Experiencing iOS 7 download or activation errors? You aren't alone

Apple's big iOS 7 launch today got off to a less than ideal start. It looks like Apple wasn't fully prepared to handle the massive amounts of people that rushed to download the updated OS today at 10 a.m. Pacific time. Its activation servers were failing under the pressure of all the downloads while other people couldn't even begin installation without seeing an error message.

According to a report from AppleInsider, Apple has issued a high-priority internal notice to its support staff that many people have been unable to activate their iPhones once they installed iOS 7. The servers simply stopped responding. The problem should be in the process of getting fixed, but as of now, there are still more than a few iOS device owners left miserable while they wait for their devices to work again.

Additionally, some folks weren't even lucky enough to get to the activation process. A quick search for "iOS 7 unavailable" on Twitter reveals that a number of users were getting an error message before they could even install the update and some still are. The message would appear after the download finishes, stating "Software Update is not available at this time. Try again later." The update would eventually work after multiple attempts, but some waited hours to finally get it working. This was most likely the result of server issues as well.

One thing's for sure: Apple needs to get these servers in ship shape by Friday when the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c launch or there will be a lot of unhappy buyers.

Source: AppleInsider

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84 Comments

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very strange, i did it the old fashioned way, plugged my iPhone 4s into my windows 8 pc, and let iTunes download the update, then it backed up the iPhone software and installed the update the first time i tried it. No issues at all. works great.

I didn't bother updating directly via iTunes on launch day anticipating this very scenario. Downloaded the ipsw from a known and trusted source the next day and then "restored" it via iTunes. Worked flawlessly.

I was comparing my windows phone with my girlfriends ios7 download from this morning. She didn't have any troubles downloading but we notice apple copied the windows phone with some of their new features. Anyone else notice this as well?

There's no official way through Apple. You could try finding the iOS 6 IPSW online and option-click restoring through iTunes. I wouldn't recommend downgrading though unless you absolutely need to.

Follow this guide:

http://www.maclife.de/tipps-tr...hseln-sie-zurueck-auf-ios-6
(Use a translator if necessary)

You simply have to download the iOS6 OS Image for your device, make a backup of your actual settings/apps/etc. (because I guess you want to keep them), then restore the downloaded image to your device with iTunes. It will erase all your actual data on your device, that's why it's necessary to have a backup, what you can restore later. (However it won't restore files, nor apps, only the settings, text messages, e-mail. -- But you can down- and upload everything later.)

LOL, probably on purpose to "drive the hype". Similar as how crApple does with the "low inventory" problem on launch. Create a HUGE demand.

Has anyone taken the time to trace the source of the problems?

If I remember right, Amazon was their cloud provider for authentication, and if that is still true, it could be a problem with Amazon or whoever they are using failing to scale up the resources for the rollout.

I'm not a Apple proponent, but it is too early to blame Apple. The problems could very well be the result of someone else messing up.

CygnusOrion said,
Maybe Apple should use more Azure services.

Possibly. The last I knew they were only using Windows Azure NT for the backend storage of iCloud data that was running on a Microsoft data center.

Apple was supposed to transition this to their own site, and remain running Windows Azure NT.

iOS 7 - No problem (both iPhone and iPad, around 1:30-2:00 pm)
iTunes 11.1 - (Got it from external link)
Updating some old Apps to iOS 7 - Non at first, the working after a while. (This was my main headache).
Syncing app between iOS device and iTunes - Sometimes works, sometimes doesn't sync some items, had to transfer purchases manually to make it work!

iOS 7.0 seems snappier on my iPhone4 and iPad2 compared to any iOS 6. Even Real Racing 3 loads faster on my iPad.

mjedi7 said,
iOS 7 - No problem (both iPhone and iPad, around 1:30-2:00 pm)
iTunes 11.1 - (Got it from external link)
Updating some old Apps to iOS 7 - Non at first, the working after a while. (This was my main headache).
Syncing app between iOS device and iTunes - Sometimes works, sometimes doesn't sync some items, had to transfer purchases manually to make it work!

iOS 7.0 seems snappier on my iPhone4 and iPad2 compared to any iOS 6. Even Real Racing 3 loads faster on my iPad.

