Skip to main content

Have an iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch? You need to update it right now

iPhone 14 Pro Max against a red background.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

If you own an Apple product — be in the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or a Mac — you should update it immediately. Why? Apple has begun rolling out updates to all of its devices with fixes for a serious security vulnerability.

The security vulnerability is known as CVE-2023-32434, and it has to do with the kernel privileges of Apple devices. Per Apple’s website, the vulnerability allows third-party apps to “execute arbitrary code.” In other words, if a bad actor knows how to exploit this vulnerability, they could potentially gain access to your Apple device and wreck havoc.

The bad news? That vulnerability affects iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and Macs. The good news? An update is available now that patches the CVE-2023-32434 vulnerability so you don’t have to worry about it.

The original iPad wallpaper in iPadOS 17.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

If you have an iPhone or iPad, open the Settings app, select General > Software Update, and you should see an update available for iOS 16.5.1 or iPadOS 16.5.1, respectively. If you have an Apple Watch, open the Watch app, select General > Software Update, and you should see an update for watchOS 9.5.2. For Mac users, open the Settings app, click General > Software Update, and you’ll see an update for macOS 13.4.1.

These updates also address another security vulnerability for iPhones, iPads, and Macs — specifically, a WebKit-related one that could process “maliciously crafted web content” and “lead to arbitrary code execution.”

Although there’s not much else to talk about beyond these security fixes, we’re expecting a lot more from Apple’s software teams later this year. Apple is currently developing the next major software updates for all of its platforms — including iOS 17, iPadOS 17, watchOS 10, and macOS 14 Sonoma. Developer betas for all of those are available now, and if you’re interested, you can download them right now for yourself using one of our guides:

However, seeing how those big software updates are all still in the “developer beta” stage, we recommend that most people wait until the software officially launches later this fall — or at least until public betas are available later this summer.

Editors' Recommendations

Joe Maring
Section Editor, Mobile
Joe Maring is the Section Editor for Digital Trends' Mobile team, leading the site's coverage for all things smartphones…
I’ll be furious if the iPhone 15 Pro doesn’t get this one feature
A black iPhone 14 Pro lying on a table.

It’s peak summer season, but that also means we’re getting closer to Apple’s fall event in September. This is typically when we expect the next generation of iPhones and Apple Watches.

This year, we’re expecting the iPhone 15 lineup, which should include the standard iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. On top of that, it’s safe to say that we should also see the Apple Watch Series 9, but whether we’re getting a second-generation Apple Watch Ultra is still up in the air. And new AirPods? Who knows! Regardless, it will be exciting and jam-packed with a ton of new products.

Read more
How to get rid of someone else’s Apple ID on your iPhone
iPhone 11 Pro Settings

While it's always a good idea to wipe your iPhone before selling it or passing it on to someone else, it's not uncommon for some folks to forget this important step, especially if they're just handing an old iPhone down to a friend or family member. Hence, if you've acquired a used iPhone from somewhere, you may find that it's still signed into the Apple ID of the previous owner, which can be a pretty frustrating situation as it makes it difficult for you to make your new iPhone truly your own.

Depending on whose Apple ID you're using, this may be more than just an inconvenience. Using an iPhone that's fully signed in to someone else's Apple ID means that you'll be syncing data like your photos and messages with their iCloud account instead of yours, and it's likely they can even track its location via Apple's Find My iPhone. Even if they're a close friend or immediate family member, you may not want them to have that level of access to your personal life.

Read more
Vital security update for Apple devices takes only a few minutes to install
iPhone 14 Pro Max in hand.

UPDATE: Just hours after rolling out the security update, Apple has pulled it after users began experiencing compatibility issues with Safari for sites such as Instagram and Facebook. If you've already installed the update, you can downgrade on iPhone and iPad by going to Settings, then General. Select About and then OS version. Finally, tap Remove Security Response.

For Mac, select the Apple logo top left and then System Settings. Next, select General, and then About. Under macOS, select the "i" (information) button located beside the OS version. Where it says Last Security Response, select the Remove & Restart button, and then Remove Response and Restart in the prompt.

Read more