My iOS7 Beta Deactivation Journey

I have been enjoying iOS7 beta since the WWDC back in June. While I planned to update to the official version, the last beta release was pretty stable so I didn’t feel any particular urgency.

I figured I would do it soon and if I didn’t, apple would prompt (or even force) me to update over-the-air.  What I did not expect was to find my device deactivated. Thanks Apple.

This post outlines the steps I took to get my phone working again.

Attempt 1 : Follow the device prompts

As you can see from the images this didn’t work…

ios7beta_1_activation_required ios7beta_2_activation_failed

Attempt 2 : Update via iTunes

I updated iTunes to make sure I had the latest version and then fired it up, received a few prompts about my phone and tried to update it.

ios7beta_3_itunesrecognisesexpiry ios7beta_4_itunessyncfails

Unfortunately, iTunes thought I was already on the latest version.


Attempt 3 : Restore backup via iTunes

iTunes didn’t allow this as I have Find my iPhone enabled. Turning it off via iCloud and restarting the phone and iTunes made no difference.


Attempt 4 : Restore Device via iTunes

In this attempt, I downloaded the latest firmware from Apple. In my case, I needed Firmware 7.0.2 (11A501) for iPhone 5 (Global). IPSWDownloader is a great website if you’re not sure which firmware bundle you need for your device.

I then attempted to perform a restore via iTunes but experienced the same problem as the last step.

Attempt 5: Install new firmware via XCode

Finally, Success!

I opened XCode which alerted me to the expiry.


I then installed the firmware I had downloaded in the previous step.




After this, I opened iTunes and followed the prompts to restore from my last backup.


ios7beta_12_itunescarrier ios7beta_13_itunesbackup

Alternative to XCode

If you’re not a developer it may be possible to restore via iTunes by putting your phone into DFU mode first. I didn’t try this but I’m interested to know if it works for devices with Find my iPhone enabled.

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