iOS 9.3 update renders some older iPads unusable

“It seems the release of Apple’s feature-packed iOS 9.3 update is not going over well with some users, as a small contingent of iPad owners are complaining of bricked hardware after attempting over-the-air and iTunes upgrades,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider.

“An unknown number of iPad owners, specifically those with second-generation models, are having trouble installing and activating the latest iOS version released Monday, according to posts on Apple’s Support Communities forum and readers who reached out to AppleInsider,” Campbell reports. “A few Support pages forum members said they were able to work around the issue by downloading iOS 9.3 through iTunes on a Mac and installing over a hardwired USB connection, but others have attempted the same without success.”

“Another method that proved effective for some is a full restore,” Campbell reports. “It is recommended that users conduct a local or iCloud backup prior to restoring their device as the process erases all user data.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: A not-so-subtle signal that your iPad 2 just turned 5 years old and it’s time to get a new iPad!

Seriously, though Apple is said to be working on the issue and it does not affect all iPad 2 units. Before you try to upgrade your iPad 2 – or any iPad, iPhone, iPod, or Mac – back it up first!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]



  1. I have a second generation iPad. After the update Tuesday night, I had a BRICK. The folks at Apple attempted to help, but couldn’t do so. SO, I allowed my iPad to drain (leave it unplugged); the next morning, I plugged my iPad to my MacBook Pro, and held the Home and Power buttons simultaneously (to get the iTunes logo). I, then, performed an “Update and Restore” from my iTunes account … I back-up to the cloud multiple times daily, so I did NOT lose anything. The process took 6 hours (because all of my apps needed to update, BUT my iPad is now running iOS 9.3 without a problem … hope that this helps someone.

    1. Thanks Will!

      I do believe that this level of user frustration from Apple screw-ups is about equivalent to Windows. I don’t care if the fanboys on this forum refuse to admit it, but Apple software quality is flagging badly.

      It is embarrassing on two levels: Apple released shoddy a software update with inadequate testing, and its support staff was unable to help the user. Two fundamental skills that a world-class company should have down cold. Especially if the company has more money than any other company on the planet.

      If Will had not had a MacBook Pro and a crafty noggin, he could have lost a lot more than just 6 hours of his time. Looks like lots of overtime for the genius bar next month!

    2. Just another detail: hold the Home and Power buttons beyond when the Apple logo appears–wait until the iTunes icon appears. I had to use this approach for my iPad 2, but my restore did not take as long as Will’s.

      Impressively, all files, photos, music, and Apps were as they were before the upgrade.

  2. My iPad 2 upgraded just fine.
    Using as a third monitor with Air Disply. Have to say it works pretty good. Air Display works good if it’s using USB. Not good on wifi.

    I keep it full of pallets from illustrator, Pages 09, Mail etc. I like it.

  3. I, too, have an iPad2 (64GB) that refused to verify.

    I also keep a full (encrypted) backup of the iPad on my Mac.

    Hook it up to the Mac, hold home+sleep, select restore. Wait a couple of hours. That’s all. My iPad runs now iOS 9.3, with all the Apps back where they were. It was so little hindrance that I consider it a non-issue. YMMV.

    Some of my data has to get back from the cloud. Not much of a deal, either. Frankly, I am amazed that such an old device still holds up very well, and Apple still maintains it, and gets me through this hiccup with a rather elegant, simple work-around that does not require much work from me — except some proper security discipline. I do not regret the purchase at all.

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