This builds on watchOS 5.2 that added support for AirPods 2, and it keeps the upgrades, fixes and security updates introduced in previous updates. This is how to install watchOS 5 or watchOS 5.3.1 and upgrade your Apple Watch. Upgrading is an easy process, but it will take a while to complete and you’ll need to make sure you have your charger handy.
The only catch is that Apple is not offering the upgrade to the first-generation Apple Watch. This is only available on the Apple Watch Series 1, Series 2 and Series 3. The Apple Watch 4 already runs watchOS 5, but you will need to install the watchOS 5.3.1 update to get all of the features.
How to Install watchOS 5.3.1
You’ll need your Apple Watch, your iPhone, a WiFi connection and to be running iOS 12.4.1 on your iPhone.
That’s right, you need to install iOS 12.4.1 on your iPhone before you can install watchOS 5.3. While you can downgrade your iPhone to an earlier version of iOS 12 if you don’t like the upgrade, you cannot downgrade your Apple Watch to watchOS 4 or earlier versions of watchOS 5.
Make sure you’re prepared by completing our list of things to do before installing watchOS 5.3.1.
- Grab your Apple Watch charger and put your Apple Watch On it.
- Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
- Tap on General
- Tap on Software Update
- Tap on Download and Install.
- When prompted, enter your passcode on the iPhone.
- In some cases, you may need to enter your watch passcode too.
- Keep your Apple Watch on the charger and your iPhone nearby.
That’s all you need to do to install the watchOS 5.3.1 update on your device, but it will take some time.
Your iPhone will download the upgrade and then transfer it to your Apple Watch. During this process, the Apple Watch will restart and you will see the Apple logo and possibly the watchOS logo.
Once the watchOS 5.3.1 update installs, you will see a notification on your iPhone so you know the upgrade is done. Now, test out the new watchOS 5 features shown below.
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