Learn what to do if your Apple Watch says you need more available storage to install a watchOS update.
Restart your watch
Restart your Apple Watch, then try updating it again.
If you still see the error, follow the steps in the next section.
Remove media and apps
First, try to free up storage on your Apple Watch by removing any music or photos that you’ve synced to your watch. Then try to install the watchOS update.
If your watch still doesn’t have enough available storage, remove some apps to free up more space, then try to update. You can check how much available storage your watch has by opening its Settings app, then going to General > Usage.
If you can’t update after deleting media and apps, follow the steps in the next section.
Unpair and update your Apple Watch
- Keep your Apple Watch and iPhone close together as you unpair them.
- Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
- Go to the My Watch tab and tap your watch at the top of the screen.
- Tap the info button next to the watch that you want to unpair.
- Tap Unpair Apple Watch.
- For GPS + Cellular models, choose to keep your cellular plan.
- Tap again to confirm. You might need to enter your Apple ID password to disable Activation Lock. Before erasing all content and settings on your Apple Watch, your iPhone creates a new backup of your Apple Watch. You can use the backup to restore a new Apple Watch.
Next, set up your Apple Watch with your iPhone. When asked whether you want to set up as new or restore from a backup, choose to set up as new. Then follow the onscreen instructions to finish setup. If you want to update to the watchOS beta, reinstall the beta profile after setup is complete.
Finally, update your Apple Watch.
Restore from backup
If you want to restore your Apple Watch from its latest backup, follow the steps in the previous section to unpair it again. Then set up your watch once more with your iPhone. This time, choose to restore from backup rather than set up as new.
November 15, 2019, 10:24am EDT
Apple routinely releases watchOS updates with new features and watch faces. watchOS 6, for example, comes with a new App Store app and awesome new analog watch faces. Here’s how you can update your Apple Watch.
How to Update Your Apple Watch Using iPhone
Apple Watch updates are linked to the iPhone. For example, to update to watchOS 6 on your Apple Watch, you need to first update your iPhone to iOS 13.
First, open the “Settings” app on your iPhone and go to the “General” section.
Now tap on the “Software Update” option.
Here, if you’re not running the latest version of iOS, tap on “Download and Install.” If the update is already downloaded, you’ll see the “Install Now” button.
Enter your passcode to begin the installation.
Once the iPhone is updated to the latest version, open the Watch app on your iPhone. From the “My Watch” tab, go to the “General” section.
Here, tap on the “Software Update” option.
Check for available updates and then tap on the “Download and Install” button.
From the next screen, enter your device passcode. The installation will now begin.
Make sure the Apple Watch is on its charger and in the range of your iPhone connected to Wi-Fi. The installation will start only when the Apple Watch is charged to at least 50 percent.
How to Update Software from Apple Watch
With watchOS 6, Apple Watch is starting to become more independent of the iPhone. A prime example is the new App Store, which lets you download and update apps right from your wrist.
Once you update to watchOS 6, all subsequent updates can be applied directly from the Apple Watch, without touching the iPhone.
To do this, press the “Digital Crown” on the Apple Watch to open the honeycomb apps screen.
Here, tap on “Settings” and select “General.”
Now, tap on “Software Update.”
As long as the Apple Watch is connected to Wi-Fi or a cellular network, you’ll see the available update. Scroll down and then tap on “Download and Install.”
Now put the Apple Watch on its charger and make sure it’s connected to Wi-Fi. The installation will start after the Apple Watch has at least a 50 percent charge.
Once you upgrade to watchOS 6, check out the new App Store app that lets you download update apps right from your wrist.
Just like any other tech device you own, you want to keep your Apple Watch up-to-date to get the latest bug fixes and other improvements. Here is how to check for updates manually.
Just like with your iPhone and other tech devices, you want to make sure your Apple Watch is running the latest version of its software. Of course, you need to keep your watch up-to-date to get bug and security fixes. But you also want to update it to get the latest cool new features and watch faces when they are available. Typically, when an update is available you will receive a notification, but you can also check for them manually. Here’s how.
How to Update Your Apple Watch
Similar to installing Apple Watch apps, you don’t update your watch directly from the watch, but rather from your iPhone.
Open the Watch app and head to My Watch > General > Software Update. It will check for updates and if one is available, tap the “Download and Install” button. You will also need to enter your passcode to start the update.
You can monitor the progress of the update and when it’s done you will get a confirmation message on the iPhone. Your watch will automatically restart during the update process.
Keep in mind that some of the updates (depending on the size) can take a good amount of time to complete. So, you want to make sure both your iPhone is plugged in and your watch is on its charger. Also, don’t restart your iPhone or Apple watch while the update is in progress.