Reviews are showing performance is essentially a wash with iOS 6; however, if you are getting a better load time it could indicate their caching or I/O has improved with iOS 7.

Curious to what others are seeing with regard to performance.

its weird, I updated my old 4S that I dont use anymore around noon and it was done no problem. I've been trying to update my sisters since that time and it wont take.

As if M$ never had any problems before with their new releases and i am sure android was in the same boat as well.

just kept trying and finally upgraded all our iOS devices but my mother's just missed the iPod requirements. i like the new look and it did bring my devices up to like they were all brand new. i cannot wait to get my new iPhone 5s.

unkle stu said,
Word on the streets is people OMG hate the new look.. surprise surprise. I think people are allergic to change
Word on the street huh? Yeah sure!

Enron said,
Don't worry, I've already released an app for 99 cents that will bring the start menu back to the iPhone.

LOL..

unkle stu said,
Word on the streets is people OMG hate the new look.. surprise surprise. I think people are allergic to change

Not really. I downloaded it BECAUSE it has a new look..... upon installing it though im one of the people who also thinks it looks ****

Right. Meaning the people on my facebook feed, reacting to the "new change." Not fellow neowin mega-nerds like myself who have been using it for months

According to at least one columnist (elsewhere) I saw, this is GOOD news! So ... hurray?

/said columnist is a bit of a fanboy

Took me 3 attempts for the download to succeed.
Took 7 attempts to "Verify".
More than 1 hour to finally install. Apple has nothing to brag about here.

And yet the majority of iOS users will be on the latest version in a few months tops, instead of waiting for carrier or manufacturer updates. This. Happens. Every. Year. Unless you're new to the internet, you'll know that.

I have issues downloading updates for OS X through Software Update. I generally always have to end up downloading the standalone update (.img file) - don't know why. iTunes isn't much better with iOS updates either. Any other downloads I do are fine - I have a steady internet connection.

Took me 35 minutes to activate my device. iTunes and the device were both timing out trying to connect to the activation servers.

Probably but at least on android it says "no updates available". It is not the point of the update not working that's self explanatory because of the large amount of people trying to download it. I would be nice if it said not available instead of a giant INSTALL button lol

Mr.XXIV said,
I wonder if an Android server for OS upgrades have ever gone through such a rush before.

I don't think so many android users upgrade at once.

If they actually supported the 4000 Android devices to the point that a device 5 years old was capable of upgrading to KitKat, I say they'd have a fun time with the servers + better economy.

Mr.XXIV said,
I wonder if an Android server for OS upgrades have ever gone through such a rush before.
Maybe. Windows Phone, no.

Technically it is their fault for allowing it to be too open and cause major compatibility issues. Apple's policies on iOS made it clear that all devices maintain the same so that there wouldn't cause problems with updates and personal information when making so many changes.

I just wish they made Android more integrated, I hated that I had to get rid of my Sidekick 4G and I only had it for less than 4-6 months.

It didn't work for few hours, I just updated both iPhone and iPad with no issues. Those poor Apple servers must have gotten a sh*t storm.

Just download it manually from one of the many sites that have it available, then update via itunes with the ipsw file that you downloaded.

Marshall said,
Just download it manually from one of the many sites that have it available, then update via itunes with the ipsw file that you downloaded.

The problem is, it doesn't matter where you download it from, activation happens with itunes and that's where the majority of people are having issues. So indeed apple need to get their asses in gear.

droidkid said,
Sure that will work for 10% of the iphone population who are advanced users.

It takes an advanced user to download an Ipsw file and then hold in a key to click a button to choose that file?

Sadly yes, the average user expects it to just automatically install like it was intended to. They should not have to go to apples website and research how to manually install the update.

Note: The reason you have to hold shift first. It was not intended to be used by everyone

NightmarE D said,

It takes an advanced user to download an Ipsw file and then hold in a key to click a button to choose that file?


Sadly, yes. Most users will just check on the update section of their phone setting, regardless of platform. If it's not there, they'll complaint.

