UPDATE 2: September 30th, 2013 – as noted by Sergio Alejandro in the comments this downgrading trick, which used to work, doesn’t seem to work any more as Instagram are actively preventing their users from using older versions of the app, probably for compatibility reasons:

“This no longer works. I logging in after downgrading and it told me that the version I was using was an outdated version of IG, and that I’ve have to upgrade in the app store.”

Personally, I don’t really see the need to downgrade anyway. I originally wrote this way back when Instagram released version 2.0 and completely ruined all the filters. As far as I can tell (I hardly ever use Instagram these days so correct me if I’m wrong!) the iOS 7 update is just a cosmetic change and Instagram still works the same, it just looks different.

If that’s so, my advice is relax! Stop wasting energy hating something that doesn’t really matter – you’ll get over it – and spend that energy making nice photos to share instead!

UPDATE 1: September 27th, 2013 – I’m seeing a lot of visitors to this post now that Instagram has updated for iOS 7 – hello everyone!. The techniques used to roll back Instagram versions described in this post and in the comments below refer to much older versions. The principles should still be the same but I can’t guarantee it’ll work any more – good luck!


ORIGINAL POST: I recently wrote about the Instagram 2.0 update (over here), which added lots of headline features but at the expense of the lifeblood of the app; it’s filters. They seem to have changed the entire processing method and now all the filters seem like subtle variations of one another, with none of the character that made them so distinctive.

I mentioned in passing that I’d removed my copy of Instagram 2.0 as it was so awful and replaced it the earlier version from my iTunes. I’ve noticed a lot of visitors coming to the article via a Google search for that exact process so I thought I’d make it a little easier to find.

How to do it

You need to have the old version of Instagram.ipa on your computer already. This might be a problem if you downloaded the updated app via iTunes on your computer, or you downloaded the update on your phone and have since synced with your computer. Look through your iTunes media folder and if it’s not there, try the trash.

Once you have the old version of Instagram.ipa, place it in the correct folder in your iTunes hierarchy, along with all your other apps. Then delete the current, updated version of the app from your iPhone right now. Don’t worry, you won’t lose anything except your Instagram login settings which you enter when you re-install the app. All your photos are on their server and in your Photos app.

Now connect your iPhone to your computer and sync over that old version of Instagram.

Once complete should have the previous version of Instagram – or at least the version that was on your phone last time you synced with iTunes. Happy old-school Instagramming!

Back up

At this point we want to future-proof ourselves. Head to your iTunes Media folder, find the Apps folder and locate Instagram. It will be called something like ‘Instagram x.x.x.ipa’ (where x.x.x is the version number). Create a folder on your Desktop (or anywhere you like) called App Backups (or anything you like), then hold down the Alt key and drag the Instagram app into that folder. You should see a green + sign to indicate you’re copying the app, not moving it.

The idea is that if you now accidentally overwrite the original app in your iTunes folder you can replace it with your backed-up copy and re-sync.

UPDATE

Melissa posts in the comments that it even if you updated in iTunes or already synced, all may not be lost:

It’s also possible to roll back to version 1 even if you *have* updated the app in your library…

On a Mac at least. iTunes will throw the old version into your Trash folder. Just retrieve it from that folder (I just copied it to my Documents folder), delete the new Instagram from iTunes, and drag and drop the old version into iTunes to add to your library. Then sync! Works a treat :)

That’s going to be very good news for some of you, I reckon!

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28 thoughts on “How to replace new Instagram with an older version

  1. It’s also possible to roll back to version 1 even if you *have* updated the app in your library…

    On a Mac at least. iTunes will throw the old version into your Trash folder. Just retrieve it from that folder (I just copied it to my Documents folder), delete the new Instagram from iTunes, and drag and drop the old version into iTunes to add to your library. Then sync! Works a treat :)

  2. By reverting will we lose all the people we follow on Instagram? Really hate 2.0 but don’t want to have to re-setup all those feeds…any thoughts, info on this? Thanks for the how-to!

  3. You shouldn’t have anything to worry about because all that social stuff is run on their servers and the app just logs in to it when you enter your details. Assuming no features are added to the social side of things that require 2.0 or newer, your older version will work fine and not lose any follows you made using 2.0.

  4. THANK GOD i was able to revert. and i had “sunk” since i updated but it was still there (PC) WOO! i will always google before updating important apps now lol

  5. Yes! That totally worked. I was able to revert back to the previous version which I like MUCH better. I didn’t lose any data or pics either. Thanks for the tips!

  6. can someone post an old version of instagram to download? I the new one feels very *cheap* and generic. please. Thanks!

  7. Thanks for this. I’m back rocking Instagram 1.19. I missed the old filters – the new ones seem less fun. I don’t really care about the other 2.0 headline features. I hope the Instagram team listen – I’m all for change but not if the soul is lost.

  8. Pingback: Some Instagram Users Unhappy Over Changes to Filters

  9. If using the Time Machine, you can restore the Instagram .ipa file to any folder you want.

  10. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! The new instagram is not good and thanks to you I have my old treasure!! Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!
    One thing I also hate about the new one is that it does not automatically save the updated pics into your camera roll… the old version used to do that and it was awesome, because I can easily text, email, etc. once filtered!
    Thanks again!! :)

  11. tried downloading the old version from an external source and didn’t work. only way for me to get the old one at this point is to jailbreak my iphone or if by some miracle it’s on my other hard drive.

  12. this is ridiculous. instagram has grown too big to care.

    thanks for the article, though. I’ll look up an older version of the app somewhere in teh interwebz.

  13. I use Window 7. It keeps the old version in your trash bin as well. Luckily, I haven’t empty my recycle bin yet. :D

    THANK YOU SO MUCH <3

  14. Thanks Hemmetti!
    Great idea I was able to go back several months and find a ver 1 IPA for instagram via TimeMachine and copy it into my current iTune library for all my i05 devices and it worked, yeah ver 1 back on everything. Apollo is one of my favorite apps I was missing this. And the old tilt shift is so much nicer too. Thanks!!

  15. OMG THANK YOUUUUU. I was just wishing today that they would bring the old Instagram back, and I wondered if there was a way to revert it back to the old version. From now on, I’ll be checking comments BEFORE I update any of my apps!! I saved the old version to my harddrive, just in case. MUCH APPRECIATED! THANKS AGAIN!!!!

  16. I hate hate The newest upgrade v3.5.o Is there any way I can go back to the OLD one.

  17. Not as far as I know unless you have a copy of the old one sitting in your iTunes app folder, or in the Trash or Recycle bin. There may be ways to download a copy and install it, but I don’t know how to do that. What do you hate about 3.5 that you didn’t have about 3.4?

  18. If y’all don’t get the old instagram back I’m going to explode!!!!! Because it will not download on my iphone3gs

  19. The old Instagram is gone, Allyah. The tips on this page are of limited use now I’m afraid. Technology moves on – take a leaf out of my book, let the old Instagram go and move on with it :)

  20. This no longer works. I logging in after downgrading and it told me that the version I was using was an outdated version of IG, and that I’ve have to upgrade in the app store.

  21. Hey Sergio – ah well, never mind. Thanks for letting us know, though! Have updated the post accordingly.

    Personally I don’t really understand why people are that bothered they need to downgrade. As far as I can tell it’s just a new look, it’s not like they changed the filters like they did with version 2.

    But then again I don’t really use Instagram any more so I haven’t even tried the new version yet!

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