Apple TV Software 6.0 update goes missing, possibly pulled due to bricking issues

Last week Apple not only released iOS 7 for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, but also Apple TV Software 6.0 for the Apple TV. For some people it went smoothly, those in the U.S. got iTunes Radio support, and those everywhere got support for Shared Photo Streams, and an AirPlay update that lets you play your content on other people's Apple TV's. For others, it was ruinous, bricked their Apple TV's and forced a generation completely unfamiliar with the process to find or buy a Micro-USB cable and connect to iTunes on their Windows or Mac PC and restore that way. Now the update appears to have been pulled.

There's been no official word from Apple, but in our tests and quick polling of our readers, Software Update on the Apple TV currently shows Apple TV 5.3 as the current version and states no updates are available. (Apple TV still has odd versions, with Apple TV Software 5.x matching iOS 6 and Apple TV Software 6.x matching iOS 7.)

For anyone familiar with the Apple TV jailbreak scene, connecting to iTunes is old hat and likely more annoying than anything else. For the vast majority of people who've never had to do anything more than push a button to update in the past, a bricked Apple TV is likely disastrous.

If you haven't updated yet, wait and hopefully a safer version of the Apple TV Software 6.0 update returns soon. If you tried updating already and had problems, we'll post a set of instructions for restoring over USB with iTunes.

In the meantime, tell us what's going on with your Apple TV - updated and good to go, stuck in bricked hell, or still waiting and watching?

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 85 comments. Add yours.

CycloneFW says:

After the Netflix issue last year causing many titles after an Apple update (authentication issue with some Netflix servers), I had to downgrade and I decided to wait a month on all future updates. No cable here, so it's very disruptive to do a restore on the Apple TV.

GloriaDonahue says:

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BoxOfSnoo says:

I had to do the iTunes DFU restore, and it worked since. I presumed "bricking" was a lot more catastrophic than that.

I like how "Home Videos" are separated out from "Movies" in iTunes Sharing.

smack518 says:

The update bricked one of mine and went gone on another. I got a microusb cable and restored the bricked one and all seems fine now.

Sent from the iMore App

Gregz0r says:

Looks like I got lucky. No iTunes Radio yet in the UK though. :/

mpaquette says:

Update went smoothly on mine. Have been playing the heck out of iTunes Radio this weekend without any issues.

htabbach says:

I'm in the US, updated yesterday and I love it! No issues at all...

sangs says:

One bricked, one fine, one not able to find the update. So looks like I hit them all!

imug_au says:

I tried to update our MUG AppleTV(3) here in Melbourne but was told V5.3 was the current version. I do suspect an updated hardware to be available soon if only to move to 802.11ac like the rest of Apple's hardware.

SKEJAS says:

Update both our Apple TVs and no issues

BenitoC says:

I updated to 6.0 and so far it is working. But I haven't used it much since updating.

toddman says:

Updated 1 ATV on Friday with no problems. Updated my other ATV a day later (yesterday) and bricked it. Restoring the bricked ATV installed the software update. No problems since then. Like mpaquette, I've been playing iTunes Radio a lot. Love it!

rynoondew1 says:

Updated 2. One bricked and one worked fine. Second one restored with iTunes with no issues. Love the update

mrt39157 says:

Updated mine and it bricked out, got a USB cable and restored it, working fine now like it is suppose to. ITunes Radio is a nice choice to have now for radio listeners.

Marko451 says:

Have a Apple TV 2 of which I updated on the 20th and says 6.0 (6646,65). No problems. I did not updated my Apple TV 3. It is still 5.3 (6105). I live in Washington state.

Sent from the iMore App

Andre Heunis1 says:

One bricked and one went smoothly
From South Africa

Chirogreg says:

I have two Apple TV's. The third-generation Apple TV update went just fine. The second GEN Apple TV update bricked my Apple TV. I had to restore with iTunes.

Becjr says:

I had some issues with the last AppleTV update - this time, everything seems to have been updated just fine. I purchased and watched a TV show just last night.
My sympathies for all who've had problems - I've been there and done that.

