.IPSW File Extension
iPod and iPhone Software Update File
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What is an IPSW file?
An IPSW file contains data used by Apple iTunes for software restores and minor updates to the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Apple TV. IPSW files can be deleted if corrupted, which will allow iTunes to download a new copy of the software update.
iPhone IPSW files are located in the following locations:
macOS: [user]/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates/
Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10: [user]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPhone Software Updates\
Windows XP: \Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPhone Software Updates\
For iPod updates, replace iPhone with iPod in the directory locations above. The same convention applies for iPad and Apple TV updates.
How to open an IPSW file
IPSW files are meant to be 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.
Because IPSW files are compressed in the .ZIP format, you can also unzip them using any Zip decompression utility. IPSW archives include encrypted .DMG files, one of which stores the file system contents. This file can be decrypted using tools such as VFDecrypt, iDecrypt, and iDecryptIt.