How to Update watchOS on Your Apple Watch

WatchOS 8 is here, it's time for an Apple Watch update!

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Apple releases a new version of iOS every year of late and iPhone owners are encouraged to download the update as soon as possible. This is because new versions of iOS contain not only convenient new capabilities, but also repairs for glitches, and new security features that keep our devices safe from viruses and other malware. The Apple Watch is no different from the iPhone in its need to have regular software updates, so let's get started learning how to update watchOS so your device can deliver its full potential of features and capabilities! 

Related: How to Update Apple Watch to watchOS 9 (2022) 

How to Update Your Apple Watch Software 

To update your Apple Watch operating system, you'll need to use your iPhone, and you'll need to make sure that your iPhone's operating system is already up to date.

  1. If you haven't yet updated to the latest version of iOS, go ahead and take care of that now.
  2. Check and make sure your Apple Watch is at least 50 percent charged and place it on its charger.

    apple watch os update
  3. Make sure your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi.
  4. Leave your Apple Watch in range of your iPhone; they will need to stay connected throughout the update.

    apple watch wifi

Begin Your Apple Watch Update

Leave your Apple Watch on its charger throughout the update.

  1. On your iPhone, open the Watch app.
  2. Tap My Watch on the bottom menu bar.

    apple watch appupdate apple watch os
  3. Tap General.
  4. Next, tap Software Update.

    iphone apple watch appapple watch update
  5. Tap Download and Install; you may need to enter your iPhone or Apple Watch passcodes.

    apple watch os update

Pro tip: If you experience any issues, read this article on troubleshooting an Apple Watch that won't update.

The progress wheel will appear on your Apple Watch and remain on the screen for the entirety of the update, which may take up to an hour to complete. Remember to leave your Apple Watch on the charger until the update is finished. Don't restart your iPhone or Apple Watch. Once the update is complete your Apple Watch will restart on its own. Never hesitate to update your Apple Watch, updates can help keep your Apple devices safe.

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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and has written hundreds of in-depth how-to and troubleshooting articles. She's a former Associate Editor for iPhone Life magazine, and has written for the Iowa Source, as well as web content for education marketing. Leanne has an associate's degree in education, with a focus on curriculum development, as well as a bachelor's degree in science. She has over nine years of experience with SEO, social media management, and web development and writing. Despite years of web work, Leanne is by no means an early adapter; she's only owned a smartphone for five years, which makes her highly sympathetic to the learning curve of new iPhone owners. She enjoys making reader's lives easier and putting her education experience to work by walking them through the most practical ways to use Apple devices, step-by-step.

In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.