watchOS 5.1 Update Bricking Some Apple Watches [Update: Apple Temporarily Pulls watchOS 5.1]

It appears the watchOS 5.1 update that was released this morning is causing problems for some Apple Watch owners. Multiple MacRumors readers have had issues installing the new software and are reporting that the update has bricked their devices.

Customers who are affected are seeing their Apple Watches stuck at the Apple logo loading screen after initiating the watchOS 5.1 update.

applewatchseries4watchfaces
Some customers who contacted Apple were initially told that the update could take a few hours, but multiple people have seen no progress after three or more hours. From MacRumors reader Bazooka-joe:

So my series 4 sssb has been stuck on installing 5.1 For an hour and a half now with nothing showing on the watch except the bright white Apple icon. Spoken to Apple Support who said that they are getting calls from other people experiencing the same issue and they have advised me to leave it for 2 to 3 hours. WTF Why would an update that supposed to take 10 minutes to install take 2 to 3 hours

It appears affected users have the Apple Watch Series 4, which is the newest Apple Watch that was released in September.

Some MacRumors readers have said that Apple is going to be shipping out replacement watches for those who have been affected.

Not all customers who have an Apple Watch Series 4 have had problems installing the watchOS 5.1 update, but as a cautionary measure, it's worthwhile to hold off downloading and installing the software until Apple pushes a fix. Apple has not pulled the watchOS 5.1 update as of yet.

Update: Apple has temporarily pulled the watchOS 5.1 update.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

zorinlynx Avatar
30 months ago
Can anyone explain why Apple didn't implement a DFU restore procedure for the watches? It shouldn't be possible for these devices to brick.

They should have implemented plugging the charger puck into a computer and using iTunes to restore it, just like you can an iOS device.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lancetx Avatar
30 months ago
Weird. This was by far the fastest and smoothest Apple Watch update I've ever seen. Took all of 10 minutes tops from start to finish on my Series 4. Nothing like the sometimes 1-2 hours I've seen in the past on my previous S0 & S1 watches.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bazooka-joe Avatar
30 months ago
I often say this each time an update comes out: WAIT A FEW HOURS. But there is always some jerkoff in the comments who thinks they know better and says that there is nothing to be worried about. Just wait a few hours! Patience.
But if we all take your advice then no one will know if there is a problem
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bin Cook Avatar
30 months ago
Tim would like to thank you for paying $400 dollars to be a beta tester.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CMoore515 Avatar
30 months ago
All good on my Series 4. Took about 15 minutes.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Trik Avatar
30 months ago
Can anyone explain why Apple didn't implement a DFU restore procedure for the watches? It shouldn't be possible for these devices to brick.

They should have implemented plugging the charger puck into a computer and using iTunes to restore it, just like you can an iOS device.
The charging puck does just that, it charges. There isn't some magical data transfer going on there unfortunately.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models With HDMI Port and SD Card Reader to Launch Later This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 8:52 pm PST by
Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who outlined his expectations in a research note obtained by MacRumors. The return of an SD card reader was first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman last month. "We predict that Apple's two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...
iphone 12 pro display video

BOE Rumored to Supply iPhone 13 Display Panels After iPhone 12 Failures

Monday February 22, 2021 9:54 am PST by
Display manufacturer BOE will be one of the main suppliers of OLED panels for iPhone 13 models, according to a new report today from Taiwan's Economic Daily News. BOE is said to be working with touch panel manufacturer General Interface Solution (GIS), part of the Hon Hai Group to develop OLED panels. Multiple iPhone 12 rumors suggested that BOE would supply some panels for the devices,...
mac security privacy

Apple Takes Step to Prevent Further Spread of 'Silver Sparrow' Malware on Macs

Monday February 22, 2021 6:13 am PST by
Over the weekend, we reported on the second known piece of malware compiled to run natively on M1 Macs. Given the name "Silver Sparrow," the malicious package is said to leverage the macOS Installer JavaScript API to execute suspicious commands. After observing the malware for over a week, however, security firm Red Canary did not observe any final payload, so the exact threat to users remains a...
jon prosser imac 2021colors

Prosser: 2021 iMac to Come in Five Colors, Apple Silicon Mac Pro to Resemble 'Stacked' Mac Minis

Wednesday February 24, 2021 7:26 am PST by
Hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has today alleged that the upcoming 2021 iMac models will offer five color options, mirroring the colors of the fourth-generation iPad Air, and revealed a number of additional details about the Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. In a new video on YouTube channel FrontPageTech, Prosser explained that the redesigned iMacs will come featuring options for Silver, Space ...
whatsapp privacy banner

WhatsApp Reveals What Happens to Users Who Don't Agree to Upcoming Privacy Policy Changes

Sunday February 21, 2021 1:11 am PST by
WhatsApp has revealed how it will gradually limit the features available to accounts held by users who do not accept the platform's impending privacy policy changes, due to come into effect on May 15. WhatsApp's new banner explaining the privacy policy changes According to an email seen by TechCrunch to one of its merchant partners, WhatsApp said it will "slowly ask" users who have not yet...
new airpods leaked image 52audios

Alleged Leaked Image Claims to Show Third-Generation AirPods and Case

Sunday February 21, 2021 2:49 am PST by
A new image claims to offer our first real world look at Apple's next-generation AirPods. The image, shared by 52audio, showcases both AirPods and the charging case for what the site claims to be the third iteration of the wireless earbuds. 52audio has in the past shared images claiming to showcase different parts of the third-generation AirPods. Most notably, the site in November shared...
anker magsafe powercore battery pack

Anker Releases MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack for iPhone 12 Lineup

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:49 am PST by
Following rumors that Apple is working on a MagSafe battery pack for iPhone 12 models, popular accessory maker Anker has beaten Apple to the punch with the release of its PowerCore Magnetic 5K Wireless Power Bank. First previewed at CES 2021, the PowerCore battery pack magnetically attaches to the back of any iPhone 12 model and provides 5W of wireless charging. With a 5,000 mAh capacity,...
iPad Pro Mini LED

New iPad Pro and MacBook Models With Mini-LED Displays Again Rumored to Launch This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Taiwanese company Ennostar will begin production of Mini-LED backlight units for an upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the late first quarter or second quarter of this year, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. Ennostar is a holding company that was jointly established in January 2021 by LED-related manufacturers Epistar and Lextar Electronics. Apple is expected to unveil the new ...
14

iOS 14.5 to Make Zero-Click Attacks 'Significantly Harder'

Monday February 22, 2021 9:05 am PST by
Apple's impending iOS and iPadOS 14.5 update will make zero-click attacks considerably more difficult by extending PAC security provisions, according to Motherboard. Apple has made a change to the way in which it secures its code in the latest betas of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 to make zero-click attacks much harder. The change, spotted by security researchers, has now been confirmed by...