Apple comments on 'Error 56', fix on the way for affected iPads

Update: Apple has pulled the iOS 9.3.2 update for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and is working on a fix. Apple provided an updated comment to iMore on the issue:

"We're working on a fix for an issue impacting a small number of iPad units that are receiving an error when trying to update the software," an Apple spokesperson told iMore. "We'll issue an update as quickly as possible."

Below is our previous report.

Apple's recent iOS 9.3.2 software update has left some iPad's reporting "Error 56", which the company's support page defines as a "hardware issue". Affected iPads won't start up beyond the error and, instead, present the "Connect to iTunes" screen. Apple provided iMore with the following statement:

"We're looking into a small number of reports that some iPad units are receiving an error when updating the software," an Apple spokesperson told iMore. "Those unable to restore their device through iTunes should contact Apple support."

The reports of "Error 56" were rounded up earlier this week by MacRumors.

If you're affected, as stated in both the support document (opens in new tab) and Apple's comment above, connecting to iTunes and attempting a restore is the first trouble-shooting step you can try. Next is call to Apple support or a schedule a trip to the Genius Bar.

And let me know if either of those things work for you!

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • I have the "56" problem and AppleCare set me up with appointment here in Toronto. Nice not to be the only one with this problem. Bill
  • It just works Posted from my Nexus 6P
  • It happens and it's not affecting that many units. At least it's constantly getting support. Only Nexus units gets support bycGiogke otherwise you need to buy a new phone to get the latest Android release or wait 6-9 months for the mfr and longer for the carrier to update it.
  • Well lucky for me Posted from my Nexus 6P
  • One of 9
  • "It just works" is a design concept, not a claim of perfection. Things like Bonjour (ZeroConf), Continuity, Handoff and so on. Things that work together without a lot of user intervention. A.
  • Don't recall it ever being sold like that...
  • I do not think it was ever sold in any other way (by Apple - others have tried to put their own personal spin on it, of course). A.
  • What he said Posted from my Nexus 6P
  • Why even respond to such an obvious troll?
  • Consider it an opportunity to get the truth out there. A.
  • The guy lives for this stuff. He's like Batman ever vigilant for bad news.
  • Just providing a healthy dose of truth tea with some Trvuia to counter the false image of perfection Rene likes to paint here while he slings mud on other platforms. Posted from my Nexus 6P
  • Hahaha. I like you. Notice how they get defensive. "It's not that many units." It's enough for Apple to pull the update and from the number of complaints it's not just "a few" devices. I expect issues like this to happen regardless of the company but Apple has been making a series of missteps over the past few years. I think they have a quality control issue.
  • The "magic" died with Jobs just as it fizzled out after he was first fired from the company. Only difference is they have mountains of cash now and control of the media types to hide a slow decline as much as possible. The 90s Apple is coming back. Get ready. Posted from my Nexus 6P
  • Yes. My Samsung just work. *thumb up* Posted from my Samsung Galaxy S6
  • I'm having a different problem. Ever since downloading the latest update my iPad pro is consistently draining the batter and getting extremely hot. I bought it Sunday night and it was working fine on Monday. I let the update auto download in the middle of the night and upon waking up on Tuesday I had the issue. I'm losing 20-30% of battery an hour even while in standby. I'm probably going to return this iPad since restoring doesn't seem to be doing any good. I bought it at Best Buy, should I exchange it there or go to the Apple Store? Best Buy is a 30 minute drive where the nearest Apple Store is around 50 minutes so I'd rather take it back to Best Buy. I definitely don't want a refurb model however but another brand new iPad considering I just bought this Sunday night (if that makes a difference on where I should take it).
  • I would first try a restore using DFU mode and iTunes ... You should check your Best Buy receipt and it will state their return period. If it is outside the return period you will need to go to the Apple Store. However, you probably won't be able to "exchange" the iPad you bought at Best Buy at the Apple store.
  • Thank you for the suggestion but this didn't work for me either. I have a genius bar appointment set up for tonight.
  • Or, better yet, don't update your iPad Pro 9.7 until they resolve the issue. This is my own cunning plan. I see nothing new in the 9.3.2 release notes to entice me to play Russian Roulette with my machine.
