Apple Watch 3 running out of memory: Restore before update required

A lack of memory remains a major update problem with the Apple Watch Series 3: iOS 14.6 may warn users in advance on the iPhone that they have to put the smartwatch back on in order to install the watchOS update. This is apparently intended to prevent an ongoing installation from being thrown out of step by a lack of space. A new information dialog explains that to install the new operating system version, you first have to decouple and then set it up again.

The decoupling and recoupling cannot be avoided in this case if you want to install the update – watchOS 7.5 was recently released, as users report. When unpairing, the watch should automatically save a current backup on the iPhone, from which it can then be restored. The procedure requires several steps and often patience. It remains to be seen whether iOS 14.6 will display the message in any case or only with certain configurations and significant memory usage.

The reason for the problem is that the Apple Watch Series 3, which was introduced in 2017, only has 8 GB of storage space in the WLAN version. Apple is still selling the model as an entry-level model, which is around 80 euros below the price of the 2020 Apple Watch SE.

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More from Mac & i

The (no longer available) cellular version and all newer Apple Smartwatches have at least 16 GByte, there usually does not seem to be any update problems – unless users store considerable amounts of content such as music and photos locally. To make matters worse, manually clearing the storage space in the Series 3 is apparently not enough to carry out system updates without any problems – Apple has been recommending setting up the watch since watchOS 7.4.


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