How to Update Apple Watch without iPhone

While the Apple Watch is primarily a smartwatch, it can also be used as a personal fitness tracker and even as a communication tool. To keep your watch updated and running smoothly, you’ll need to update the software on your device regularly.

The easiest way to update your Apple Watch is by using your iPhone or iPad. However, you can also update the watch directly on the watch. In this article we will show you how to do it. Let’s read on to find out.

Check out: 3 ways to Update iPhone Without WiFi

What Are the Requirements for Updating Apple Watch?

There are several requirements you need to meet before updating your Apple Watch. Below are the 4 main ones:

1. Your Apple Watch and your iPhone are compatible with the update.

You must have a compatible iPhone running iOS 12 or later to update your Apple Watch to watchOS 6. You can check whether your iPhone is compatible by going to: Settings > General > About > Software Update. If your iPhone isn’t listed there as being compatible with watchOS 6, then it’s not compatible with watchOS 6 yet and won’t be able to update your Apple Watch.

2. Your Apple Watch has enough battery for the updating process.

Then, you should make sure that your iPhone as well as your watch have enough power before starting the process of updating your Apple Watch operating system. 

If your iPhone has less than 50% power, then it won’t be possible for your Apple Watch to update itself automatically. That’s why you need to make sure that both devices have at least 50% battery, and your Apple Watch is connected to a charger before attempting to install the update.

3. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are enabled on your iPhone and Apple Watch.

The third thing you will need to check is whether your watch and your phone are connected to a Wi-Fi network and whether Bluetooth is enabled on both devices. 

If your watch isn’t connected to the Internet or is in Airplane Mode, it won’t be able to update by itself. You’ll need to connect it to your iPhone with Wi-Fi or LTE before updating.

4. Your Apple Watch is close to your phone during the update.

The final thing is that you need to make sure your Apple Watch is placed near your phone in order to keep the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection stable.

How to Update the Apple Watch Directly on Apple Watch

The Apple Watch is a great piece of technology, but it’s also a little finicky. Thus, it’s good to know how to update your Apple Watch directly on the watch itself. This is useful if you’re low on space on your phone and need to download an app or two before you can sync with the iPhone.

Here’s how to update the Apple Watch directly:

  • Step 1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  • Step 2. Tap My Watch in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  • Step 3. Scroll down and tap General, then choose Software Update.
  • Step 4. Tap Download and Install and wait until the process completes.
  • Step 5. Once done, reboot your device and then check if the update has been installed successfully or not by tapping on the General > About section in the My Watch tab in the Apple Watch app on your iOS device.

You can also let your Apple Watch to automatically update overnight by enabling the Automatic Updates in the Watch app on your iPhone:

  • Step 1: Access to the Watch app 
  • Step 2: Under My Watch section, select General 
  • Step 3: Select Software Update > then toggle on the Automatic Updates.

Your watch will automatically update overnight as long as it is on the charger, the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are enabled on both the watch and the phone, and both devices are placed near to each other.

Why Won’t My Apple Watch Update? Here’s How to Troubleshoot:

Chances are, you have completed all the requirements and the steps above, but your Apple Watch is still showing the notification “Unable to Install Update”. Here are the steps you can take to troubleshooting the issue:

1. Restart both your watch and your phone.

To restart your phone on iPhone X or latest models, you can:

  • Step 1: Press and hold Volume Down and Side buttons for 10 seconds. 
  • Step 2: Swipe right when the screen shows Slide to power off notification to turn off the phone. 
  • Step 3: Do the same step in order to turn on the phone again.

For other methods to restart your phone on earlier models, you can have a check at this article Boost Mobile Data Not Working.

You can do the similar steps to restart your watch by:

  • Step 1: Press Side button and swipe right when the Power Off slide is showing.
  • Step 2: Wait for 30 seconds, then turn it on again by pressing and holding the Side button again until the Apple logo is displaying.

2. Unpair and pair again your devices.

If restarting the devices can’t solve the issue, you can also try to unpair and re-pair them, here’s how to do it:

  • Step 1: Open the Watch app icon.
  • Step 2: Click on All Watches option at the top left of the screen.
  • Step 3: Tap on the Info icon “i” next to the watch that you want to unpair, then choose Unpair Apple Watch.

After unpairing the two devices, you can proceed with pairing them again right after that, here are the steps:

  • Step 1: Put your phone close to the Apple Watch until the pairing screen shows up on your iPhone, OR you can open the Watch app and select Pair New Watch.
  • Step 2: Select Continue, you will see the watch appear on the iPhone’s viewfinder. Your watch is now paired with your phone. You can follow the instructions on your iPhone to update several settings.


Above are some simple steps to take in order to update your Apple Watch without using your iPhone. We hope this article can help to make your uploading process smooth and easy. Follow our blog to learn more tips on updating your Apple devices. You may find our other articles about iPhones interesting to read, some of them are How to Connect Multiple Bluetooth Speakers to an iPhone, 3 Tips to Quickly Find a Text Message by Date on iPhone or “This Number Is No Longer in Service” – everything you need to know

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