How to Update an Apple Watch

Introduction

Your Apple watch provides a fast, customizable 'second screen' for your iPhone, as well as extended functionality such as a fitness tracker.

This guide will walk you through updating your Apple watch to the latest version.

Apple Watch.

1 Wi-Fi Check

You can skip this step if your iPhone or iPad is already connected.

  • The simplest way to check to see if your iPhone or iPad is connected to Wi-Fi is to look across the top of your screen. The icon that is identified in the image below indicates that you are connected to a Wi-Fi network.
    iPhone highlighting the Wi-Fi logo.

? Is your iPhone connected to Wi-Fi?

  1. Yes
  2. No

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Your Apple watch provides a fast, customizable 'second screen' for your iPhone, as well as extended functionality such as a fitness tracker.

This guide will walk you through updating your Apple watch to the latest version.

Apple Watch.

You can skip this step if your iPhone or iPad is already connected.

  • The simplest way to check to see if your iPhone or iPad is connected to Wi-Fi is to look across the top of your screen. The icon that is identified in the image below indicates that you are connected to a Wi-Fi network.
    iPhone highlighting the Wi-Fi logo.

To check and see if updates are available for your iOS device:

  1. Open Settings on your phone or tablet.
    iOS Settings.
  2. Select General.
    iOS settings page with general highlighted.
  3. Select Software Update.
    iOS general settings with software update highlighted.
  4. Your iOS device will perform a search for available iOS updates.
    • If no update is available, it will display your current version of iOS and inform you that your software is up to date.
      iOS up to date software page.
    • If an update is available, it will be displayed.
      iOS update display.
      • Select Download and Install to begin the update process.
      • If prompted, enter your passcode to proceed.

Apple recommends that your Apple Watch be connected to its charger and have at least a 50% battery charge before beginning the update process. It is also recommended that your iPhone remains next to your watch to ensure it is in range at all times during the update process.

  1. Place your Apple watch on its charger.
    Apple Watch attached to charger.
  2. Open the Apple Watch app.
    Apple Watch.
  3. Select the My Watch tab across the bottom of the app.
    Apple watch app with my watch icon highlighted.
  4. Select General.
    Apple watch app my watch screen with general highlighted.
  5. Select Software Update.
    Apple watch app general screen with software update highlighted.
  6. The Watch app will perform a search for available updates for watchOS.
    • If no update is available, it will display your current version of watchOS and inform you that your software is up to date.
      Apple watch software update screen displaying current watch OS.
    • If an update is available, it will be displayed.
      Apple watch software update screen displaying an available update.
      • Select Download and Install to begin the update process.
      • If prompted, enter your passcode to proceed.

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 will restart on its own.

Any of the above can interrupt the update while it is applying, and cause severe problems to the software on your Apple Watch, requiring you to either send the watch to Apple or visit an authorized service tech to get it to work again.

Depending on what iOS device (iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch) and which generation you have, the menu theme and options might look slightly different on your screen. However, the steps should be the same across all iOS devices and generations.

  1. Open Settings.
    iOS Settings.
  2. Select Wi-Fi.
    iOS Wi-Fi

    Next to the icon you will see one of following statuses:

    • Off - Wi-Fi feature is disabled
    • Not Connected - Wi-Fi connection is not established
    • [Network Name] - Wi-Fi connection is established
  3. Make sure that the Wi-Fi feature is enabled by flipping the toggle switch to the On position.
    Wi-Fi toggle switch highlighted in iOS settings.
  4. Your iOS device will automatically connect to the closest network you have connected to it in the past. The checkmark indicates you are connected.
    Checkmark highlighted next to Wi-Fi network name in iOS settings.
To Connect to a New Network

If you're connecting to a Wi-Fi network for the first time:

  1. Select the Network Name from the list.
    Wi-Fi networks highlighted in iOS settings.
  2. Enter the Password if required then select Join.
    Wi-Fi Password field and Join button highlighted in iOS settings.
To Connect to a Hidden Network

If the Wi-Fi network you wish to connect to is hidden, it won't appear in the list of available networks. However, if you know the network's exact name and password, it can be added manually.

  1. Select Other...
    Other highlighted in Wi-Fi network list of iOS settings.
  2. Enter the Network Name, choose the Security type, enter the Password then select Join.
    Network Name, Security type, Password fields and Join button highlighted in Wi-Fi connection of iOS settings.
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