How to Update Apple Watch, in Just a Few Steps (With Photos)

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How to Update Apple Watch, in Just a Few Steps (With Photos)

Your Apple Watch, just like your iPhone, needs software updates to run smoothly. These updates can fix bugs and bring in new features you’ll love. Usually, your Apple Watch will send you a notification when a new update is available. But if you like to stay abreast, you can always check for updates and install them yourself.

Keeping your Apple Watch updated can avert problems or issues with syncing, notifications, data transfer, and more. You’ll also avoid problems if your watch and iPhone require different software updates. We encourage you to keep an eye out for updates and install them as soon as they become available. Here’s how to update your Apple Watch automatically or manually and what to do in case anything goes wrong.

How to keep your Apple Watch up-to-date on its own?

Updating your Apple Watch can be as easy as a few taps on your wrist.

If your Apple Watch alerts you of an update, tap “Update Tonight” and confirm the action on your iPhone. Then, leave your Apple Watch and iPhone charging next to each other overnight, and voila! Your watch will be updated by morning. Make sure that both devices are connected to WiFi.

How to update Apple Watch Manually?

If you prefer a more hands-on approach, no problem! Before you begin, ensure that the software on your iPhone is up-to-date and that your iPhone and Apple Watch are connected to WiFi.

By keeping your software updated, you’ll be able to enjoy the latest features and keep your watch running smoothly.

Check for iOS update

Check for iOS update
You can view iOS version updates under software update


2. Tap on the Watch app and go to the My Watch tab on your iPhone.

2. Tap on the Watch app and go to the My Watch tab on your iPhone.
My Watch Tab is accessible from your iPhone screen.

3. Tap General, and under it, Software Update

A red number will appear next to Software Update if an update is available.

3. Tap General, and under it, Software Update

5. If there is an update, tap Download and Install

You may be asked for the passcode for your iPhone or Apple Watch here. Type it in.

5. If there is an update, tap Download and Install
Don’t restart your iPhone or watch during the update or close the Watch app.

The Watch face will show a progress wheel. Keep the Apple Watch plugged in and next to the iPhone while the update is happening. 

Once the update is done, your Apple Watch will restart.

What to do before updating Apple Watch software

Updating the software on your Apple Watch can be a breeze, but before you hit that “update” button, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, ensure your iPhone and watch are connected to the same WiFi network. This is crucial as your iPhone syncs updates to the apps and operating system on your watch.

Next, double-check that your iPhone has the latest iOS version. After all, you don’t want to update your watch only to find out your phone lags behind.

Here’s the most important step: Charge up your Apple Watch. You can only update the Apple Watch while you have it on your charger or have at least half of the battery life remaining. So make sure it’s at least 50% remaining capacity before you begin. And keep that charger handy.

Finally, keep your phone close by – since your Watch installs the update wirelessly, the two devices should be in close proximity for the process to go smoothly.

How to directly update Apple WatchOS on Apple Watch?

If your Apple Watch has watchOS 6 or higher, you can update the OS on Apple Watch directly without even using your iPhone. Follow the below steps:

1. Link the Apple Watch to a WiFi network

Connect your watch to your home or office wifi internet.

2. Set the Apple Watch where you can charge it

Make sure there is a socket where you can plug in and charge your device.

3. Open the Setting app on the Watch

3. Open the Setting app on the Watch
Settings allow you to adjust your notifications and customize watch faces among other things.

4. Choose General

4. Choose General
Under General you will see the option to update your device software.

5. Next, Choose to update the software

5. Next, Choose to update the software
You can do a manual update or enable automatic updates.

Ensure your Apple Watch connects to the charger correctly and that your outlet gives off enough power.

In the following video, Apple Support walks you through updating watchOS on your Apple Watch or via your iPhone, so you can get the most out of your Apple Watch.

What if the Update Fails on the First Try?

