Declined to authorize this image on this device for this user – What is it?

With Apple releasing new phones each and every year, the operating systems behind all iOS devices also get an update in order to keep up with the demands of these new phones.

These updates are then offered to all other iOS users meaning that you have phone’s with less capabilities trying to keep up with the demands placed on it by the latest system updates.

However, what happens if, after trying the new operating system, you decide that you preferred the previous version and want to revert back?

Well, you will likely receive an error message that reads ‘declined to authorize this image on this device for this user’.

So, what does this message mean and is it even possible to go back to old operating systems on an iOS device? Let’s find out.

Declined to authorize this image on this device for this user – is there a way around it?

Most users experience this issue when trying to install an older iOS version on their device. Restoring an older update onto your device can make sense if you’re looking to use an earlier version of the operating system.

Unfortunately, if you are receiving this message then it’s because iOS’ signing server, TATSU, is failing.

In layman’s terms, you aren’t allowed to downgrade your iOS operating system to iOS 13 or lower. This is for a number of reasons including phone potential and Apple wanting customers to buy their latest models.

So, in short there isn’t, or shouldn’t at least, be a way around this problem, and if you get in touch with Apple support, they’ll tell you the same.

However, there is one thing worth trying but you are going to need a Mac to do it. Unfortunately, the issue at hand is far too technical to be dealt with on a mobile or tablet.

On a Mac please follow these steps:

  1. In the Finder, choose Applications and then Utilities.
  2. Open Terminal.
  3. Type in the following command and hit return – “sudo nano /private/etc/hosts”
  4. Enter in your password and select return again.
  5. Terminal displays the hosts file – if you don’t see a window that replicates this then make sure you’re using a nonblank administrator password.
  6. Use the arrow keys to navigate the system and look for an entry containing “”.
  7. Add the # symbol and a space (“# “) to the beginning of the entry.
  8. Press Control-O to save the file and then press return when prompted to add a filename.
  9. Press Control-X to exit the editor and then restart your mac.

This may or may not work, it isn’t a sure fire way of overriding the problem but it’s worth shot. Wait for the Apple logo boot screen to show up and then if it’s worked, your device will run as normal.

However, this doesn’t always work. If you really don’t like the current iOS operating system then we do have a couple of suggestions for you.

Move away from iOS

Although it seems like iPhones and iPads are the only mobile phones/tablets on the planet, there are actually are plethora of options available to you; some of which are arguably better than Apple.

The most obvious move would be to purchase a device which is operated by Android – an operating system that many experts actually recommend over iOS.

Some of the latest models on the market include:

  • Google Pixel 6: The best thing about this android phone is it’s phenomenal 50mp camera. In addition to this, it boasts a best in class hardware system and comes at a reasonable price.
  • Samsung Galaxy S21: The latest Samsung model offers everything that you’d want from a phone in 2021, including 5G, the latest hardware and a large amount of storage space.
  • OnePlus 9 Pro: OnePlus is on a mission to become the top mobile phone provider on the market and goes one step closer to achieving that accolade with the 9 Pro. It’s basically the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra but at a more affordable price.

As you can see by the examples above, Android works with a range of different models meaning that the choices are much wider if you elect to move away from the Apple monopolised iOS operating system.

Watch a walkthrough to get to grips with the latest iOS operating system

While not many people like change at first, it is likely that given some time you will get used to the new iOS operating system and navigating it will become like second nature.

If you want further guidance in order get to grips with it as quickly as possible then there are always YouTube tutorials from tech experts on each and every update.

They will walk you through each new feature to make you feel more at home at what can feel like a brand new phone.

The truth is that this is a pretty frustrating situation to deal with, no matter which iPhone model you have and which iOS version you have installed on your phone.


All in all this is a really tricky error message to evaluate because as of yet there are no quick fixes for it, though it’s not as worrying as when your Apple ID is compromised – there’s usually nothing to worry about in terms of others accessing your data.

If you have a Mac then you have half a chance but if not, then forget about it and do something else about it – get used to the new iOS operating system or try out a whole new model of phone.

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Andy is a Professional Content Editor with expertise in a whole host of areas (or so he tells us anyway). His main interests are sports, tv/film and social media. He has reviewed over 100 apps so far for Apps UK.

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