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Why Apple Watch updates and transfers are so slow

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The Apple Watch is notoriously slow when it comes to receiving data from your iPhone, be it an update file , some Spotify tracks or an Audible audiobook . There is a simple reason for this and there is a solution.

Bluetooth Blues

Your Apple Watch and your iPhone stay connected via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi networks. Bluetooth Since it is the most energy efficient option, it takes precedence in most situations.

Unfortunately, Bluetooth has a pretty low bandwidth when it comes to transferring data. Bluetooth 5, found in any Apple Watch Series 4 and later, has a maximum data transfer rate of 2 Mbps. Bluetooth 4, found in the Apple Watch Series 3 and earlier versions, it has a maximum data transfer rate of only 1 Mbps.

For things like iMessages or push notifications that only have a small amount of data, this is not a problem, but for larger files, such as podcasts and audiobooks, Bluetooth can be incredibly slow. To 2 Mbps For example, it takes about 7 minutes to transfer a 100MB file. Really large files, such as software updates that can be larger than a Gigabyte, can take hours.

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Because Apple handles all these data transfers in the background, this can be quite annoying since you don’t have much control over what is happening. I’m far from the only Apple Watch fan who has started a podcast sync only to come back half an hour later to find it still hasn’t transferred.

How to get faster transfers with your Apple Watch

Modern Wi-Fi networks have speeds data transfer significantly more fast than Bluetooth. It all depends on your router , but it is unlikely to be the bottleneck. The 802.11n protocol, which is compatible with all Apple Watch models, offers theoretical maximum speeds of 150 Mbps , for example. Even if you don’t get close to that, it’s still a lot faster than the 2Mbps you get with Bluetooth.

The good news is that you can force your iPhone to transfer data to your Apple Watch over Wi-Fi by turning off Bluetooth, although the process is a bit counter-intuitive. No it works if you disable Bluetooth in Control Center; you must use the Settings app.

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To do so, open the Settings app on your iPhone and go to “Bluetooth.”

Tap Bluetooth in the settings app

Turn off the switch.

toggle switch to turn off bluetooth

This will completely disable Bluetooth on your iPhone and disconnect it from all Bluetooth accessories.

With the switch turned off, bluetooth is disabled

Now when you try to update your Apple Watch or sync anything else, it will use the much faster Wi-Fi connection. It won’t be instantaneous yet, but it will usually be much faster.

Once you’re done transferring things, remember to turn Bluetooth back on. You want that low-energy Bluetooth connection for everyday use!

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