Apple Watch Unable to Check for Update: How to fix!

Have you been struggling to fix the Apple Watch “Unable to Check for Update” error? You’re unable to install the latest software update as your Apple Watch keeps flashing – unable to check for update. Your first step to fix the error should be to check your internet connection and storage usage. 

This annoying issue makes Apple Watch users feel as if they’re in a never-ending cycle. However, there are numerous viable solutions available to fix the issue. With our hands-on guide, you can easily fix the “Unable to Check for Update” problem on your Apple Watch. 

Let’s get started, shall we?

Apple Watch Unable to Check for Update: What to Do

Before you update the software on your Apple Watch, keep the following troubleshooting methods handy. These fixes should be effective in fixing the unable to check for update Apple Watch error. Try them one by one. 

Check internet connection

You first need to ensure that your Apple Watch is hooked up to the internet through your Apple iPhone or directly over Wi-Fi or cellular. 

Like any other OEM, Apple has structured its software upgrades to run only on a steady internet connection. This is to ensure the upgrade is performed without a hitch. So if you face software update failures, your Apple iPhone’s Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity could be the reason. 

Even though you’re confident your iPhone is connected, it helps to verify its connection. If indeed the Wi-Fi has a stable connection, try disabling and enabling the connection. It enables your smartwatch and phone to renew their device-to-device and internet connectivity. 

How to toggle off Wi-Fi on Apple Watch 

  1. Navigate to Settings on your iPhone 
  2. Check Wi-Fi and if it is turned on
  3. Toggle off the switch next to Wi-Fi if it is on 
  4. Turn off your iPhone  
  5. Now, restart your iPhone and go to Settings 
  6. Switch on Wi-Fi 
  7. Try to update your Apple Watch again

If this fails, then it means that something else is bugging your device and hindering the software update. Proceed to the following troubleshooting method. 

Restart Apple Watch

If you’re still having trouble getting around the issue, then you should try rebooting your Apple Watch. Restarting your device can cure a variety of minor problems. 

How to restart Apple Watch

  1. Press and hold the side button on your Apple Watch
  2. Wait for a menu to show up with options
  3. Now, drag the Power Off slider to restart 
  4. To restart, press and hold the side button again and wait for the Apple Watch to turn on

You should now check to see if the reboot helps your Apple Watch unable to check for update issues. If not, move to the next fix. 

Make sure Apple Watch is connected to a charger

While the update is running, it’s best to leave your Apple Watch plugged into a charger. This will ensure that the updating process does not get disrupted. 

If you’re connected to the internet, and your Apple Watch is compatible with the most recent version of watchOS, plugging it into the charger while the update is running may help you fix the problem. 

There is a chance that the battery could be the root issue, but your Apple Watch displayed another error message on the screen. Try this method to rule out that possibility. 

Make sure Apple Watch has at least 50% battery

Apple, just like any other OEM, recommends that your Apple Watch have at least 50% battery juice when gearing up for a software upgrade. 

So if you have been trying to update your Apple Watch when it is below 50%, you must charge it quickly and attempt to update the software again when it is at least at 70% or fully charged. 

Make sure Bluetooth is on

You need to check if your iPhone has smooth Bluetooth connectivity with the Apple Watch. You must switch it off and on and restart your iPhone to re-establish the connection. 

How to toggle off Bluetooth on iPhone

  1. Navigate to Settings on your iPhone 
  2. Look for Bluetooth and check if it is turned on
  3. Turn off the toggle switch next to Bluetooth if it is on 
  4. Power off your iPhone  
  5. Now, restart your iPhone and navigate to Settings 
  6. Switch on Bluetooth 
  7. Check to confirm that you can now update your Apple Watch

Still no luck fixing the “unable to check for update” Apple Watch issue? Move to the next step. 

Remove media and apps

There’s a limit to how much capacity each update takes up on your Apple Watch. Downloading subsequent updates will fail if your Watch is full of media and apps without more space available to house new updates. 

