Apple have put these instructions on their website for customers who have experienced Error 53 on their iPhone
What you should do* If the restore won’t finish and you see an error code other than error code 53, learn what to do.
- If iTunes is open on your Mac or PC, quit iTunes.
- If your iOS device is plugged into your computer, unplug it.
- Make sure that you have the latest version of iTunes.
- Connect your iOS device to your computer with a USB cable.
- Open iTunes and select your device.
- When you see the option in iTunes to Restore or Update, click Restore.*
- When you see your iOS device’s Hello screen, follow the onscreen steps to set up your device.
- If you previously backed up your device, you can set up from your backup.
- When you see the screen for Touch ID, tap Set up Touch ID later.
If Touch ID on your device didn’t work before you saw error 53, the feature still won’t work after you restore your device. Contact Apple Support to ask about service options for Touch ID.
Error 53 happens if the Touch ID finger print sensor on your iPhone breaks. There were stories that it was because of screen repairs, or because non-apple repair centres fixed an iPhone. But that was just plain wrong – examples of journalists who didn’t do proper research and Apple, who said nothing in order to help spread the rumours. Unfortunately, once the Touch ID sensor breaks, there is nothing that anybody can do to prevent Error 53. Not even Apple.
On the 18th February 2016, Apple announced a software update which will unlock iPhones that were previously locked with Error 53. It won’t fix the Touch ID – if that is broken, then there is no way to fix it – but it will allow you to use your iPhone again. A common sense solution.
We are actively contacting customers who we know have experienced Error 53 to let them know that they can use their phones again. If you think that you have been affected, please contact the store where you had your repair done and they will apply the update for you.