watchOS is the operating system that runs on the Apple Watch, powering its fitness tracking capabilities, apps, communication features, time-keeping abilities, and more. Apple plans to push regular updates to fix watchOS bugs, refine performance, and introduce new features, and the release of watchOS 2 alongside iOS 9 later today is a major uprade for the platform. (Update: Apple has delayed the public release of watchOS 2.)

watchos_2_install
watchOS updates are installed in a unique way that differs from how we install iPhone and Mac updates, so we've crafted a quick tutorial to remind users how to get the latest version of watchOS on their Apple Watches so they're ready for watchOS 2.

Before You Start

Before you try to download and install the new version of watchOS, make sure of the following:

  1. Your iPhone has been updated to iOS 9.
  2. Your iPhone and Apple Watch are within range of each other.
  3. Your Apple Watch has at least a 50 percent charge.
  4. Your Apple Watch is connected to its charger.

How to install software on apple watch 2
The last two requirements are important. You will be able to download the new version of watchOS without a 50 percent charge or Apple Watch resting on its charger, but you won't be able to install it. During the installation step, you will instead see a message that the installation is paused and won't continue until Apple Watch is connected to the charger with at least a 50 percent charge.

Downloading and Installing the Update

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and select the My Watch tab if necessary.
  2. Tap General, then tap Software Update.
  3. Tap Download and Install to begin the process.
  4. Enter your four-digit passcode on Apple Watch when prompted.
  5. The Apple logo and progress bar will appear when the software is installing. When finished, Apple Watch will restart.

If Something Goes Wrong

Apple Watch Power OffIf, for some reason, the download freezes up or you can't get the software to install on Apple Watch, you can try restarting the device.

Restarting

  1. Hold down the Side button until the Power Off slider appears.
  2. Slide the bar to shut off Apple Watch.
  3. Hold down the Side button until the Apple logo appears.
  4. Wait for Apple Watch to restart.
  5. Enter your passcode when prompted.

Hard Reset
If powering down Apple Watch does not work, you can also try a hard reset. This forces the device to shut off. It usually takes a bit longer to restart Apple Watch when you perform a hard reset.

  1. Hold both the Side button and Digital Crown down at the same time.
  2. The screen will go blank, and then the Apple logo will appear.
  3. Wait for Apple Watch to restart.
  4. Enter your passcode when prompted.

Apple is rapidly iterating on watchOS, so don't be surprised if we continue to see frequent updates. watchOS arrives just five months after the Apple Watch's debut and brings a host of new features including native third-party apps, so most Apple Watch owners will want to upgrade as soon as possible and begin exploring what's new.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

WarHeadz Avatar
87 months ago
Thanks for this great article. Will start charging my AW now to be ready . I've ordered pizza and Coca Cola!
You're celebrating a software update with pizza and coke? Hope you don't use Windows 10 or you'd be obese by now.

Edit: Ouch, bet you wish you didn't order that pizza so soon. No software update for the Watch today. :(
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
drumcat Avatar
87 months ago
Thanks for this great article. Will start charging my AW now to be ready . I've ordered pizza and Coca Cola!
How's that pizza tasting with the delay? :)
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Michaelgtrusa Avatar
87 months ago
These are some nice tips.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
iPhone 13 Face ID

'High-End' iPhone 14 Front-Facing Camera to Cost Apple Three Times More

Monday May 23, 2022 7:05 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 will feature a more expensive "high-end" front-facing camera with autofocus, partly made in South Korea for the first time, ET News reports. Apple reportedly ousted a Chinese candidate to choose LG Innotek, a South Korean company, to supply the iPhone 14's front-facing camera alongside Japan's Sharp. The company is said to have originally planned to switch to LG for the iPhone...
apple wwdc 2022

Apple Shares WWDC 2022 Schedule, Keynote to Take Place June 6 at 10:00 a.m PT

Tuesday May 24, 2022 9:06 am PDT by
Apple today confirmed that the keynote event for the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 6, the first day of WWDC. The keynote will be an online-only event, though a select number of developers have been invited to the Apple Park campus for a viewing event. In addition to confirming the keynote date and time, Apple has shared the full WWDC 2022...
2022 Apple Watch Pride Edition Bands

Apple Announces 2022 Pride Edition Watch Bands and Watch Face

Tuesday May 24, 2022 6:24 am PDT by
Apple today announced new Pride bands for the Apple Watch, with new Pride Edition Sport Loop and Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop options available. The new Pride Edition bands are available to order today for $49 on Apple.com and in the Apple Store app, and will be available at Apple Store locations starting May 26. The Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop is also coming soon to Nike.com. This...