For quite some time, Error 53 was an unfixable error that rendered iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices useless. It appeared after DIY or local repair shop screen replacement which involved removing the Touch ID built into the Home button. The Touch ID is a fingerprint recognition feature that allows you to unlock your device and authorizes you to buy things in Apple’s digital media stores.
What Causes Error 53 and Why Is It So Bad?
Error 53 is essentially a security error. According to Apple, it’s the result of your device not being able to identify or recognize the Touch ID. iOS checks that the Touch ID sensor matches the other components, and if the check fails, Error 53 is intended to prevent the installation of a malicious Touch ID sensor that could grant others access to your fingerprint data.
If that sounds a bit over the top, it actually is, as many users have complained. The worst part is that Error 53 renders your device useless – any attempt to restore your device on iTunes will fail.
This error seemed to plague especially users who did an unauthorized screen repair or replaced the screen themselves at home.
How to Fix Error 53 on iPhone 6 and 6 Plus (and iPads with Touch IDs)
Until recently, the only way to fix Error 53 was to get a replacement from Apple (and pay for it good cash). Fortunately, Apple has released a while ago an iOS 9.3 patch that fixed Error 53. The simplest way, then to avoid this error is to update your iPhone to the latest iOS release (if for some reason you haven’t done this already).
After you update your device, you can follow the next steps to avoid this error. First, however, quit iTunes if it’s running on your computer and unplug your iPhone if it’s plugged.
- Make sure you run the latest version of iTunes. If not, upgrade before you move to the next step.
- Plug in your device to your computer.
- Select your device in iTunes.
- Update your device to reinstall iOS without losing your data.
If your iPhone remains stuck on the Apple logo screen – happens sometimes – you’ll have to Restore your device instead. This means you’ll lose your data. Hopefully, you already have an iTunes or iCloud backup.
- Restart your device and choose Restore.
- Wait for your device to be restored. It may take a while.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to restore your data or set up your device.
- Choose to Set Up Touch ID later.
Good to Know
The patch Apple released removes the nasty Error 53, but if your Touch ID didn’t work prior to it, it still won’t work. You will have to contact Apple to have the Touch ID replaced. Even if you’re not crazy about Apple’s fingerprint security features, the important role that the Touch ID plays in unlocking your device means that you can’t do without it.
If your unauthorized screen repair failed, you may end up paying a few hundred dollars to get a new Touch ID and screen. In other words, if you do a non-Apple screen replacement, you have to make sure you do it right, and that you don’t tamper with the Touch ID. Avoid wasting time and money by choosing a replacement kit that has good reviews or a reliable repair service.