Sent from the iMore App

Chang Reaper says:

One out seven of my ATV's were bricked due to the update. Fortunately, it was the last one or I wouldn't have done then rest.

kch50428 says:

It's easy to restore... hunt up a micro USB cable... plug it in near the HDMI port on the AppleTV... hook the AppleTV to a computer with iTunes... it will show up as a device just like a phone or iPad... click the restore button... or if you have an ipsw click shift+restore on PC (option+restore on mac) - and navigate to your ipsw.

G.4 says:

I have been really busy and haven't had a chance to update. Now I am glad I didn't! I hope they fix it soon

Carioca32 says:

I guess its a matter of definition, but if the device can be easily restored from iTunes, it is not really bricked. Bricking used to be an irreversible crash from which there was no easy return.

piranhadonna says:

Updated without a hitch yesterday.

JoAnnKC says:

Oh yeah. Bricked mine yesterday. Connected to iTunes via micro USB but Apple TV won't show up in iTunes. Sigh.

kch50428 says:

You're pluggin in with the USB cable and the power cable as well? It needs the power cable...

fllyzr4 says:

I had this problem and fixed it as described by others here as well. Also created this thread on Apple forums where other describe their issues and resolutions... seems the cable is the only option.

https://discussions.apple.com/message/23078434?ac_cid=op123456#23078434

David Senior says:

Same for me, have you found a fix yet ?

arin.failing says:

One of my ATV 2's bricked, and I had to restore, the other went smoothly, no issues.

Capt Logun says:

Currently I'm returning the Apple TV I purchased two weeks ago. With news of the iPad event in October and rumors of a refreshed TV set top, it's going to be hard to wait to find out if a new one is announced.

Sent from the iMore App

jimandtonic says:

I updated it on Friday and it ended up bricked. Restored it in iTunes and it had the new software version. Setup was painless though due to the tap to update via an iOS device and Bluetooth.

Sent from the iMore App

jimandtonic says:

Should also mention that I used the cable for my wife's Kindle as that is micro USB.

Sent from the iMore App

CxxS says:

Had to restore my Apple TV from iTunes and it works great now. Not a big deal for me, I had a cable and am good with tech. If it had happened to most the people I know, they would have panicked and probably called me. Its definitely best Apple pulled this update until this issue is fixed.

tqmcguire says:

My biggest issue has been the Apple TV frequently telling me it can't connect to the iTunes Store. Usually have to try 3 or more times to get to where I'm trying to go.

Sent from the iMore App

walt_man says:

The install itself worked fine with me. My only issue was with syncing podcasts between iTunes and the Apple TV. I had a bunch of video podcasts, e.g. TWiT's Macbreak Weekly, that I watched on the Apple TV. I figured they streamed there, so I'd subscribed to the HD versions. A short time later I noticed that my internet connection seemed slow. I checked my laptop and saw that it was in the process of downloading roughly 10 GB of podcasts! I turned syncing off in iTunes (there doesn't seem to be a similar setting on the Apple TV) and it seems fine now.

Jonathan Buckley says:

The update to 6.0 went smoothly but we found three major bugs last night. They were so obvious it has is worryied about Apple QA overall.

1. Rented iTunes movie, started movie, exited, went back in to watch and no record of the movie
2. Went to rent the movie again and it indicated it had been rented already
3. The UI directed us to "Settings" then "Downloads". "Downloads" does not exist.
4. Found "check for Rentals" under "ITunes" under "Settings"
5. "Check for Rentals" provided a spinning wheel of death for hours despite restarts.
6. Next morning: no change. Logged on to Account and "Reported Problem" for refund.

carribeiro says:

I had exactly the same problem. No way to solve it. For me it's even stranger as I can't find the movie under the "rented" (sorry, don't know how it's named in English, mine is in portuguese) section on the movies. Puzzling.

After you did it once, the other movies played correctly?

