What Is An IPSW File? Where to Download?

PSW files are firmware files used by Apple to update or restore iOS devices via iTunes. These files contain the necessary software for the device to function properly and can be downloaded from Apple's website. Once the update is complete, the IPSW file can be safely deleted to free up storage space.

Myra updated on Apr 20, 2024 | Home > iOS & Mac Topics

What Is An IPSW File?

IPSW stands for iPhone software. An IPSW file is a compressed archive containing the operating system and software applications for Apple devices. Files with the IPSW extension are used to restore or update the software, such as iOS,iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, etc.

ipsw icon

IPSW files are typically released by Apple when a new version of the iOS is available. Users can download these files from Apple's servers and manually install them on their devices using iTunes or Finder, which is useful for those who want to restore their device to a specific version of iOS, bypass software update restrictions, or troubleshoot software issues.

It's important to note that installing an IPSW file on an iOS device will erase all data on the device, so it's recommended to back up your iPhone to a computer before proceeding with the installation. Additionally, using IPSW files to install unofficial or modified versions of iOS can void your device's warranty and may cause stability or security issues.

Where to Download IPSW File?

If you use the Software Update feature or enable automatic updates on your devices, you can update your iPhone to iOS 17 easily without worrying about IPSW files. Moreover, when your iDevice needs an update and is connected to your computer, the IPSW file will be downloaded through iTunes automatically. However, what about downgrading or flashing the operating system? Then, you need to download the appropriate IPSW file manually. There are some trusted websites where you can get IPSW or firmware files:

  • IPSW Downloads: It is the most comprehensive website for IPSW downloads and provides download links for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Vision, Apple TV, HomePod, iPod touch, and Apple Watch.
  • iDownloadBlog: It is a website where you can download iPhone/iPad/iPod/Apple TV firmware and some jailbreaking tools.
  • iClarified: It lists every released IPSW and provides links labeled with the iOS version and iPhone model.

download ipsw

Can I Open An IPSW File?

Yes, you can open the IPSW file on your computer. If the IPSW file has already been downloaded through iTunes or from websites, you can double-click it to open it with iTunes. Alternatively, you can right-click on the file and choose Open with > iTunes.

If you download the IPSW from websites, you can find the file in the Downloads folder; if you get the IPSW file via iTunes, you can follow the path below to locate your IPSW file:

  • On Windows 11/10/8/7: C:\Users\[your name]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPhone Software Updates
  • On Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\[your name]\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPhone Software Updates
  • On Mac Computer: ~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates

You'll find one or more IPSW files in device-specific folders: iPhone Software Updates, iPad Software Updates, or iPod Software Updates.

ipsw file location

Is It Safe to Delete IPSW Files?

Yes, it is safe to delete IPSW files. IPSW files are firmware files used to update or restore iOS devices through iTunes. Once the update is completed, the IPSW file is no longer needed and can be safely deleted to free up storage space on your computer. If you ever need to update or restore your iOS device in the future, you can always download the latest IPSW file from Apple's website.

delete ipsw file


The .ipsw file is a compressed archive (you can also consider it as a renamed Zip archive) containing at least three Apple Disk Image files: one OS's root file system and two RAM disks for the restore and update process. You can download and install IPSW files from the ipsw.me website and click to open it with iTunes. After updating or restoring your iDevices, you can locate the file and delete it to save your space.