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How Long Does Apple Watch Update Take?

Apple Watch Update

Apple discontinues the support for the older iOS versions after some years— thus, it requires you to update your Apple gadgets regularly. Moreover, updating the Apple WatchOS will bring new features, reduce bugs, and improve security updates, which were lacking in the older iOS. Users can always update the Apple WatchOS with their iPhones or directly from the Apple Watch Settings. Sometimes, updating the Apple Watch can take minutes to hours.

Quick Answer

The typical Apple Watch update lasts for 15 minutes to 1 hour. Updating to the latest WatchOS might consume less time due to the size of the update installation package. However, updating via iPhone sends data over Bluetooth (which can be from Mbs to GBs), and it can take more time depending on the network speed and Bluetooth connectivity. However, it’d not take more than 5-6 hours to install the latest WatchOS 8.5 (released recently on March 14, 2022). 

If WatchOS update time jumps from 1 hour to 5 or 6 days, it can be due to several reasons such as poor network speed, weak Bluetooth connection between the iPhone and watch, or more. We’ve listed some fixes at the end of this guide to speed up the Apple WatchOS update. 

In this article, you’ll get to know every information about the time to update an Apple Watch and how you can speed up the process in simple steps. 

How Long Will It Take to Install an Apple Watch Update?

Many of you wonder how long it will take to update the WatchOS? Some of you might be experiencing delays while updating the WatchOS. The simple answer to this question is that the WatchOS can take from 15 minutes to 1 hour — depending on various contributing factors such as internet connection speed and distance between your watch and iPhone device. 

Moreover, upgrading from a recent version to a new one will take less time than updating the WatchOS from an older version. For example, updating from 8.4 to the latest version, 8.5, will only take a few minutes as the installation package won’t be large enough. 

Sometimes, the Apple Watch might take longer to update because of a poor connection between the iPhone and Apple watch— as data is being transferred via Bluetooth. Running an older iOS version on your iPhone device can also slow down the WatchOS update if you’re updating from your iPhone.  

All in all, an Apple Watch should contain from 15 minutes to an hour. The WatchOS shouldn’t contain more than three hours. But what if your Apple Watch is showing remaining time for days? Worry not— as we’ve got some solutions for your problem. 

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It is suggested to update the Apple WatchOS overnight so that the process can be completed easily without any interference in your routine hours. 

Fixes to Speed up Apple Watch Update Process 

Sometimes, after the WatchOS update has been released, many people try to update their watches all at once, slowing down Apple’s server. It’s better to wait for some hours and update the watch again. Try the following solutions to speed up the watch update process if the problem persists.  

Slow Apple Watch Update? Try These Fixes

Here are three basic fixes to update the WatchOS if the process takes longer than usual. 

Fix #1: Try Restarting the iPhone and Apple Watch

If the Apple watch takes longer than usual to update and the screen shows a remaining update time of more than 3 hours, it’s better to restart both the devices. To turn off iPhone and Apple Watch, press the side button until the slider appears. Drag the slider to Power Off both the devices and try updating them after some time. 

Fix #2: Delete the Update and Redownload 

If the previous solution doesn’t work, there is a possibility that the installation package is corrupt. You can try deleting and redownloading the installation package to solve the issue. 

  1. Launch the Apple Watch and pair it with your iPhone device
  2. Once paired, go to “General” > “Usage” > “Software Update” on your iPhone device. 
  3. Here, you can see the installation package named WatchOS XX. Tap on the “Delete” option and try downloading the WatchOS again. 

Fix #3: Try to Update from Watch Itself 

  1. Installing from iPhone might be taking longer; try updating the watchOS from Apple Watch itself. 
  2. Go to Setting and tap on Wi-Fi on your Apple Watch. Connect it to a Wi-Fi network. 
  3. Tap on “Settings” > “General” and then “Software Update”. Click on “Download and Install”


Updating the WatchOS brings new security updates, improves the user experience, and enhances the overall performance. Usually, updating the WatchOS will take from 15 minutes to one hour. But sometimes, updating the WatchOS might consume more than five hours and even days. If your Apple watch shows more than 5 hours in the estimated time on the update screen, try the above-stated solutions to solve the issue. 

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