1. Which watches can upgrade to Wear OS 3?
  2. How to check your current software version
  3. Updating and downloading new updates

Update to Wear OS 3: How to download the latest software - and compatible watches

Learn to make the jump to Wear OS 3 or install the latest software
Wareable Wear OS how to update
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If you're looking to make the jump to Wear OS 3 from older software - or you simply want to learn how to check your Android smartwatch is running the latest version - this guide is for you.

The protracted rollout of Wear OS 3 since its arrival in 2021 has made the upgrading process a little confusing, but you'll want to make sure you're on top of the latest updates even if you have some version of Wear OS 3 installed already.

To help you navigate, then, we've broken it all down in this guide. 

We'll list which Wear OS 2 watches are eligible for the Wear OS 3 update, run through the steps required to update to the software, and also explain how to check which version you currently have, too. 

Which watches can upgrade to Wear OS 3?

WareableWear OS check which version

There are now tons of Wear OS smartwatches that run Wear OS 3 (or above) right out of the box.

However, there's also the pack of older watches that are able to jump from Wear OS 2, as well. 

If you don't see your watch in the list below, it's almost certainly because it's not eligible - or because, as we say, it runs with Wear OS 3 without the need for an update.

The watches that can be upgraded with an update are:

How to check your current software version

WareableWear OS check for updates

While you can also find this information from within your OEM's Wear OS companion app, below are the steps to finding it on the watch itself.

1. From the home screen, swipe down from the top to open the dock. 

2. Tap the 'Settings' icon and scroll down to 'System' in the list of options. 

3. Next, tap 'About' and then 'Versions' to see your software version displayed, among other details.

Updating and downloading new updates

WareableWear OS app update

Whether you're upgrading your device from Wear OS 2 to Wear OS 3, or you're just looking to update as normal, the process is pretty much the same. 

In classic Google fashion, however, Wear OS 3 confusingly requires two types of updates in order to run the latest software - system updates and Wear OS updates. 

System updates should run automatically, but, in case they don't work for some reason, here are the steps required to initiate one.

Below, we've also listed the steps for performing Wear OS updates, as well as the requirements for those making the jump to Wear OS 3. 

How to perform a system update on Wear OS

1. From the home screen/watch face, swipe down from the top of the display to open the dock. 

2. Tap the 'Settings' icon and scroll down to 'System' in the list of options. 

3. Choose 'About' and then 'System updates'.

4. Your watch will then give you the option to download the latest system version if it's not already installed.

How to perform a Wear OS watch app update

1. Open the list of apps by pressing your watch's power button/crown.

2. Find Google's Play Store and select it.

3. Scroll all the way down to 'Manage apps' and tap this option.

4. You'll then be given a list of apps that need updating - select Wear OS by Google if it appears in the list. 

Note: If Wear OS by Google isn't present in the list of apps, it's already up to date.

Requirements for upgrading to Wear OS 3

As we've already noted above, there are only a few watches that are able to upgrade from Wear OS 2 to Wear OS 3.

Even if you own a compatible device, though, there are some other hoops to jump through - or, at least, important things to understand. 

  • Your device will reset to factory settings, which means apps, settings, and data are wiped
  • Your device will be unpaired from your phone and require re-pairing
  • You'll need to uninstall the Wear OS by Google app
  • You'll need to install and set up through your smartwatch OEM's Wear OS companion app

How we test

Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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