John Kerby says:

I had no issue or problems updating mine on FRIDAY Sept 20 but my only problem is that we in other countries outside of the USA don't get new content like the good people of the USA do. I think Apple only cares about about the USA and not other countries witch SUCKS

vox212 says:

Update went smoothly for me. Love the new iTunes Radio.

philrodo says:

I got a notice to update the other night, but skipped it to update later. Now, when I go to update, it says I'm current, but I'm still at version 5.

DravenX says:

I got mine updated finally. No problems right now but only used it once.

Bonzaibeck says:

I guess I got lucky. No issues here. Everything updated without a hitch. My device does seem to not have quite the same kind of wireless connection quality as before. To be fair I've only watch one movie on it since the update but it did buffer once or twice which normally isn't an issue.

BlackBerry Guy says:

Mine updated with no issues.

Mark Neufeld says:

Hats off to iMore for being one of the only Mac sites to be on top of this today (Sunday). I was wondering why the heck my ATV wouldn't let me update, and now I know. Thanks!

steviet02 says:

my first attempt left me with a bricked atv, had to restore via iTunes. second attempt worked fine and is working fine so far.

gandalfgraybeard says:

Worked for me just fine. iTunes Radio and shared iTunes accounts all functional.

Curtis Boyle says:

3rd gen update went fine here in Canada (except no iTunes Radio yet, of course). Actually fixed a big where my home sharing quit working awhile ago. Netflix works fine, too.

ivhs72 says:

Updated my 3rd gen Apple TV the day iOS 7 released, went without any problems.

kch50428 says:

iOS7 came out Wednesday. The AppleTV update first came out Friday...

ivhs72 says:

Well, I updated it the same day I got my 5s, so a little confusion there.

2BTs4Me says:

It bricked mine. I was sick and couldn't get out, so ordered the cable from amazon. I won't be delivered until Tuesday. I am more annoyed than anything. I don't attach anything to iTunes unless I have to. At least I have a computer, what about those poor people who don't?

microautoe says:

It did bricked mine when I updated it on Friday. Apple TV just shows USB cable with arrow to iTunes icon. I already have micro USB cable so I restore it with iTunes. It did upgrade it to 6.0 but I have to reconfigure all my settings.

actually_tom says:

Bricked yesterday, had the 'connect to iTunes' graphic displayed. Managed to find a micro USB cable and restored via iTunes, failed 3 times and worked the fourth. Pretty bad experience, compounded by the fact that I had lost the remote, so couldn't configure the fkin thing using the iOS remote app. Bought a new remote today so back in action. Boo!

MikeNNN says:

Updated mine via ethernet yesterday. Took about 20 minutes (feels like about 5 minutes longer than last big update). Played Netflix and iRadio for a few hours. No problems

relentlessFocus says:

I'm in the UK. Mine got bricked by the upgrade. In a box full of white cables, no microUSB. Fortunately my Sony RX100 camera charges through a microUSB so hooked the ATV to iTunes & now all is fine.

MacFamMedia says:

Updated 2nd and 3rd generation Apple TV. Piece of cake, smooth as butter, and all is completely functional.

Sent from the iMore App

wamadden4 says:

Updated both of my ATV 3 without a hitch yesterday... everything worked fine for me!

hembreeder says:

Updated on Sept. 21 to 6.0. No problems. Love Apple TV. It allowed me to cut off Time Warner, which had double charged me for 7 months during a period in which I was out of my house due to repairs after a serious fire. This has saved me about $800, so far.

iDisturbia says:

FWIW, I have 2 Apple TV 3's here! Both were updated to version 6 on the same day and no problem as of this writing.

ralphjackson says:

My ATV 2 6.0 update displayed connect to iTunes image then went blank. I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do so it has been sitting there for a day blinking until I read iMore. I will try cabling to the iMac and iTunes or wait for your instructions. Thanks iMore

lv1 says:

I updated my ATV 2 without problems. Was going to update my ATV 3 tonight, but there is no update available so it is still running 5.3 (6105)

WkndWillie says:

My ATV3 updated to 6.0 fine via wifi on Friday. My ATV2 however initially bricked . I used micro USB on iTunes on Mac and got 6.0 (but micro cable was temperamental --1st one I used it couldn't find a device, 2nd cable worked fine-- restored then updated)

