Apple releases software update to fix ‘Error 53’

Apple has released a software update that will allow customers affected by the so-called "Error 53" to successfully restore their device using iTunes. Nicole Bogart/Global News

Apple has released a software update that will allow customers affected by the so-called “Error 53” to successfully restore their device using iTunes.

The widespread error — which permanently disables any iPhone that has had the Touch ID fingerprint scanner replaced by a non-Apple certified source — has affected thousands of iPhone users around the world, sparking outrage from many who accused the company of not being clear about the repercussions of getting their iPhone repaired by a non-official repair centre.

A spokesperson confirmed to Global News Thursday that the software update will allow Error 53 victims who had their iPhone’s home button repaired by an unauthorized third party to restore their devices to a working state.

READ MORE: Error 53 – iPhones repaired by third parties rendered useless after iOS 9 update

“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,” said the Apple spokesperson.

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“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.”

Error 53 affected iPhone and iPad models with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor – including the iPhone 5S, 6 and 6S – that were repaired by an unauthorized third party, or non-official company. However, some users who had their iPhones repaired at Apple-authorized repair centres also reported experiencing the issue.

Error 53 occurred when the user attempted to update their phone’s software to the latest version of iOS 9. Once the update was installed, the phone was rendered useless – only displaying the “Error 53” message. All of the data on the phone, including photos and videos, was lost — in other words, it turned the phone into nothing more than a paperweight.

WATCH: Thousands of iPhone users have been affected by something called Error 53. Nicole Bogart reports.

Click to play video: '‘Error 53’ leaves thousands of Apple iPhones virtually useless'
‘Error 53’ leaves thousands of Apple iPhones virtually useless

The issue began affecting users in September 2015, when iOS 9 was released; however, outrage over the issue was reignited earlier this month thanks to a recent report by The Guardian.

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According to Apple, Error 53 was the result of security checks designed to make sure your phone is secure and to ensure that a fraudulent Touch ID sensor wasn’t installed in the customer’s phone.

If your device was affected by Error 53 follow these steps to restore your phone to working order:

  1. Download the latest version of iTunes.
  2. Force restart your device.
  3. Try to restore your device again.

If you still see the Error 53 message when you try to restore your device you should contact Apple Support.

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