THE_OBSERVER said,
No issues for me,

Downloads lastest iTunes
Download iPSW file
Shift-Upgrade.
Install


Could you provide further info on how to do this?

NightmarE D said,

It takes an advanced user to download an Ipsw file and then hold in a key to click a button to choose that file?


You've got little to no familiarity with non-advanced users, I see.

NightmarE D said,

It takes an advanced user to download an Ipsw file and then hold in a key to click a button to choose that file?

It takes more than a general user to know that this is an option.

NightmarE D said,

It takes an advanced user to download an Ipsw file and then hold in a key to click a button to choose that file?

In the world of Apple users, I know this will sound mean, but yes. Stop by an Apple Store and ask anyone working the Genius Bar, they will be the first to concur.

Part of Apple's brilliance in marketing, is that they make their users feel like computer experts. It is part of what they are buying, they get a pretty machine and get to be a part of a 'technology crowd'. Apple pushes hard so their users feel they are better informed than other people and are magically endowed with 'technical' understanding that non-Mac users will never understand.

I would commend Apple's marketing strategy, except it actually hurts their customers by keeping them only 'Apple' informed by training them to ignore 'tech speak' that comes from anyone outside of the Apple 'club'.

I'm surprised how many people took what I posted soo seriously lol. It is surprising how many people don't know about this though. Even my nephew, who is a very basic computer user, knew about this. Only thing he asked me was where he could download the Ipsw file that wasn't a Mega link.

NightmarE D said,
I'm surprised how many people took what I posted soo seriously lol. It is surprising how many people don't know about this though. Even my nephew, who is a very basic computer user, knew about this. Only thing he asked me was where he could download the Ipsw file that wasn't a Mega link.

yea, but he didn't just know it naturally, did he. Someone had to tell him or he had to have read about it. Most basic users haven't stumbled across this method.

I mean, the skill it takes to execute the task is basic, but you have to know about it first; it's not an obvious method of installation that one can just think up.

Certainly, I'd consider myself pretty decent with computers & I never even considered this process of installation. If I did I'd have to look up how to do it.

"It Just Works"

Neowin said,
Twitter reveals that a number of users were getting an error message before they could even install the update and some still are.

Maybe those users are just holding it wrong while it downloads?

MaddddHatter

MaddddHatter said,
"It Just Works"

Maybe those users are just holding it wrong while it downloads?

MaddddHatter

That joke never gets old /s

volodoscope said,
I think Lumia 920 users are still holding it wrong for 2 months, waiting for their update.

No update versus unable to install update are two different thing, didn't you notice?

FarCry3r said,

No update versus unable to install update are two different thing, didn't you notice?

The same happened,to MS when 8.1 Preview was released. No company is going to increase the number of their servers just because once in a while they experience a spike in downloads.
Go out, get a Martini and enjoy life.....

Fritzly said,

The same happened,to MS when 8.1 Preview was released. No company is going to increase the number of their servers just because once in a while they experience a spike in downloads.
Go out, get a Martini and enjoy life.....

and you're quoting me why?

volodoscope said,
I think Lumia 920 users are still holding it wrong for 2 months, waiting for their update.

uhhh what does this have to do with the article dealing with iOS and its issue?

oh and I've had my 920 update for a good month now. no problems or gripes here.

nice try though.

FarCry3r said,

and you're quoting me why?

Clearly it was a glitch with my phone because my reply has nothing to do with your post, quite obviously I would add...

Fritzly said,

The same happened,to MS when 8.1 Preview was released. No company is going to increase the number of their servers just because once in a while they experience a spike in downloads.
Go out, get a Martini and enjoy life.....

Actually, companies buy temporary server capacity and stage them around the world for launches. Microsoft would be one example.

The 8.1 Preview didn't have many issues, as it was not intended for general consumption.

When 8.1 truly releases, if the new MS data farms are not enough, Microsoft will once again have stage servers setup around the world.

As for this being an 'Apple' problem, the truth is that they may have been shortsighted, but the problems are probably the result of them using third party cloud services, and if I remember right, authentication is handled by Amazon.