That’s it! Your watch is updated to the latest software, and hopefully, the update came with new watch faces and other cool new features.
Sometimes you might have a problem getting the update to work. If so, restart your watch and iPhone and verify the watch is connected to its charger and actively charging. Then follow the same steps again to activate the update.
Update 10/14/20: Apple has released watchOS 7.0.2, which will hopefully take care of the unexpected battery drains some Apple Watch users have observed lately. If you previously updated to watchOS 7 and found that your Apple Watch was struggling to stay alive, you were probably affected by an unknown bug that Apple identified at the beginning of October.
As Apple’s release notes describe:
watchOS 7.0.2 contains improvements and bug fixes, including:
– Addresses an issue that could cause the battery to drain more quickly
– Resolves an issue that prevented some users from accessing the ECG app in regions where it is available
Y ou can update your Apple Watch by pulling up the Watch app on your connected iPhone, tapping on General, and tapping Software Update. Make sure your Apple Watch is on its charger and within reasonable distance of your iPhone, and you should be able to install the update without any issues. Once that’s finished, your Apple Watch’s battery life will hopefully be back to what it was pre-watchOS 7.
Original story follows:
We never said updating to a new operating system was a perfect process. In fact, you can do everything right and still run into issues on your otherwise benign smartphone, tablet, or watch. Make all the backups in the world, and you could still encounter bugs or mystifying problems when you update your OS—and there might be no going back.
At least, that’s what’s happening to an unknown number of Apple Watch owners who reported some quirky issues after updating to iOS 14 and, subsequently, watchOS 7. These range from the annoying, like an Apple Watch failing to record your outdoor workout with the GPS, to the problematic, like an Apple Watch suffering reduced battery life for no obvious reason.
How to Turn Off Apple Watch’s Hand Washing Reminders
Have you washed your hands? Have you really washed your hands? You’re home! Maybe it’s time for a…
Apple has published a laundry list of potential issues, which is worth reading if your Apple Watch has been acting strangely following your recent update:
- Your workout route maps are missing in the Fitness app on iPhone for previous GPS-enabled workouts from your Apple Watch.
- The Activity, Heart Rate, or other health-related apps fail to launch or load data on your Apple Watch.
- The Fitness app or Health app fail to launch or load data on your iPhone.
- The Health app or Fitness app is reporting an inaccurate amount of data storage on your iPhone.
- The Activity app is reporting an inaccurate amount of data storage on your Apple Watch.
- Your environmental sound levels data or headphone audio levels data from Apple Watch is missing in the Health app on iPhone.
- Increased battery drain on your iPhone or Apple Watch.
Thankfully, the Apple-blessed solution to address these issues is simple. Start by opening up the Watch app on your iPhone, and then tap on All Watches in the upper-left corner, tap on the “i” icon next to your Apple Watch, and tap on Unpair Apple Watch.
We show how to update your Apple Watch so it’s running the new watchOS 7 operating system and you get all the extra features for free
By David Price, Editor | 16 Sep 20
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 point 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 glitches.
The newest version is watchOS 7, which allows you to run multiple face complications from a single app, and share customised face settings with your friends. Most excitingly, it adds sleep-tracking features (if you’re anything like me you’ll have to learn a new charging routine if you want to use this) and there are new workout types, changes to the Activity app (now rebranded as Fitness), cycling directions and much more.
watchOS 6 will become available to download later today – 16 September 2020.
If you’d like 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 it’s running watchOS 7.
If you want to get a version of watchOS that hasn’t yet become available to the general public, you’ll have to install the beta.
Which Apple Watches can run watchOS 6?
The Apple Watch Series 3 and later can install watchOS 7; the original, Series 1 and Series 2 all miss out. You’ll also need an iPhone running iOS 14.
The Apple Watch Series 6 and SE will both come with watchOS 7 preinstalled, so you won’t need to worry about this process for those models. However, you can follow the procedure below to get later updates such as watchOS 7.1.
How to update your Apple Watch
Before the launch of watchOS 6, these updates had to happen on the watch’s associated iPhone rather than on the watch itself – and we still think this is the easiest method.
Grab your iPhone and open the Apple Watch app. Make sure you’re in the My Watch tab along the bottom menu and then tap General.
There may well be a little orange ‘1’ next to the Software Update option, indicating that an update is ready (there’ll be a red ‘1’ next to the My Watch tab too); however, you may have to get the app to check for updates before you see this. Either way, tap Software Update and the app will run a check, then show you the details of the new version of watchOS that’s available to install.
