Update your iPhone 5 to iOS 10.3.4 before November 3 or else...

(Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has sent iPhone 5 users an alert recommending they update iOS to version 10.3.4.
  • The July-released software helps older devices maintain accurate location and GPS functionality.
  • A report suggests that without it, the iPhone 5 will no longer be able to connect to the internet.

Apple has issued a reminder to iPhone 5 users strongly recommending that they update the software on their devices to iOS 10.3.4.

As reported by 9to5Mac, iPhone 5 users who don't make the jump before November 3 risk not being able to use basic functions on their iPhones such as email, iCloud and the web:

However, the problem is even more serious for iPhone 5. Apple is sending out alerts to iPhone 5 owners that their phones must be updated to iOS 10.3.4 before November 3. If the iPhone 5 is not updated in time, it will be unable to connect to the internet entirely, including web browsing in Safari, email, iCloud and App Store services. This issue is specific to the iPhone 5, which was last sold in September 2013. To keep the phone functioning normally, update to the latest iOS 10.3.4 update before November 3. If you miss that date, OTA updates and iCloud backup will no longer be possible as the phone will not be able to connect to the network. In that case, you will need to connect to a computer and restore with iTunes on a PC or Mac.

A support document (opens in new tab) released by Apple confirms the seriousness of the update:

Starting just before 12:00 a.m. UTC on November 3, 2019,* iPhone 5 will require an iOS update to maintain accurate GPS location and to continue to use functions that rely on correct date and time including App Store, iCloud, email, and web browsing. This is due to the GPS time rollover issue that began affecting GPS-enabled products from other manufacturers on April 6, 2019. Affected Apple devices are not impacted until just before 12:00 a.m. UTC on November 3, 2019.

Usually, it's a pretty good idea to keep your iOS devices running the latest software. However, the importance of this particular update cannot be overstated. As Apple notes, the update is essential to allowed continued use of any functions that rely on the correct date/time. This includes web browsing and emails. A note to the support document confirms that all iPhone 5 users should update based on their local time zones. So why don't both of you get to it.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9

2 Comments
  • I did this a few weeks ago. I just randomly fired up the old iPhone 5. It immediately informed me there was an update. I can't imagine there are very many iPhone 5s still in use. This is possibly the first time a 7 year old phone gets an update.
  • I think you'd be surprised, there's a lot of the "older generation" (or whatever the correct term is these days) who like to hold onto phones, so there's still a lot of iPhone 5's knocking about, possibly older phones too. These phones got an update so they can still be used, otherwise all GPS and internet functionality would be lost, and that would anger many people. It's one thing to stop supporting newer apps which is expected, but to have the phone suddenly stop working when it was working yesterday, would have people screaming "planned obsolescence".