What to Do When Apple Watch Won’t Update (2022)

Your Apple Watch is incredibly useful, and the best way to get the most out of it is to ensure it’s regularly updated. When you keep your Apple Watch up-to-date, you’ll have access to the latest features and watch faces, as well as improved security for your device. That means that it can be frustrating if you ever run into an issue where your Apple Watch won’t update. Luckily, we are here to help. In this article, we’ll go over possible reasons why your Apple Watch is not updating and how to fix it.

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Why Won’t Your Apple Watch Update?

Before we get into the more in-depth solutions, you may want to try some of the quick fixes below to see if they help mitigate the problem.

  • Swipe up from the bottom of your Watch Face to bring up the control center and confirm that Bluetooth is turned on. Your Watch and iPhone require a stable Bluetooth connection to communicate.
  • In the control center, confirm that your Watch and iPhone are connected. A green iPhone icon at the top indicates they are connected. A red iPhone icon with a slash through it indicates they are disconnected.
  • In the control center, check your Watch’s battery. Updating requires that your device has at least 50% charge.
  • Confirm that your Watch and iPhone are connected to WiFi.
  • Restart both your iPhone and Apple Watch and try checking for an update again.

Possible Reasons Why Apple Watch Won’t Update

If the above quick fixes did not work, there are a couple of reasons that might contribute to your Apple Watch not updating. Below you can find solutions to these common issues.

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Update iPhone First

Many users run into the issue of not being able to update their Apple Watch because their iPhone is not on the latest version of iOS. In this case, the solution is very simple. You simply need to update your iPhone first.

  1. Open the Settings app.

    Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap General.

    Tap General.
  3. Tap Software Update.

    Tap Software Update.
  4. Tap Download and Install.

    Tap Download and Install.

Your Apple Watch should be able to update now, as long as the device has more than 50% power and is connected to Wifi.

Unpairing Apple Watch & Repairing

If your Apple Watch won't update or is unable to check for an update, the issue could be that your Watch is not paired correctly with your iPhone. To confirm that the devices are connected and syncing properly, we recommend trying to unpair and repair your Watch. Please note that this will wipe your Watch, but the process involves restoring from a backup so you will likely not lose any data when doing this.

  1. Open the Watch app.

    Open the Watch app.
  2. Tap All Watches.

    Tap All Watches.
  3. Tap the i next to your Watch.

    Tap the i next to your Watch.
  4. Tap Unpair Apple Watch.

    Tap Unpair Apple Watch.
  5. You will need to confirm that you want to unpair the Watch. This will essentially erase your Apple Watch and you’ll need to set it up like new.

    You will need to confirm that you want to unpair the Watch.
  6. On the Watch app start screen, tap Start Pairing.

    On the Watch app start screen, tap Start Pairing.
  7. On your Apple Watch, you’ll need to choose a language and your region and then tap Start Pairing.
  8. Line up your Apple Watch in the frame on your iPhone screen. Once your phone recognizes the pattern, it will pair with the Apple Watch.

    Line up your Apple Watch in the frame on your iPhone screen.
  9. Tap Restore from a Backup.

    Tap Restore from a Backup.
  10. Tap the latest backup of your watch.

    Tap the latest backup of your watch.
  11. Tap Continue.

    Tap Continue.
  12. Continue through the Apple Watch setup process, following the prompts on your iPhone.

Once your Apple Watch has finished syncing, you should now be able to proceed with updating the device. If you are still unable to check for an update or download and install an update, you may need to contact Apple customer support or visit an Apple Store for further assistance.

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Author Details

Rhett Intriago's picture

Author Details

Rhett Intriago

Rhett Intriago is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, offering his expertise in all things iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods. He enjoys writing on topics related to maintaining privacy in a digital world, as well as iPhone security. He’s been a tech enthusiast all his life, with experiences ranging from jailbreaking his iPhone to building his own gaming PC.

Despite his disdain for the beach, Rhett is based in Florida. In his free time, he enjoys playing the latest games, spoiling his cats, or discovering new places with his wife, Kyla.