Tap install and accept the terms & conditions.
In order to install this new version your iPhone and Apple Watch will need to be in Bluetooth range, the watch must be connected to its charger and on at least 50% power and, as with all OS updates, you need to be on Wi-Fi.
The update can take a while but do not be tempted to take the watch off its charger before it’s finished. We have done this in the past and it has disrupted the update process so badly that we have had to throw ourselves on Apple’s mercy and get the watch replaced.
Update on the Apple Watch itself
If you’ve got watchOS 6 or later, you can install further updates without recourse to an iPhone. The update can now happen entirely on the Apple Watch itself.
Open the Settings app on your watch and tap General > Software Update. watchOS will check for available updates.
If an update is available, tap Install and follow further instructions. As with the iPhone update, the Watch will need to sit on its charger for the installation stage and be connected to Wi-Fi. It should also have more than 50% battery power.
in 2020, for the first time, Apple released a public beta of watchOS 7. This means that from now on, anyone who’s interested can try out new versions of watchOS ahead of their official launch. It’s no longer limited to developers.
If you want the bragging rights of trying out upcoming watch updates ahead of everyone else, try our article demonstrating how to install a watchOS beta.
Note: We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site, at no extra cost to you. This doesn’t affect our editorial independence. Learn more.
Author: David Price, Editor
David has loved the iPhone since covering the original 2007 launch; later his obsession expanded to include iPad and Apple Watch. He offers advice to owners (and prospective owners) of these devices.
Your Apple Watch isn’t updating and you don’t know why. You see that a watchOS update is available, but you’re not able to download or install it. In this article, I’ll explain why your Apple Watch won’t update and show you how to solve this problem for good!
How To Update Your Apple Watch The Normal Way
Normally, you update your Apple Watch by going to the Watch app on your iPhone and tapping General -> Software Update. If an update is available, tap Download and Install.
However, you’ve probably already tried this and that’s why you searched for this article! The steps below will help you fix the problem when your Apple Watch won’t update, even though one is available.
Turn Your Apple Watch Off And Back On
There’s a small chance that a minor technical glitch is the reason why your Apple Watch won’t update. By restarting your Apple Watch, all of its little programs can shut down normally and start again fresh when you turn your Apple Watch back on.
To turn off your Apple Watch, press and hold the Side button until the Power Off slider appears on the watch face. Slide the small power icon from left to right to shut down your Apple Watch. Wait about 15 seconds, then press and hold the Side button to turn your Apple Watch back on.
Make Sure Apple Watch Is Connected To Wi-Fi
One of the two main requirements for updating watchOS on your Apple Watch is that it has to be connected to Wi-Fi. Fortunately, if your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi, your Apple Watch will be connected to Wi-Fi too as long as the devices are paired and within range of each other.
First, make sure your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi by going to Settings -> Wi-Fi. If you see a small check mark next to the name of your Wi-Fi network at the top of this menu, your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi.
Once you’ve made sure your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi, make sure your iPhone and Apple Watch are within range of each other. Although the newest Apple Watches are built with Bluetooth 4.0 (giving them a range of about 200 feet), it’s best to hold your Apple Watch right next to your iPhone when you’re updating watchOS.
Make Sure Your Apple Watch Has 50% Battery Life
The second main requirement to update an Apple Watch is that it needs to have at least 50% battery life. You can check how much battery life your Apple Watch has by swiping up from the bottom of the watch face. In the upper left-hand corner of the display, you’ll see what percentage of battery is remaining on your Apple Watch.
If your Apple Watch has less than 50% battery life, place it on its magnetic charging cable. You can still download and prepare the watchOS update even if your Apple Watch has less than 50% battery life.
If you try to install the watchOS update before it is charged up to at least 50%, you’ll see the notification below.
Check The Storage Space On Your Apple Watch
One of the most common reasons why an Apple Watch won’t update is because there’s no storage space left to download the update. Generally, watchOS updates require approximately a couple hundred MB (megabytes) of storage space to download and install on your Apple Watch.
You can check to see how much storage space any given watchOS update in the description of the update. As long as your Apple Watch has more available storage space than the size of the watchOS update, the update will be able to install.
To check how much storage space you have remaining on your Apple Watch, go to the Watch app on your iPhone and tap General -> Usage on your Apple Watch. At the top of this menu, you’ll see how much storage space is available on your Apple Watch.
Check For Apple Server Issues
There’s a small chance that Apple’s servers have crashed because so many Apple Watch users are all trying to update to the latest watchOS at the same time. This normally only happens on the first few days of a big software update, like when Apple publicly released iOS 11 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod on September 2017.
