Apple clamping down on unauthorized iOS 7 installs?

BY Jason

Published 29 Aug 2013


We’ve received emails from our readers which indicates that Apple may have started cracking down on unauthorized iOS 7 installs.

As you probably know, ever since Apple launched the iPhone, non-developers have been able to install iOS 7 on their device without a developer account (i.e. don’t have their device’s UDID registered with a developer account) using a simple trick.

Here’s how it worked, and reports suggest it was worked even with iOS 7 beta 6:

  1. Download the correct ipsw file for your device
  2. connect your phone to iTunes and (Alt/Option for mac, or Shift for Windows) on the Update button instead the restore button.

Some readers who had used this trick are now reporting that they are getting activation errors and unable to use their devices.  Users are also reporting the issue on Twitter.

Non-developers have no option but to downgrade back to iOS 6.1.3 (iOS 6.1.4 for iPhone 5). Since iOS 7 backups won’t be compatible, you will be unable to restore back to only iOS 6.1.x backup, and will have to potentially wait until iOS 7 is released to restore from an iOS 7 backup. You could also try this workaround as some readers have confirmed that it works.

It’s not clear how Apple has been able to remotely disable such devices as the activation process should ideally be required just after restoring the device. It is possible that iOS 7 beta that you have installed on your device has expired, so installing the latest beta version of iOS 7 should fix this issue. Since iOS 7 beta 3 was set to expire on August 29, it is a likely possibility. It is also possible that Apple is having some issue with its activation servers, so you may want to wait before reverting back.

Update (October 5):

If you’re getting an activation error, it is most probably because you had installed iOS 7 beta 6, which expires on October 6, which means it has probably expired or will shortly expiry depending on your timezone. Check out this post for step-by-step instructions on how to fix the activation error.

Are you getting the activation error on your iOS 7 device? Let us know in the comments.

Thanks everyone for the tip!