How to Bring Back the Old Photos App UI on iOS 18

The Photos app on iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 has been completely redesigned. While Apple claims this new design aims to help you find special photos and moments more easily, some users feel that the new Photos UI is quite bad and the layout is unreasonable.

What’s New in iOS 18 Beta 2? iPhone Mirroring Added, But Not in EU →

Fortunately, developer @LeminLimez has found a way to bring back the old Photos app UI on iOS 18. This method is similar to enabling the new Siri UI that we did in iOS 18 Beta 1.

Before You Begin

  • Don’t forget to back up your iPhone or iPad with iTunes/Finder before proceeding with any of the steps below. Your data is invaluable, and I won’t be responsible if you don’t back up your device.
  • Temporarily turn off Find My iPhone/iPad in Settings [your Apple ID] - Find My - Find My iPhone or iPad. You can turn it back on once you have the old Photos UI.
  • You will need a Mac or Windows PC.

Bring Back the Old Photos App UI

For Mac

  1. Download and install Cowabunga Lite for Mac (you can easily find it on Google).

  2. Connect your device via USB cable.

  3. Open Cowabunga Lite and click on the Custom Operation tab in the left column.

  4. Click the Import .cowperation button, select the Old-Photos-UI.cowperation file (download here).


  5. Click on the Edit button, make sure that the Enable option is checked .

  6. Back to Cowabunga Lite, click on the Apply tab in the left column, then click the Apply Tweaks button.

Your device will restart, and you will see the Setup screen.

:warning: If you see a screen that says “iPhone Partially Set Up”, DO NOT tap the big blue button. You must tap on “Continue with Partial Setup” and your data will be fine.

For Windows

  1. Download and install Cowabunga Lite for Windows (you can easily find it on Google).
  2. Connect your device via USB cable.
  3. Open Cowabunga Lite and make sure the SkipSetup option is selected in the Setup Options tab.
  4. Hold down ‘Windows Key’ + ‘R’ (or open File Explorer).
  5. Type (or go to) %APPDATA%/CowabungaLite/Workspace
  6. Find and click on your device’s UDID (e.g., 00008020-008D4548007B4F26).
  7. Inside that folder, go to SkipSetup/ManagedPreferencesDomain/mobile
  8. Add the plist file to that folder (download here).
  9. Back to Cowabunga Lite, click on the Apply tab in the left column, then click the Apply Tweaks button.

Note: If you don’t see your device in Cowabunga Lite, download the Apple Devices app from the Microsoft Store then reboot your PC.

Your device will restart, and you will see the Setup screen.

:warning: If you see a screen that says “iPhone Partially Set Up”, DO NOT tap the big blue button. You must tap on “Continue with Partial Setup” and your data will be fine.

Bring Back the iOS 18 Photos App UI

To bring back the iOS 18 Photos app UI, simply follow the same steps as above but use the files below instead.


If you want to thank @LeminLimez (he is also the developer of Cowabunga Lite and these great tips), feel free to donate to his Ko-fi :point_right: ko-fi.com/leminlimez