iOS 15.4 lets you restore Apple Watch from iPhone for the first time

iOS 15.4 lets you restore Apple Watch from iPhone for the first time

By

You can now restore Apple Watch with iPhone
Only Apple could restore an Apple Watch until now.
Image: Apple

If you encounter firmware issues on Apple Watch, you can now wirelessly restore its software yourself using an iPhone — provided you’ve updated to iOS 15.4 and watchOS 8.5, which made their official debuts on Monday.

Is it the first time Cupertino has given Apple Watch owners this functionality. Until now, firmware issues often required users to take their device to Apple to be restored, since there is no way to connect the device to a Mac.

Apple Watch can now be restored by iPhone

Apple Watch doesn’t have any ports that allow you to connect a data cable. Most models (except Series 7) do have a hidden diagnostic connector, but only Apple has the equipment needed to use it. That can be a real pain.

It previously meant that if you encountered any serious software issues on Apple Watch — which could not be fixed with a restart or reset — only Apple could bring the device back to life. Fortunately, that’s no longer the case.

Update your devices

With its new iOS 15.4 and watchOS 8.4 updates, Apple gives Apple Watch owners the ability to restore their firmware wirelessly using an iPhone. What’s more, you will automatically be prompted to restore when necessary.

“Your Apple Watch might show an animation asking you to bring it close to an iPhone if your watch experiences a problem that requires it to be updated or restored,” Apple explains in a new support article published Monday.

Apple also says both devices need to have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled, while Apple Watch needs to be placed on its charger to complete the process — which must be initiated manually by double-clicking the side button.

Of course, this feature isn’t available in earlier iOS and watchOS releases, so it might be a good idea to update as soon as possible, just in case you find yourself in need of it.

iOS 15.4 and watchOS 8.5 now available

iOS 15.4 and watchOS 8.5 are now available to all. They bring a whole host of improvements and new features, including the ability to use Face ID while wearing a mask, more than 30 new emoji, and more.

Cult of Mac's Newsletters

Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.