Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

iOS 9.3 problems and how to fix them: Activation issues, links crashing, and more

Apple is aware of crashes when tapping links in iOS 9, working on fix

Apple iPhone 3D touch
Jeffrey Van Camp/Digital Trends
With every update to a new operating system comes a few kinks and bugs. However, iOS 9.3 seems to be causing a lot of problems for some users. Last week, some people who updated their devices to iOS 9.3 had trouble getting into their phones. This week, devices seem to be crashing when you try to open links in apps like Safari, Notes, and Chrome.

We’ve put together the common problems that keep cropping up in iOS 9.3 in this post, as well as common iOS 9 problems and how to solve them (read the iOS 9 troubleshooting guide here).

Updated on 03/29/2016 by Julian Chokkattu: Added news that Apple has acknowledged that it is aware of the issue.

Crashing links

Hundreds of users have posted in an Apple Support thread that they are unable to open links in various apps. The app will even freeze afterward. For some, nothing happens when they click a link, and for others, tapping and holding links causes the device to crash.

Apple told 9to5Mac that it is aware of the issue and is working on a fix that will come in a software update “soon.”

Many of the people who are reporting the bug seem to be having issues on the iPhone 6, 6S, and 6S Plus, but there are some people having the same problem on earlier devices and some iPad models. The bug isn’t solely restricted to iOS 9.3, either, as some people on 9.2.1 and other versions are having similar issues.

Some users are saying that turning off Javascript in Safari fixes the problem in the browser. However, the bug still persists with other apps like Mail and third-party apps.

Related: A big step for small. See the iPhone SE here,  If iOS 9.3 bricked your iPhone or iPad, download this update from Apple

9to5Mac reports that the problem may be caused by installing third-party apps, as the issue only appeared after a third-party app was installed on an unaffected iPhone 6 and iPad Pro and the problem lingered after the app was uninstalled. Apple is reportedly working with developers to help them understand the universal links API so as to prevent iOS from crashing.

@AppleSupport received a lot of tweets from frustrated people citing the same issue and is asking those who’ve been affected to direct message the support team, so it can better assist them.

According to some users in the support thread, the Cupertino company is aware of the issue and is working on an update within the next two days. We have reached out to Apple and will confirm if this is true.

Activation issue

Apple has already released a fix for the activation issue in a new version of iOS 9.3, build 13E237, which you can download over the air or via iTunes. We’ve also put in a work-around for people who are still having trouble or have yet to download the update.

The bug affects iPhone 5S devices and earlier, as well as iPad Air devices and earlier. Your iOS device will essentially ask for a password to authorize your account and complete the update process. For some people, they couldn’t get their devices to activate, and the message, “activation server is temporarily unavailable” appeared onscreen.

Apple addressed the issue in a support page on its website, offering steps for users to get around the problem, as well as a firmware update. The build number initially changed from 13E233 to 135236, and now it’s on 13E237. It should solve the problem and allow easy upgrading for those with older devices.

If you’re having trouble, try signing into iCloud and confirm that your device is listed in the My Devices section. If that doesn’t work, try connecting your device to a computer and open iTunes. If you have the latest version of iTunes, select your device and there should be an Activate button near your device name. You then just need to enter your Apple ID and password.

We’ll update this post as we hear about more iOS 9.3 bugs and fixes for them.

Editors' Recommendations