Unable to Install Update on Apple Watch? Here’s How to Fix It

Unable to Install Update on Apple Watch? Here’s How to Fix It

Apple Watch Pexels

Installing software updates on Apple Watch is pretty straightforward. So long as you’ve got the basics right, you can sail through the process painlessly. That doesn’t mean installing watchOS updates never fails. Don’t fret, because we’ve already jotted down 10 pro tips to fix the “Unable to install the update on Apple Watch” issue. So, if you can’t update your Apple Watch, try out these tips to overcome the problem.

Many times, we tend to forget the basics and run into issues that can easily be avoided. Therefore, it’s worth going through this checklist before starting the process.

  • First off, ensure that your iPhone is updated to the latest version of iOS. If you haven’t done it yet, head into the Settings app > General > Software Update, and install the update.
  • Connect your iPhone to a stable Wi-Fi connection before starting with the update process.
  • Ensure that your Apple Watch is at least 50 percent charged.
  • Make sure your Apple Watch is connected to the magnetic charger for the duration of the update.
  • More importantly, keep your iPhone next to your Apple Watch.
  • Once the update completes, your Apple Watch will restart on its own.
  • The time taken for the Apple Watch update depends on the file size and your Internet speed. It could take several minutes to an hour for the Apple Watch update to complete.
  • When a new Apple Watch update is available, you will get an alert to update your wearable. Then, depending on your needs, you can choose to install the update right away or update overnight.

1. Turn On/Off Airplane Mode

Airplane mode has long been my go-to trick for fixing random network issues. Knowing how easy it is to try, try using it first to see if it resolves your issue updating the Apple Watch.

On Apple Watch: Swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen to bring up the control center and then tap the Airplane Mode icon. Now, wait for some time and then tap the icon again to turn off Airplane Mode. 

Turn on Airplane mode on Apple Watch

On iPhone: Swipe down from the top right-hand side edge of the screen (on Face ID-equipped iPhones) or swipe up from the bottom edge (on Touch ID-equipped iPhones) and then tap the airplane icon to turn on Airplane Mode. Then, hit the airplane icon again to turn it off. 

turn on airplane mode on iPhone

2. Turn Off/On Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

If the Airplane Mode hasn’t worked for you to fix the watchOS update issues, try turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and turning them on again.

On Apple Watch: Open the Settings app > Wi-Fi and turn off the toggle. 

On iPhone: Launch Settings app > Wi-Fi and turn off the toggle. 

Now, restart both your devices and then turn on the toggles. 

Turn off or on WiFi and Bluetooth on Apple Watch

3. Forget Wi-Fi Network and Reconnect

Another reliable tip that you should try to troubleshoot the sluggish or ill-functioning Wi-Fi network is to forget the network and reconnect your device to it.

Launch the Settings app on your iPhone > Wi-Fi > i button beside the network name and tap on Forget This DeviceNow, reconnect to the Wi-Fi network. After that, try updating your Apple Watch to see if the issue has been resolved. 

4. Reset Network Settings

If your Wi-Fi continues to be sluggish, reset the network settings to factory default. While it may be quite radical, it has a decent record of fixing complex network-related problems.

Go to the Settings app on your iPhone > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset > Reset Network Settings. After that, enter your device passcode and tap Reset Network Settings again to confirm. 

Reset Network settings on iOS

5. Turn Off VPN 

Are you using a virtual private network (VPN) on your iPhone? If yes, try turning it off as it might be causing problems with the software update. 

To do so, open the Settings app on your iPhone > General > VPN & Device Management > VPN and then turn off your VPN service. Now head back to the Watch app on your paired iPhone and try to update your watch.

6. Check Apple System Status for Software Update 

If you are still unable to install the update on your Apple Watch, make sure to check Apple system status. If Apple’s servers are going through an outage, you can’t do anything but wait for the issues to get sorted out. 

7. Force Restart iPhone and Apple Watch 

When it comes to solving common watchOS and iOS issues, a hard reset is quite reliable. Therefore, it makes sense to give this troubleshooter a chance to fix update issues on your watchOS device.

On Apple Watch: Press and hold the side button and the Digital Crown at once until you see the Apple logo on the screen. 

On iPhone 8 and later: Press and release the volume up button. Then, press and release the volume down button. Next, hold down the power/side button until the Apple logo appears on the screen. 

On iPhone 7/7 Plus: Press and hold the side/power button and the volume down button simultaneously until the Apple logo shows up. 

On iPhone 6s or earlier: Hold down the side button and the home button at once until the Apple logo pops up on the screen. 

8. Remove Beta Profile 

Can’t install the update on your Apple Watch as yet? No worries, as we still have some pretty efficient tricks on our sleeves. This time around we are going to remove the beta profile from both iPhone and Apple Watch. If you had installed the beta profile on your device, try deleting it.

Launch the Watch app on your iPhone > My Watch tab > General > Profiles. Tap the beta profile and hit Delete Profile. If prompted, enter your iPhone passcode.

Open the Settings app on your iPhone > General > VPN & Device Management -> beta profile > Delete profile. If asked, enter your iPhone passcode.

Once you have removed the beta profiles from your device, restart both devices and check for the update again. If you want to continue using the watchOS and iOS beta, install the beta profile again.

9. Free up Space on Your Apple Watch 

If you haven’t cleaned up your Apple Watch for a while, there is a good chance that your smartwatch’s storage is cluttered with plenty of redundant files. Hence, declutter your watch by wiping out all the useless files. 

If you are wondering how to find out which apps have consumed more space or need to be cleaned up, let me tell you watchOS provides a neat way to keep a track of the storage consumption. Therefore, finding out the apps that need to be cleaned is not a big deal.

Navigate to the Watch app on your iPhone > General > Storage to check the available storage on your Apple Watch. Besides, you should see a long list of apps and the amount of space each one of them has consumed.

Now, head into the settings of usual suspects like Photos and Music and clean them up. If need be, delete all the useless apps on your Apple Watch to free up plenty of space. 

10. Factory Reset Your Apple Watch 

The factory reset should be your last resort. If none of the tricks mentioned above has resolved the update problem on your Apple Watch, it would be worth considering this radical but highly effective solution. If you are worried about losing all your apps and data, note that watchOS automatically backs up your Apple Watch at the time of factory reset and allows you to restore the backup during the setup process.

Navigate to the Settings app on your Apple Watch > General > Reset > Erase all content and settings. Alternately, you can also erase your watch from your iPhone. To get it done, open the Watch app > General > Reset -> Erase All Content and Settings.

After you have erased your smartwatch, open the Watch app on your paired iPhone and repair the iOS device with the watch. While setting up the wearable device, restore the backup and then try to update it again.

Pair Apple Watch with iPhone

That’s done! Hopefully, the problem is gone and you will now be able to install updates on your Apple Watch. Many a time, fixing the sluggish Wi-Fi network and force restart can do the trick for you. If they don’t rescue you, a factory reset can get the job done for you – more often than not.

That said, let me know the solution that has resolved this watchOS issue on your wearable device. Also, tip us about any other trick that works in troubleshooting the problem.

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