How to download the watchOS 11 beta onto your Apple Watch

How to download the watchOS 11 beta onto your Apple Watch

Following the announcement at this year’s WWDC 2024 conference, watchOS 11 will soon be in public beta. Assuming you have one of the best Apple Watch models capable of running the software, an Apple Watch Series 6 or later, a compatible iPhone, and membership to Apple’s paid  Developer Program, you’ll be able to download and use the software straight away. 

Membership costs $99 / £79 / around AU$155 per year, though employees and members of some organizations can have this fee waived. If you’re not already a member, you’ll need to sign up before installing.

While everyone will be able to access the new software around September time, and a public beta for non-Developer Program members to test will launch next month, members can get their hands on an early version of the new operating system right now, by following the steps below.

Just note that as a beta, the new software features might not be completely stable, and is sure to have bugs, so bear that in mind before downloading. But hey, that’s what beta testing is for!

Steps for how to download the watchOS 11 beta

  • Register on Apple’s beta site
  • Install the iOS 18 beta
  • Head to General > Software Update in the Watch app
  • Tap ‘Beta Updates’ then ‘watchOS 11 Public Beta’
  • Go back to the previous screen and install the beta

Tools and requirements

How to download the watchOS 11 beta

Once you’re signed up for Apple’s Developer Beta program, you’ll need to update your phone. watchOS 11 requires iOS 18 in order to work, so you’ll need two sets of beta software: one on your phone, and one on your watch. Before you attempt to install watchOS 11, check out our guide on how to download the iOS 18 beta on your iPhone, and follow the instructions there. 

To cover them briefly here, once you’ve registered for betas in the Software Update section of your iPhone’s settings, you can access the beta update through Settings > General > Software Update > Beta Updates. Select ‘iOS 18 Public Beta’, head back to the previous screen, and tap ‘Download and Install’.

Next, you need to prepare your Apple Watch for the beta by making sure it’s running watchOS 10.4. You can check which version of watchOS 10 you’re currently running via the Settings app on your iPhone, then heading to General > About, or General > Software Update.

In order to install the beta update, make sure your Apple Watch is connected to its charger, is in range of the paired iPhone, and has Wi-Fi switched on. Your Apple Watch also needs to be charged to at least 50%.

Now you’re ready to download the watchOS 11 beta, and it’s a similar process to the iOS 18 beta. Instead of your phone’s main settings screen, you want to open the Watch app on your iPhone, and then head to General > Software Update.

You can alternatively find the beta by heading to Settings > General > Software Update on your Apple Watch itself, without using your iPhone at all.

In either case,  you should see a ‘Beta Updates’ option, so tap that, then tap ‘watchOS 11 Public Beta’, go back to the previous screen, and tap ‘Download and Install’. Then simply wait for the process to complete.

Final thoughts

(Image credit: Apple)

Whether we’re talking about phone or watches, beta updates can be full of bugs in unlikely places. They’re primarily for developers and early adopters, and there are processes in place to report bugs and improve your iOS and watchOS experiences. See Apple’s Beta Software Program site for more details.

watchOS 11 is going to be a significant update, so if it does take a long time to install, don’t worry: this is normal. Likewise with the iOS 18 beta software. However, after this lengthy process is complete, you’ll gain access to all of the new features on watchOS 11 and iOS 18 earlier than anyone else.

As the official launch in September draws nearer, you can expect to see fewer bugs as things get ironed out closer to an official release. We have no idea exactly what sort of bugs you can expect to see – but that’s part of the ‘fun’ of beta testing. 

If you are set on downloading Apple’s beta software across all platforms, then you might also be interested in how to download the MacOS 15 beta. We’re also very excited for Apple’s September launch event, when it showcases hardware rather than software, such as the Apple Watch 10.

You might also like:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *