Apple AAPL -0.45% released iOS 9.3 earlier this week with several major features including Night Shift, Touch ID for Notes, a more personalized News app, new Apple Music options for CarPlay, additional Quick Actions for 3D Touch and several iOS in Education enhancements. Unfortunately, iOS 9.3 had some glitches along the way. A small group of iPad users are complaining about their devices becoming “bricked” after updating to iOS 9.3 through iTunes and the Software Update in the Settings app.
Looking at posts on Apple support forums, some users even experienced problems with their iPads essentially being bricked as they froze up and become unresponsive. Someusers on Apple forums speculate the activation issues on iPad 2 or other devices may have been due to the mass number of people trying to download and install the update. Apple has not made any announcements regarding the issue.
If you are experiencing problems with activating your iPad, there is a possible fix for the issue, which we’ve detailed below.
1.) Make sure that you have the latest version of iTunes — which should be iTunes 126.96.36.199.
2.) Connect your iPad to your computer and backup your data locally or through iCloud.
3.) Disconnect the iPad after the backup is complete.
4.) Press down the Home and Power button of the iPad at the same time and then release just the Power button after the device restarts.
5.) You will be asked to connect your iPad to your computer using the USB cable again.
6.) An option will appear that asks if you want to restore the device and upgrade to iOS 9.3.
7.) As iOS 9.3 downloads, the error message will appear again — but you still need to wait until iOS 9.3 is done.
8.) After iOS 9.3 is done downloading, you will need to repeat step 4. This time your iPad will ask if you want to restore it.
9.) Once the restore is finished, you will be asked to select whether you want to activate the iPad as a “new” device or if you want to restore it from your last backup. Selecting the new iPad option will format your iPad so it is like new and restoring it will retrieve your data again.