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Apple pulls latest Rapid Security Response updates

Hours after issuing security updates for Mac, iPhone and iPad, Apple has pulled the release, reportedly because it was causing problems with websites including Facebook.

Apple issued the updates to macOS 13.4.1, iOS 16.5.1, and iPadOS 16.5.1, to prevent a security exploit that was actively affecting users. The company's Rapid Security Response (RSR) is intended to mean Apple can swiftly address significant vulnerabilities without waiting for a full update.

As first spotted by MacRumors, however, this particular update caused enough problems that Apple decided to pull it.

Specifically, a range of sites including social media ones such as Facebook and Instagram did not recognize the update, and told Safari users that their browser was not supported. The problem the RSR was intended to fix concerned a vulnerability in WebKit, Apple's browsing engine, which was itself causing some websites to break.

Apple has not commented on its removal of the update, but it will presumably reissue the RSR with a further fix.

The removal of the update came sufficiently soon after release that many users will not have had it. Apple's support documentation includes full details about installing and removing RSRs, but if a user has had the update, they can:

  1. Go to Settings, General, About
  2. Tap on iOS Version
  3. Choose Remove Security Response

On a Mac, most users should be able to:

  1. Open System Settings, General, About
  2. Scroll down to macOS and look for an i for information button
  3. If present, click the button, and a Last Security Response window appears
  4. Choose Remove & Restart
  5. Confirm your choice

However, there may not be an i for information button if the user is running a beta version of macOS. In that case, they may have to wait until Apple re-releases the RSR update.