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Apple pauses iOS 9.3 update for older iPhones and iPads in response to 'Activation Lock' bug

The iOS 9.3 update can render older devices unusable

The iOS 9.3 update can render older devices unusable

Apple has temporarily pulled the iOS 9.3 update for older iOS devices such as the iPhone 5s, the iPad Air, and the iPad Air 2.

A few days ago, Apple started rolling out the iOS 9.3 update for all compatible devices. In the days that followed, however, an alarming number of users reported that installing the update rendered their devices unusable. Essentially validating these reports, Apple has just announced that it will pause the iOS 9.3 update for these older devices.

Aside from pausing the update, Apple has also posted a support page that explains the steps that users need to take if they can‘t activate their iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch after installing the update. 

The suggested solutions are removing the Activation Lock via iCloud or activating the device through iTunes from a computer. For detailed instructions on how to bypass the iOS 9.3 'Activation Lock' glitch, check out the source below.

On affected devices, users are unable to pass through activation stage after updating to iOS 9.3. Talking to Apple-centric blog iMore, an Apple spokesperson said:

Updating some iOS devices (iPhone 5s and earlier and iPad Air and earlier) to iOS 9.3 can require entering the Apple ID and password used to set up the device in order to complete the software update [...] In some cases, if customers do not recall their password, their device will remain in an inactivated state until they can recover or reset their password. For these older devices, we have temporarily pulled back the update and will release an updated version of iOS 9.3 in the next few days that does not require this step.

Note that this isn't the first time that Apple had to pause an iOS update. Back in September 2014, Apple temporarily pulled the iOS 8.0.1 update following reports that the new software caused some people to lose cellular service.

source: Apple

43 Comments
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posted on 24 Mar 2016, 21:27

1. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 1940; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


There are always 1-4 problems with ios and android milestone updates at least this isn't that bad and seems like it would an easy fix.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 21:59 9

2. xondk (Posts: 1138; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


Yup, basically, but only one of those is marketing themselves as practically perfect.
Course this comment will likely upset some people, but it isn't meant to, it is simply me shaking my head at Apple's marketing vs reality.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 23:09 2

7. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 1940; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Apple's marketing revolves around selling devices not reality, it truly is sad.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 11:23 1

33. xondk (Posts: 1138; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


Yup, and I don't think anyone can argue that they are good at that. I most certainly can't. Regardless of how much you can point out about Apple, they keep selling in mass.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 22:14 3

4. nithyakr (Posts: 142; Member since: 20 Jun 2014)


This is bad. Even as an Apple fan I have to say it.
What did they do as Quality Assurance?

Didn't they test it with all the models before sending out the update? All models as in A1586, A1584 etc.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 23:07

5. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 1940; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


That's what I was thinking, I'm sure there are some beta testers who use the Air 2 and 5s i'm prices this is the first Apple has heard of it.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 10:06

26. yann (Posts: 163; Member since: 15 Jul 2010)


It's simple marketing - make flaws in update, get hype over it and after one day or two - they will send fix for it and everyone will say - "How fast they manage the problem, how reliable company, how fast they care about our problems!"
Good job Apple. Again in the news - again free advertisement!

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 23:07

6. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 1940; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


My first post double posted smh.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 01:33 1

11. Unordinary (Posts: 1011; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)


My exact questions with Samsungs horrendous RAM management lmfao.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 01:58 6

13. NoToFanboys (Posts: 1022; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Oh, did you label him as a Samsung fanboy because of his question? Or you just want to bash Samsung?

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 02:54 1

15. Unordinary (Posts: 1011; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)


Bash him

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 03:30 6

16. NoToFanboys (Posts: 1022; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


He said he was an Apple fan, and his question was valid and non-bashing, so what does Samsung have to do with this?

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 10:45

32. Unordinary (Posts: 1011; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)


Think about it.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 13:28

39. marorun (Posts: 2896; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


dont waste your time with this troll you deserve better :)

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 06:53

19. nithyakr (Posts: 142; Member since: 20 Jun 2014)


What's Samsung Gotta do with this?
It's Apple who released the Software. It's their fault!

