Fix iOS 9.3 Activation Errors with New 13E237 Build for Older iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Apple has released a new patched build of iOS 9.3 for users impacted by the Activation Error bug and presumably some of the other problems impacting some iOS 9.3 devices. The version remains as iOS 9.3 but includes a new build number, arriving as 13E237, and is available for older devices, including iPad 2, iPad mini, iPad mini, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Air, iPad mini 2, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPod touch 5,1. The build is not available for iPhone 6s or iPhone 6 models, or new iPad Air 2 or iPad Pro models because they were not impacted by the activation issue.
Update: iOS 9.3.1 is available which fixes the link crash bug and other issues.
If your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is currently rendered useless due to an activation error, or you have been unable to update to iOS 9.3 due to verification errors, you get the new updated build by doing one of the following update methods:
Updating to iOS 9.3 13E237
If you’re currently on a lower version of iOS you can update to the new version of iOS 9.3 with the OTA mechanism as so:
- Open the Settings app in iOS and go to “General” followed by “Software Update”
It’s possible that the older nonfunctional build of iOS 9.3 has already been downloaded to the device, in which case it would need to be deleted first from the Settings app > General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Manage Storage > then locating the “iOS 9.3” entry and deleting it, to which returning back to General > Software Update would show the new working version.
Alternatively, users can connect their device to iTunes with a USB cable and choose to Update from there. The iTunes approach is necessary if the iOS device is currently bricked or the Settings app can not be accessed.
Fixing iOS 9.3 Activation Errors with iTunes
If the device is currently stuck on an activation screen and unable to proceed further, you’ll need to place it into recovery mode to update with iTunes. Be sure to have the newest version of iTunes installed before attempting this procedure, it’s otherwise the same on a Mac or Windows PC:
- Connect the impacted iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to a computer with a USB cable and launch iTunes
- Force reboot the device by holding down the Power and Home buttons at the same time, continue to hold down both buttons until a “Device in recovery mode has been detected” window pops up in iTunes
- Choose “Update” when you see this screen
It is unclear whether this updated version of iOS 9.3 addresses the prominent Safari link crashing issue that we pointed out last week, but it seems to primarily focus on the activation errors that were causing some devices to brick.
iOS 9.3 13E237 IPSW Firmware Download Links
Advanced users can choose to download IPSW firmware files for their devices and update the firmware directly with IPSW in iTunes this way. This is a bit more advanced and not necessary for most users. Do keep in mind the links below are showing the model number and version of a device in (#,#) format, it is not the device product number (for example, iPhone 6,1 is not the iPhone 6, it’s the iPhone 5s). You can get the model number of your device from iTunes.
- iPhone 5,1 Restore IPSW
- iPhone 5,2 Restore IPSW
- iPhone 6,1 Restore IPSW
- iPhone 5,4 Restore IPSW
- iPhone 6,2 Restore IPSW
- iPhone 4,1 Restore IPSW
- iPhone 5,3 Restore IPSW
- iPad 2,2 Restore IPSW
- iPad 3,1 Restore IPSW
- iPad 2,1 Restore IPSW
- iPad 4,2 Restore IPSW
- iPad 2,7 Restore IPSW
- iPad 3,5 Restore IPSW
- iPad 3,4 Restore IPSW
- iPad 2,3 Restore IPSW
- iPad 4,4 Restore IPSW
- iPad 4,6 Restore IPSW
- iPad 2,4 Restore IPSW
- iPad 4,3 Restore IPSW
- iPad 3,2 Restore IPSW
- iPad 3,6 Restore IPSW
- iPad 4,5 Restore IPSW
- iPad 2,5 Restore IPSW
- iPad 4,1 Restore IPSW
- iPad 3,3 Restore IPSW
- iPad 2,6 Restore IPSW
- iPod Touch 5,1 Restore IPSW
Note the new build of 12E237 replaces the older iOS 9.3 build of 12E233 for the impacted devices only.
It remains to be seen if any of the other issues affecting iOS 9.3 are resolved in this updated build.