Here's how to install watchOS 3, but be warned

Apple held its WWDC keynote today, and as expected, the firm announced what's next for all of its operating systems, including watchOS 3. Developer betas were released following the event, but the watchOS beta comes with a caveat.

If you install the watchOS 3 beta, there will be no way to roll your Apple Watch back to watchOS 2.2.1 without at least visiting an Apple Store or mailing in your device. It's that simple.

With that in mind, it's also worth noting that the first beta will not be very stable. It never is. Unlike the iOS and macOS betas that were released today, there also won't be any kind of public beta.

If you're ready to live dangerously, follow these instructions (you'll need a Mac, at least for a first time install):


  • A Mac
  • The iPhone paired with the Watch must be running iOS 10 beta. Here are the instructions to install it.
  • Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, or Apple Watch Edition
  • An Apple Developer license, which costs $99/year
  1. Download Xcode to your Mac. You'll want to use the beta that was released today, which you can find here.
  2. Plug the iPhone [that's paired with your Watch] into the Mac.
  3. Open Xcode and go to Window -> Devices.
  4. Go to the tab where your iPhone is listed and you'll see the Apple Watch underneath it. Take note of the UDID.
  5. Go to Apple Developer and head over to Account -> Certificates, Identifiers, and Profiles.
  6. Look for the Devices menu and select Apple Watch.
  7. Add your Apple Watch's UDID.
  8. Download the Configuration Profile from here.
  9. Get the Profile over to your iPhone. You can email it to yourself, download it from cloud storage, or use any method you can think of.
  10. Open the file and when it asks where you want to install it, choose the Apple Watch.
  11. In the Apple Watch app, go to General -> Software Update.

You're all set with watchOS 3. If you decide that it's too unstable, you can either stop using your Watch for a couple months until it's stable again, or you can take it to the Apple Store and sit there while the Geniuses look at you with disdain.

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