watchOS 2

Every time a beta is released, we always provide tutorials for those of you who may be developers, but to be honest, we know that even some of you non-developers with paid access to developer accounts will upgrade to the betas as well. Of course, that’s your own decision.

But with watchOS, things are different. You really shouldn’t upgrade to watchOS 2 unless you truly are a developer, or at the very least, you should thoroughly understand what you’re getting in to. Why is this? We explain in this post.

The Apple Watch cannot be downgraded

Okay, let me just preface this by stating that there probably is a way to downgrade watchOS, and Apple likely has the internal tools to do it, but when it comes to the public, there is no way to downgrade currently.

With previous iPhone and iPad betas, there have always been ways to downgrade with relative ease. This isn’t the case with Apple Watch, since it uses a unique upgrade process, doesn’t use DFU mode, doesn’t have its own user-downloadable software, etc.

And since it’s a beta, it’s inevitable that you encounter bugs. This is probably amplified on watchOS due to the large amount of new features it’s adopted so quickly, and the fact that it’s very early in the product’s life-cycle.

iPhoen Out of Date watchOS 2

Your paired iPhone cannot be downgraded

Okay, so that statement isn’t totally true. You can downgrade iOS 9 just like you can downgrade previous iOS betas on iPhone and iPads. But there’s a catch…

To install watchOS 2, you must have iOS 9 on your iPhone. This means that in order to run watchOS 2, you actually need to run two betas: iOS 9 and watchOS 2.

That’s a lot of pre-release software to be running at the same time, but since you updated to watchOS 2, you have no choice but to keep iOS 9 on your paired iPhone. You can always downgrade iOS 9 back to iOS 8, but then you’ll have to forgo using your Apple Watch, since it requires an iPhone with iOS 9.


So yeah, before you take the jump to run watchOS 2, you should strongly consider the ramifications. It’s basically a commitment to run beta software on both your Apple Watch and your iPhone for the entire duration of the beta process, unless some sort of downgrade process appears.

What have you decided to do?

  • oh man, this isn’t good news. There’s gotta be a way to downgrade the watch. Possible via an Apple store?

    • I don’t think they even know what to do with a broken watch in an Apple Store yet…

      • Looks like, from others on other forums, that they have to send it away to get it flashed – maybe an out of warranty repair though so not sure on charges 🙁

    • Jeffrey

      Apple doesn’t even want you to downgrade so I’m pretty sure they won’t (and probably can’t) do it for you.

  • Cole Mahoney

    I was looking forward to trying this. Their has to be a way to downgrade

    • John Wickham

      Wow, can anyone else confirm this?

      • Barry Rose

        I have tried this and it doesn’t work. I have restored a 1.0.1 backup and it still remains at 2.0 unfortunately.

      • Danny Shepherd

        Yeah. Doesn’t work.

      • Danny Shepherd

        What I’d suggest is trying the above but deleting the installed profile first.

    • It removes the new watch faces but it’s still 2.0. Go to your setting > about > and you’ll see you’re not on 1.0.1. Backups keep data and personal information, not firmware versions.

  • Conner Gieg

    I hope the watch can be downgraded

  • Chris Longden

    Yep I’m on watchOS2 and iOS 9 – Battery life has taken a kick in on the watch but hey that’s beta life.

    • Danny Shepherd

      Same here on the watch. Normally I’d be at 70% by now. I’m at 31%!
      iOS9 is being a big power drain too. Obviously I’ve not kicked in the low power option. It will suggest that to me at 20% I think

      • Victor Molina

        I’m getting great battery life on the watch. It’s my iPhone 5s that’s taking a mayor hit with iOS 9

  • Delfos Sambucetti Arturaola

    So took the watch off the charger this morning at 6am it is now 10:21 am and I am at 88% I don’t see a real impact on battery. But again that’s just me.

    • Jae Melo

      Thats so weird dude… I took mine off my charger this morning at 6:30am… Right now its at 88% exactly like yours however its 1:01pm… Id deff say your watch battery is draining quicker because of watchos 2

  • sharp44MAG

    Can anyone confirm if by going to an Apple Store if Apple can downgrade the watch from 2.0 to 1.0.1?

  • singhay559

    Guess all those who upgraded are lab monkies

  • TJ

    People need to stop being impatient and just wait until later in the year when it’s available, simple. If you’re not a developer and you don’t need these new OS versions for the purposes of testing your apps then you shouldn’t upgrade.

  • zebonaut

    Ios 9 running fairly smooth; oswatch2 ran smooth _until it froze on the apple boot loop. Its currently bricked. Reboots don’t work. Yes, Im a lab monkey living dangerously in the world of tech because I can’t wait for the latest and greatest.

