From smartphones to smartwatches, technology has made a splash by shifting paradigms. Our wearables are just as indispensable as our phones, wallet, and car keys. Among the latest smartwatches in town, the Apple Watch stands out as a sartorial timepiece. However, to err is to human, but to glitch is to technology. Sometimes, the smartwatches skimp out on their functions to always sync and be up-to-date, a common predicament if you will. If your Apple Watch won’t update or the Apple Watch is stuck on an update, here are some potential reasons behind the issue and also a detailed troubleshooting guide on how to fix an Apple Watch that’s not updating

Technowize explores what you need to do if you can’t update your Apple Watch and delves into the practical solutions to get your smartwatch back on track. 

What Do I Do If My Apple Watch Won’t Update?

As tech upgrades massively over time, the older hardware is no longer adept at running the latest software. So your Apple watch is not updating? You need to check the age of your Apple Watch to see if your smartwatch is no longer supported by Apple. 

The newest Apple Watch software WatchOS 10 rolls out on September 18, 2023, while the predecessor WatchOS 9 can only be installed on an Apple Watch Series 4 or later. One would need an iPhone 8 and upwards with iOS 16 to be compatible. Even to use watchOS 8, one needs to possess an Apple Watch Series 3 or above, or else you can risk your Apple Watch being stuck on an update.

How to fix an Apple Watch that's not updating

Apple Watch Series 7. (Image Courtesy – Apple)

After checking the compatibility, if you fit the parameters, follow the steps below to learn how to fix an Apple Watch that’s not updating.

How To Fix An Apple Watch That’s Not Updating

As you go along our troubleshooting guide, you can find different fixes if your Apple Watch won’t update smoothly. If your update is taking too long, check these functions to hasten it up and avoid letting your Apple Watch get stuck on the update. 

Bluetooth: Switch It Off

Updates are usually slow in an older Apple Watch device. By preliminary settings, your Apple Watch will be connected to your iPhone by Bluetooth. 

Bluetooth can interfere with the speed of your updates and data transfer. So on your iPhone, disable the Bluetooth toggle to eliminate the chances of your Apple Watch not updating. 

Wi-Fi: Check Connections

If your internet is slow, the update will take longer to download. Check if both your iPhone and Apple Watch are connected to the same Wi-Fi network to complete the update.  Pause any other devices from downloading on the same internet network. 

Apple Watch Won’t Update If There Isn’t Enough Battery

Just like any smartphone needs a minimum of 20 percent of power before installing major updates, your Apple Watch requires sufficient battery before being able to accept an update. Plug in your wearable to its charger if you can’t update the Apple Watch and make sure it has a minimum of 50 percent battery. 

Storage Space: Apple Watch Can Get Stuck On Update

Without proper room for your downloaded update to install, your Apple Watch can get stuck on its update. Ensure to check if you have enough storage space on your Apple Watch as well as your iPhone to be able to install the update seamlessly. If not, clear some files and apps to make space. 

Apple watch stuck on update

(Image Courtesy – Apple)

Restart Your iPhone And Apple Watch

If your devices may have been constantly used without any respite before the software update, your Apple Watch won’t update. Hold the Sleep/Wake button long enough to let the ‘Slide to Power Off’ bar appear on your screen. Drag the power button across the slider to switch off your iPhone. Switch it on again by holding the Sleep/Wake button for a few seconds until you feel a distinct vibration. 

Similarly, restart your Apple Watch to fix any underlying glitch that bolsters your Apple Watch from not updating. Be cautious although: never force restart an Apple Watch that is midway through an update.

Apple Watch Stuck On Update: Troubleshoot With These Steps

Is your update bar not progressing forward? Did you wait for a reasonable amount of time before hitting the search on how to fix an Apple Watch that’s not updating? 

Even after ticking all the above boxes, if your Apple Watch won’t update, it may be experiencing other factors. What do you do for an Apple Watch that’s stuck on an update? Try your hands at these different troubleshooting methods to see what fits your bill. 

Delete The Update File

Sometimes, the software update file downloaded for your wearable may harbor some broken files or links that may create technical issues and stop your Apple Watch from updating. Follow these steps listed under our ‘How to fix an Apple Watch that’s not updating’.

Step 1: Open the Watch app on your iPhone.

Step 2: Tap on General → Usage → Software Update.

Step 3: Delete the update file.

Step 4: Another software update file will automatically re-download.

Keep Your Patience Close (And Your Apple Watch and iPhone Closer)

Just like Bluetooth transfers and AirDrop work best when both devices are placed closer to each other, it is recommended to place your Apple Watch and iPhone next to each other. It will help in eliminating any signal interferences and speeds up the process of your update that may have gotten stuck due to the distance.

Reboot The Watch App On Your iPhone

Restarting your tech at any point optimizes its performance and refreshes any issues with stalling functions. Closing the Watch app and opening it again helps to get rid of any bugs or errors that can’t update your Apple Watch. 

Unpair Your Buddies And Pair Them Again

This might be an advanced method on our ‘how to fix an Apple Watch that’s not updating’ but what works, works. Resyncing your iPhone and Apple Watch may push forward the Apple Watch stuck on update. 

Unpair and pair your devices again if your Apple Watch won’t update or fails to detect one. This will also restart the entire update from the beginning.