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Update your iPhone 5 before November 3 2019, or lose its internet access

Update your iPhone 5 before November 3 2019, or lose its internet access

Listen up if you’re still using an iPhone 5 – you need to update to iOS 10.3.4 before Sunday November 3, or you may find your smartphone loses access to the internet.

The warning comes from Apple itself, which says that an iOS update is essential for features that require the correct date and time – such as the App Store, iCloud, email, and web browsing.

In other words, if you want to do anything actually useful with your iPhone 5 beyond making calls, you had best update its operating system.

Some affected iPhone 5 users report that they have seen a warning message appear on their device’s home screens advising them to take action now, rather than leave it until it’s too late.

In its advisory, Apple explains that the problem is related to an essential update required to properly maintain accurate GPS location information. GPS-enabled devices from other manufacturers were affected by the GPS Rollover issue earlier this year on April 6:

“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.”

To avoid the problem, iPhone 5 and users of the 4th generation iPad are advised to update to iOS 10.3.4 before November 3.

If you are still running an iPhone 4s then you are advised to update your device to iOS 9.3.6 before November 3. The same advice is true for owners of the following cellular-enabled iPads: the first generation iPad mini, the iPad 2, and the third generation iPad.

The iPod touch and any iPad models that have Wi-Fi only are not affected.

Concerned iPhone users can check which version of iOS they are currently running by following these steps:

  • Open Settings
  • Click on General -> About
  • Check the number next to Software version

Apple has shared details on how iPhone and iPad users can update their devices here.

According to Apple, iPhone 5 owners who do not manage to complete the operating system update by November 3, 2019 will be required to back up and restore using a computer in order to update as over-the-air software updates and iCloud Backup will not be available.

About the author

Graham CLULEY

Graham Cluley is an award-winning security blogger, researcher and public speaker. He has been working in the computer security industry since the early 1990s, having been employed by companies such as Sophos, McAfee and Dr Solomon's. He has given talks about computer security for some of the world's largest companies, worked with law enforcement agencies on investigations into hacking groups, and regularly appears on TV and radio explaining computer security threats.

Graham Cluley was inducted into the InfoSecurity Europe Hall of Fame in 2011, and was given an honorary mention in the "10 Greatest Britons in IT History" for his contribution as a leading authority in internet security.

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  • So my Software Version states 12.4.2 and the latest update available is for 12.4.3 so I'm wondering: Am I missing something? I have an iPhone 5s. Perhaps this doesn't apply to me.