WatchOS 2 Update for Apple Watch Available to Download & Install

Sep 21, 2015 - 75 Comments

WatchOS 2.0 update available to download and install for Apple Watch

Apple has released watchOS 2 for Apple Watch owners. The update brings a handful of new features to the Apple Watch, including native apps, a variety of new watch faces, third party complications, an optional nightstand mode, and overall improvements to usability and performance of the device.

The update is recommended for all Apple Watch owners to install.


Downloading and installing the WatchOS 2 update is requires iOS 9 or later to be running on the paired iPhone. The download itself weighs in around 515mb and arrives as an Over-the-Air download from the Apple Watch app, making it fairly simple.

How to Download & Install WatchOS 2 Update on Apple Watch

Updating WatchOS software is the same on all Watch devices:

  1. Connect the Apple Watch to its charger, be sure it has at least a 50% charge
  2. Join a wi-fi network with the iPhone paired to Apple Watch
  3. Launch the Watch app on the paired iPhone and go to the “My Watch” tab
  4. Choose “General” followed by “Software Update” and then tap on ‘Download and Install’

WatchOS 2 for Apple Watch update

You’ll need to agree to some terms of service (after carefully reading it of course) to start the installation of WatchOS 2.0

Because the WatchOS 2 update has to download from Apple Servers and transfer over Bluetooth to the Watch itself, installation can take quite a while. Downloading the update to the Watch can take from 1 to 4 hours on a reasonably fast broadband connection, so don’t be alarmed if the update takes a while. Likewise, if you’re in a bind for time, you may want to put off updating to WatchOS 2 until you have adequate time to let both the iPhone and Apple Watch complete the download and installation of WatchOS 2.0.

Apple Watch

Because there is no user accessible port on Apple Watch, you’ll want to be cautious to not interrupt the software update during its installation. Aside from basic troubleshooting like forcing it to reboot or resetting and erasing an Apple Watch, a stuck Watch would need to be given to Apple for support, either via an Apple Store or through a mail in support service. That’s obviously inconvenient, but any problems in watchOS updates can usually be avoided by following proper protocol to install WatchOS and Apple Watch system software.

WatchOS 2 was originally intended to arrive alongside iOS 9, but was delayed at the last minute to address an unspecified bug.

Apple Watch in Nightstand Mode

Apple Watch in horizontal nightstand mode shown above.

Enjoy this tip? Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address below:

Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Apple Watch, News

75 Comments

» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Luis says:

    Is there a way to download it other than OTA? My iphone 5 got stuck in checking for update and won’t get past there.

    • Miko says:

      Unfortunately there is no other way to update the Apple Watch except from the Watch app. There isn’t a port on the thing, so you have to use the OTA Bluetooth transfer mechanism for installing.

      • Miko says:

        I say this while my Watch app on iPhone is stuck on “preparing…” and the Apple Watch shows no indicator anything is going on. It feels kind of precarious, so hopefully it works without any issue to install the update. It would be a big pain in the butt to send this thing in to Apple!

        • Luis says:

          I got mine to work…all I had to do was th one thing I hadn’t tried: restart the damn watch. Now it found the update and is downloading

    • jeff jeff says:

      Onto hour 2 of installing WatchOS 2 onto Apple Watch and the progress indicator on Apple Watch is not even 1/4 done yet

      at this rate, it will be done installing in another 12 hours.

    • Jim says:

      I was stuck on verifying, until I turned off the passcode using the iPhone’s iWatch app. The next time I went to General and started the software update, it ran through the process in about 30 minutes.

      For me the solution for the endless verifying is to simply turn off the pass code until after the update.

    • Yaniv C says:

      ARGGH!
      No matter what I did I couldn’t get it off the verifying screen.
      Rebooted at least 6 times and left it on veryfying for 2 hours and still nothing.
      Refreshing the watch entirely, hopefully this will work.

  2. Edward Scissorbottoms says:

    Apple Watch update app stuck on ‘Verifying…’

    then my Watch made a chime sound like a message came in, but no message came in, anyone know what to do? I will let it sit and wait, it’s been doing this for a while.

