Apple Watch Apps Not Installing? How to Fix the Problem

Get apps to install again

This article explains why apps sometimes won't install on an Apple Watch, how to fix it, and additional information you need to know when apps won't install on an Apple Watch.

This article covers troubleshooting only for installing Apple Watch apps using an iPhone. To learn about installing apps directly on the Watch from its pre-installed App Store, check out How to Use the Apple Watch App Store.

Why Are My Apps Not Installing on Apple Watch?

There are a handful of reasons why apps might not install on an Apple Watch, but most of them have to do with wireless communication. Because you install apps from the iPhone paired to the Watch, the connection between the devices is often the cause of the trouble. Follow these steps, in this order, to get apps to install on your Apple Watch.

  1. Check Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. Since wireless connections are often the problem, checking your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections is smart. First, reset the connections on the Watch by turning on, and then turning off, Airplane Mode. Then, on the iPhone paired with the Watch, ensure that the phone is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the Watch. Go to Settings > Bluetooth and make sure the Watch is connected. If not, connect to the same Wi-Fi network and connect via Bluetooth.

  2. Try installing one app at a time. Trying to install too many apps at the same time can slow down the connection between the iPhone and Watch so much so that nothing happens. Instead, install one app at a time. In the Watch app on the iPhone, select one Install button and wait for the app to fully install before trying another one. If more than one app is installing, select all but one to pause the installations.

  3. Turn on automatic app install. If you're expecting apps to install on the Watch automatically, and they're not, your Watch could be set to install manually. In that case, go to the Watch app on your iPhone, select App Store, and then move the Automatic Downloads slider to on/green. If you're still not seeing an app install after that, or it doesn't even show up in the Watch app, delete the iPhone app and reinstall it. You may even need to restart your iPhone.

  4. Force-quit the Watch app on iPhone. Since the iPhone Watch app is what installs apps onto your Watch, a problem with the iPhone Watch app can cause a problem with installs. One quick and easy way to fix this by force quitting the app and launching it again.

  5. Restart the Apple Watch. Nothing worked yet? It's time to try the cure-all step in most troubleshooting: restart the Apple Watch. Once the watch has restarted, open the Watch app on iPhone and try again.

  6. Restart the paired iPhone. If restarting the watch didn't work, maybe the issue wasn't with the watch. The problem could be on the iPhone. If so, restart your iPhone and then open the watch app again.

  7. Unpair and re-pair the Watch. If nothing else has worked, it's time to remove the connection between the iPhone and Apple Watch completely. Unpair the Watch and iPhone, and then re-pair them and try again.

How Do I Install Apps on Apple Watch?

There are two primary ways to install apps on the Apple Watch: a manual install or an automatic download. Which method you use up to you.

  • What are the best Apple Watch apps?

    The best Apple Watch apps for you will depend on your lifestyle and interests. Check out our article on the 12 best Apple Watch apps to get an overview of excellent apps in popular and useful categories, such as sleep tracking, monitoring weather, identifying music, meditating, tracking calories and nutrition, and more.

  • How do I delete Apple Watch apps?

    To remove apps from your Apple Watch directly from the Watch, press the Digital Crown to bring up the app screen, select and hold the app icon, then select the X to delete the app. Alternately, launch the Watch app on your paired iPhone and select the app you want to remove from the Watch, then turn off Show App on Apple Watch.

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