How to Install New WatchOS 10 on Your Apple Watch – CNET

Along with iOS 17 for iPhones and iPadOS 17 for iPads, Apple this week released a new version of its operating system for the Apple Watch — WatchOS 10. The new upgrade, which Apple calls “the biggest update since the introduction of [the] Apple Watch,” adds interactive widgets, new watch faces, new workout features and redesigned versions of virtually every native app.

If you’re ready to take the leap and upgrade your Apple Watch to WatchOS 10, the process isn’t much more complicated than installing iOS 17 on your iPhone, but you should know a few details first. Learn how to update to WatchOS 10 using your iPhone or Apple Watch.

For more on the Apple Watch, be sure to read our new reviews of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2.

First, make sure that your Apple Watch and iPhone support WatchOS 10

Apple’s WatchOS 10 is available to everyone with a recently released Apple Watch and iPhone. Here are the Apple Watch models that support WatchOS 10:

Apple Watch Series 4 and newer.Apple Watch SE (1st generation) and newer.Apple Watch Ultra and Apple Watch Ultra 2.

If you don’t meet the requirements for WatchOS 10, your watch’s Software Update setting will show you the latest version of WatchOS that you can run.

You’ll also need an iPhone that supports iOS 17, which means iPhone XS or newer. If you have an iPhone 8 or iPhone X, you’ll be unable to upgrade to WatchOS 10 at this time.

Next, download and install iOS 17 on your iPhone

Even though you can install WatchOS directly via your Apple Watch, you’ll need to upgrade your iPhone to iOS 17 first, if you haven’t already. The iOS 17 installation will take about 10 to 30 minutes, depending on your iPhone model and internet connection. Once iOS 17 is running on your iPhone, you’re ready to upgrade your Apple Watch.

Before installing WatchOS 10, charge your watch, plug it in and connect to Wi-Fi

To install WatchOS 10 on your Apple Watch, it will need to be charged to at least 50% of its maximum battery capacity and plugged into its charger. You’ll also need to be within range of your iPhone, which should also be connected to a working Wi-Fi network.

Once your watch is charged up, plugged in and connected to the internet, you can install WatchOS 10 from your iPhone or from your Apple Watch directly.

How to install WatchOS 10 using your iPhone

Open the Watch app on your iPhone and navigate to the My Watch tab. That tab might have a red “1” notification badge next to the General settings, indicating that the WatchOS 10 upgrade is ready for you. 

Regardless of whether you have a notification, tap General and then Software Update on the following screen. The app will check your devices for compatibility and show you information about the version of WatchOS that is available for installing. 

If your iPhone and Apple Watch support WatchOS 10, you’ll see the option to upgrade in Software Update. Screenshots by Nelson Aguilar/CNET

If your watch and iPhone are new enough, you should see information about WatchOS 10. When you’re ready to upgrade, tap Download and Install to initiate the update. Depending on your phone, watch and internet connection, the update process could take from several minutes to an hour, according to Apple

Note: If you have Automatic App Install for Apple Watch turned on, the upgrade to WatchOS 10 may have already started or completed automatically.

How to install WatchOS 10 using your Apple Watch

You’re not required to use your iPhone to update to WatchOS 10 — you can do it directly from your Apple Watch itself. First, open the Settings app on your Apple Watch. Then tap General and then Software Update, just as with the iPhone.

Your Apple Watch will still need to be in range of your iPhone to update. Screenshots by Nelson Aguilar/CNET

The app will then check for new updates and show you what’s available. If your watch is compatible with WatchOS 10 and you haven’t updated yet, you should see information about the update. Tap Install to start the update to WatchOS 10.

And that’s it! Whether you used your iPhone or Apple Watch to update to WatchOS 10, you should be able to use all the new features like the Smart Stack of widgets and the Snoopy watch faces.

For more on what’s new from Apple this month, check out everything announced at the “Wonderlust” event and a comparison of the Apple Watch Ultra and Apple Watch Ultra 2.

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