Apple reposts iOS 9.3 for older devices bricked by Activation Lock

iOS 9.3 logo full size

Shortly after releasing the new iOS 9.3 firmware, Apple was forced to stop signing the update following numerous complaints from owners of older iPhones and iPads, such as the original iPad Air and the iPhone 5s and older, that it was bricking their devices.

Monday, Apple re-released iOS 9.3 to fix an issue that prevented users from activating their device via Activation Lock if they couldn’t recall their Apple ID password used to originally set up their device with.

The re-released versions of iOS 9.2 carries a build number of 13E237 and is now available as an over-the-air download although those with a bricked device might want to apply the update through iTunes in DFU mode.

For those wondering, iTunes will reinstall iOS 9.3 on affected devices without erasing any user data.

If your device is unaffected by the Activation Lock bug, the update won’t show in Settings. Apple has also detailed the problem in a support document on its website.

Those who were affected were greeted with a message saying the device couldn’t be activated “because the activation service is temporarily unavailable.” Applying an over-the-air update to an iOS device requires users to optionally confirm their Apple ID password as part of the iOS setup process.

Due to a bug in iOS 9.3’s Activation Lock, users were required to provide credentials for an Apple ID they had used to originally set up their device with. As a result, those who couldn’t recall that information were left with a bricked device.

Just a few days ago, Apple re-released a version of iOS 9.3 for GSM iPad 2 models (build 13E236) to address an issue which prevented the device from communicating with iTunes activation servers.

Apple has now resumed signing iOS 9.3.