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iOS 16.6 be careful – be very careful BIG problems could be out there

The day started well enough and then suddenly…

iOS 16.6 update

Up to date

iOS 16.6 came out today.

I wasn’t even aware of it, to be honest – and I spend my day looking at Twitter and other Apple feeds, but this latest 16.6 update had passed me by. The way I came to find out about it wasn’t perfect either.

Come with me as I walk you through my day so far…

All as normal

Like most of us, I grab my phone in the morning in bed and just start to catch up with stuff that’s happened overnight. You know, just the normal kind of things – emails, Twitter, the bank that kind of thing. At first, everything was as normal.

As I get up and showered I always put my Apple Watch & iPhone on the Belkin Wireless tree to charge – and again so far today was starting like any other day…but then it started to unravel.

I was checking out stuff at my desk and needed to check something on the phone. I grabbed it and for some reason, it didn’t unlock with my face rather it wanted my passcode. Face ID has failed before so I thought nothing about it but when I put in my passcode for the first time I got the message iPhone Unavailable – try again in 5 minutes. Odd, but I figured I must have put the passcode in wrong, it must be my fault.

So I waited the set time and put in my passcode again with the same result. Every time I tried it I got the same result except the wait time was getting longer and longer.

Time to draw breath

OK, so this merry dance was truly starting to pee me off now. The passcode hadn’t changed and I know I was using the correct passcode.

On the Lock Screen, there was a website that Apple suggested to look at. Thinking there may be a pearl of wisdom there that may add clarity to my rapidly anger-filled thoughts I figured it had to be worth taking a look at. All it suggested was a full restore!

That seemed to be a case of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut so I thought I’d resort to the one route I hate taking and call Apple Care. There must be another less radical answer.

On hold

So I called and waited, and waited…

The last time I’d spoken with Apple Care was in January when I had a rogue issue with my HomePod. On the face of it, the assistant I had that day was helpful enough and spent ages with me. But the call back the following day never happened – and never did. But needs must and I couldn’t believe there wouldn’t be a less extreme fix.

Turns out there wasn’t. The advisor this time around didn’t inspire confidence when she couldn’t spell my Apple ID – even phonetically! We got there in the end though after a painful protracted period and she told me that the only way to get around it was to do a full reset.

I was still baffled as to why this happened though – it wouldn’t just randomly lock me out. As we were briefly chatting she mentioned that thinly thing that had happened on their side was 16.6 dropped today. That one little sentence threw everything into perspective – that was just way too much of a coincidence that my phone suddenly locked me out on the day of the latest iOS update.

I am a firm believer in keeping all iOS up to date and have my phone set to auto-install. My family and friends think I’m bonkers for my blind intent on updating, but in my heart I know it makes sense. These fixes are generally for security reasons and that’s a good enough reason for me.

The odd thing was though when the penny dropped and I mentioned to my Apple advisor that must be the reason – iOS 16.6 installs and my phone suddenly locks me out – well the silence was deafening. As if lifted from a script, after a few moments of silence all I got was the somewhat trite response “ I can’t comment”. OK – these things can happen I guess so what about a follow-up call to check the progress? Sure would Wednesday be ok!!

Inevitably our call dropped and although to Apple’s credit, she did call me back, she had no other thoughts or suggestions. A reset it was to be then.

The nuts & bolts

In case you are faced with the same problem here is the way you have to go about fixing it.

Power of your phone. Then as you re-boot, plug in a lightning cable at the same time and keep the power button held in until you get a picture of a cable plugging into your Mac on your phone’s display.

You’ll then see your iPhone in Finder and it will give you the option to update or reset. I first chose to continue with the update…save yourself time – it doesn’t work and after about 15 minutes I was back in the same place.

I was forced into a full reset and all because of iOS 16.6! Furious – yup you bet I was. It took about 25 minutes to download and install and then I just had to hope & pray that the auto-backups were enabled and working.

That’s something else I am fairly fastidious about and luckily the last update was only about 18 hours ago. Had that feature not have been enabled – geez can you imagine? Before hitting restore I tried to check my iCloud account to find out when the last update was but oddly it doesn’t give you that info.

Interestingly, checking on Twitter where iOS 16.6 is trending, I was not alone. It does seem to be a known bug.

Only part of the problem

Of course, finally getting the phone to restore is only part of the problem.

I then had to wait an eternity for all the apps to update and re-install on my phone and you’ve guessed it – every time I go to an app now, I have to sign in again. Understandably the banking apps have many layers to get through so the time I’ve wasted on sorting this today so far I hate to think.

It is working again now of sorts but suffice it to say I am not feeling the love today for Apple, auto-updates and iOS 16.6 in particular.

In some respects, I guess I was lucky (that’s called the glass-half-full approach) as all this happened at home. I was able to plug my phone into the Mac and eventually sort it all out. I had screens around me that I could look at to find the numerous codes and passwords I needed to start to sort things out. I know I’ll be swearing later tonight though as I go to use an app I’ve forgotten about that requires me to log in again.

But had this happened away from home I’d have been stuffed. I wouldn’t have been able to pay for anything and possibly not even have been able to get into my car.


This was not the blog I had intended to write today but when it happened I thought I should share it with you straight away and hopefully save you the grief.

I will continue to update and put this down to a rogue one-off problem. We all have a bad day right, but how this happened is still a mystery to me and for Apple to deny to my face they knew of anything about it is even more of a problem. At least if you break something ‘fess up’ and help to fix the mess.

Lessons learned – well make sure back that you have backups enabled – that saved the day for me and also have good password management sorted out too. I know these all sound very basic points but sometimes it pays to be reminded.

Before iOS 16.6 ruined my day I had intended to write about the fun having gone out of iPhone and iOS – somewhat ironic huh!

So iOS 16.6 is now installed and hopefully I can forget about it – but just be a little wary of this one. Hopefully whatever bug it was will have been sorted. I know there is no proof that iOS 16.6 was the culprit, but it’ll take an awful lot of convincing to tell me otherwise.

I’ve recently been thinking about installing betas – I think after today’s little escapade I’ll pass on that for now. iOS 16.6 – whatever you were fixing it best have been worth it!

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