Apple has a comprehensive system status page that will let you know if their servers are up and running. If you see a lot of red dots on this page, there may be an issue with Apple’s servers. If there is a server issue, Apple is aware of the problem and they’re fixing it as you read this article.
Erase All Content And Settings On Your Apple Watch
If your Apple Watch still isn’t updating, there may be an underlying software issue causing the problem. If you’ve worked through all the steps above, it’s time to try erasing all the content and settings your Apple Watch.
When you perform this step, all of your Apple Watch’s settings will be reset to factory defaults and all of your content (music, photos, etc.) will be completely erased. It’ll be like you’ve taken your Apple Watch out of the box for the very first time.
Note: After erasing all content and settings on your Apple Watch, you’ll have pair it to your iPhone once again.
Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch and tap General -> Reset -> Erase All Content and Settings. You’ll be prompted to enter your passcode, then tap Erase All when the confirmation alert appears.
After pairing your Apple Watch to your iPhone again, try updating watchOS by going to General -> Software Update in your iPhone’s Watch app. If you see a message saying “Your software is up to date”, your Apple Watch updated itself during the reset process.
Visit Your Local Apple Store
If you’ve erased all content and settings on your Apple Watch, but it still isn’t updating, then you’ll want to have it looked at by an Apple employee. There’s a chance the antenna that connects your iPhone to Wi-Fi or the antenna that connects your Apple Watch to your iPhone is damaged. Before you go, we recommend scheduling an appointment so you don’t have to stand around the Apple Store all afternoon.
Your Apple Watch Is Updated!
You’ve successfully updated watchOS on your Apple Watch! We hope you’ll share this article on social media so you can teach your family and friends what to do when their Apple Watch won’t update. Feel free to leave any other watchOS questions in the comments section below!
The very first Apple Watch software update launched today, bringing Watch OS from version 1.0 to version 1.0.1, this update, as we reported earlier, is a fairly significant upgrade to Watch OS, and every Apple Watch owner should update.
But since no one in the public has ever updated an Apple Watch prior to today, you may be a little hesitant to update due to being unfamiliar with the process. Don’t worry, as we have you covered. In this walkthrough, we’ll show you how to update your Apple Watch from A-Z.
How to Update Watch OS
Note: Make sure that your Apple Watch is in range of its paired iPhone
Step 1: Charge your watch to at least 50%
Step 2: Connect your watch to the inductive charger
Step 3: Launch the Apple Watch app on your paired iPhone
Step 4: Tap My Watch
Step 5: Tap General
Step 6: Tap Software Update to check for a new update
Step 7: If a new update is found, tap Download and Install (enter your iPhone passcode if requested)
Step 8: Tap Agree on the Terms and Conditions page and the software will begin downloading to your Apple Watch
Step 9: Tap Install once the update is downloaded to the watch to start the installation process (enter your iPhone passcode if requested)
Note: Be patient, as the update take about 10-15 minutes or so to complete
Once your device is updated, go back to Apple Watch → My Watch → General → Software Update in order to see if you’re on the latest Watch OS firmware.
Pretty easy, no? The hard part is just ensuring that you’re 50% charged, and you have your charging cable on your person.
Have you updated yet? What did you think about the process?
Whether you’re updating to the latest version of watchOS (check out our watchOS 7 review for more on the new features) or considering a beta install, it’s always good to have troubleshooting steps on hand just in case things get out of hand. While everything should — and usually does — go smoothly, once in a while, these simply don’t update or install the way you’d expect. Sometimes it’s a connection issue. Sometimes it’s a verification error. Sometimes it won’t reboot. And other times it just. does nothing.
If you can’t install watchOS 7, here are a few things you can try.
- Are you on the latest version of iOS?
- Check your connection
- Force Quit and restart
- Erase and repair
Are you on the latest version of iOS?
You’ll need to update to Apple’s latest version of iOS before a watchOS update will show up in the Watch app, which, yes, means taking the plunge on both devices (the same goes for beta software). If you can’t install watchOS 7, this is the first place you should check
Does your Apple Watch support watchOS 7?
watchOS 7 is only supported on Apple Watch Series 3 and above. If you have an original Apple Watch (Series 0), Apple Watch Series 1, or Apple Watch Series 2, you can’t update to watchOS 7.
If you don’t know which Apple Watch series you have, we can help with that.
Are you on an iOS beta seed?
We’ve heard a few reports in the past from people on iOS beta seeds who can’t get watchOS updates to appear. There are a few causes for this: Your Apple Watch might not be enrolled in the watchOS public beta or watchOS developer beta program, even though your iPhone is. There may be an issue with installing the public seed over the beta.