    • Paul says:

      Apple Watch app will say ‘verifying’ before it switches to ‘installing’, it can take a while

      When ‘installing’ starts, the Watch screen turns to the Apple logo  and the Watch app on iPhone will not show progress aside from the ‘installing’ text. Just wait it out, it takes a while to complete.

    • Josh says:

      I am having the same issue; I let it sit for a while and nothing happened so I started over twice…hopefully just leaving it will resolve this issue. Although, if every future software update is this slow, this could be quite annoying.

  3. fina roan says:

    Watch OS 2 update says ‘Unable to Install Update’

    Ok, trying again.

    I wonder when Apple will get their software situation stable?

  4. Louis says:

    Anyone has any luck updating watch 2.0? It was preparing then it requires the watch needs to be powered, not it is stuck with verifying.. this is so unlike Apple update. I can’t image how typical user deals with this.

    • Paul says:

      Yes I updated to WatchOS 2 successfully, it will finish installing but it does take quite a while. Updating my Apple Watch Sport to WatchOS 2.0 took about 2 hours and 45 minutes!

      The ‘Verifying’ part takes a while, then it starts to install after that, which takes another 45 minutes or so. The Apple Watch has the onscreen progress bar, which moves quite slow. Just let it sit on the charger and try your best to ignore it for a few hours, it’s a little frustrating that it’s so slow but it will get there.

      • John says:

        Mine was verifying all night. This morning it is still not finished.

        • Christen says:

          Mine has done the same. “verifying” for the majority of the night, in the morning still not finished. I have not found a solution for this on any forum. I’m running fast internet speed, so it can not be that. Had a similar issue the first time I tried to upload a playlist. Took 4 times before it completed.

  5. Louis says:

    Thank you Paul, I just heard the “Ding” and it went from preparing to verifying now.. I will report back in an hour to let you guys know the progress…

  6. Don says:

    My watch doesn’t show the update. Why?

  7. Lachlan says:

    Is anyone on the 9.1 beta having it show up as no update being available?

  8. Sean says:

    Had to reboot watch to get past verify now installing after 3 hrs trying

  9. Louis says:

    verifying for an hour and half.. rebooting the watch now and do it again, it is doing preparing again…

  10. Louis says:

    scratch that.. it says unable to verify now.. and it is download the software again on iphone.. eta 2 hours for download.. wtf

  11. Louis says:

    Finally at installing phase of the watch… Rebooting both phone and watch did it i think….. Now looks normal apple logo with the ring

  12. Trent says:

    After 5 hours of trying, verifying would always crank out. Then I would try to prepare/verify again, and again, and a again with no success. Decided to restart both the phone and my watch. And once again, the phone started verifying…then bingo, the watch logo popped on with a loading circle around it.

    Restart your devices if need be.

  13. Claudia says:

    I’ve been trying for hours to update my watch and the progress bar keeps saying time remaining 1 day and it’s going really slow, surely it’s not going to take that long is it ?

  14. MK says:

    Mine was verifying for over 2 hours. After reading the comments here, I restarted my iPhone and also the watch and it all worked pretty quickly after that.
    Thanks for the tip!!

  15. Dima says:

    After waiting for 3 hours, restarting phone and the watch helped!

  16. Jim says:

    Thanks for taking the time to leave advice, all. My watch was stuck on “verifying” status for two hours as well. I just rebooted both and it finally says installing!!

    When it doubt, reboot. Thanks again.

  17. steve says:

    Yeah that did the trick reboot both items it went from having downloading after 8 hours it still said 1 day to go. Read the above ideas and now after rebooting says 41minutes to go

    Thats the trick for me too thanks so much guys!!!!

  18. Mohammed says:

    I go to the iPhone watch app and try to find the update but tells me that the “Software is updated 1.0.1” how to I find the iOS2 update!!!!

  19. David Mitchell says:

    After the upgrade i have lost the screen shot funtion ?

  20. Marchetta says:

    Mine is stuck on the last tidbit of Apple and ring….won’t restart, won’t finish, won’t nothing…..

