One thing Apple has yet to figure out with Apple Watch is timely watchOS updates. Anyone who’s ever owned an Apple Watch knows that watchOS updates can be painfully slow. Sometimes taking several hours to complete, depending on model.
While the Series 3 has improved the process quite a bit, sometimes bringing the update down to 45 minutes, there are still a few tips that can shave off even more time.
Follow along to learn how to dramatically reduce watchOS update times…
How to speed up the watchOS update process
Let’s preface this by saying the methods in this tutorial are not officially supported by Apple and can be wonky at times. Proceed with caution.
- Start your watchOS update. Give it a few seconds to start the download and wait for an ETA to show up underneath the loading bar.
- Now, what you want to do is fire up Settings > Bluetooth and turn off Bluetooth. (Make sure you go into Settings and not turn off Bluetooth from Control Center.) This should now force your Apple Watch onto Wi-Fi. The ETA should now be significantly lower. Once the downloading process is complete and the update begins to process, make sure to re-enable Bluetooth as the slowest portion of the update process is now complete and your Apple Watch will now require you to be connected via Bluetooth.
Like we mentioned earlier, this is a workaround that Apple technically doesn’t support. You’ll even get a little warning dialog once you get back into the Watch app telling you to re-enable Bluetooth to improve the Apple Watch experience. Hopefully, though, as Apple Watch gets more efficient with newer models, Apple Watch will automagically switch over Wi-Fi for higher bandwidth tasks.