Workaround/fix – iPad + 3 security questions + your session has timed out

Threw iOS 6 on the iPad3 a few days ago. All was well until today when I tried to install a new app from the App Store.

For whatever reason, it suddenly wanted me to enter 3 security questions/answers. Rather than letting me make up my own questions (like “what sound does a cow make?”), I had to pick from a few predefined ones that Apple evidently thinks will be more secure than what I might come up with. Fair enough.

Problem was that when I hit “done”, I got a rather unpleasant message… Your session has timed out.

Made a few attempts, but to no avail. Did some searching, and tried all the wonky things that somehow worked for a select few… manually setting the time, logging out of the account from within Settings, swapping DNS servers, etc. Nada.


Finally I came across something that did work. If you’re in a similar boat, it could be worth a shot.

What you need:
-A Mac/PC with iTunes (connected to the internetz)
-30 seconds to a minute of time

Essentially, you use iTunes on the computer to download the same app from the App Store. It’ll make you setup the same 3 security questions, but it will (should) actually work.

Here’s the process I followed:

-Open iTunes (on your Mac/PC)
-Choose the iTunes Store from the left bar
-Select “App Store” from the top menu
-find the App. Try to download it.
-it’ll make you set up the 3 security questions. Do so.

At this point, it may give you an error message about not being able to connect to your account. However, in my case it worked anyway (I eventually got an auto-email from Apple mentioning that I’d made security changes).

-if you got the error, pop open the store again, and try downloading the app again
-it shouldn’t ask you to set up the security questions this time – it should just work.


While it was downloading the App through iTunes on the computer, I went to the iPad and tried downloading through the App Store again (I didn’t want to spend time syncing, though that would have been an option too). It worked!


So in short, if the 3 security questions are tripping up your iPad, try using your computer to grab the app through the AppStore in iTunes (and thus setting up the 3 questions that way). Once those questions are set up, the iPad should hopefully go back to downloading Apps properly. That said, if for some reason it doesn’t, you should at least be able to download on the computer and sync to the iPad until Apple gets a fix out.