What is an IPSW file and how do I open it on my Windows PC?

Did your computer fail to open an IPSW file? We explain what is used for them and we recommend software that knows how to open or manage your .IPSW files. IPSW Files is a raw version of the software firmware for iOS. These files are used on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and even Apple TV. However, even if not for the size of the file, you probably won’t notice them. A single IPSW file typically falls to the north of five gigabytes and can significantly affect internal HDDs or SSDs with low storage capacity. But what is an IPSW files? Is it safe to remove them from your computer? Below you will find all the answers to what you want to know.

What Is an IPSW File?

The files you see on your PC with the IPSW file extension are the Apple Device software update files that are used with the iPad, iPod, iPhone or Apple TV. .ipsw is the correct file format that is widely used in Apple’s ecosystem of devices. Apple has released these file formats, the main purpose of which is to add some new features and help solve security issues on the device.

Data from the IPSW files is used by iTunes for iPhone and iPod updates and software recovery. If you ever update or restore an Apple device on your Mac or PC, it provides the iTunes or Finder app with the data needed for the procedure. Data on IPSW files is encrypted and can be installed using Apple iTunes software. The IPSW files is an archive format used in various DMG files, Plast, BBFW and IM4P Apple devices.

IPSW files can be deleted if corrupted, which will allow iTunes to download a new copy of the software update. You can check Mac’s archive utility or third-party tools like WinRAR or 7-Zip PC. You’ll see several DMG (Apple Disk Image) and PLIST (Property List) files, including a folder holding the iPhone, iPad, or iPod firmware, if you ever choose to extract one. IPSW files are usually very large which can go up to many gigabytes.

IPSW File Locations in Windows and Mac

You can find the downloaded IPSW files in Windows and macOS in the following locations.

Windows 10/8/7:

iPhone: C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPhone Software Updates
iPad: C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPad Software Updates
iPod: C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPod Software Updates

Windows XP:

iPhone: C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPhone Software Updates
iPad: C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPad Software Updates
iPod: C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPod Software Updates

macOS:

iPhone: ~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates
iPad: ~/Library/iTunes/iPad Software Updates
iPod: ~/Library/iTunes/iPod Software Updates

How do I open an IPSW file?

The official way to open the IPSW file is through iTunes, but you can also use professional software to open it without this official application. IPSW files installed on compatible Apple devices. To install an IPSW file on your Apple device, connect the device to your computer and double-click the IPSW file. An update is required whenever a compatible device is connected to the PC. The IPSW files can be downloaded using iTunes, which applies the IPSW file to the device. If you have downloaded an IPSW files from iTunes or any website, you need to double click to open it.

Since IPSW files are compressed in .ZIP format, you can unzip them using any zip decompression utility. IPSW archives include encrypted .DMG files, which store the contents of a file system. This file can be decrypted using tools such as VFDecrypt, iDecrypt, and iDecryptIt. If in the past users have downloaded the IPSW extension through iTunes or got it from another source, they can easily open it by double clicking.

Another way to install an IPSW files with iTunes is to force it to use the file of your choice. To do this, hold down Shift (Windows) or Options (Mac) and then press the restore button on iTunes. From there, select the IPSW file you want to install on the device.

You can also install IPSW files without iTunes, but many of the methods are available only through non-free software, such as iMyFone Fixppo, Tenorshare ReiBoot, and iMobie AnyFix.

How do I download an IPSW file on Windows?

If you install the iTunes application on your PC and your Apple devices are connected to it, the IPSW files will be automatically downloaded to your PC. Your Mac or PC will automatically download an IPSW file from the Apple server when you update or restore an Apple mobile device using the iTunes or Finder app. iTunes downloads the latest IPSW files. If you want to download an older version of an IPSW file, you need to download it from Apple.com.

There are some third-party hosts that only save IPSW files downloaded from official sources. If an update doesn’t work properly or iTunes doesn’t recognize the downloaded IPSW file, you can delete or remove the file from the above location. This will force iTunes to download a new IPSW file the next time it tries to update the device.

Both Finder and iTunes do not offer built-in options for changing the download location of IPSW files. However, if you have problems with storage but don’t want to delete something, feel free to copy the content to external storage. You can copy them later if you need them.

The last row

So this was information about the IPSW file extension which is basically for Apple users. This may help to return to the factory default settings.

Anyone can install IPSW files without using iTunes. They can take the help of various third-party software available online.

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