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WatchOS 7 has arrived. Here's how to get the Apple Watch update

Find out if your Apple Watch is compatible with WatchOS 7, and how to upgrade.

Rae Hodge Former senior editor
Rae Hodge was a senior editor at CNET. She led CNET's coverage of privacy and cybersecurity tools from July 2019 to January 2023. As a data-driven investigative journalist on the software and services team, she reviewed VPNs, password managers, antivirus software, anti-surveillance methods and ethics in tech. Prior to joining CNET in 2019, Rae spent nearly a decade covering politics and protests for the AP, NPR, the BBC and other local and international outlets.
Ian Sherr Contributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Rae Hodge
Ian Sherr
3 min read

WatchOS 7 is available to download Wednesday, with new watch faces and complications.


Apple 's latest wearable operating system WatchOS 7 has arrived on the Apple Watch , following an announcement at the tech giant's annual event in September. Also announced at Apple's "Time Flies" event were two new smartwatch models, the Apple Watch Series 6 and the more affordable Apple Watch SE. Originally revealed during its WWDC keynote earlier this summer, the WatchOS 7 update has been available as a public beta since August. Its new features include four new workouts within its Workout app, the ability to use Siri to translate several languages directly from your wrist, an automatic motion-sensitive hand-washing timer, expanded and sharable Watch face options from third-party developers, and a sleep tracker that lets you know when it's time to wind down for your best rest. 

A new expansion of the Noise app's alert system -- which already pings users when it detects ambient noise levels that could affect hearing loss -- will now alert you when you're listening to audio through your headphones from either your iPhone , iPod or Apple Watch. A new set of mobility metrics will also be available through a six-minute walk test function, powered by advanced algorithms and Watch's motion-sensing accelerometer and gyroscope.  

The Apple Watch has come a long way from its launch in 2015, when it was initially touted as a luxury item complete with a $10,000 gold variant called the Apple Watch Edition . But over the last few years, Apple has touted the Watch as a health device, tracking wearers' steps and activity. Apple has added health-related features such as an ECG heart monitor, sync technology for gym equipment and a meditation app

Here's everything you need to know about downloading WatchOS 7, and which devices are compatible with the new system.

Which devices can I download WatchOS 7 on?

According to Apple, WatchOS 7 requires an iPhone 6s or later, with iOS 14 , which is also available now (learn how to download iOS 14 here). You'll also need one of the following Apple Watch models: 

If you purchase an Apple Watch Series 6 or SE, WatchOS 7 will be included on the device. Not all features are available on all devices, Apple noted.

How do I update to WatchOS 7?

Watch wearers can upgrade their OS by using their iPhone. When a new update is available, your Apple Watch will notify you. Tap Update Tonight in the notification, and then go to your iPhone to confirm. Leave your Apple Watch and iPhone charging overnight and the update will complete. 

Or you can check for the update manually, since WatchOS 7 is already available. To do this, on your iPhone, open the Apple Watch app and tap the My Watch tab. Tap General > Software Update. Download the update, and enter your passcode if prompted. Wait for the progress wheel to appear -- it could take several minutes, or up to an hour for the update to complete. 

For more, check out all the Apple Watch tricks in WatchOS 7, and three WatchOS 7 features that'll forever change the way you use your Apple Watch

Watch this: First take: WatchOS 7 public beta