  21. dsev says:

    after update messages are not updating on the thread, I receive the notification and can read the preview but the new messages are not present in the thread, only messages send from the watch are showing up

  22. Stan says:

    Did someone notice that battery life is become horrible after update? It’s 8 am and since 5 am it’s 43% left! Wasn’t using at all. WTF?

  23. Stan says:

    Ok I noticed that it started to check pulse every 10min ! How to turned it off?

  24. Will Turner says:

    the turn off and restart of both phone & watch worked for me, a shame that I needed to research it on here though! Took about an hour all up. Battery life seemed to improve even though I’ve gone for the 70 second displaying option. Used the voice reply to email which worked OK, other than that seems all good so far. Siri is supposedly enhanced, but I’ve never done too well with Siri anyway. Looking forward to a deluge of third party apps and ‘complications’ – think they mean widgets – now to give the watch more functionality.

  25. Ihsan says:

    My watch was stuck on verifying for 2 hours, so I restarted the phone, but it is still stuck on verifying. I even turned off the passcode on my my apple watch. Solution PLZZZZ!!!

  26. Gerry says:

    Had same problem getting hung up on verify. Rebooted the iPhone then went to setting – general- reset – reset network settings. Then rebooted the watch ( by turning power off and on). Finally went to watch app on phone and restarted the os2 download. Worked like a charm

  27. Paul says:

    I have been having the same problem all morning with it being frozen on “verifying”. restarted the phone and still the same problem. turned off the passcode on the watch and still the same problem. finally restarted the watch and it worked fine.

  28. Don says:

    It did take a lot of patience, and after 90 minutes the watch’s screen went black. When 5 minutes later I had the courage to tap it, all was working, and watchOS2 was there. Relieved!

  29. Lenora says:

    I had a similar issue. I tried updating yesterday but the screen kept getting stuck at verifying. I tried restarting my phone but it didn’t work. After reading this thread I restarted the watch and then while it was on the “preparing” mode, I was actively using my iwatch so it would not go to sleep (I didn’t want to turn off the passcode and erase my saved cards). After a few minutes I heard a ding on my watch and a prompt appeared to install the update. I clicked install and it said it would install in 60 seconds. It’s installing now. I’m not sure whether it was restarting the watch or not allowing it to go to sleep so I would get the prompt, but it’s installing now.

  30. Steve says:

    4-1/2 hours on verifying – I hope pass code hasn’t locked – nothing to indicate it has.

  31. ace says:

    finally my watch is downloading.. the best advice is to take the security or password off your watch from the iPhone app, and everything starts to download much faster. i been frustrated with this all day, and now after reading the advice from this post… it is finally making some progress… enjoy

  32. Lisa says:

    Hi All – I was stuck on the downloading to watch and it indicated 1 day to go. Thanks to this thread I turned off my passcode on the watch, restarted both and I am now at 51 minutes to go. Thanks!

  33. Ellie says:

    I didn’t have any major problems with downloading the update.
    Was about 2hrs & 40mins in total and the watch showed a progress circle while it was finalising.
    New features installed before bed so I could try out the clock feature overnight.
    Having just come back from Hong Kong, the cityscape is now my watch face.
    It would be great if you could choose ANY major city for this feature though.

    And I haven’t had a passcode on my watch since the day I got it and Apple staff showed me how to remove it.

  34. Katherine says:

    So glad I read all these comments. Shut off my pass code. Rebooted watch and phone. Finally got past ” verifying” to installing!!

  35. Paul says:

    I’ve now been trying to update for 2 days. Tried all that has been suggested, iPhone 5S is on iOS 9.0.1, pass code is off, rebooted phone and watch, reset network settings and still it won’t get past “Verifying” stage. My last try was just before I went to bed, 6 hours later and it’s still on “Verifying”!

    Please help if you can. Thank you.

    Extremely frustrating, if this is going to be the Apple Watch update process, then I’m taking the watch back to Apple, life is too short, to waste endless hours on something that should be straight forward and simple. For someone who is an Apple fan, its rapidly putting me off. Goodness knows how new comers to Apple products must feel!

