iOS 16.5 update prevents Apple's Lightning to USB 3 adapters from working

May 22, 2023

The iOS 16.5 update, that was released a few days ago, apparently has a major issue. Users say that the new version of the operating system has stopped their Lightning to USB 3 adapters from working.

Apple Lightning to USB 3 adapters are not working with iOS 16.5

The issue came to light when users on reddit and Apple's support forums raised their voices to complain that they were unable to use their Apple Lightning to USB 3 adapters with their iPhones, after they had updated their mobile to iOS 16.5. The issue also affects iPadOS 16.5. The dongle in question is sold by Apple, which is rather ironical.

As 9to5Mac notes, the USB adapter is advertised as a "camera adapter accessory", but many iPhone and iPad users connect it to other devices that have a USB-A port, such as external hard drives, Digital Audio Converters (DAC), Ethernet adapters, microphones, etc. The description for the product does state that it can be used to connect with USB peripherals such as Hubs, Ethernet adapters, etc.

Macrumors' blog post says that reports from users indicate that they were unable to use the USB adapter to charge their devices, or to connect to their car's stereo. One user had reported that the accessory which they used to connect to a controller was working on another iPhone that they hadn't updated, but wouldn't work on the mobile that they had installed the update on. Many other users have said that they are experiencing similar issues with their USB dongle.

(product images via Apple)

Some users who were affected by the issue claim that when they contacted Apple Support for help, the company's representatives had denied that they were aware of such issues. It's rather strange that the bug wasn't caught in iOS 16.5 beta or RC versions, considering that they were being tested for several weeks.

While there is no official confirmation about the problem, we think that it is just a bug in the software. A speculation from a user suggests that Apple may have patched a vulnerability to prevent a physical attack vector (hackers plugging into a phone), and that the changes made to secure the device may have unintentionally broken compatibility with the USB adapters completely.

I should mention that the bug only seems to affect USB 3 adapters, other dongles such as the lightning to 3.5 mm headphone adapter are working fine with iOS 16.5.

You could skip the iOS 16.5 update to avoid the bug, but is that a good idea? Please be aware that the update ships with fixes for several vulnerabilities, including security fixes for three actively exploited issues. So, it's up to you to decide whether you should skip the update if you want to use your USB accessory, or install the update to stay secure.

Since the issue has been reported by many users, it is possible that Apple could release a hotfix to patch the USB 3 adapter compatibility in the coming days. It is unclear whether the iOS 16.6 beta that was released recently fixes the issue.

Have you experienced the bug on your iPhone or iPad?

Article Name
Apple Lightning to USB 3 adapters are not working with iOS 16.5
Users say that their Apple Lightning to USB 3 adapters are not working after installing the iOS 16.5 update on their iPhones.
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  1. Anonymous said on May 31, 2023 at 11:18 am

    My USB3 Lightning fails too. It cuts the power input from this device, so it can’t operate with usb3 devices.
    All from 16.5 update.

  2. Anonymous said on May 24, 2023 at 11:18 pm

    Where are the titles, “Apple urges you not to install their iOS 16.5 update as it will cut you from your USB devices” ?

    Weren’t they spanked already for not being interoperable ?

  3. Scroogled said on May 22, 2023 at 10:48 pm

    As usual, Apple’s behavior is completely despicable. I hope this strategy costs them 3 billion in fines.

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