Nearly two weeks after iPhone Error 53 made news for bricking the phones of users that got their screens or home buttons replaced by a third-party, Apple has issued a fix for the problem.
Apple is pushing a new version of iOS 9.2.1 that will restore bricked phones to a working state. It’ll also prevent any iPhones that’ve had their home button or cable replaced by a third-party from bricking in the future. The one thing that it won’t do is re-enable Touch ID, so you won’t be getting that feature back if you’ve encountered Error 53. This is a security measure which is meant to ensure that only devices made and repaired by Apple are secure and safe with your data.
This iOS 9.2.1 update is only going out through iTunes, as users that get iOS updates over the air shouldn’t run into Error 53 at all.
Apple has also posted a new support document detailing Error 53. The company explains that Error 53 is the result of a problem when iOS checks that your iPhone’s Touch ID sensor matches your phone’s other components during an update. If there’s no match, which could be the result of a third-party screen or home button replacement, your update won’t finish and you’ll get the Error 53 message.
It’s kind of strange that Error 53 was totally bricking the iPhones of owners that had had their home button (and its connector) replaced by a third-party. Instead, it should’ve just disabled Touch ID to help keep your info safe. Thankfully, Apple has not only issued a fix to prevent future phones from getting bricked, but also to unbrick phones that’ve been disabled by Error 53 in the past.