This post explains what an IPSW file is, the various ways you can use one, and how to set up one to your device.
What Is an IPSW File?
A file with the IPSW file extension is a software application upgrade file used with iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Apple television. It’s an archive file format that shops encrypted DMG files and numerous others like PLISTs, BBFWs, and IM4Ps.
IPSW files are released from Apple and are meant to add brand-new features and repair security vulnerabilities in compatible gadgets. They can likewise be utilized to restore an Apple gadget back to its factory default settings.
Apple constantly launches new IPSW files through iTunes. You can likewise get existing firmware variations of iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS and audioOS through websites like IPSW Downloads. It even has actually dated variations from a number of years ago, consisting of old iTunes editions.
How to Open an IPSW File
When a suitable gadget connected to a computer is in need of an update, an IPSW file can be downloaded automatically through iTunes after accepting a prompt to update the gadget. iTunes will then install the file to the device.
How to Download and Install New iOS Updates
If you’ve gotten an IPSW file through iTunes in the past or have actually downloaded one from a site, you can simply double-click or double-tap it to open it in iTunes.
When it’s downloaded through iTunes, the file is conserved to the following area:
|IPSW File Locations|
|iPhone:||C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPhone Software Updates|
|iPad:||C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPad Software Updates|
|iPod touch:||C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPod Software Updates|
|iPhone:||C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPhone Software Updates|
|iPad:||C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPad Software Updates|
|iPod touch:||C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPod Software Updates|
|iPhone:||~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates|
|iPad:||~/Library/iTunes/iPad Software Updates|
|iPod touch:||~/Library/iTunes/iPod Software Updates|
The “[username]” sections in the Windows paths should be replaced by your own user account name. If you can’t find the AppData folder, you may have to change your hidden files settings in Windows.
Another way to install an IPSW file with iTunes is by forcing it to use the file of your choice. To do that, hold down Shift (Windows) or Option (Mac) and then press the restore button in iTunes. From there, select the IPSW file you want to install to the device.
You can also install IPSW files without iTunes, but many of the methods are available only through non-free software, such as iMyFone Fixppo, Tenorshare ReiBoot, and iMobie AnyFix.
If an update isn’t working properly or iTunes isn’t recognizing the file that it downloaded, you can delete or remove it from the above location. This will force the program to download the file the next time it tries to update the device.
Since these files are stored as ZIP archives, you can also open an IPSW file using a file zip/unzip tool, the free 7-Zip being one example. This lets you see the different DMG files that make up the IPSW file, but you can’t apply the software update to your Apple device this way—iTunes still needs to use it.
How to Convert an IPSW File
There should not be any factor to convert an IPSW file to another format. The method it exists is needed for interacting software updates through iTunes and to Apple gadgets; transforming it would imply losing performance of the file altogether.
If you want to open an Apple software update file as an archive file, you don’t require to fret about transforming the IPSW to ZIP, ISO, etc– like you read above, just utilize a file unzip tool to open the file.
Still Can’t Open It?
Some file formats utilize likewise spelled file extensions that can be confusing when you’re having trouble opening the file. Even though 2 file extensions might look comparable, it does not necessarily indicate they’re of the same or a similar format, which, of course, suggests they may not open with the same software application.
Internal Patching System patch files use the file extension IPS, which looks a lot like IPSW. Even though they share 3 of the very same file extension letters, they’re really entirely various file formats. IPS files open with Internal Patching System software like IPS Peek.
PSW files can also really easily be mistaken for IPSW files, but they’re actually either Windows password reset disk files, Password Depot 3-5 files, or Pocket Word documents. None of those formats have anything to do with Apple devices or the iTunes program, so if you can’t open your IPSW file, double-check that the file extension does not in fact check out “PSW.”.
Another similar one is IPSPOT, which is used by the Photos app for macOS, for iPhoto Spot files.
If your file does not really end with IPSW, research the file extension you see after the file name– either here on Lifewire by means of the search tool at the top of this page or elsewhere like Google– to read more about the format and what program can opening or converting it.