be downgraded using this method.

Since a new iOS firmware update upgrades the baseband, if you rely on a software unlock for your iPhone it is imperative that you first create a custom iOS firmware for your iPhone that will not upgrade the baseband once it is loaded on the iPhone.

This whole method relies on saved SHSH blobs and APTickets. Both of them are important pre-requisites and if you don’t have them saved for iOS 5.1.1, this method will not work for your A4 based iOS device. Before you begin this method of downgrade, it is advised that you create a backup of your iOS device using iTunes.

Downgrade iOS 6 To 5.1.1 On A4 Based iOS Devices:

Step 1: Download iOS 5.1.1 firmware IPSW for your A4 iOS device

Step 2: Download Redsn0w 0.9.14b2 for Windows or Mac. Extract the downloaded package.

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Step 3: Hook up your device to the computer via USB. Launch redsn0w and enter the device in DFU mode.

Step 4: Click on Extras in redsn0w followed by Stitch. Click on IPSW and select the 5.1.1 IPSW that you previously downloaded. In the case of an iPhone which needs to retain baseband, the IPSW file to be selected here will have to be the custom one, as has been pointed out in the prelude to this guide. If iOS 5.1.1 SHSH blobs for your device are saved locally on your computer then click on Local and navigate to the path they’re saved, if the blobs are to be fetched from Cydia, put device in DFU mode and click on Cydia.

Step 5: Redsn0w will automatically create a new iOS 5.1.1 IPSW that will be stitched to the relevant blob. The device must now be placed in Pwned DFU mode, which can be done by clicking on Extras in redsn0w, followed by Pwned DFU.

Step 6: Changes to the Hosts file of your computer have to be made in order for this method to work correctly. Mac users open the etc folder, whereas Windows folder navigate to this path: Windows – System 32 – drivers – etc

Step 7: Open Hosts file in either TextEditor on Mac or Notepad on Windows. Paste in this line: 74.208.105.171 gs.apple.com, at the very end and save the file back to its original destination.

Step 8: Now its time to load up the stitched iOS 5.1.1 firmware on your device. Launch iTunes on your Windows or Mac. Press and hold Shift key on Windows or alt key on Mac and click on Restore. Select the stitched firmware from where redsn0w has saved it. iTunes will now begin the downgrade iOS 6 to 5.1.1 firmware on your A4 based device.

Remember, if you encounter an error during the firmware restore process, don’t freak out as it is perfectly normal. The firmware will be restored on your device. You’ll just have to kick it out of recovery mode, which is easy. Launch redsn0w, go to Extras and click on Recovery Fix to take care of this problem.

That’s just about it. The downgrade process will work without any hiccups if you follow these instructions to the letter. However if you have any further questions on how to downgrade iOS 6 to 5.1.1, feel free to leave a comment down below.