Is my Apple Watch compatible with watchOS 9?

Apple Watch Se Displaying Home App
Apple Watch Se Displaying Home App (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

Apple's newest software for its Apple Watch, watchOS 9, was shown off extensively at WWDC 2022. You may be wondering if you'll be able to update to the new platform when it becomes available. Plus, you might just want to know if you can install the earliest beta you can get your hands on.

While the developer beta of watchOS 9 is available right now, the full release of the new software won't come out to the general public until this fall. Here's all the information you need to know to see if your best Apple Watch can run watchOS 9.

Apple Watch models compatible with watchOS 9

The Apple Watch models compatible with watchOS 9 are as follows:

  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Apple Watch Series 5
  • Apple Watch Series 6
  • Apple Watch Series 7
  • Apple Watch SE

Presumably, we are getting at least one new model of the Apple Watch this fall, and there's no reason to expect that the Apple Watch Series 8 (or whatever its official name might be) will have any trouble running watchOS 9. In fact, if Apple's previous patterns hold true, the new Apple Watch will launch with

The Apple Watch Series 3 can't run watchOS 9

I know that may not sound shocking, but I didn't think that watchOS 8 was going to be supported on the Apple Watch Series 3 either, and it was. I've written previously about why I think Apple is still selling the Apple Watch Series 3, and I've mentioned numerous times that nobody should be buying an Apple Watch Series 3 anymore, but this is the final nail in the coffin.

Might be time to upgrade that old Apple Watch

While we can't say for certain until Apple officially stops selling the Apple Watch Series 3, it's likely that come fall, when the new models launch, the Apple Watch Series 3 will finally be discontinued for good. So, if you have a Series 3 that you've been holding on to, now is likely the time you want to start looking for an upgrade.

If you don't want to spend top dollar on an Apple Watch and you don't care about advanced health features, I would highly suggest looking at the Apple Watch SE as a replacement.

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

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.