How to install watchOS 8.1 beta on Apple Watch

Apple is testing watchOS 8.1 beta with developers and public beta testers. Here is how you can install watchOS 8.1 beta on your Apple Watch.

watchOS 8.1 does not feature any noticeable new updates so far. Going by the trends of previous point releases, we expect that this update will contain security patches, bug fixes, and likely ECG support for more countries and regions.

How to install watchOS 8.1 beta on Apple Watch

Install watchOS 8.1 beta

There are two methods that you can follow to install watchOS 8.1 beta on your Apple Watch. The first method is through Apple’s public bet a software program, which is free. The second method is by signing up to Apple Developer Center, which costs $99/year. Note that no matter which method you follow, you cannot downgrade your Apple Watch later. Apple does not provide a way to downgrade from beta watchOS build to a stable one or even restore a bricked Apple Watch as you can do with an iPhone or iPad. So proceed with caution.

Developer beta

To download and install watchOS 8.1 beta, you need an Apple Developer Account. The account costs $99/year and allows you to download the configuration profile needed to install the beta.

Please note:

  • Your Apple Watch should have more than 50% battery charge and must be placed on its charger through the update process
  • Your iPhone should also have enough battery charge so that it can download the update
  • Keep WiFi and Bluetooth enabled on both devices
  • Ensure that you are connected to a stable Wi-Fi connection.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Open Safari on your iPhone and log in to your Apple Developer account.
  2. Go to Download > Featured Downloads, and look for watchOS 8.1 beta.
  3. Tap Close when you see a dialogue box that says profile downloaded.
  4. Go to Settings and you will see a new Profile Downloaded section. Tap it and you will be taken to the configuration profile installation screen.
  5. Tap on Install on the top right corner. When you see Choose a Device, tap Apple Watch.
  6. Enter your passcode and tap Install at the bottom of the screen when asked. You will have to restart your iPhone to complete the installation process.

Public beta

To install the watchOS 8.1 public beta, you will need to sign up on Apple Beta Software Program website. Follow these steps:

  1. Once logged in, open Safari on your iPhone and go to this webpage.
  2. Tap on Download Profile.
  3. Go to Settings > Profile Downloaded and install the profile by following steps 4 – 6 as listed under the developer beta section above.

Depending on your Apple Watch model and Internet speed, the updates might take a while. The update first downloads to the iPhone, after which it is transferred to the Watch. Then the installation process begins on the Apple Watch, which takes time. Once the installation is complete, your Watch will restart to confirm that the update is complete.

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