iOS 16.3: iCloud Backup bug becomes a problem for users


It’s becoming a routine for Apple to roll out buggy major iOS updates. Since iOS 15, the first releases are known for carrying a myriad of bugs. The latest iOS 16 was not an exception. The first update had a series of issues that affected the lives of many users that promptly installed the update on day one. Things got better with the rollout of iOS 16.1 and iOS 16.2 updates. More recently, iOS 16.3 started to roll out for the iPhones promising more fixes, including the nasty horizontal lines issue with the iPhone 14 Pro series. Despite the fixes, the latest iOS update arrived with its own set of issues.

As per a series of reports, some users who updated to iOS 16.3 are suffering from issues with iCloud Backup. Several complaints were issued on MacRumors Forums and on the official Apple Support communities. The users that suffer from the issue are getting their automatic iCloud Backup feature disabled. If they try to turn on the automatic backups, they get the message: “An unknown error occurred. Please try again later”. With the error message, the “Back Up This iPhone” toggle under Settings >> Apple ID >> iCloud remains disabled.

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For some users, it was possible to bypass the issue by turning on two-factor authentication. Of course, this started a series of rumors pointing to Apple forcing users to use the extra security layer. However, we don’t think that is the case. After all, the workaround does not fix the issue for all users. For instance, some users that had the two-factor authentication enabled still suffered from the error. One report at Apple Community has the following info:

“Same problem for me – iOS 16.3 on an iPhone and iPad – 2factor is turned on and have tried logging out and in of Apple ID and rebooting.”

MacRumors states that one user reported that the automatic backups were still working despite the disabled toggle. The user left two devices charging, and the backups were performed. Some users reported a similar situation.

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Despite the speculation, it does not seem like Apple forcing users to enable the extra layer of security. If that was the case, Apple would likely provide clear info to users. Instead, we have a vague message of an unknown error.

iOS 16.3.1 is in development, and it may bring a fix for the issue with iCloud Backup. For now, the better thing you can do is to manually back up.

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