How To Fix Apple Watch Checking For Update Error

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Apple Watch checking for update error
Credit: Apple

Is your Apple Watch checking for update, but never actually updating? You aren't alone in this cold, unforgiving world. But while that fact may provide a crumb or two of comfort, you aren't here for that. You're here for answers. And that's exactly what we intend to provide you with.

If you find yourself unable to update your Apple Watch, there's plenty you can do to try and remedy the issue. Without further ado, let's make this particular problem go the way of the Dodo.

How To Fix Apple Watch Checking For Update

There are plenty of potential remedies to this issue. We'd recommend working through them until you find one that works for you. Start with the following:

  • Restart your Apple Watch. And restart your iPhone.
  • Make sure you have sufficient space on your Watch and iPhone to be able to download the update. If you don't have room for it, try deleting some content to free up space, before trying again.
  • Try deleting the update file. To do this:
    • Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
    • Go to General > Software > Software Update.
    • Delete the update file.
    • This will then lead it to automatically download the update once again. Hopefully without issues this time.
  • If you are still struggling, make sure that your Watch has at least 50% battery life before attempting to check for an update. Alternatively, have it plugged into a charger.
  • Try disconnecting your watch from all networks by putting it into Flight mode. Then switch it back on to refresh the connection.

These are the quickest fixes to try. If these don't work, your next step is to try unpairing your Watch, and then try updating it.

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Apple Watch Checking For Update
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Credit: Apple

Unpair and Update Your Apple Watch

This is a slightly longer, more involved process. In order to complete this:

  • Keep your Apple Watch and iPhone close together as you unpair them, to ensure the signal isn't interrupted.
  • Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  • Go to the My Watch tab and tap your watch at the top of the screen. 
  • Tap the info button next to the watch you want to unpair. 
  • Tap Unpair Apple Watch.
  • For GPS + Cellular models, choose to keep your mobile plan. 
  • Tap again to confirm. You may need to enter your Apple ID password to disable Activation Lock. Before erasing all content and settings on your Apple Watch, your iPhone creates a new backup of your Apple Watch. You can use the backup to restore a new Apple Watch. This is important, as you'll see shortly.

Once you've done this, set up your Apple Watch with your iPhone. It's critical at this point that you choose to set up as new. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup process. Once that's done, try to update your watch.

If you then want to restore the backup you created earlier, unpair the watch once again. Then set it up again using your iPhone. This time, now that the phone is (in theory at least) updated, instead of choosing set up as new, select restore from backup.

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Do You Have a Beta Profile Installed?

While the Apple Beta Program is extremely popular with many people, it is entirely possible that running beta software could be causing this issue. After all, the whole purpose of beta testing is to find bugs before the finished software is released into the wild.

So if you have beta software installed on your watch or your iPhone, try uninstalling it, and see whether this resolves the issue. To do this:

  • Go to Settings.
  • Tap General. Then, select Profiles & Device Management (or Profile in some versions).
  • Choose the beta profile you want to remove. Then, hit Remove Profile.

If nothing is working, then it may be time to consider contacting Apple Support for additional help. But the steps we've described will, in most cases, be enough to get you past that updating issue.