Once a year, Apple releases a major new version of watchOS, the operating system software that runs on all Apple Watch models; there are also smaller upgrades from time to time in between. These updates are free and can add new features to your watch, improve its speed, and fix bugs and issues.
The latest version, available for download on September 18, 2023, is watchOS 10, which includes a new, simplified way to navigate the interface and quickly access content, redesigned apps, a greater focus on widgets via Smart Stack and new cycles and ride features.
If you want to install the latest version of watchOS on your Apple Watch, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we show how to update an Apple Watch so that it is running the latest version of watchOS.
Want to get a version of watchOS that isn’t yet available to the general public so you can try upcoming watch updates before anyone else? Learn more in our article showing how to install a watchOS beta.
Which Apple Watches can run watchOS 10?
watchOS 10 works on the same devices as watchOS 9, so if your Apple Watch received the update in 2022, it will do so again in 2023.
Compatible watches include:
Apple Watch Series 4
Apple Watch Series 5
Apple Watch SE
Apple Watch Series 6
Apple Watch Series 7
Apple Watch Series 8
Apple Watch Ultra1
Apple Watch Series 9
Apple Watch Ultra2
You will also need a compatible iPhone. Incompatible iPhones include iPhone XS, iPhone XR, or any older models. You will also need to run iOS 17 on your iPhone.
Some features will not be available for all Apple Watches, for example, daylight time is only available for Apple Watch SE (2nd generation), Apple Watch Series 6 and later, and Apple Watch Ultra 1 and later.
When it launches, the Apple Watch Series 9 will come with watchOS 10 preinstalled, but you’ll want to follow the steps below to get future updates like watchOS 10.1 when it arrives.
If you own an Apple Watch Series 3, which Apple only stopped selling in September 2022, you’re still out of luck, there was no watchOS 9 and there isn’t either no more watchOS 10 available.
How to update your Apple Watch via iPhone
Before the launch of watchOS 6, Apple Watch updates had to be done on the iPhone associated with the watch rather than on the watch itself, but in recent years it has been possible to update your Watch on the watch itself. However, we still think updating via an iPhone is the easiest method.
Take your iPhone and open the Apple Watch app.
Make sure you’re in the My Watch tab in the bottom menu, then tap General.
There may be a small orange “1” next to the Software Update option, indicating that an update is available (there will also be a red “1” next to the Software Update tab). My watch) ; However, you may need to ask the app to check for updates before seeing this. Either way, tap Software Update and the app will perform a check, then show you the details of the new watchOS version available for installation.
Tap install and agree to the terms and conditions.
To install this new version, your iPhone and Apple Watch will need to be within Bluetooth range, the watch must be connected to its charger and have at least 50% power, and as with all operating system updates, you must be on Wi-Fi. Fi.
The update may take a while but not be tempted to remove the watch from its charger before it is finished. We’ve done this in the past and it disrupted the update process so much that we had to throw ourselves at Apple’s mercy and get the watch replaced.
How to update Apple Watch on the Apple Watch itself
You can also install updates on an Apple Watch without needing an iPhone.
Open the Settings app on your watch.
Tap General > Software Update. watchOS will check for available updates.
If an update is available, tap Install and follow the additional instructions.
As with the iPhone update, the watch will need to be on its charger for the installation phase and connected to Wi-Fi. It should also have more than 50% battery.
What to do if you can’t update your Apple Watch
Troubleshooting Apple Watch Update Issues
If you’re having trouble updating your Apple Watch, we’ve got the best solutions for you below.
To make room
Many Apple Watch Series 3 users had difficulty installing updates to the watchOS 7 operating system. This problem appeared to be the small amount of storage space available on the Apple Watch Series 3 (the version Apple Watch Series 3 GPS only had 8 GB of storage). This means that there is not enough space for temporary installation files.
In this case, Apple suggested users to temporarily delete apps and music before updating. Alternatively, Apple recommended users to completely restore the system before updating.
Make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi, plugged in, and adequately charged
The watch will not update if it is less than 50% charged.
It must also be connected to Wi-Fi.
Also enable Bluetooth if it is disabled.
Check that it is compatible with the update
See the list of compatible watches and iPhones above.
Also update your iPhone to the latest version of iOS, in the case of Apple Watch 10 you need iOS 17 installed on the partner iPhone.
Try updating via iPhone
If your Apple Watch is not updating directly on the watch itself, we recommend updating via the Watch app on the iPhone (using the method above).
Restart your iPhone and watch
Turning them off and on again may resolve the issue.
Repair your watch and iPhone
You may need to repair your watch on your iPhone.
Open the Watch app on iPhone.
Go to My Watch and tap All Watches.
Tap the i button next to the watch you need to unpair.
Choose Unpair Apple Watch. (You must choose to keep your mobile plan if you have a cellular watch).
Enter your Apple ID password to turn off Activation Lock.
Once the Apple Watch is erased, you will need to set it up again. See How to set up an Apple Watch.