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How to download the watchOS 8 public beta

watchOS 8 public beta how to download
(Image credit: Apple)

It's official — the watchOS 8 Apple Watch software update is arriving this fall. But if you're interested in checking out the upcoming features in advance, you can install the public version of the watchOS 8 beta on a compatible device right now.

watchOS 8 offers owners of the Apple Watch Series 3 to Apple Watch Series 6 new mindfulness features, added workout modes, better messaging options and expanded HomeKit tools.

Users will also benefit from multiple timers, precipitation notifications and a redesigned Photos experience.

With all these features lined up, it's no wonder you're itching to get started with watchOS 8. But before you press ahead, keep in mind that beta versions of software aren't what you'll experience when the final version debuts later this year. The watchOS 8 beta could drain the device's battery faster than usual, and certain apps might not work as they should.

You'll also need to be in possession of an iPhone running the iOS 15 public beta in order to use the watchOS 8 beta. Check out our guide on how to download the iOS 15 beta if you don't have it installed on a smartphone already.

Here's how to download the watchOS 8 beta right now on your Apple Watch.

How to download the watchOS 8 public beta

1. Go to beta.apple.com/sp/betaprogram on your iPhone running iOS 15 public beta and click Get started.

2. Sign in with your Apple ID and password to enroll in the beta testing program.

3. Select watchOS from the menu of beta software options.

5. Click the Download profile button. Select Allow if you receive a popup asking for your permission to download the configuration profile.

6. Select Install and enter your iPhone password. Select Install again after consenting to the profile's terms. Select Install one more time.

(Image credit: Future)

7. Restart your Apple Watch using the prompt on your iPhone.

8. When your Apple Watch restarts, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and go to General, then Software Update. You should see the watchOS 8 Public Beta available for download. Click Download and install. You'll be asked to enter your Apple Watch passcode on your watch to carry out the download.

Your Apple Watch will restart again, this time running watchOS 8.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is a senior writer at Tom’s Guide covering wearables, TVs and everything smart-home related. When she’s not in cyborg mode, you can find her on an exercise bike or channeling her inner celebrity chef. She and her robot army will rule the world one day, but until then, reach her at kate.kozuch@futurenet.com.