How to install watchOS 2

Today, Apple unveiled watchOS 2, and it’s a major upgrade to the initial version of watchOS. When you think about it, it’s pretty amazing that we’re getting such improved functionality less than 2 months from the debut of Apple Watch.

As it usually does on WWDC keynote day, Apple has made its OS updates available for download immediately. If you’re an Apple developer member, a privilege that now extends across all platforms for only $99, you can download and install watchOS 2 today.

The installation is fairly arduous and time-consuming, but it can be done with relative ease if you have the patience. But I definitely don’t recommend that anyone but a developer does this, because there is no way to downgrade back to watchOS 1.01.

In this post and video tutorial, we’ll show you what you need to prepare to install watchOS 2, and how to install watchOS 2 on your Apple Watch.

Download the files

Note: to download the beta’s you will need to be an Apple Developer

Step 1: Unpair your iPhone and Apple Watch, if you don’t you’ll need to reset your Apple Watch later and repair it. I personally prefer to reset my Apple Watch to defaults anyway. It’s nice to start with a fresh install for a beta.

Step 2: Download and install the iOS 9 beta on your iPhone from the Apple Developer portal

Register your iPhone

Note: If your iOS device is already registered as a developer device, you should be able to skip this section of the tutorial. Also, the UDID requested is for your iPhone, not your Apple Watch.

Step 1: Download and install the iOS 9 SDK (Xcode 7 beta) from the Apple Developer portal

Step 2: Connect your iPhone to your Mac

Step 3: Launch Xcode 7 beta

Step 4: Click Window → Organizer

Step 5: Copy the 40-character UDID in the identifier field

Step 6: Sign in to Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles using your developer-registered Apple ID

Step 7: Click the + sign to begin registration

Step 8: Name your device and paste in the UDID from Step 4

Step 9: Click continue to confirm and complete registration

Install watchOS beta 2 on your Apple Watch

Step 1: Pair your Apple Watch

Step 2: Charge your Apple Watch do that it has at least 50% charge and keep it connected to its inductive charger throughout the installation process

Step 3: Connect your iPhone to Wi-Fi

Step 4: Place your iPhone next to your Apple Watch

Step 5: Download the watchOS 2 beta Configuration from the Apple Developer portal directly to your iPhone

Step 6: Launch the profile, tap Apple Watch as install location and reboot when asked

Step 7: Launch the Apple Watch app on iPhone

Step 8: Tap My Watch → General → Software Update

Step 9: If requested, enter your passcode

Step 10: Wait for the Apple logo to appear and watch the progress bar fill in completely

Step 11: Your Apple Watch will reboot once the update is completed

That’s all there is to it. You should now be able to enjoy watchOS 2 and all of its perks on your Apple Watch.

What do you think? Was it easy? Check back, as we’ll have much more coverage of watchOS 2 over the next few days and weeks.