Keeping your Apple Watch up to date
To make sure that your Apple devices have the latest bug fixes and security enhancements, keep your devices up to date. Some iOS updates might also require you to update watchOS.
If your iPhone says 'Update Apple Watch'
When you see an alert on your iPhone that says “Your Apple Watch software is out of date,” you should update to the latest version of watchOS so that your data, including Activity data, continues to sync to your iPhone.
Learn what to do if your Apple Watch says you need more available storage to install a watchOS update.
Get ready to update
First, make sure that your Apple Watch is compatible with the latest software: watchOS 8 is compatible with Apple Watch Series 3 and later and Apple Watch SE. Upgrading to watchOS 8 requires iPhone 6s or later running iOS 15 or later. Find your Apple Watch model.
Next, check these things:
- Update your iPhone to the latest version of iOS.
- Make sure that your Apple Watch is at least 50 percent charged.
- Connect your iPhone to Wi-Fi.
- Keep your iPhone next to your Apple Watch, so that they're in range.
It could take from several minutes to an hour for the update to complete. You might want to update overnight or wait until you have time.
Update your Apple Watch using your iPhone
When a new update is available, your Apple Watch notifies you. Tap Update Tonight in the notification, then go to your iPhone to confirm that you want to update overnight. At the end of the day, leave your Apple Watch and iPhone charging overnight so the update can complete.
To update manually, use these steps:
- On your iPhone, open the Apple Watch app, then tap the My Watch tab.
- Tap General > Software Update.
- Download the update. If asked for your iPhone passcode or Apple Watch passcode, enter it.
- Wait for the progress wheel to appear on your Apple Watch. It could take from several minutes to an hour for the update to complete.
Leave your Apple Watch on its charger while the update completes. Don't restart your iPhone or Apple Watch, and don't quit the Apple Watch app. When the update completes, your Apple Watch restarts on its own.
Update directly on your Apple Watch
If your Apple Watch has watchOS 6 or later, you can install subsequent updates without your iPhone:
- Make sure that your watch is connected to Wi-Fi.
- On your watch, open the Settings app.
- Tap General > Software Update.
- Tap Install if a software update is available, then follow the onscreen instructions.
Leave your Apple Watch on its charger while the update completes, and don't restart your Apple Watch. When the update completes, your Apple Watch restarts on its own.
If you need help updating
Try these steps:
- Make sure that your Apple Watch connects to its charger.
- Restart your Apple Watch. Press and hold the side button until you see Power Off, then drag the slider. To turn your watch on again, press and hold the side button.
- Restart your paired iPhone.
- Try to start the update again.
If the update won't start, open the Watch app on your iPhone, tap General > Usage > Software Update, then delete the update file. After you delete the file, try to download and install watchOS again.
Learn what to do if you see 'Cannot Install Update' when updating Apple Watch.
If you installed an iOS or watchOS beta or developer seed
- Before you update, remove the beta profile from your device. To view and remove the watchOS beta profile:
- Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, tap the My Watch tab, then go to General > Profiles. Tap the beta profile that you want to remove, then tap Delete Profile. Enter your iPhone passcode if requested.
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone, then tap General > Profiles & Device Management. Tap the beta profile that you want to remove, then tap Delete profile. Enter your iPhone passcode if requested.
- After you remove the profiles, restart both devices and check for the update again.
To continue using the public beta of iOS, you can install the beta profile again.