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How to get watchOS 7 on your Apple Watch – download and install details

Apple has revealed watchOS 7, the latest version of its operating system for Apple Watch, will roll out on Wednesday September 16.

The new update brings sleep tracking, new on-device dictation, and a hand-washing app among other new features. Apple revealed a new Family Setup feature, new and customisable watch faces, and the ability to share watch faces. There’s also a new and improved Fitness app, that’ll play nice with the new Fitness+ home workout video application Apple previewed during the Time Flies event.

Now, ahead of the launch of the Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE, Apple is bringing the update to owners of most existing Apple Watch devices. As usual, watchOS 7 will be an over-the-air update that’ll be delivered via the Watch app for iPhone or via the Apple Watch itself.

Related: Apple Watch Series 6 vs Series 5

To download via the Watch app, open it, select iPhone > General > Software update. Ensure your Apple Watch is carrying more than a 50% charge. The iPhone will need to be running iOS 14, which is also launched tomorrow, on September 16, so you’ll need to update your iPhone before tackling the update on your wearable Apple device. That iPhone will need to be connected to Wi-Fi too.

To update your compatible Apple Watch to watchOS 7 directly on the Apple Watch, you’ll need to be running watchOS 6 to begin with. From here, Apple says:

  • Make sure that your watch is connected to Wi-Fi.
  • On your watch, open the Settings app.
  • Tap General > Software Update.
  • Tap Install if a software update is available, then follow the onscreen instructions.

The new OS is no longer compatible with the original Apple Watch, Series 1 and Series 2 devices. So, if you’re hoping to upgrade you’ll need the Apple Watch Series 3, Series 4, Series 5. If you’re buying a new Series 6 or Apple Watch SE, they will arrive loaded with watchOS 7.