How to Extract IPSW From iTunes (5 Steps)

By Spanner Spencer

Apple applies firmware updates for iOS devices -- such as the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad -- over-the-air and through the iTunes multimedia management software. Before an update takes place, iTunes downloads the firmware in the form of an IPSW file and saves it to your computer. You can then extract the file by opening the correct folder and copying the file.

Step 1

Launch iTunes on your computer. Connect your iPhone, iPod or other iOS-powered device to the computer using its USB cable. ITunes automatically adds it to the Devices list in the left-hand pane.

Step 2

Select your iOS device from the Devices list and open the Summary tab. Click the Update button followed by the Download Only button in the dialog box that pops up. This downloads the latest IPSW file from Apple to your computer, but won't install it on the iOS device.

Step 3

Open the Home Folder on your Mac and go to the Library | Application Support | iTunes folder. On a Windows PC, open the Documents library folder and go to the AppData | Roaming | Apple Computer | iTunes folder.

Step 4

Click the folder that corresponds to your iOS device to open it. For example, if you downloaded the IPSW file for an iPhone, open the iPhone Software Update folder.

Step 5

Right-click the file with the IPSW file extension and select Copy. Open the folder on your computer that you want to extract the IPSW file to, right-click anywhere inside the window and select Paste.