iOS 17.3 Beta 2 is reportedly causing some iPhones to boot loop

Jan 4, 2024

Apple released the iOS 17.3 beta 2 to testers last night, but it was buggy. The update caused some iPhones to reboot infinitely, if users had a specific feature enabled on the device.

iOS 17.3 beta 2 is boot looping iPhones

Users who had downloaded the update on their iPhone noticed that their device was stuck in an boot loop, stuck with the Apple logo and SpringBoard spinner. A few blogs say that Apple pulled the iOS 17.3 beta 2 update (build number 21D5036c) shortly after users started complaining about their iPhones getting bricked. I would argue that a bricked phone is completely unusable, unrecoverable, at least not without the help of a repair technician at a service center. This is not the case here, as I will explain in a bit. Anyway, the update isn't listed on the Apple Developer's website either, which sort of confirms that there is a problem with the software.

But, here is the thing. The update is currently available for me at the time of writing this article. I cannot tell if the bug has been fixed or not as I don't have a spare iPhone to test it with. To be on the safer side, you should probably avoid downloading iOS 17.3 beta 2, at least for a couple of days or so. That's the whole point of this article.

What caused the problem?

It appears that not all iPhones were affected by the boot loop bug. According to some reports, the issue only occured on devices that had the back tap feature enabled. This option is not enabled by default, you can find it under Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Back Tap. It is a customizable shortcut, so you can set it to perform various actions. For example, I use it to take screenshots on my iPhone.

However, details about the reports seem rather contradictory. Some users claim that they had back tap enabled on their iPhone on a prior version, and that updating to iOS 17.3 beta 2 did not cause their device to boot loop.  So it is unclear why the issue may have happened for some people.

If you have already updated to iOS 17.3 beta 2 and your iPhone is stuck in a boot loop, don't worry, you are not completely out of luck. App developer Guilherme Rambo has suggested a workaround (via 9to5Mac) for the problem, but you will need a Mac to fix your iPhone.

How to unbrick your iPhone after installing iOS 17.3 beta 2

1. Download iOS 17.3 beta 1 IPSW from Apple's website.

2. Connect your iPhone to your Mac via cable.

3. Press the volume up button, followed by the volume down key, and finally the side button (power). Your iPhone should boot into recovery mode.

4. Open the Finder app, select your iPhone in the sidebar.

5. Hold down the Option key and click the "Restore iPhone" button.

6. This will downgrade your iPhone to iOS 17.3 beta 1.

Or, you can try factory resetting your iPhone using Apple's guide.

See, bugs like these that can render your device unusable (albeit temporarily) are the reason why you should never install beta versions of operating systems on your primary device. It's never worth the risk, you should only use beta software on a spare phone or computer. On a side note, the recent stable update, iOS 17.2.1 also has a bug, which prevents some users from making calls on their iPhone, there are a few workarounds for the connectivity issues.

Did you experience the boot loop issue on your iPhone?

iOS 17.3 Beta 2 is reportedly causing some iPhones to boot loop
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iOS 17.3 Beta 2 is reportedly causing some iPhones to boot loop
iOS 17.3 Beta 2 is causing some iPhones to boot loop indefinitely.
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  1. Anonymous said on January 5, 2024 at 7:04 am

    “but you will need a Mac to fix your iPhone” LOL

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