Report: The iPhone Error 53 Is Caused Even If You Swap Parts
Last week, iPhone users reported problems with the mysterious ‘Error 53’ message, which deliberately destroys devices repaired by third-parties. Apple claims that Error 53 is designed to secure its systems, stating that the problem is linked to the Touch ID sensor:
If your iOS device has Touch ID, iOS checks that the Touch ID sensor matches your device’s other components during an update or restore. This check keeps your device and the iOS features related to Touch ID secure.
When iOS finds an unidentified or unexpected Touch ID module, the check fails. For example, an unauthorized or faulty screen replacement could cause the check to fail.
While the company defends this as a security measure, many users have encountered the issue months after they had their devices repaired by third parties. Which suggests there might be something more to this mysterious message.
Now, the folks over at iFixit have published an in-depth report on the problem, showing that the error is not directly caused by third-party repairs as such, but by replacing the home button or the associated cable.
According to the report, users can encounter Error 53 even if they swap parts from a brand-new iPhone into another iPhone. In other words, the issue is not just about the unauthorized hardware, but the manufacturer has designed its own pairing mechanism to ensure it defeats third-party installations.
Currently, there is not much that can be done to fix Error 53. Just make sure you tell third party to use the original home button, or Touch ID sensor, given you get your phone repaired by them. Some Apple stores might also assist with a replacement if the iPhone is within warranty, otherwise you’re left with no option but simply buying another phone.
Gohar is the lead editor at TechFrag. He has a wide range of interests when it comes to tech but he's currently spending a big chunk of his time writing about privacy, cyber security, and anything policy related.