Fix iOS 10 Activation Error on iTunes

iOS 10 has been unveiled and out for all eligible Apple devices. But due to bugs and vulnerabilities in this new iOS, many users want to downgrade back to iOS 9.3.5. A good news here is that you can finally do that, as iOS 9.3.5 release is being signed [at the time of writing this article]. What it means that you can use iTunes to downgrade back to a more stable iOS 9.3.5 release from iOS 10.

Image : Fix iOS 10 Activation Error

activation error ios 9

There are two ways to fix the activation error in iOS 10 – either downgrade back to iOS 9.3.5 or later [ which is the latest signed iOS 9 public release at that time ] , or follow another installation method. We will demonstrate both the techniques in this tutorial to make things easy for you.

Downgrading Back to iOS 9.3.5 :

A good news here is that you can finally do that, as iOS 9.3.5 release is still being signed by Apple’s Activation Servers . What it means that you can use iTunes to downgrade back to a more stable iOS 9.3.5 release from iOS 10. Note that once you downgrade to iOS 9.3.5, you won’t be able to restore any backup that you made on iOS 10 , as it won’t be compatible downwards. So you will either have to restore from a iOS 10 backup, or you will have to start fresh. The following steps will downgrade your device from iOS 10 to iOS 9.3.5

  1. Update the iTunes on your Windows PC or Mac to the latest version.
  2. Download iOS 9 for your specific iPhone or iPad model.
  3. Navigate to Settings > iCloud > Find My iPhone. Turn this feature off. find_my_iphone_6_ios_804
  4. Connect your iOS device to your Mac or Windows via USB and launch iTunes.
  5. You then need to enter DFU mode in order to proceed. It can be done by holding the Touch ID | Home button and the Power button simultaneously for around 10 seconds. After 10 seconds, release the Power button but keep holding the Home/Touch ID button until you go into DFU mode. iTunes will also notify you once you are in DFU mode. dfu iphone 6 plus ios 9
  6. Then while staying in iTunes, hold the left Shift key down if you are on Windows, or the Option key if on Mac, and click on the “Restore iPhone|iPad” option. itunes restore
  7. You will then be prompted to choose the iOS 9 IPSW file that you want to restore your iOS device back to. Select the .ipsw file which you downloaded in the Step 2ios 9 ipsw
  8. The restore | downgrade process will start and will take some time, so keep the device plugged into your computer. Once the process is completed, the device will reboot and the Hello screen of iOS will come up. restore in progress ios 9

Re-installing iOS after Registering UDID :

To avoid activation error, you need to register your device UDID and then download the firmware files to install them on your iOS device. Simply connect your device to your computer and run iTunes. Under the “Summary” section in Settings, you will find the device UDID. Copy it by selecting it and pressing CTRL+C on Windows or Command+C on Mac. Then proceed to the next step.

ipad udid itunes

Method 1 : Join Apple Developers Program at $99 a year

This is the official method of downloading any beta firmware directly from Apple.

  1. Visit the official Apple’s Developers Program [ext link] page and sign-up by paying an annual fee of $99. If you don’t want to pay this amount, skip to Method 2.
  2. Login to the Dev Center [ext link] with your Apple ID. dev centre apple ios 9
  3. Register the UDID you copied earlier.
  4. Proceed to download the IPSW for your iOS device from the Developer Portal.
  5. Once downloaded, extract it to the desktop and install using above process

Method 2: Get a Developer Slot at $10 a year :

udid register

If you want to get iOS 10 beta but don’t want to pay $99 for the Developers Program, you can use Premium UDID Activation [ext link] for just $10 per year, and you will get all the betas released in the following year.

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