How to Fix It When an Apple Watch Is Not Updating

Storage space can be a problem

If your Apple Watch has an update pending but it won't download it or install it, there are a number of reasons why this may be the case. It's important to troubleshoot the issue at hand so you know exactly what to fix leading to your Apple Watch functioning correctly again. Here's a look at the main reasons why an Apple Watch won't update and how to fix it.

Why Is Apple Watch Update Taking so Long?

Sometimes, when updating your Apple Watch, the update can seem to be running very slowly and taking a long time. Here's a look at how you can affect this and potentially speed things up.

  1. Check your connection. If your internet connection is running slowly, the update can take longer to download. Stop any downloads running on other devices on the network to speed things up.

  2. Switch off Bluetooth. On your iPhone, switch off Bluetooth to potentially increase the speeds of the update and data transfer.

  3. Be patient. If your Apple Watch is an older device, in particular, updates can be slow. Set aside some time to wait for the update and don't start it just before you need to use the watch. 

How Do I Fix My Stuck Apple Watch Update?

If your Apple Watch update is stuck, this can be for a number of reasons. If it won't initiate or it seems to be stuck partway through, there are different methods involved in fixing it. The best option is to work your way through these troubleshooting tips to get it working again.

These tips correspond to a variety of different situations. If the tip doesn't seem relevant to your scenario, move onto the next one. 

  1. Connect your Apple Watch to its charger. The Apple Watch needs to be charged sufficiently to be able to accept an update. Plug it in to be sure of this. 

  2. Check your connections. Check both your Apple Watch and iPhone are connected to the same Wi-Fi network to complete the update. 

  3. Restart your Apple Watch. If the Apple Watch update won't begin, try restarting your Apple Watch to force the update. Never force a restart if your Apple Watch is midway through an update. 

  4. Restart your iPhone. Try restarting your paired iPhone to force the update. 

  5. Check that you have enough space. Check you have enough space on your Apple Watch and iPhone to be able to download the update. If you don't, remove some apps and files to create the room.

  6. Delete the update file. If the update won't initiate, open the Watch app on your iPhone then tap General > Usage > Software Update and delete the update file so that the update is automatically re-downloaded

  7. Unpair and resync your Apple Watch. If your Apple Watch still fails to detect or install an update, try resyncing your Apple Watch and iPhone. It's a more advanced fix but it can work.

Is My Apple Watch Too Old to Update? 

If you have an older Apple Watch, you may no longer be able to update it because it's no longer supported.

To use watchOS 8, you'll need an Apple Watch Series 3 or above. Anything older isn't able to run the latest OS so you may be stuck with an older version which is more limited. Check the age of your Apple Watch before updating. 

FAQ
  • How do you update an Apple Watch?

    To update an Apple Watch, make sure it's connected to Wi-Fi and place it on its charger. On the Watch, tap Settings > General > Software Update, then follow the prompts. Alternatively, open the Watch app on your paired iPhone and tap General > Software Update > Download and Install. To make updating easy, on the Software Update page of the Watch app, turn on Automatic Updates. Your iPhone will download any available updates and install them automatically when you charge your Watch.

  • How long does it take for an Apple Watch to update?

    Depending on your internet connection, it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to complete an Apple Watch update.

  • Why is my Apple Watch not updating the weather?

    If the Weather app isn't updating on your Apple Watch, make sure your Watch has access to cellular data. If it does, try turning off cellular data for Weather and then turn it back on. On your paired, iPhone, go to Settings > Cellular and toggle off cellular for Weather. Restart your Watch and iPhone, then go back into Settings and toggle on cellular for Weather again. Also, check that you're allowing the Weather app to access your location. Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and make sure you've given the Weather app location permissions.

Was this page helpful?