Apple Pulls watchOS 5 Beta 1, Users Report Update Bricks Devices

Apple has pulled the first watchOS 5 beta from its developer website amid reports of issues with the software’s installation process.

The watchOS 5 configuration file and over-the-air update have both been removed, with the former listed as “temporarily unavailable” on the developer portal. Apple added that it is investigating a bug that occurs when users attempt to update to the new software.

The company also advised users to contact AppleCare if they experienced any issues.

According to anecdotal reports across Reddit and other forums, users are running into trouble when downloading or installing the update.

In some cases, the update would fail due to a supposed lack of internet connectivity (even though those users were connected to Wi-Fi), or it would periodically restart its installation progress. Other users report that a successfully updated Apple Watch will reboot and downgrade back to a previous version of watchOS 4.

There are also reports of the watchOS 5 beta bricking devices — resulting in a Watch remaining “stuck” on a red exclamation point error pane. Some of those users have taken their devices to get repaired by Apple staff.

These issues also seem to impact Apple Watch Series 2 devices more than either version of the Apple Watch Series 3.

Based on the number of reports, the problem is pretty widespread — even though some users were actually able to install the beta without issue. At the very least, it was widespread enough for Apple to temporarily pull the first seed of watchOS 5.

It’s not clear when Apple will make watchOS 5 beta 1 available again. As of the writing of this article, the beta is still unavailable.

Of course, beta software can be extremely buggy — particularly during its initial release. This is just one example of that fact. And it’s yet another reason why we don’t recommend installing beta software on your daily driver or your other “mission critical” devices.

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