Your Apple Watch’s face or any system upgrades may fail as a result of this. Fortunately, you have the option to correct the issue by following these steps to free up enough space on your Apple Watch.

  1. On your Apple Watch, go to Settings > General
  2. Now, tap on Usage and check the available space 
  3. Remove the files (media and apps) that you rarely use on Apple Watch, making space for your updates to download and install

Try the next step if your Apple Watch is still stuck on the issue after freeing up space.

Unpair and update your Apple Watch

When you unpair your Apple Watch, the wearable returns to the default settings. When an update encounters an unexpected problem or runs into trash memory issues, unpairing can clear the system and solve the problem.  

Word of caution before you proceed to unpair your Apple Watch. Is there a transit card associated with your Apple Watch in the Wallet app? Before you unpair, ensure that the card has been removed. This is to avoid any other issue with your Apple Watch. 

How to unpair your Apple Watch 

  1. Place the iPhone and Apple Watch close to each other
  2. Open the Watch app on your iPhone
  3. Go to the My Watch tab and tap All Watches
  4. Tap the Info button next to your Apple Watch name
  5. Select Unpair Apple Watch and tap to confirm
  6. On your phone, you may have to enter your Apple ID password to complete the process

After you unpair the Apple Watch, you need to set it up again like you did the first time you opened it.  

Force restart Apple Watch and iPhone

Did you finish unpairing your Apple Watch? Did it fix the Apple Watch “Unable to Check for Update” error? If not, you should now try to force restart your Apple Watch and iPhone. 

How to force restart Apple Watch

  1. Press and hold the Side button and the Digital Crown simultaneously
  2. Release the buttons once you see the Apple logo. Ignore the power off slider that appears on the screen

How to force restart iPhone

Force restart an iPhone with Face ID

  1. Press and immediately release the Volume Up and Down buttons 
  2. Quickly after that, Press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo shows up on the screen 

Force restart iPhone 8 or iPhone SE

  1. Press and hold both the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button simultaneously
  2. Wait for the Apple logo to show up and then release both buttons

Force restart iPhone 7

  1. Press and hold both the Sleep/Wake button and the Volume Down button simultaneously
  2. Wait for the Apple logo to show up and then release both buttons

Restore Apple Watch from backup

After trying every method, your next step should be to restore your Apple Watch from its current backup. 

How to restore Apple Watch from the latest backup:

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone
  2. Go to the My Watch tab and tap All Watches
  3. Tap the Info button next to your Apple Watch name
  4. Select Unpair Apple Watch and tap to confirm
  5. Wait for 5 minutes and re-pair it with your Apple Watch, but this time, select to restore from backup and not as new

After the watch is successfully paired with your iPhone, confirm if it has solved the unable to check for update Apple Watch issue. 

Reset network settings

Although your iPhone has reliable Wi-Fi network connectivity, there may be unexpected problems with the network settings on your iPhone. As a result, your Apple Watch’s software upgrades are frequently corrupted or incomplete. 

Setting your network settings to default removes any previously saved passwords, cellular data, and other network configurations from your device. Your data will not be compromised, and you won’t lose it. After the reset, you will be prompted to enter your Wi-Fi and cellular passwords again.

How to reset network settings

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone
  2. Tap General and choose Reset
  3. Now, tap Reset Network Settings
  4. Enter your passcode
  5. Tap Reset Network Settings to confirm 

Once the Reset is finished, your iPhone will reboot itself. Re-enter your Wi-Fi and cellular passwords. Check to confirm that your Apple Watch is still functioning properly. Re-pair your Apple Watch when your device prompts you to. 

How to Update your Apple Watch

You can install software updates for your Apple Watch via your iPhone or straight from your Apple Watch.

Keep your Apple Watch updated

Updating your Apple products is the best way to ensure that they have the most recent bug patches and security improvements. You need to upgrade watchOS as often as iOS necessitates doing so, to keep seamless functioning between the two devices. 

iPhone says “Update Apple Watch”

To ensure that your data, such as Activity data, keeps syncing to your iPhone when you get a notification on your iPhone saying, “Your Apple Watch software is out of date,” you must upgrade to the most recent version of watchOS. 

