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

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:

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

Related phones

iPad Air
  • Display 9.7" 2048 x 1536 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A7, Dual-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 8820 mAh
iPhone 5s
  • Display 4.0" 640 x 1136 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A7, Dual-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 1570 mAh(10h 3G talk time)



1. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 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.

2. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 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.

7. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

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

33. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 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.

4. nithyakr

Posts: 161; Member since: Jun 20, 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.

5. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 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.

26. yann

Posts: 614; Member since: Jul 15, 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!

6. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

My first post double posted smh.

11. Unordinary unregistered

My exact questions with Samsungs horrendous RAM management lmfao.

13. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

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

15. Unordinary unregistered

Bash him

16. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 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?

32. Unordinary unregistered

Think about it.

39. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

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

19. nithyakr

Posts: 161; Member since: Jun 20, 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!

21. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 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.

31. Unordinary unregistered

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.

40. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

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

28. matistight

Posts: 997; Member since: May 13, 2009

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

35. k4ever

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 08, 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.

18. vincelongman

Posts: 5724; Member since: Feb 10, 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

38. k4ever

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 08, 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!

24. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 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.

27. k4ever

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 08, 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?

29. matistight

Posts: 997; Member since: May 13, 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.

36. k4ever

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 08, 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.

3. EcoCare

Posts: 444; Member since: Jul 30, 2014

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

8. nodes

Posts: 1160; Member since: Mar 06, 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?

12. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

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

17. DonShock

Posts: 19; Member since: Jan 06, 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.

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