How to perform a clean install of watchOS 5

The release of watchOS 5 is upon us, and the time has come to decide: do you carry over your settings, or perform a clean install? If you've elected to go for the clean install, there are some steps you have to take to get ready for that.

Here's what you need to do to cleanly install watchOS 5 on your Apple Watch.

Restore Apple Watch

The first thing you'll need to perform a clean watchOS install is to restore your Apple Watch to its factory settings. This is easily done, just keep in mind that this process will unpair your Apple Watch from your iPhone.

Pair your Apple Watch to your iPhone

You'll need to re-pair your Apple Watch to your iPhone before you can install the latest version of watchOS. Just follow the standard instructions for pairing your Apple Watch.

Download and install watchOS 5

Just as with every past release of watchOS, watchOS 5 needs to be downloaded through the Watch app on the iPhone to which your Apple Watch is paired. watchOS 5 will be available starting September 17.


If you have any more questions about performing a clean install of watchOS 5, be sure to ask in the comments.

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.