Again Not trying to bash Apple or Samsung. Just an honest question. Jeez!

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 07:33 1

21. Adreno (banned) (Posts: 755; Member since: 12 Mar 2016)


Unordinary loves ranting and bashing Android OEMs, even in articles unrelated to Samsung and Android.

The RAM management flaw already got fixed with Marshmallow update.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 10:45

31. Unordinary (Posts: 1011; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)


Just like this hasl. Thanks for exactly explaining my point. :)

edit: Sorry, already has*. The update speed Apple has is unparalleled by any other company.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 13:29

40. marorun (Posts: 2896; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


the amount of issue comming from those update are also unparalleled by any other company in any field including computers lol.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 10:31

28. matistight (Posts: 419; Member since: 13 May 2009)


As a user of the s6 edge, I would have to say this is more of a fact than a bash if anything.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 12:13

35. k4ever (Posts: 151; Member since: 08 Oct 2014)


Samsung's RAM management issue didn't cause devices to stop working. As a matter of fact, many of us didn't notice our devices had this issue until it was pointed out to us. The issue only affected the re-opening of an app when about 5 or more apps were still open; hardly a horrendous issue. In fact, I would bet that most iPhone owners would much rather take an extra second for an app to load than to deal with a bricked phone.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 04:54

18. vincelongman (Posts: 3980; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Its pretty sad how buggy software updates are theses days

e.g.
Apple released 7 betas for iOS 9.3, still didn't fix this bug
Apple also took until iOS 9.3 to fix the major performance issues introduced in iOS 9

Google released 2 betas for Android L, still didn't fix the major memory leaks
5.0's major memory leaks were fixed in 5.1, but some new memory leaks were introduced and not fixed until M

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 12:38

38. k4ever (Posts: 151; Member since: 08 Oct 2014)


I think it's because the industry (led by Apple on this) has used OS updates as a selling point for new and existing phones. This has been propelled by uninformed tech "journalists" giving praise to companies for "timely" updates that do more harm than good. Unless an update adds a "must have" function to the device (which iOS or Android haven't had in a while) without causing other issues, QUIT YAPPING ABOUT THEM TECH JOURNALIST! You guys are enabling this mess! Apple and Google (Nexus devices) should not get anymore credit pushing out updates until they do a better job at quality control!

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 08:23

24. natypes (Posts: 1039; Member since: 02 Feb 2015)


It is. Apple seems to break something big with every update. The secretary here at work downloaded 9.3 and all of her apps started force closing so she had to wipe and do a clean install.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 10:30 1

27. k4ever (Posts: 151; Member since: 08 Oct 2014)


Quality Assurance for iOS? Ha ha ha ha! Don't you understand what's going on here? Apple has convinced everyone that Apple is number one when it comes to pushing out updates of iOS for all of their devices. Apple is racing to get iOS updates out to everyone and not taking the time the ensure these updates don't break stuff. This is the third crippling iOS update in less than a year.

BTW, I just received the Android 6.0.1 update for my (Sprint) Samsung Galaxy Note 4 last night. My phone acted a little flaky for about an hour after applying the update (it was hot from all of the activity), but afterwards it worked just fine. Other manufacturers like Samsung, LG, and HTC actually do QA on their updates prior to sending them out. However, irresponsible tech journalist tend to complain when these manufacturers don't release an update for all of their devices immediately after Google announces a new version of Android. These same journalist tend to give Apple a pass (by not being critical of their QA practices) when Apple releases yet another buggy version of iOS that borks a bunch of iPhones. I bet this won't even be mentioned in PA's next iPhone comparison when they are giving Apple credit for "speedy" updates.

Honestly, I am trying to figure out why there is so much fuss about a version number? I received several security updates to my phone (without Android version number changes) prior to receiving the 6.0.1 update. Besides adding Doze, Google Now on Tap, and the new Air Command menu, nothing else has changed on my phone. Is it really worth it to constantly break your (i)phone to get minor improvements?

