It seems I’m not the only person to have experienced issues upgrading my Apple Watch to watchOS 2. After swearing at it for its insistence that it needed both more than 50% power and to be on charge (it refused to play even when on 100% power), it finally agreed to update itself and then stalled overnight during the ‘Verifying’ stage.
Starting again, the update then crashed the watch. Rebooting the Watch didn’t fix it, nor did rebooting the iPhone and starting the process again. What did fix it? Read on…
Ultimately, I had to completely start from scratch: unpairing the watch from the iPhone app, and then wiping the Watch. After that, I re-paired the devices, restoring from backup, which got me back to watchOS 1.0.1, and then I was able to successfully upgrade to watchOS 2. Frustratingly, in each of the latter two stages – the second attempt and the final one – the iPhone had to download the watchOS 2 software again, taking around two hours to do so.
Anyway, if you’ve hit the same or a similar issue, here’s how you start from scratch. On the iPhone app, touch the Apple Watch menu item at the top then Unpair Apple Watch.
On the Watch, go to the apps, open Settings, scroll down to General, tap that then scroll down to Reset. Confirm on the next screen. When prompted, tell it to restore from most recent backup.
This takes a while, and at the end of it you’ll still be on watchOS 1.0.1 – at which point you can begin the upgrade again. In the iPhone app, select General then Software Update. Your iPhone needs to be on WiFi, the Watch needs to have more than 50% charge and it also needs to be charging, but this time around it should work.
Once it does finally complete, check out our walkthrough of all the new features.