Apple Watch Series 3 updates not enough required space

I am currently installing the 7.1 update to my series 3 Apple Watch and for the second time have had to go through several efforts to free up the required 2.6 Gb of space only to finally go through an unpairing/repairing routine to install the update. I’m seeing this as an ongoing headache every time a new update is released. Yes, I removed apps and do not have any graphics or music installed in my watch. The best I’m able to achieve is 2.2 Gb of free space. Are those of you with more current versions of the watch going through this too?

I haven’t had that issue with the S5, no, but I never had it with the S2, either. I don’t store much on the watch itself - I have very few apps, I’ve removed any music playlist syncing, I don’t use the Apple podcasts app, so none of those should be syncing, and I only allow a small favorites album of photos.

Not on a series 5.

What happens if you do a backup of the watch and then unpair and re-pair?

Adam — That is exactly Apple’s recommendation once a user has exhausted the other solutions such as removing Apps and synced photos, music, etc. The end result is a freeing up of disk space much like we used to do using optimizing software on our Macs. There is also a need to set up preferred watch faces, Apple Pay, and preferences such as notifications which I prefer to minimize on the watch. Much of this seems fairly automatic but is still tedious when compared to a straight up update process.

What I’m really wondering is why after owning this watch for nearly three years is this happening with the previous update as well as this last one. Are the updates getting bigger? Will this be an ongoing problem with my series 3 watch? I asked about any having this problem on later watch versions Doesn’t seem to be a problem on a couple series 5 so does that mean these later versions have greater capacity? I’ve been an Apple junkie since 1986 so it would not be difficult to talk me into a new watch, but then, I’d rather not have to right now.

Edit: I re-read your question and the sequence goes unpair, reset, re-pair, reinstall, and then update, at least that’s how the last one went for me. The reset seems to be the action that frees up disk space.

Yes, they do. I believe that Series 3 is limited to 8 GB of storage, the Series 4 was 16 GB, and Series 5 and later models have 32 GB of storage.

My experience is that iOS in particular ends up with lots of storage space used in “Other” that’s entirely inscrutable, so I wouldn’t be surprised if watchOS was somewhat similar. It might just be cached data that’s not being cleared for some reason, for instance, and resetting the watch clears the caches properly.

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Okay, I suspected that might be the case. I ran into a similar problem with my wife’s 16Gb mini iPad. Had to go through a reset and restore in order to update her device. Seems as though my Christmas list is shaping up for both of us. Thanks for that info, ddmiller.

When I updated my Watch Series 3 to 7.0.3, I had tried to delete almost all storage and the update still didn’t have enough room. I had to unpair, repair, install as new, then restore. This time, for 7.1, I just shutdown and restarted and the update had enough room to complete.

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