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 10:34

29. matistight (Posts: 419; Member since: 13 May 2009)


NEVER UPDATE A SAMSUNG WHEN A NEWER VERSION OF THAT PHONE IS OUT!!!!!RULE OF THUMB!!!!! They do the updates to slow down that phone and mess with the battery life to make you think that you need the newer phone.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 12:18

36. k4ever (Posts: 151; Member since: 08 Oct 2014)


Haven't had that issue yet with 4 Galaxy devices (S4, S5, Note 3, Note 4). Either you are making this up to deflect from Apple pushing out yet another update that breaks iPhones or you have had some bad luck.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 22:04 1

3. EcoCare (Posts: 357; Member since: 30 Jul 2014)


That's why I don't want to be the first to update when it's out.

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 23:34

8. nodes (Posts: 681; Member since: 06 Mar 2014)


so what is the bug?
on the article above it's said if user doesn't recall their password they would be locked.
that is a bug?

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 01:51 3

12. ibend (Posts: 3192; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


yes, it work perfectly like it mean to..
It's used to bug their user to upgrade their phone to newer model
/s

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 04:42 1

17. DonShock (Posts: 18; Member since: 06 Jan 2012)


Based on my experience with the upgrade, I think the forgotten password explanation is just an excuse. When Apple can't find the cause, blame the user. My iPad2 bricked on the update and I had the password work everywhere except on the iPad2. I tried all the recommended solutions (activate via iTunes, upgrade via iTunes, restore, and reset) and none worked. I finally put the iPad2 in DFU mode and got it to restart after installing the upgrade that way. Lost a couple downloaded TiVo videos that hadn't been watched yet but nothing critical.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 07:08

20. nodes (Posts: 681; Member since: 06 Mar 2014)


wow i must be lucky then, none of my devices in my home had problem.
OTA updated all my iOS devices the as soon as it's available and all went smooth.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 13:33

41. marorun (Posts: 2896; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


My air 2 had no issue as well.

but if there is news about it then many must have experienced it.
Feel lucky you did not!

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 10:34

30. matistight (Posts: 419; Member since: 13 May 2009)


That would not be a bug, but rather a stupid customer not understanding common sense.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 13:33

42. marorun (Posts: 2896; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


see comment 17...

posted on 24 Mar 2016, 23:45 1

9. AlikMalix (Posts: 4849; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


Just FYI: I updated my 5s and my wife's oldniphone 5 (used as a remote camera when we're away). iPad 3 was also updated - all had no issues.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 07:52 4

22. willard12 (Posts: 1515; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)


What about your neighbor and your cousin? How did it it work for them?

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 11:38

34. AlikMalix (Posts: 4849; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


Don't know... But My friends got the lollipop update last month!!!! They're now now only 1 and and a half year year behind...

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 12:24

37. k4ever (Posts: 151; Member since: 08 Oct 2014)


Does it really matter? What did the Lollipop update do for your friends' devices? What extra features did it give your friends? Android is already light years ahead of iOS in features, so even with Kit Kat, your friends had more features and services than you did.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 13:35

43. marorun (Posts: 2896; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


He has a point.

Also on android you get API update directly from google so you can run all the apps whitout OS update.

Wana bet thats if Apple would do same thing many would never update the OS?

Think about it... ios 7 with all the newer API on an iphone 5S = much better performance than ios 9.3!

So Game over :)

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 17:22

44. AlikMalix (Posts: 4849; Member since: 16 Jul 2014)


How is android light year ahead - they're adding features of iOS in marshmallow... They still don't have countless features that are on iOS. And anything android can do I can do most of which are available in apps. Stop being such a dick. All I was stating that this glitch an ios9.3 does not affect too many devices. And yes I've checked with my other friends - they're all running. Find on older devices.

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 02:31 2

14. Quduz (Posts: 75; Member since: 18 Aug 2015)


telling us ya`ll use icraps in your family.alik the number 1 sheep. LOL

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 08:06

23. darkkjedii (Posts: 19470; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


9.3.1

posted on 25 Mar 2016, 09:33 1

25. BobbyDigital (Posts: 1819; Member since: 29 May 2014)


This is par for the course for Apple though. Nothing new to see here. They break something with every update then release another to fix what they broke and wind up breaking something else.

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