Downgrading the iPod touch

You’ve pungled up the 10 bucks necessary to install the 2.0 Software Update on your iPod touch. Yet after playing with the upgrade you suddenly become nostalgic for the old days. Is there a way to revert your iPod back to an earlier version?

There is. And you do it this way:

1. Locate a copy of iTunes 7.5 (Google is your friend, in this regard).

2. Before installing iTunes 7.5, move your current copy of iTunes out of the Applications folder to a safe place. Likewise, move the iTunes Library and iTunes Music Library.xml files out of the iTunes folder within your Music folder to a similarly safe place.

3. Install iTunes 7.5 and launch it. All the contents of your iTunes library will be gone because you’ve moved those iTunes Library and iTunes Music Library.xml files. Don’t worry, we’ll restore those entries by the time we finish.

4. Plug your iPod touch into your Mac. iTunes will throw up a message that says the iPod is not compatible with this version of iTunes. Don’t fret about it.

5. Hold down the iPod’s Home and Sleep/Wake buttons for a slow count of 10. Let go of the Sleep/Wake button while continuing to hold the Home button. Eventually iTunes will throw up an alert that an iPod has been found in recovery mode. Click OK to dismiss the dialog box.

6. Hold down the Option key and click Restore in the iPod Summary tab. In the dialog box that appears, navigate to youruserfolder/Library/iTunes/iPod Software Updates and select the version of the iPod touch software that you want to downgrade to. (If your iPod was up-to-date prior to the 2.0 upgrade, it’s likely the iPod1,1_1.1.5_4B1_Restore.ipsw file).

iTunes will restore your iPod to this version. (Note that when you’re asked to restore files from a previous backup of your data, you must choose a backup that you performed prior to the 2.0 upgrade installation. iTunes won’t understand what a current backup is all about because it was performed under 2.0.)

7. Quit iTunes 7.5 and move it out of the Applications folder. Replace it with the current version 7.7. Return to the iTunes folder inside your Music folder and remove the iTunes Library and iTunes Music Library.xml and replace them with the versions of these files that you moved in Step 2.

8. Fire up iTunes 7.7 and your music library should return to its previously present state. iTunes will recognize your iPod touch as whatever version you downgraded it to.

9. If you later want to move back to 2.0, it’s as easy to do as clicking the Update button in the iPod preference’s Summary tab.

Yet another note: This technique DOES NOT WORK with the iPhone.

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