In response to mounting pressure from irate customers and consumer protection agencies, Apple has released a new security patch which fixes the controversial Error 53. Here are the steps you need to take to recover your data and get your phone working again.
Error 53 is a so-called "security feature" that purposely kills any iPhone that undergoes an unauthorised, third-party screen replacement. Affected users can't turn their phone on, update it or even recover their data. Needless to say, this has pissed a lot of people off, and Apple was eventually forced to reimburse users and issue an apology.
Apple is in the process of removing this much-hated feature, but in the meantime it's possible to recover your bricked device with a security update. Here's Apple's step-by-step guide to circumventing Error 53:
- If iTunes is open on your Mac or PC, quit iTunes.
- If your iOS device is plugged into your computer, unplug it.
- Make sure that you have the latest version of iTunes.
- Connect your iOS device to your computer with a USB cable.
- Open iTunes and select your device.
- When you see the option in iTunes to Restore or Update, click Update. iTunes will try to reinstall iOS and restore your device without erasing your data.
- If you can't get past the Apple logo screen, force restart your iOS device. When you see the option to Restore or Update, click Restore.
- When you see your iOS device's Hello screen, follow the onscreen steps to set up your device. (If you previously backed up your device, you can set up from your backup. When you see the screen for Touch ID, tap Set up Touch ID later.)
- If Touch ID on your device didn't work before you saw error 53, the feature still won't work after you update or restore your device. Contact Apple Support to ask about service options for Touch ID.
It's not exactly a fail-safe solution, but certainly beats Apple's previous response to the issue, which was to ignore customers and pretend it didn't exist. If you have an iPhone affected by Error 53, let us know how you go in the comments.