Article Lead Image

Photo via Kārlis Dambrāns/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Apple fixes Error 53 with iOS update, brings iPhones back from the dead

Zombie iPhones.


AJ Dellinger


Error 53, the mysterious bug that had been killing iPhones without a clear indication as to why, finally has a fix. Apple pushed out an updated version of iOS that makes it possible to restore effected devices.

Linked to third-party attempts to fix hardware on iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets, the error would appear when the device attempted to perform security checks to validate the hardware in the machine. Apple notes in a support document, which it directed the Daily Dot to when approached for comment, “an unauthorized or faulty screen replacement could cause the check to fail.”

Failing the check would disable the Touch ID feature, and attempting to update or restore the operating system would trap the phone in an unrecoverable loop that renders the phones essentially useless.

The update, made available on Thursday, offers respite for the people stuck with bricked devices. The new, patched version of iOS 9.2.1—rather than a new version of the operating system—can be downloaded through iTunes.

Apple explains that users will need the latest version of iTunes installed, and will have to force restart their device before trying to restore the device again. If the issue persists or produces a different error code, Apple suggests contacting Apple Support for help. 

The fix will bring the previously unusable devices back to life, for the most part. Even with the update, the Touch ID feature won’t be restored. Inconvenient as it may be, allowing the third-party hardware to work despite failing the security check would create a security risk. 

While the update from Apple is a welcome fix for those who have had their phone bricked by Error 53, it’s too little, too late for many consumers. Apple is now facing a class-action lawsuit over the issue. 

H/T TechCrunch | Photo via K?rlis Dambr?ns/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Share this article

*First Published:

The Daily Dot