Edward Sketcher says:

I didn't have any problem with the update.
it now allows me to remove or hide channels I don't like or didn't like.
as for the Radio it's always been there.
I really like that fact that streaming from both my iPhone and iPad work a bit more effectively, as long as I have my PC and Itunes running it always runs.

markbyrn says:

While visiting my father, I assisted in updating his Apple TV and was livid when it crapped out and and needed to be restored from iTunes. That's inexcusable considering Apple doesn't provide a micro USB cable or instructions for doing so. It was by pure luck that my father had a Kindle and it uses a micro USB cable plus I had my MBA to download and restore the firmware. Very bad show from Apple here.

kch50428 says:

go here: http://ipswdownload.com/download-apple-tv-ipsw-firmware.php -- get the ipsw for your version of device... hook to iTunes... shift-click(PC) or option-clic(Mac) the restore button for the device in iTunes and let it do it's thing.

tgbruiser says:

Thank you for the input, kch50428. I found a thread (post 23076445) on Apple's support forums that had the solution. Apparently, it was the type of microUSB cable used. The Kindle cable worked fine.

kch50428 says:

good you found a solution...

peterb77 says:

brilliant...I would have never guessed that the type of USB cable would make a difference. Now my restore is in process.

micaels says:

Guess I should be glad that updating my Apple TV went without a hitch.

canobeano says:

Bricked here. Thanks Apple...

sacornwell says:

I updated 2. One of them I had to plug in and restore, twice actually. the first time it gave me an error and the second time it went through without a hitch.

wdfly says:

mine turned into a steaming pile of brick when i updated. i restored and it's working now but i hate the fact that i can't sort the top row of icons and put the settings icon back where it's supposed to be.

BobJones19 says:

Here in New Mexico update worked fine.

ralphjackson says:

Following up my yesterday post, when I didn't know what to do, I USB cabled my ATV2 ("bricked" during ATV 6.0 update) to iTunes on iMac (power plug in not required). iTunes recognized it and did a full restore. Reconnected to TV, went through set up process, and it's good (with 6.0). Pretty easy really. Thanks again iMore!

cae758 says:

Mine updated fine, but it was the longest downtime I've ever had with an Apple TV update. My girlfriend ran into this issue of it bricking, and after unplugging and replugging in power, an onscreen message told her to connect to a computer via iTunes. After resetting via an iTunes install, she has the new software and it's working fine.

peterb77 says:

The update bricked my Gen 2 Atv. Had the setting set for auto update, went away for the weekend and came back to a device that no longer works. I tried to hook it up to my mac using the micro usb, but iTunes doesn't even see the device. I even tried to set it to DFU mode, but to no avail. Anyone have any luck restoring it? I'm really missing my ATV.

tgbruiser says:

Try using a different microUSB cable. There are three types of cables apparently and I do not know how to tell the difference. 1) iTunes will not recognize some kinds of cables. 2) The ATV will not be updated with somes types. 3) Some will work fine. If you have a Kindle, that cable definitely works.

peterb77 says:

Worked like a charm. Thanks.

rabrick says:

Like many of you, after installing 6.0 on my ATV gen 2 I got the connect to iTunes graphic. I searched for and found a old micro USB cable and tried to get my iTunes to recognize the device, but it could not. I read that some micro USB cords were not working with iTunes, but I didn’t have another to try. I made an appointment at the Genius Bar at my local Apple store today. They plugged it in to iTunes and it was not recognized…bricked. They eventually offered me replacment offers, either the new ATV 3 immediately or wait 5-7 days for a working second gen. I have not seen an official Apple statement on the matter.

kch50428 says:

Update is re-released...

lv1 says:

Back on again. I am updating now. It is on step 1 of 2 and progressing very slowly.

lv1 says:

Update was successful.

cgunther says:

Update two, problems with both. They are connected via Ethernet, not Wi-Fi. Trying the restore now, or should I say in 19+ minutes when the download says it will finish.