Apple released the latest update to its iOS operating system this week, but if you’re an iPad owner, you may want to hold off before hitting the ‘update’ button.
After installing the new iOS 9.3 update, some users have apparently received an authentication error message when they try to launch their iPad, leaving the tablet unusable.
The error message says: “Your iPad could not be activated because the activation server is temporarily unavailable. Try connecting your iPad to iTunes to activate it, or try again in a couple of minutes. If this problem persists, contact apple support at apple.com/support.”
The bulk of reports seem to refer to the iPad 2 and affected users have been flagging the issue to Apple via the support team’s twitter account and on support forums.
The update has been billed as one of the biggest updates in several years and is intended to introduce features such as ‘night shift’ - which controls the blue light levels emitted by your screen - improvements to Apple Notes, Apple CarPlay and new news and health features.
Apple is yet to comment to the media on the issue, but a company spokesman highlighted to this paper the following advice, published today on their support site:
After you update, you might see the Activation Lock screen on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. If you enter your Apple ID and password and still can't sign in, try these steps.
In some cases, the hint that you see on the Activate iPhone screen might not match your current Apple ID. To make sure that you're entering your Apple ID information correctly, try these steps:
Sign in to iCloud.com from a computer. You can get help if you forgot your Apple ID or need to reset your Apple ID password.
Open Settings and scroll to the My Devices section.
Confirm that your device is listed in the My Devices section. If you don’t see it listed, check all your accounts.
If you still need help, try these steps in iTunes from a computer:
Connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to the computer.
Open iTunes. Make sure that you have the latest version of iTunes.
Select your device. You should see the Activate [your device] screen in iTunes.
Enter your Apple ID and password and click Continue.
Or try to sign in to iCloud.com, so you can remove Activation Lock:
Turn off your device or take it offline.
Sign in to iCloud.com with your Apple ID and password.
Open Find My iPhone.
Select All Devices, then select your device.
Click Remove from Account. If you still see a map in the device detail view, select All Devices again, click ‘x’ next to your device, then click Remove.
After you set up your device successfully, make sure that you sign in to iCloud again.
If you need help, contact Apple Support.
And one poster on the Apple Community Support Forum, posting under the name ‘ottoindo’ offered his own suggestion as to how the issue could be resolved:
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.
It is worth noting that this workaround hasn’t worked for all users however.
If you own an older iPad, and that sounds a little too technical for you, our advice is to wait until details of a further update has been confirmed by the tech giant before updating - lest you run the risk of temporarily turning your tablet into an expensive paperweight. Alternatively, you could contact an Apple store representative before you update.