How to fix your bricked Apple Watch 2

Apple recently pushed the WatchOS 3.1.1 update to the Apple Watch 2, but some found the update bricked their wearable and made it unusable.

If you've updated your watch, you may find it only showed a red exclamation mark with a URL to the company’s support page - the problem is that URL doesn't currently explain what's wrong with the Apple Watch 2.

Luckily we have a few fixes, so just follow the simple steps below.

1. Force restart 

This has worked for some users of the Apple Watch 2 and is the simplest way to fix the device, but be warned it may not work for everybody.

You’ll need to hold down both the side button and the Digital Crown on the Apple Watch 2 at the same time.

After 10 seconds of holding down the buttons, the exclamation mark should disappear and you’ll be greeted with the Apple logo and your wearable should start up as per normal.

If this doesn’t work, you should move on to step two.

2. Take it to a Genius bar

If you’ve found the step above doesn’t work, you’ll need to take your Apple Watch in for repair at the Apple Genius bar.

Most Apple Watch 2 devices will have to be sent in for servicing as the Geniuses don’t have access to the diagnostics.

You’ll then know from Apple whether the fix can be carried out there and then or not. Be prepared for a wait as the Geniuses try to fix your device.

3. Exchange your device

Apple may have to exchange your Apple Watch 2 if the fix doesn’t work at the Genius bar. 

Hopefully that means you’ll walk out of the store with a new watch on your wrist within a few hours or less, but there’s no gurantee and you may have to wait quite a while until you get back to using an Apple Watch 2.

James Peckham

James is Managing Editor for Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.