Get ready to update your Apple Watch

Apple Watch Series 3 and newer and the Apple Watch SE are all compatible with watchOS 8. But if you have an iPhone 6s or newer, you’ll need iOS 15 or later to upgrade to watchOS 8. 

Here’s what you need to ensure before updating your Apple Watch

  • Install the most recent version of iOS on your iPhone
  • A 50% charge is recommended for your Apple Watch to initiate software update
  • Make sure your iPhone is connected to a stable Wi-Fi connection
  • Place your iPhone and Apple Watch within close range of each other
  • The update may take anything from a few minutes to an hour to finish

Update your Apple Watch using your iPhone

When a new update is available, your Apple Watch notifies you. Now, you have two options to download and install the update automatically or manually from your iPhone. 

How to update your Apple Watch automatically

  1. When you get the update notification on your Apple Watch, tap Update Tonight and proceed to confirm the action on your iPhone
  2. Ensure the update is completed by leaving your Apple Watch and iPhone charging and close to each other overnight. Double-check that both devices are connected to Wi-Fi

How to update Apple Watch manually from iPhone 

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on iPhone
  2. Now, tap the My Watch tab
  3. Click General > Software Update
  4. Download the latest update. Enter your iPhone passcode or Apple Watch passcode, whichever is asked
  5. Wait for the update to start on your Apple Watch
  6. It may take a few minutes or even close an hour for the update to finish

Note: Keep in mind that it’s best to leave your Apple Watch plugged in while the installation is running. There is no need to restart your iPhone or watch. Your Apple Watch will restart by itself after the update is finished.

Update Directly on Your Apple Watch

You don’t need your iPhone to upgrade your Apple Watch if it runs watchOS 6 or above. 

  1. Ensure your Apple Watch is connected to a stable Wi-Fi connection
  2. Open the Settings app on your watch
  3. Tap General > Software Update
  4. If a new update is available, tap Install and follow the instructions

Issues Updating Your Apple Watch

If you have been facing issues while updating your Apple Watch, you must try the steps given below. 

  1. Ensure that your Apple Watch is connected to its charger
  2. Press and hold the side button on your Apple Watch and then move the on-screen slider to power it off
  3. Press and hold the side button again to restart the Apple Watch
  4. You must also restart your paired iPhone alongside
  5. Attempt installing the update again
  6. In case the update does not initiate, open the Watch app on your iPhone, tap General > Usage > Software Update > Delete the update file
  7. After deleting the file, try installing the watchOS update again

What to do if you Installed an iOS or watchOS Beta

If you have installed an iOS or watchOS Beta update, you need to remove the beta profile from your Apple Watch and iPhone. Follow the steps below to remove the beta profile. 

How to delete watchOS Beta profile 

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone
  2. Tap the My Watch tab
  3. Go to General > Profiles
  4. Tap Beta Profile > Delete Profile
  5. Enter your iPhone passcode when prompted

How to delete iOS Beta profile 

  1. On your iPhone, open Settings > General > Profiles & Device Management
  2. Tap Beta Profile > Delete Profile
  3. Enter your iPhone passcode when prompted

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to two frequently asked questions about the unable to check for update Apple Watch issues. 

How do I fix unable to check for updates?

You can fix unable to check for update on your Apple Watch by first checking to see if your iPhone is connected to the internet, attaching the Apple Watch and iPhone to a charger, and ensuring that enough space is available on your Apple Watch. 

How do I force an update on my Apple Watch?

You can force an update on your Apple watch by manually updating apps. Just go to App Store > Account > Updates > Update each app manually or tap Update All. 

Conclusion

That’s all there is to it for now. Which solution worked for you? Tell us about it!   

If you still see the Apple Watch unable to check for update error on your Apple Watch, you should get in touch with Apple Support and seek authorized repair.

About Melissa

Hey! I'm Mel, I write the occasional article for Spacehop, amongst other things. I love meeting new people and chatting, so if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.

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