How to Fix the iOS Update That Broke Your iPad
If you have an older iOS-based device that was bricked by the iOS 9.3 update, there’s still some hope.
Earlier this week, owners of older-model iPhones and iPads were complaining that when trying to update to iOS 9.3, the operating system version Apple (AAPL) announced at its “Let us loop you in” event on Monday, their devices were rendered useless. Soon after, Apple pulled the update for users of its elderly devices, saying it would offer an update that would address the issue.
“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,” an Apple spokesperson told Fortune in a statement. “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.”
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In essence, as users of older devices tried to update to Apple’s latest software, they were asked to input their passwords. If they couldn’t do so, the update provided no recourse for resetting or recalling the password, and effectively left the iPad or iPhone useless.
Not surprisingly, iOS owners quickly took to Apple’s Support forums, Twitter (TWTR), and other places to seek help (and voice their displeasure). On Thursday, Apple’s Twitter Support account tweeted out a link identifying several ways for affected users to get their devices up and running.
The support page, titled, “If you can’t activate your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch after installing iOS 9.3,” described steps to revive the bricked device. It firstly recommended that users sign in to their iCloud to reset their Apple ID password or remove an activation lock. The page also suggested users connect their device to iTunes.
Late on Thursday, however, Apple did one better: It released the promised iOS 9.3 update to iPad 2 owners that fixes the issue.
Apple subsequently posted another Support article specifically targeting iPad 2 users, saying that in order to get the new software to work, they’d need to connect their tablet to a computer. From there, they need to open iTunes, force the iPad to restart by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons simultaneously, and entering Recovery Mode. According to Apple, iTunes will then install the update and all of the iPad’s data will be restored. It might be a pain, but Apple says it works.
That said, the issue affected more than just iPad 2 owners, so it’s unknown at this point when other affected Apple users will get their patch. For non-iPad 2 owners, following Apple’s first support page may still be the best course of action.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on how it will address the other affected devices.