If you have had trouble updating your Apple Watch using the above steps, don’t worry, try the following:

  1. Turn off your Apple Watch by pressing and holding the side button until the Power Off button appears. Turn it back on by pressing the side button again.
  2. On an iPhone X or later, hold the volume down and sleep/wake buttons until Slide to Power Off appears, then switch it back on by pressing the sleep/wake button.
  3. Try setting up the system again. Head to Software Update in the Watch app and remove the update file, then try downloading it again if the update is still not functional.
  4. Unpair and repair your Apple Watch and iPhone.

By following these steps, you should be able to get your Apple Watch up to date and running smoothly. If you still have trouble, read on to discover some common roadblocks in the update process. Check your processes to ensure you’re not making a critical mistake.

How to Fix Problems with Apple Watch Software Updates

Apple Watch failed to update? Try these troubleshooting tips.

1. Make sure that the Watch is charging

You must have the Watch on the charger, and it must be charging correctly with at least 50% remaining for the update to work. 

2. Make sure you are using the right iPhone

Please ensure the iPhone you’re using to update your Apple Watch is already paired with it. This is possible with the Apple Watch app. Verify that the name and other details of the paired Watch match the one you are updating.

3. Turn on the Apple Watch again

You may need to restart your Apple Watch if the update fails to finish or wipe it clean.

4. Start the iPhone back up

If restarting the Watch doesn’t help, you might also need to restart your iPhone.

5. Remove the file for updating watchOS and try again

If the update for your Apple Watch won’t even start, you’ll need to download it again. To accomplish this, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and erase the most recent update file, then to General, then to Usage, then to Software Update, then to Delete, then to Delete again. Then, use the steps mentioned in the last section to start the update process again.

6. Re-pair the iPhone and Watch 

Your devices will only update when the Watch and iPhone pair successfully. In case they lose the connection, you must unpair and pair them again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I update Apple Watch more quickly?

If you want to update your Apple Watch quickly, you should use Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth. The first is much faster than the second.

Still, Apple doesn’t recommend using Wi-Fi because it drains the Apple Watch’s battery faster than Bluetooth.

What do I do if it takes a long time for my Apple Watch to update?

  1. Connect the charger to your Apple Watch.
  2. Check the way you’re connected.
  3. Turn on your Apple Watch again.
  4. Start your iPhone up again.
  5. Make sure you have enough room.
  6. Throw away the updated file.

How long should it take to update an Apple Watch?

Apple says that the process of updating could take up to an hour. But don’t stop your iPhone or Apple Watch if it’s already at the “installing” step.

How do I check for software updates on my Apple Watch?

To check for software updates on your Apple Watch, open the Watch app on your iPhone and go to the My Watch tab. Select General, then Software Update. If an update is available, it will show up here and you can follow the prompts to update your watch.

Can I use my Apple Watch without an iPhone?

While the Apple Watch is designed to work with an iPhone, it does have some limited functionality without one. You can use features such as fitness tracking, music control, and making and receiving calls via a connected Wi-Fi network. However, many features such as sending and receiving text messages, email and other apps requires an iPhone to be paired.

How do I customize the watch face on my Apple Watch?

To customize the watch face on your Apple Watch, press and hold the current watch face to enter edit mode. From there, you can swipe through the different watch faces and tap on the one you want to customize. You can also add or remove complications, and change the style or color of the watch face.

Can I make phone calls and send text messages from my Apple Watch?

Yes, you can make phone calls and send text messages from your Apple Watch as long as it is paired with your iPhone and connected to Wi-Fi or cellular network.

How do I track my fitness and activity on my Apple Watch?

The Apple Watch has a built-in fitness tracker that allows you to track your daily activity, including steps taken, calories burned, and more. To access the fitness tracker, open the Activity app on your watch. You can also set daily goals and view your progress over time.

Can I use Apple Pay on my Apple Watch?

Yes, you can use Apple Pay on your Apple Watch to make contactless payments at participating merchants. To set up Apple Pay on your watch, open the Watch app on your iPhone and go to the Wallet & Apple Pay section.

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