If all else fails and you can’t install watchOS 7 while your iPhone is registered as a beta device, it’s best to bring your iPhone back to production software (and save yourself the trouble of a glitchy release).
Check your connection
It’s also worth checking to make sure you’re on Wi-Fi and your Apple Watch is recognizing your iPhone.
Note: Apple Watch does not support 5GHz Wi-Fi. You may need to switch your Wi-Fi settings over to a 2.4GHz network if you notice issues with installing software.
Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
Tap Wi-Fi. (Also double-check Bluetooth is on while you’re at it.)
Swipe up to bring up Control Center on your Apple Watch. If your iPhone is connected, you’ll see a green Connected banner at the top of the screen.
Force Quit and restart
Still not working? Try force quitting the Watch app on your iPhone and restarting your Apple Watch.
- Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
- Double press the Home button to bring up the multitasking interface on iPhone devices with a Home button or swipe up from the bottom of the Home screen on iPhone devices with Face ID.
Swipe up on the Watch app to close it.
Press and hold the Side Button on your Apple Watch.
Slide to Power Off.
Erase and repair
If neither of the above two steps worked, it’s time to bring out the big gun: unpairing and re-pairing your Apple Watch.
Note: Unpairing your Apple Watch will automatically back up most of your information, but you may lose access to certain aspects, like your Apple Pay cards. You’ll also have the Watch removed from Find My iPhone, and Activation Lock will be disconnected.
Once the Apple Watch has finished its restore cycle, you’ll be all set — as part of the restore process, your Apple Watch should load the latest watchOS update.
Any other watchOS install troubleshooting questions?
Still having trouble updating your Apple Watch to the latest version of watchOS or a watchOS beta? Let us know below and we’ll try to troubleshoot. Be sure to check out our picks for best Apple Watch bands to grow your accessory collection.
Updated September 2020: Updated for watchOS 7.
Just like an iPhone, Apple Watches receive periodic software updates that include everything from bug fixes to new features.
Your Apple Watch will usually let you know when there’s a new update available via a notification, but you can also manually check and update your Watch to the latest software on your own.
Here’s how to update your Apple Watch automatically or manually, and what to do if you run into issues.
Check out the products mentioned in this article:
Apple Watch Series 5 (From $399 at Apple)
How to update your Apple Watch automatically
1. If you receive an update notification on your Apple Watch, tap “Update Tonight,” then confirm this action on your iPhone.
2. To ensure the update is completed, leave both your Apple Watch and iPhone charging close to each other overnight. Make sure they’re also both connected to Wi-Fi.
How to update your Apple Watch manually to check for software updates
Before anything, make sure that your iPhone has the latest software updates, and that both it and your Watch are connected to Wi-Fi.
1. Put your Apple Watch on its charger and keep it there until any updates are complete.
2. Open the Watch app on your iPhone, and go to the “My Watch” tab.
3. Tap “General,” then “Software Update.” If there’s an available update, you’ll see a red number next to Software Update.
4. If no updates are available, you’ll see the text “Your software is up to date,” and no further action is required.
5. Download the update if there’s one available. You may be asked for your iPhone or Apple Watch passcode here — enter it.
6. A progress wheel will appear on the Watch face. Keep the Apple Watch on its charger and near the iPhone for the duration of the update. Do not restart your iPhone or Apple Watch, or quit the Watch app during the update.
Your Apple Watch will automatically restart once the update is complete.
How to troubleshoot an Apple Watch that won’t update
First of all, make sure that your Watch and iPhone aren’t too old to update.
WatchOS 6, the newest Apple Watch software, can only be installed on an Apple Watch Series 1 or later, using an iPhone 6s or later with iOS 13 or later installed.
If you’re sure that your Watch and iPhone are compatible and new enough for the update, you can try to troubleshoot an Apple Watch with these steps:
1. Make sure your Apple Watch is connected to its charger and actively charging.
3. Restart the iPhone that’s paired with your Apple Watch by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake button until the “slide to power off” bar appears. Drag the power button across the slider. Turn your iPhone on by holding the Sleep/Wake button.
4. Try updating your Apple Watch after following these steps.
Related coverage from Tech Reference:
‘Why isn’t my Apple Watch pairing?’: 5 ways to fix your Apple Watch and iPhone when they aren’t connecting
How to turn the volume down on your Apple Watch in 2 ways
How to change your Apple Watch password or reset it if you’ve forgotten it
How to activate an Apple Watch and set it up for use, with your iPhone nearby
How to pair an Apple Watch with your iPhone using the Watch app
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