    • veda99

      Press and hold both the crown and the button on watch for few seconds while it is placed on charger. worked for me!

      • zebonaut

        that doesn’t work; it just returns to the logo. Its off to the Apple Store….

      • Shayne Troxler

        Let us know what the apple store tells you. I’m very curious about how they are dealing with it.

      • zebonaut

        either they have a capability to reboot it through the port with their software; or they’ll likely replace the watch with another unit sans band. Stay tuned

      • zebonaut

        update. Have to leave the watch with Apple. They send it to their depot. 5 days; say they can reboot it there. Not yet any replacement watches in the store. Watchless for 5 days. Oh the indignity. Sob. Such are the risks of living on the cutting edge of Beta software.

      • Shayne Troxler

        I’m following the fiasco. I wondered what would happen if I did this. But not enough to actually do it myself. I’m glad someone was game enough to be the GP. I’ll be looking out for the day you get it back next week to see if it is the same SN or a bandless replacement.

      • zebonaut

        I just have to live in the future. I can’t wait.

  • FrankJL

    the first day i upgraded to watchos2 my battery took a major dump. The next day it did not fair any better. But something happened. Yesterday surprisingly my watch died at 5pm eastern i was shocked but obviously it was the beta software. Got home and plugged it in. Like around 9pm i removed it from the charger at 100% i fell asleep with it. I have been wearing the watch since yesterday and i am now at 55%battery. so from 9pm tuesday to wednesday 1pm that’s 16 hours unplugged. And I am at 55%. Which means i can take it an additional 16 hours and still have 2-5% at this rate.

  • Michel M.

    I’m probably going to make the jump. As a developer I have to have to OS packages: the Note 4 and Moto 360 and iPhone 5s and Apple Watch

  • Darthque

    any progress on jailbreaking the  watch?

  • Kr00

    I await all the “what do I do, my watch is bricked” cries by the moronic few who think a first beta release is fun to play with.

    The same as it was with iOS 8 and Yosemite last year, and the second you state these betas are not full OSs you get hate speech and anger.

    Here’s a tip for those few, do not come here and complain if you run into trouble if you don’t know what you are doing. Do not install a beta OS X over your current OS, and if you really really want to try an iOS beta, wait for the third or fourth release. And also, I will remind you of how stupid you are for doing stupid things.

    • mp

      I see you’re still suffering anger management issues Mr Butthurt. You really need to calm down and stop being so aggressive towards others. After my complaint to Disqus I noted your comments were deleted the other day. An indication perhaps of some issues you need to deal with Mr Butthurt. 😉

      • Kr00

        Why don’t you go cry to mummy about it then, like last time, sook.

      • mp


  • Robbie Biederman

    The watchOS beta is truly painful. No SMS. Digital Crown doesn’t scroll with most notifications. Activity tracking is random, Battery life is at least 3 hours less, Siri is freezing, Taptic feedback is randomly turning off causing missed alerts, replying to an iMessage (since you can’t respond to SMS) freezes or doesn’t work when using dictation 40% of the time

    However iOS 9 minus a serious battery drain (still hasn’t been enough to kill my 6 with battery case) has been really nice. Multitasking works like a charm the new app switcher, Siri, and overall iPad experience is really something everyone should be really excited about.

    I would not upgrade to watchOS 2 beta 1. Wait for 2. All the major bugs, SMS, activity tracking should be fixed.

  • Victor Molina

    Stay away from watchos 2.0. A lot of problems with it. Siri is almost doesn’t work at all. And very sluggish ui. It takes Way longer now to do everything

  • Donovan

    Wait, does this mean that you can’t have the newest watchOS and a jailbreaked-iOS? (so probably NOT the newest iOS). That’d be dumb. It’s kinda like Apple really doesn’t want us to jailbreak, eventho iOS9 is 87% jailbreak-inspired.

  • MaRz Franco

    So, ios9 gave me issues (beta issues) so I downgraded back to ios8.3. My Watch of course cant downgrade from WatchOS2 to OS1. There has been rumors that it will cost you to get it fixed by apple. I got my watch Day 1 of its release and just contacted apple as seen in image below. They said no charge. What they do is take 2-3 days to ship you a box, you ship them the watch without the straps, then within a week you get it back (I hope). I’ll keep you posted but if you want to downgrade to WatchOS1, do it now before Apple does decide to charge.

  • Morten

    Can you pair an iPhone with iOS 9 Beta with Apple Watch OS 1 (not beta)?