Could not activate iPhone or iPad after updating to iOS 9.3

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23 Responses

  1. Luberta says:

    its just asking for updating in the iCloud but it never stops…I cant do anything to stop this process but switching of the iPad. Help

    • howtoiphone says:

      To resolve issue with iCloud Drive continuously upgrading:
      1. Sign out of iCloud account
      2. Choose keep on my phone
      3. Sign back into iCloud account
      4. Choose Merge
      iCloud Drive should be off

  2. MMM says:

    sorry but this isn’t good enough – I am not a happy user of 9.3!! 12 hours later I am still unable to activate my Ipad after downloading 9.3 and I don’t want hello in multiple languages.

    • Mary Hawkins says:

      As I understand there is no other way just wait when the loading is reduced.
      I think this is one thing Steve Jobs would have hated about Apple today.

  3. Patricia says:

    I updated my iPhone 6s over the air immediately after the Apple’s presentation. After that I decided to update iPad Air 2. No luck. There was always an error “Your iPad could not be activated because the activation server is temporarily unavailable”. There was also a “Try Again” button at the bottom of the iPad screen. I was trying to activate the iPad for a couple of hours until I got tired. Then I plugged my iPad into MacBook and launched iTunes. iTunes asked my Apple ID and that was it! Problem was solved! iPad was activated! So I suggest you activating iPad or iPhone via iTunes.

  4. Neil says:

    I have a similar issue for more than 12 hours now…still can’t activate my iPad 2 Mini. All I get is the “Incorrect Apple ID” is being used with a strange email address!

    I’ve tried the latest version of iTunes and connecting with that, but still the same. Apple ID is correct and I can sign in on iTunes and iCloud. I’ve tried installing via iTunes in recovery mode and have tried a factory reset, but still the same message!

    Bug maybe? I’ve seen many people have this error today…

    • howtoiphone says:

      It looks like someone has used your iPhone with another Apple ID. Before you bought it for example. That is the reason you see the strange email address. To solve this problem you have to change your Apple ID password here or to write to Apple Support

      • Neil says:

        Hey there,

        I have an iPad Mini 2. I’ve updated this device from new for almost 2 years now and never had an issue before todays 9.3 update. I have an old iPhone 4…but it’s not used on iCloud, etc. My apple ID is fine and works on all devices. Really weird!

        I’ll try changing the password, maybe that’ll do it. I have much faith in Apple support!

        Thanks for replying.

  5. Paul Pisciotto says:

    I’m having the same ‘could not activate’ message on my ipad 2 after installing the 9.3 upgrade. I have been unable to start my ipad for 24 hours and counting. I run Square register on this ipad for my business. This is absolutely unacceptable. I have upgraded to other versions without this issue and suspect something else besides traffic is causing the issue. This is greatly impacting my ability to conduct business.

    • Paul Pisciotto says:

      Apple support would not fess up to the issue until multiple attempts were made to correct things on my side. None of which were necessary including uninstall and reinstall of itunes as well as a reboot of the ipad. Finally 2 techs said they were having same issue on their own devices. I asked them numerous times if it was related to their authentication server to determine which side the issue was on. Asked them to try pinging the authentication server ip address but they did not do this. Simple way to tell if the server is responding.

  6. Dawitika says:

    After updating to ios 9.3, my ipad 2 will not activate. I tried doing a factory reset and that doesn’t get me anywhere When I connect to to itunes I get the message that it doesn’t recognise my ipad. Then I go back to the ipad and it goes through the “Hello “….. trying to activate…try again..etc

  7. Emma G. says:

    It seems to me that Apple has a global problem with activating after updating to iOS 9.3.
    Can I find out if someone has filed a lawsuit against Apple? Sure it hurt some businesses.

  8. John Lock says:

    Hope Apple has a fix for this problem after Easter

  9. Adam de Jong says:

    Cannot Activate iPad iOS 9.3
    When you’re not afraid to lose all data on your iPad, this will certainly work:

    – Download an IPSW (from
    – Connect iPad to PC/Mac
    – Put iPad in DFU mode (press Home + on/off button until iPad goes black; wait 5 seconds then release on/off button, but hold Home for 20 more seconds).
    – in iTunes click Restore (with the ALT button pressed) and select the downloaded IPSW.
    – let nature run its course and you’re good to go after 10 minutes or so
    – reinstall all your apps (manually)
    – (and when asked “there is a new iOS update 9.3” do not install it!)

    The loss of data is a PITA, but at least your iPad is no longer bricked.

  10. GerVer says:

    I just updated to IOS 9.3 on both my iPhone and iPad.
    Everything went fine on my iPhone, but the iPad cannot connect to the activation server.
    Both are on the same Apple ID.

    The problem is fixed !!!

    I just installed iTunes and let it connect to the faulty iPad.
    iTunes recognized the iPad and asked me for the same apple ID.
    And surprise, surprise, i could finish the activation on the iPad.

    • trafsta1 says:

      Unfortunately that is definitely not a solution for everyone (i’d say it doesn’t work for the vast majority…). I have tried two different computers at two different locations and both have the latest iTunes but neither of them activate as you describe. I, like many others, receive a message in iTunes stating “iTunes was unable to verify your device.”.

  11. I have exactly the same problem, I’ve connected to an updated iTunes but still get the same message, “cannot activate”. What is happening to Apple. This defect is surely going to cost them dearly, I have so much information on my machine but must now think about other systems that use more modern methods than having to log into iTunes

  12. DaSouza says:

    I had the same problem with my iPad 2. I solved it following instructions suggested in this thread:

    – Open iTunes, connect the iPad while holding Power and Home buttons until iTunes ask you for restoring the device.
    – Click on Restore (I tried clicking on Update but it didn’t solve the problem).
    – Wait until finish and restore from iCloud Backup (a backup was automatically created before upgrading to iOS 9.3).
    – After restoring the backup the device works correctly and the software is up to date with iOS 9.3.

  13. gino55 says:

    Finally my Problem solved. I’m using ipad 2 and running at ios 9.3 now

    The key is use itunes to restore it.

    1. Open Itunes on your PC (you’ve use the latest version itunes 12.3.3)
    2. Turn off you ipad & then turn on by pressing “home” & “power” button at the same time. After the apple logo apper, release power button BUT keep hold your home button. you will be ask to connect your ipad to itunes using cable data.
    3. choose to restore, your itunes will be download ios 9.3. let it download.
    4. error message maybe appear saying your ipad can’t be verify, just leave it untill itunes finish download 9.3 ios (at top right conner has download progress).
    5. After finish download, repeat step at no.2 this time itunes will start restore your ipad.
    6. after restore finish, follow the instruction step & you’ll be allow to choose “start as new ipad” or “restore from your last back up” it’s up to you to choose, it only restore your songs, movies, & app. your ios allready 9.3

    Hope you’ll get your ipad running again.

  14. Julie says:

    Has anybody ever asked Apple about this problem directly?
    By the way, recently they have opened an Apple Support on Twitter
    Apple also has online support here

  15. Trafalgar says:

    They will recommend you restore from DFU mode and iTunes/iCloud backup.
    I tried them as well, they were very polite and all, but not very helpful.
    Oh well maybe they have learned some new tricks since I spoke to them last night.

  16. howtoiphone says:

    The best solution is to update your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch once again to the newest version of iOS 9.3 build 13E5237. The re-released iOS 9.3 build 13E5237 fixes all of issues with activation lock and not working links.

  17. Leonard says:

    Adam de Jong, you gave the most comprehensive and functional solution. Thanks for restoring my bricked iPad 2. Next time I am going to wait a few weeks before upgrading.

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