You may or may not be aware that a number of iOS device owners around the world have been taking to social media and Apple forums to complain of the infamous “Error 53” essentially bricking their devices after a third-party Touch ID replacement. After some investigation, it was determined that this occurs due to iOS checking if the Touch ID sensor on the device has been replaced by “non-official” methods. After initially stating that this was by design, Apple has subsequently issued a new build 13D20 of iOS 9.2.1 that rectifies the problem via an iTunes restore on affected devices.
The patched version of iOS 9.2.1 has been released for a handful of iPhone and iPad models only, precisely the ones that are affected by error 53. Before we begin with fixing the issue, check out the list of build 13D20 compatible devices below, and check if your device qualifies for this fix.
- iPhone 6/6 Plus
- iPhone 6s/6s Plus
- iPad Pro
- iPad Air 2
- iPad mini 3 & 4
How to fix error 53 on bricked iPhones and iPads:
Step 1: If you have an affected iPhone or iPad, then you’re going to need to grab the latest firmware version for that specific device that rectifies the problem. Thankfully, we can point you in the right direction to download iOS 9.2.1, build number 13D20.
Step 2: Next, you’ll need to make sure that you’re on the latest version of iTunes. You can download the latest version from apple.com/itunes.
Step 3: Connect the iPhone or iPad to the computer via Lightning cable and launch iTunes.
Step 4: Perform a force restart/hard reboot and boot phone in DFU mode. If you know how to do this, then great, if no:
Press and hold the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button at the same time. After exactly 10 seconds release the Sleep/Wake button. Continue holding the home button until you iTunes pops up a message telling you that it has detected an iPhone in recovery mode
Step 6: click on the Restore iPhone button.
When the restore process is complete, the bricked iOS device should come back to life and in working condition. However, anyone running through this process does need to be aware that Touch ID will still be disabled in order to protect the sensitive fingerprint data stored on the Secure Enclave.