Once again, Apple is offering those with an Apple Watch a chance to test out watchOS 9 and its subsequent updates before the official release this fall. Anyone can enroll in the public beta, but it comes with risks — like not being able to downgrade back to watchOS 8. However, it's also a great chance for you to give Apple feedback on upcoming changes and new features. Remember, if you want to use watchOS 9, you'll also need the iOS 16 public beta on your iPhone.
Apple occasionally offers updates to iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS as closed developer previews or public betas (opens in new tab). While the betas contain new features, they also contain pre-release bugs that can prevent the normal use of your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, or Mac, and are not intended for everyday use on a primary device. That's why we strongly recommend staying away from developer previews unless you need them for software development, and using the public betas with caution. If you depend on your devices, wait for the final release.
What's new in watchOS 9?
August 9, 2022: Apple releases the third public beta of watchOS 9
The third public beta for watchOS 9 is available through the Beta Software Program. If you've prepared your Apple Watch for the public beta using the instructions below, you can head to Settings > General > Software Update on your Apple Watch to get started.
July 29, 2022: Apple releases the second public beta of watchOS 9
The second public beta for watchOS 9 is available through the Beta Software Program. If you've prepared your Apple Watch for the public beta using the instructions below, you can head to Settings > General > Software Update on your Apple Watch to get started.
July 6, 2022: Apple releases the first public beta of watchOS 9
The first public beta for watchOS 9 is available through the Beta Software Program. If you've prepared your Apple Watch for the public beta using the instructions below, you can head to Settings > General > Software Update on your Apple Watch to get started.
How to register your device for the watchOS 9 public beta
If you've already joined an Apple public beta in the past, you shouldn't need to register again for watchOS 9; simply sign in with the same Apple ID. If you've never joined a public beta before, you'll start by signing up with your Apple ID.
- Go to beta.apple.com (opens in new tab) on the iPhone connected to the Apple Watch that you want to enroll in the beta.
- Tap on Sign up to get started. (If you've already signed up for a previous public beta, tap on Sign in and skip to our "How to enroll your device" section below.)
- Enter your Apple ID email address and password.
- Tap Sign in.
- Tap Accept to agree to the terms and conditions.
How to enroll your Apple Watch in the watchOS 9 public beta
- Go to beta.apple.com (opens in new tab) on the iPhone paired to the Apple Watch that you want to enroll if you're not there already.
- Tap the watchOS tab.
- Tap Download profile.
- Tap Allow.
- Tap Allow on the prompt asking for permission to install a profile.
- Tap on Install begin.
- Enter your Passcode if prompted to do so.
- Tap on Install to confirm.
- Tap Install.
- Tap on Restart to reboot your Apple Watch.
How to install the watchOS 9 public beta using your Apple Watch
- Open Settings on your Apple Watch.
- Tap General.
- Tap Software Update.
- Tap Download and Install.
- Tap OK.
- Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
- Tap Agree when the Terms and Conditions come up.
- Tap Download and Install.
How to install the watchOS 9 public beta using your iPhone
- Connect your iPhone to Wi-Fi and launch the Apple Watch app.
- Tap on the My Watch tab.
- Tap on General.
- Tap on Software Update.
- Tap on Download and Install.
- Enter your iPhone Passcode.
- Tap Agree to the Terms and Conditions.
- Make sure your Apple Watch is charged to at least 50% and connect it to the magnetic charger.
- Tap Install on your iPhone and/or your Apple Watch.
Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.
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