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MacBook Pro owners warn macOS 12.3 is bricking some computers

Published Mar 18th, 2022 9:06PM EDT

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The latest update for macOS Monterey is here, bringing a slew of new features to the table. While there’s a lot to be excited about, MacBook Pro owners may want to hold off on updating right away. Based on reports, it looks like macOS 12.3 is bricking certain macs.

Installing macOS 12.3 could brick your Mac

16-Inch MacBook Pro
16-inch MacBook Pro launched in late October 2021. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The release of macOS 12.3 was exciting news for Mac users. The new version finally gave us Universal Control, Apple’s answer to using multiple devices at the same time. While the new features are exciting and worth downloading the update for, some Mac users may put their computers at risk by updating to the latest version.

Unfortunately, it appears that macOS 12.3 is responsible for bricking several Macs that have had their logic boards replaced. Multiple reports have appeared on the Apple Developer forums, as well as on social media websites like Reddit. Fortunately, the problem does not appear to affect all Macs. Instead, it appears to be tied directly to new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros that have had their logic boards replaced.

Initial reports of the issue appeared on the Developer Forums as far back as two weeks ago. At the time, the beta for macOS 12.3 was readily available, and a user reported issues installing it after having multiple parts in their MacBook Pro replaced. A week later, another user responded to the thread, sharing that it had happened to them as well.

Other responses were added to the thread. Later, an additional user noted down the cycle that many with replaced logic boards may run into.

Two possible outcomes

Apple fans have been waiting for the release of macOS 12.3 since Monterey’s initial announcement. Image source: Apple

According to the thread on the Apple Developer Forums, there are two possible outcomes when users try to upgrade to macOS 12.3 on a MacBook Pro with a replaced logic board. The upgrade can fail, which will kick the computer into recovery. You’ll reboot on 12.2.1, with a problem dialogue from iBoot Panic.

If you try to upgrade again, however, you’ll corrupt the iBoot FW drive. When that happens, you’ll have to revive it using a second Mac with Apple Configurator 2 to install macOS 12.2.1. It’s also possible that trying to update to macOS 12.3 will immediately corrupt the system. If that happens, you’ll need to use a second Mac with Apple Configurator to install the previous update again.

This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen issues with macOS Monterey bricking Macs. When the operating system was first released, many reported that macOS Monterey bricked older Macs.

Unfortunately, Apple has yet to comment on the issue in any capacity. Users are hopeful the company will release a fix for the issue soon, allowing them to update to macOS 12.3 now that it is readily available.

More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.