How to Speed up Apple Watch Updates

Apple Watch packs a lot of power in a small package. But for all their speed and usefulness, performing certain tasks on one of them can still be excruciatingly slow. Take updates, for example – they’re notoriously slow on Apple Watch. If you’re afraid how long it will take to update watchOS 8, there is one setting you can tweak to (hopefully) speed it up.

Bluetooth vs Wi-Fi on Apple Watch

Your Apple Watch communicates with your iPhone over two different types of connections: Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. In most cases, the watch will try to communicate with your iPhone via Bluetooth. This is because connecting reduces the strain on your devices’ batteries, and since your Apple Watch and iPhone are usually within the 30 feet of each other required for Bluetooth to work, it’s not hard to imagine that they would prefer lower power consumption. solution.

The problem is that information is transferred via Bluetooth much slower than via Wi-Fi. This is usually not a problem; you usually get alerts and notifications on your Apple Watch in a timely manner from your iPhone. But these are tiny pieces of data. Another thing is an attempt to transfer large amounts of data from one device to another. For example, if you’ve been trying to download a big watchOS update from your iPhone to your Apple Watch …

How to update WatchOS faster

Solution? Don’t use bluetooth. Your Apple Watch can only communicate with your iPhone via Bluetooth if a connection is available. If not, the devices switch to Wi-Fi. So if you turn off Bluetooth on your iPhone, the devices will have no choice but to update them over Wi-Fi, which can really speed up the whole process.

How to properly turn off Bluetooth on your iPhone

You might be tempted to turn off Bluetooth on your iPhone using the Bluetooth button in Control Center. While this should help, this button no longer permanently deactivates Bluetooth; instead, it only disconnects the connection until the next day, and new Bluetooth connections can be established in the interim. To turn off Bluetooth completely, go to Settings> Bluetooth , then tap the slider next to Bluetooth .

Why turning off Bluetooth speeds up Apple Watch updates

With Bluetooth turned off, go to the Watch app on your iPhone, then choose General> Software Update . Your iPhone may yell at you for turning off Bluetooth and ask you to turn it on to download an update. Ignore it. Click Cancel on the pop-up window and see if the update download starts over Wi-Fi. If it doesn’t, turn Bluetooth back on to start the update, then turn it off again and return to this page to see if Wi-Fi will take effect.

If you’re lucky, this process will work, and your update will stream over Wi-Fi much faster than previous updates over Bluetooth. In my own experience, I watched as my download started with an estimated arrival time of 45 minutes and then quickly dropped to four minutes. To be clear, this method can shorten the time it takes to download the update to your watch. When the update is ready to be installed, the time it takes to complete this process really depends on your specific Apple Watch model. Series 3, for example, will take longer to install the update than Series 6 because the Series 6 processor is much faster.

Unfortunately, as with many other techniques, your experience may differ. Take this Reddit thread for example: while many commenters found this advice helpful, some complained that it didn’t do anything for them. I encourage you to experiment. If you have yet to upgrade to watchOS 8, it’s time to try it on as the file size is large. However, if you are already using this software, just wait for the next watchOS update to give it a try.

Alternatively, update the Apple Watch itself.

Starting with watchOS 6 or later, you can update directly from your Apple Watch, without the need for an iPhone. Just make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi, then go to Settings> General> Software Update on your watch. However, it’s unclear if this will actually be as fast as downloading the update through your iPhone and Wi-Fi together – and since you can’t downgrade watchOS after you update it, it’s hard to test different methods without an armful of Apple Watch on hand. … If you try this one, let us know in the comments how fast it loads for you.


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