  • I had a bad experience a few years ago with an Apple update on a previous iPad. I almost always wait now. This update caught me off guard however because I had just bought the device the day before. I just assumed that this was an update that was getting my ipad current. I didn't realize it was a new update until the next day when I started having problems. I really wish I would have known so I could have waited.....
  • Maybe this is only affecting regular wifi models? I have the att cellular model with no problems at all. Works great.
  • I also have one by AT&T and don't have any issues Sent from the iMore App
  • My ATT cellular ipad pro 9.7 was bricked by the 9.3.2. update.
    No solutions yet. :(
  • I have a wifi-only model and have no issues.
  • I just updated my iPad Pro 9.7 today with no issues. I also have the AT&T cellular version.
  • Makes sense do not update until a fix is released. In fact, when a new iOS, or OSX comes out, I check with iMore to see if any problems have cropped up. Sent from the iMore App
  • Unfortunately I am one of the folks experiencing the issue on my 9.7 inch iPad Pro. Apple support was unable to help me in un-bricking my iPad, and suggested that I bring it into to the Genius Bar. I do have an appointment and I will update when I can. Sent from the iMore App
  • Good luck with your fix, LeveLAOur. I am not updating until this issue is resolved. There is nothing in the update that will affect me; on the other hand, the risk of my iPad being bricked is real. Unless you really need the fixes on the update and they are so important that you would risk bricking your iPad to get them, I suggest everyone wait for a fix from Apple.
  • I went into the Genius Bar today and they were unable to update my iPad, they claimed that it was a hardware issue. Well, one way or the other, they have deemed my iPad toast and have now ordered me a brand-new 9.7 inch iPad Pro. (Unfortunately they didn't have my specific model and size in stock, which seems a little bit fishy as well). I'm pretty sure Apple probably pulled all of the iPad pros off-the-shelf once they had realized there was an issue. Whether it was hardware or software, or a combination of the two, (which seems a little bit more logical), at least I'm getting a brand-new 9.7 in iPad pro directly from Apple.
  • I also had my genius appointment yesterday. They were out of my stock and model also.....They did order me a replacement and called about an hour ago to say it was already in stock. I was also suspicious but after calling me today I'm going with the fact that they were really sold out. I did end up getting it replaced by Best Buy (where I had bought it from) already but my experience at the Apple store was pleasant.
  • And I'm picking up my Pro after work today. Guess I'll wait to update it. And after 8 years on the Android platform, I can say they had their shares of update issues too.
  • I have an big iPad Pro that I've had since last year and I'm not upgrading yet. In fact, I'm not upgrading my iPhone 6 either.
  • I'd have said you mad bro 3 years ago for not updating but after the issues with iOS 9 I can't say I blame you for not updating your iPhone 6 or iPad Pro. Sent from the iMore App
  • Is there a pattern here? iTunes deletes (or mutilates) the user's data and they refuse to believe it for a long time. Maybe they will never fix the problem. Now, Apple puts out a flawed update, fails to heed user warnings, and waits far too long to pull it. I have a message to Tim Cook: Your users are your friends. Do not treat us like enemies.
  • Who knew having bugs in software due to human error, is apparently treating your customers like enemies. I hope that in whatever job you do they expect you to do it 100% correctly with no mistakes, then you can see how that feels
  • Well, he wasn't posting that software should have no bugs, he commented about how the bugs were handled. Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • I really love listening to Rene in videos and podcasts. Really someone not only insightful, but he must spend his entire life learning about this stuff, and passing it on to us.
  • I'm not surprised by the Android trolls on here whenever there's an issue with iOS. Sent from the iMore App
  • Maybe if Apple's learnership and cult followers didn't act overly smug and act as if it was perfect and other platforms were complete and total garbage then it wouldn't happen. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • How could this happen!? Ostensibly this shouldn't be happening when a product's hardware and software are designed and controlled by the same company. So this should be a PROFOUND EMBARRASSMENT for Apple since it has claimed that quality stance often. One wonders if quality control testing is TAKING A BACK SEAT at Apple these days ... perhaps too many engineers diverted into other new projects when they should be focusing on making ABSOLUTELY SURE that their existing stuff does, in fact, work without failure.
  • Precisely.
  • It's happened to my iPhone 5c . . .
    Not limited to iPads! . . . Anyone else have issues w/ 5 c? Sent from the iMore App
  • Got my Pro, powered it on, was on 9.3. Got the 9.3.1 update. Rebooted and no 9.3.2 notification which must have happened right after Apple pulled the update.