(Update: Fix Rolling Out Now) iOS 9.3 Paused for Older Devices, Updated Version on the Way Acc. to Apple

Update: Just last night, Apple began pushing out the new version of iOS 9.3 that will fix the authentication problem people have been experiencing on their older iOS devices. The build carries the number of 13E236 and is installable either through iTunes if your device is already in a bricked state or through the Settings app if you’ve held off updating until now.


A couple of days ago, users started reporting that iOS 9.3 was causing their older devices like the iPad 2 to avoid activating, making the device almost bricked. Now, according to iMore, Apple has paused the roll out of the update to these devices and is coming out with a fix for it in the coming days.

Updating some iOS devices (iPhone 5s and earlier and iPad Air and earlier) to iOS 9.3 can require entering the Apple ID and password used to set up the device in order to complete the software update. In some cases, if customers do not recall their password, their device will remain in an inactivated state until they can recover or reset their password. For these older devices, we have temporarily pulled back the update and will release an updated version of iOS 9.3 in the next few days that does not require this step.


In the mean time, Apple has also published a support document on their site, providing some potential workarounds for users to try out if they’re experiencing these issues. Here’s the full article for reference:

If you can‘t activate your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch after installing iOS 9.3

After you update to iOS 9.3, you might see the Activation Lock screen on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. If you enter your Apple ID and password and still can’t sign in, try these steps.

Activate iPhone screenIn some cases, the hint that you see on the Activate iPhone screen might not match your current Apple ID. To make sure that you’re entering your Apple ID information correctly, try these steps:

  1. Sign in to iCloud.com from a computer. You can get help if you forgot your Apple ID or need to reset your Apple ID password.
  2. Open Settings and scroll to the My Devices section.
  3. Confirm that your device is listed in the My Devices section. If you don’t see it listed, check all your accounts.
If you still need help, try these steps in iTunes from a computer:

  1. Connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to the computer.
  2. Open iTunes. Make sure that you have the latest version of iTunes.
  3. Select your device. You should see the Activate [your device] screen in iTunes.
  4. Enter your Apple ID and password and click Continue.

Or try to sign in to iCloud.com, so you can remove Activation Lock:

  1. Turn off your device or take it offline.
  2. Sign in to iCloud.com with your Apple ID and password.
  3. Open Find My iPhone.
  4. Select All Devices, then select your device.
  5. Click Remove from Account. If you still see a map in the device detail view, select All Devices again, click Remove icon next to your device, then click Remove.
  6. After you set up your device successfully, make sure that you sign in to iCloud again.

If you need help, contact Apple Support.

It’s nice to see Apple acknowledging this. There’s still plenty of people who are using older devices like the iPhone 4S or iPad 2. I have two cousins who still use iPad 2s, and while they’re two little girls, they don’t complain that they’re slow or breaking down. It’s good hardware, and it’s nice to see Apple taking action on it to improve the experience even though the fix is for something five years old.

Have any of the workarounds provided worked for you? Let us know with a comment!