by Adam Blair
June 7, 2009
Updates to applications are great. They can fix bugs, add new features, or even improve a previously unusable utility. But, updates aren't always so wonderful. Some updates are made in haste to fix a problem, or try to update more than they can manage. These types of updates can ruin an application; they are uncommon, but terrible if they occur. But, lucky for you, I will let you in on a little secret of mine: how to downgrade an application. I love to play Tic-Tac-Toe. I always have. There is just something about it that makes it so simple yet exciting. And there isn't any app that does Tic-Tac-Toe better than FS5's Tic-Tac-Touch. Although, their most recent update to v2.5.2 has been a tad bit sluggish and glitchy and, even though it might be my phone's fault, I wanna downgrade to good ol' v2.2.1. Before downgrading, there are several things that you should know. First, it is really easy; you don't need to be a programming whiz or even have a jailbroken phone to downgrade. All you need is a previous versions of the application, iTunes, and a computer (oh, and an iPhone). Another thing I should mention is that downgrading an app erases all saved data for that app. So, if you want to downgrade Crayon Physics which you have beat in full because it is a tiny bit slower, you might wanna think about whether or not downgrading is worth the sacrifice. Also, after downgrading an application, you won't want to hit the “Download All Free Updates” button anymore. It won't make your phone explode or anything, it will simply undo everything you are accomplishing here by re-updating your application; the way to get around this is to individually update all of your other apps, which only a little bit inconvenient. (Also note that I am working on a PC, but the steps are identical on a Mac).
Step 1Navigate to your Music folder, then to your iTunes folder, and finally to the Mobile Applications folder: Music>iTunes>Mobile Applications. Once you reach the Mobile Applications (MA) folder, find the app you wish to downgrade. You will need to have previous versions of the application; if you have just purchased the app, you won't have a copy of previous versions and won't be able to downgrade. Anyways, find the desired application, and locate the most recent version of it. Some are labeled with their version numbers, while some you will have to look at the “Date Modified” on both apps to determine which is the updated version.
Once locating the updated version, move it to anywhere but the MA folder, but leave the desired version within the MA folder.
Step 2Delete the application from your iPhone. This is the step which will irreversibly erase all saved data from the specific application. Do you really need to downgrade it? Think about it.
Open iTunes, and drag the version of the application you want from the MA folder into your Library, and restart iTunes. Hook up your iPhone and go to the Applications folder within the iPhone in iTunes. Make sure the app is checked, and sync your phone. You now have a downgraded application. That was easy, wasn't it? No more sluggishness or tacky new features for you! Just good old-fashioned whatever-version-you-downgraded-to.