Apple has issued a fix for the strange iPhone Error 53 glitch

Patrick O'Rourke

February 18, 2016 3:40pm

Earlier this month, reports surfaced of a strange “Error 53” glitch that was causing some iPhones to become inoperable.

The issue arose for iPhone users who took their smartphone to an unofficial repair store for repair, and the shop replaced the cable that connects the phone’s Touch ID system to the rest of the device. The operating system would not recognize the new cable, causing it and the device to get stuck in a boot loop.

Apple issued an updated version of OS 9.2.1 today, specifically to resolve this issue. Unfortunately, the update is only available directly through iTunes. Apple says the new software will fix “bricked” iPhones that have been disabled by the Error 53 glitch, as well as prevent future iPhones from running in to the issue.

According to Apple, the update is not available to users who update their iPhones via iCloud because this method of updating can cause Error 53 to appear in the first place.

Apple released the following statement to MobileSyrup regarding Error 53.

“Some customers’ devices are showing ‘Connect to iTunes’ after attempting an iOS update or a restore from iTunes on a Mac or PC. This reports as an Error 53 in iTunes and appears when a device fails a security test. This test was designed to check whether Touch ID works properly before the device leaves the factory. 

Today, Apple released a software update that allows customers who have encountered this error message to successfully restore their device using iTunes on a Mac or PC. 

We apologize for any inconvenience, this was designed to be a factory test and was not intended to affect customers. Customers who paid for an out-of-warranty replacement of their device based on this issue should contact AppleCare about a reimbursement.” 

Here is a link to Apple’s official Error 53 support page.

  • Mo Dabbas

    Knowing that apple can easily afford the best law advisers out there, and knowing there was a class action lawsuit coming towards apple regarding Error 52….. I’ll let you complete the conclusion of this.

    It is good news for those affected no doubt.

    • thereasoner

      Error 52? There’s another one in addition to the “security feature” that is error 53?

    • Mo Dabbas

      oh no, that was a typo. I fixed it. my bad for the confusion.

    • thereasoner

      It’s not just you, it says that at the bottom of the article as well. Probably where you got it from.

    • Mo Dabbas

      lol, you got some good eyes. but the link takes to an error 53 page. So it’s a probably an error as well….. which generated another error. lol

    • Comrade Yeti

      That’s because the article is wrong and uses 52. I swear MobileSyrup editors needs a 30 second pause button on posting and should be forced to proof read… at least once would be nice.

    • Mr Dog

      Man these conspiracy theories are ridiculous.

      You should just start a website that you can update with a conspiracy theory everytime apple does something good to show their true evil intentions.

      It will move all these wack comments to that site atleast.

    • thomas nguyen

      not really, they did release statement to the fact that this was not an error that needs fixing:

      An Apple spokesperson said this security measure is “necessary to protect your device” and to ensure that a fraudulent Touch ID sensor hasn’t been installed in your phone.
      so faced with potential class action, it seems they had reverted their original statement and offered a fix

    • Mr Dog

      They originally stated that error 53 was there as part of added security that is intact necessary to protect the device.

      However, the update allows for continued usage of the phone BUT they do not have access to touch ID until it is fixed by Apple.

      They have not reverted their stance on the issue, just provided a better option

    • Mo Dabbas

      Ya. I wanna see your explanation why at first the Apple solution was to buy a new phone, then all of a sudden (coincidentally few days after the class action lawsuit), they apologized and fixed the problem. Wake up from that distortion field you’re in. It’s a company we’re talking about that would not be surprising (for me at least) if they play dirty to boost the cash flow. Why are feeling personal about it?

      Here is a quote from TechCrunch where I read this news from first. Doesn’t it agree with what I said.
      “Apple is currently facing a class action lawsuit over the Error 53 matter. The quick fix could help to mitigate some of the suit’s claims.”

    • Brad Fortin

      “I wanna see your explanation why at first the Apple solution was to buy a new phone,”

      I’m just gonna stop you there since Apple’s solution was NEVER to buy a new phone, it was to get Apple to repair it. They’re also reimbursing anyone who paid an out-of-warranty service fee for Apple to fix the error.

      Not sure how that’s gonna “boost their cash flow” but I have no doubt you’ll come up with another conspiracy to support your point.

    • Mo Dabbas

      You gotta go read your mobile news somewhere outside of cult of Mac and 9to5mac.

      I quote from the Guardian:
      “Victims who have complained to their local Apple store have been left incredulous after being told by Apple staff that there was nothing that could be done to fix their phone and that they would have to buy a new one.”

    • Mr Dog

      Maybe you should read the rest of the article and not pick and post parts lol.

      ““When pressed for more information about the error, few, if any Apple employees could offer an explanation. There was no part they would replace, no software fix, and no way to access the phone’s memory.”

      “With many Apple customers left furious at the company’s stance, one Guardian reader comments: “I think they made an after-th With many Apple customers left furious at the company’s stance, one Guardian reader comments: “I think they made an after-the-fact adjustment to a poorly conceived and implemented security system on the iPhone. They hadn’t properly considered the implications of third parties substituting parts on the phones, whether these were bonafide alterations or not.

      Again, You need to relax with conspiracy theory. Until you have any proof this is just plain silly.

    • Mo Dabbas

      I don’t see how this contradicts the quoted statement. The guy said apple offered repair but the source I read shows otherwise.

      It’s your right to believe whatever you want to believe. I just find it funny that until the class action lawsuit this “error” was a security measurement to help protect the customers (oh God bless you apple for taking care of your customers). Hell I even found a gigantic article at 9to5 mac (or cult of mac) explaining how this is actually a good thing. But then after the lawsuit apple realized this was a mistake and apple is apologizing to its customers who were affected. I’m not making these events, they’re out there. And it’s up to you to decide what’s going on. It’s a free country, you can believe in whatever you want.

    • Rumble and Sway

      And you gotta stop running your mouth d*****s when it comes to this company. Seems like Apple can’t do anything right in your mind. Nothing but negativity from you. Get a life Mo


      Go buy a ChenBerry then bro.. It comes with really bad-a*s stickers.

    • Whaaa Whaaaa Flagging Cowards


      Ps. Cross platform dumb fuq…

    • Brad Fortin

      Right, because retail staff speak for the company, not the PR department.

    • Mo Dabbas

      They do. They represent my company. And that decision to replace a phone usually doesn’t come from the first in line genius bar representative, they usually ask their supervisor before a replacing the phone when it’s under warranty. There are the clear guidelines which they follow and when a case they’re not sure whether they can replace a phone or repair it they ask the lead genius representative. My point is they didn’t just give them an answer from the top of their heads.

      Stop arguing there is no point anymore.

    • Mo Dabbas

      And how they can increase their profit. Are you joking. By eliminating third party repair shop that fix the iphones for way less of what apple charges.

    • Rumble and Sway

      You still at it again you îdiot? Just can’t help yourself can you. Always peddling your bullshît conspiracy theories.

  • Al Robidoux

    I have had iOS 9.2.1 for the past month now. Why is Mobile Syrup now saying that its just been released?

    • Comrade Yeti

      It’s an updated 9.2.1 to fix error 53.The build numbers are different

  • LaszloZoltan

    there is nothing “strange” about the error 53 glitch- it was just a punishment imposed by the monster for daring to not use their service, and it backfired.


    JokeBerry would never do such a thing to their 378 users worldwide.

    • Whaaa Whaaaa Flagging Cowards

      You’re a joke… get a life ya sorry arse doooosh

  • Raj Singh

    Strange is not the appropriate word here. This was deliberately designed to control the hardware supply chain (very much like the control it exerts on the front end).