  36. Bill says:

    Mine has been stuck verifying for hours. I finally took the watch off the charger, restarted, put back on the charger, and re entered the passcode.

    I restarted the app on my iPhone and started the installation process once again. The app went almost immediately to “installing…” and the watch face shows about 15% done in 10 minutes.

  37. LJML says:

    This thread was SO helpful!!!! Thank you!!! Resetting the watch is the answer!

  38. Richard says:

    Did wife’s watch update and had huge problems. Multiple reboots of both watch & iphone did little. Overnite it sat with ‘6 hrs remaining” but only restarting, re-“pair”ing, & restarting installation caused a success.. eventually!.
    Now doing my watch now, and same baloney. “About 8 hours remaining…”, and “Downloading to Watch…” appears.

    8 hours to download 512 mb data to the watch?? Come on….! Nuts..

    ….oooops …As I’m typing this. it is now ” 12 hours Remaining” on the download. I’m seriously upset at Apple.

    (BTW – My High speed internet connection is not the problem)

    This is worst Apple update of any of their products so far.

    Fed up….after two days of struggle with two simple Apple Watches, I still don’t know how/why the first one succeeded and the second one is even worse…

  39. Loxy says:

    When you get to the installing phase and see the apple. There is a progression circle that surrounds the apple. But you can only see it in a darkened room. I would recommend waiting when you have 4 hours or so to update. Updating watch made me late for work because I didn’t want to leave my phone at home.

  40. Pete says:

    I’m on reasonably fast WiFi 50-70Mb. Phone is saying “2 days to install software” ??????

    Just updated phone to 9.0.2.as well

    Expecting this watch OS install to be a train smash.

    Come on Apple, you’ve gotta be smarter than this!!

  41. Tiffany says:

    I keep going through the process only to get a “Cannot install – not connected to the internet” type of message. I am connected, my watch has 100% charge and is connected to its charger, my phone is 100% charged and connected to its charger……..I keep repeating the process but nothing changes.

    I just unpaired and repaired my watch, setting it up as a new watch instead of restoring it so we’ll see if that works. Anyone had this issue find a fix?

  42. Qk says:

    IS it normal for the apple watch update to take 8 hours or more?????

  43. Ryan says:

    I was having trouble and I turned off my passcode on both my phone and the watch. I have a work email on my phone and it was blocking the install. Once those were removed and I did a reboot of the phone and watch it started installing. Thanks for all of the help to those who have posted on this message board.

  44. Aryana says:

    My watch gets to the last seven seconds of the update, then says unable to verify update. Why?

  45. Jackie says:

    This watch is a piece of garbage, the update sux, and there is absolutely no support from Apple when their crappy system sits there waiting to install with absolutly no one at the Apple Store who knows what to do???. Wtf !!! Everything is hooked up, restarted but it just sits there.this is garbage!

  46. Roger says:

    Hi, I just got some trouble with the 1 OS, after 20 days, it stop taking dictation, and siri couldn’t hear me, either if wanted to make a call or sent a voice note or phone call, it was all blanck noise. I made my research and found it was like a software issue, so… A few days later I got to update my iphone 5s software and also 2.0 OS for my watch, solving the watch mic issue but now… If I try to use siri, she’ll text me that niether iwatch nor iphone are unable to connect with siri, although I can make calls, if I want to send text notes thru dictation it won’t work, more over, I can’t send voice notes as they will be rebound, as it couldn’t been sent even when I’m on wifi connection. Any ideas?

  47. Jon says:

    WTF! Just went from 14 hours to around 9! SERIOUSLY! Steve is rolling over in his grave!

  48. Fatma says:

    This error in my download I can’t Belive is a new watch

    🤕🤒⌚️

  49. Jeff says:

    Just updated mine in less than an hour and seemed to work fine. My Internet speed is 60mbps and have a fast wifi (had to use the one at the office because the one at my house is not supported by the apple watch). Biggest complaint is that with the new upgrade I still can’t get both devices to notify at the same time. Missing custom ringtones and sounds so I know who is calling or texting.

Leave a Reply

 

Shop for Apple & Mac Deals on Amazon.com

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates