[watchOS 8 Troubleshooting] Unable to Check for Update on Apple Watch 7

This post will walk you through fixing an Apple Watch 7 that couldn’t download and install a new update as it fails to check for the latest watchOS version available. Read on to learn what to do if you’re unable to check for update on Apple Watch 7.

Apple Watch series 7 Updates

Keeping your Apple Watch software up-to-date is highly recommended to make sure that your activity data on your watch continues to sync to your iPhone.

Typically, you’ll see an alert message on your iPhone saying that your Apple Watch software is out of date if its paired watch software requires an update. If a new watchOS update is available and your Apple Watch is qualified for that update, then it should likewise get notified. Otherwise, manually checking for a new watchOS update is required.

You may opt to let your watch update automatically overnight or download and install the update manually on your preferred date and time.

Updating smart devices like the Apple Watch is supposed to be a plain sailing process. Just keep the device charged and connected to a strong and stable Wi-Fi network for everything to be seamless.

However, there are also some instances when the simple updating just couldn’t be completed as intended. And thus spending some time to troubleshoot and eliminate potential culprits is still needed.

What makes watchOS updates fail?

A common reason as to why an Apple Watch is unable to check for new updates is due to an internet problem like when the internet connection is very slow or no internet connection at all.

The underlying cause of the problem is either from within the Apple Watch or the iPhone that the watch is connected to. That being said, you will need to troubleshoot internet connectivity issues on both the Apple Watch and its paired iOS device.

Aside from internet issues, server downtime is also another possible cause. This is often the case when the Apple server is currently inaccessible due to network congestion. 

For example, the download server is overwhelmed with a huge volume of update requests. As a result, your Apple Watch’s attempt to access the update server is being put on hold or queued up.

Other factors that may hinder the update request include random software glitches transpiring on either device. 

Troubleshooting: Unable to Check for Update on Apple Watch 7

The following methods will help you rule out common factors that can hinder an Apple Watch from checking for new updates. These solutions are also applicable when troubleshooting the same issue on other Apple Watch models that are running on watchOS 8. 

Actual screens and menu items may vary between watch models and wireless service providers so expect some slight differences on the user interface.

Prerequisites:

Before you begin, verify and ensure that your Apple Watch is paired with the correct iPhone and that it’s sufficiently charged. If necessary, keep your Apple Watch connected to the charger. 

Also ensure that both the iOS device and your Apple Watch have ample storage space to allocate the new update file.

If necessary, check the available space on your watch by heading to the Apple Watch Settings-> General-> Usage and then view the used and available space. If necessary, delete old and unwanted files to free up some space on  your watch.

Also ensure that your iPhone is running on the latest software version available. If you haven’t already, then you can manually check for a new iOS update on your iPhone settings.

Once everything is set, you may go ahead and begin troubleshooting your Apple Watch and its paired iOS device.

First Solution: Restart your Apple Watch and iPhone.

A simple reboot can help fix various types of software issues including those that cause random internet connection errors on your iPhone and Apple Watch. That said, be sure to reboot your iPhone and Apple Watch beforehand.

If you haven’t already, reboot or soft reset your iPhone with these steps:
  • Simultaneously press and hold the Top button and either Volume button and then drag the slider to turn off the iPhone. 
  • After a few seconds, press and hold the top button for a few seconds until the Apple logo appears.

Wait for your iPhone to finish rebooting and then connect to the Wi-Fi network.

To reboot your Apple Watch 7, follow these steps:
  • Press and hold the side button until you see the Power Off slider.
  • Drag the Power Off slider.
  • After your watch turns off, press and hold the side button again until you see the Apple logo.

Make sure both devices are connected to the Wi-Fi internet and the retry checking for updates on your Apple Watch 7.

Second Solution: Turn Bluetooth and Wi-Fi off and on.

Random errors affecting the current Bluetooth connection and Wi-Fi network are also among the underlying causes. As a result, software updates may sometimes fail.

To clear this out, restarting Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections on your iPhone is recommended. This can be achieved by turning Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features off for a few seconds and then turning them back on.

Performing this tweak also allows your Apple Watch and iPhone to refresh wireless connections and clears out any minor flaws.
  • That said, go to your iPhone Settings-> Wi-Fi menu then toggle the switch OFF.
  • To refresh Bluetooth connections, go to Settings-> Bluetooth menu then toggle the switch OFF.

After refreshing Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, restart/soft reset your iPhone and go back to the Settings menu to turn the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi switches back ON.

Alternatively, you can turn the Airplane Mode switch ON and OFF to simultaneously restart and refresh all wireless connectivity features on your iPhone.

Third Solution: Forget then re-add Wi-Fi network.

If the error occurs due to internet connectivity issues tied to a corrupted Wi-Fi network, then forgetting and re-adding the problematic network will likely fix it. Doing so will let your devices establish a fresh connection like the first time they did.

To forget a Wi-Fi network in iOS 15 devices, just follow these steps:
  • Navigate to Settings-> Wi-Fi menu and make sure the Wi-Fi switch is turned on.
  • Find and then tap the information (i) icon next to the Wi-Fi network that you’d like to forget.
  • Tap Forget This Network then tap Forget on the pop-up warning to confirm.

After deleting the network, restart your iPhone then head back to Settings-> Wi-Fi menu to set up your network and connect to it like the first time.

Fourth Solution: Reset network settings.

Some unknown network connectivity issues are attributed to misconfigured or incorrect network settings on your iPhone. Should this be the main reason why your Apple Watch updates checking fails, resetting the network settings on the iPhone can help.

This reset works by deleting all previously used Wi-Fi credentials and settings, custom settings for cellular network, VPN settings and the like. 

All saved data from the iPhone storage won’t be affected so you won’t lose important files. Just be sure to take note of your Wi-Fi password because you will need to re-enter it after the reset.

Once you’ve got everything set, close the Watch app and any other apps that are left open and running on your iPhone then follow these steps:
  • Open the Settings app.
  • Tap General.
  • Scroll down to the bottom and tap Transfer or Reset iPad.
  • Tap Reset to continue.
  • Then, tap Reset network settings from the given options.
  • Enter your passcode if prompted then tap to confirm network settings reset.

When the reset is finished, your iPhone reboots automatically. Just wait for it to finish rebooting and then reconnect to the Wi-Fi network like the first time you did, so you can get back online and use the internet.

Once your iPhone is connected, go to your Apple Watch and retry checking for updates.

Is your Apple Watch 7 still unable to check for updates?

The above solutions are usually good enough to resolve the problem if network connectivity issues are the underlying cause. But if none of them yield positive results, then this is when you need to rule out other culprits including system errors and glitches on both the paired iOS device and watch. 

Should you wish to troubleshoot further, then the next potential solutions you can try are as follows.

1. Unpair your Apple Watch and the iPhone then pair them again manually.

Unpairing the Apple Watch from the iPhone is also deemed a potential solution to various watchOS errors including those that are pertaining to software updates.

If you wish to try it, then you may do so with these steps:
  • Place your iPhone and Apple Watch next to each other.
  • On your iPhone, open the Watch app then navigate to the My Watch tab.
  • Tap All Watches to view all paired watches.
  • Select your Apple Watch 7 from the list and then tap the information icon (i) next to it.
  • On the succeeding menu, tap the option to Unpair Apple Watch and then confirm action.

Once you’re done unpairing your devices, set up your Apple Watch like the first time you did it.

If you opt to pair your iPhone and Apple Watch manually, just place your devices close to each other then open the Apple Watch app on the iPhone.
  • While on the Watch app, tap the All Watches tab and then select the option to Pair New Watch.
  • Tap Set Up for Myself and select the option to Pair Apple Watch Manually.

Follow the rest of the onscreen prompts to finish setting up and pairing your Apple Watch.

2. Change the Language and Region Settings on the iPhone.

Other people who encountered the same issue in which their Apple watch is unable to check for new updates have managed to resolve it by altering the language and region settings on the iPhone. 

What they did was to unpair the devices then change the region settings on the iPhone.

Thus, it wouldn’t hurt if you’d give it a shot and see what happens.
  • To do this, go to  your iPhone Settings-> General menu and then tap Language & Region. On the next menu, tap Region and then change the current value to another one.

After changing the region on the iPhone settings, pair your Apple Watch with the iPhone again and see if the error is gone.

3. Delete watchOS Beta Profile (if applicable).

Deleting any beta profile from your Apple Watch is also a potential solution if you’re currently enrolled to the Apple Beta Software Program and a beta profile is currently installed on your Apple device.

Sometimes, a watchOS or iOS beta can cause unexpected errors so try to delete it.
  • To delete an iOS beta profile on your iPhone, just go to Settings-> General menu and then tap Profiles & Device Management or Profile. Select the beta profile that you’d like to delete then tap Remove Profile to confirm. If prompted, enter your iPhone passcode to authorize and confirm iOS beta profile deletion.
  • To remove a watchOS beta profile on your Apple Watch, open the Apple Watch app on its paired iPhone then tap the My Watch tab. While on the My Watch tab, tap General and then tap Profiles. Select the watchOS beta profile to delete and then reboot your iPhone and Apple Watch.

After rebooting, retry checking for new updates on your Apple Watch and see if the error is gone.

Seek More Help

If none of the given solutions worked and your Apple Watch is still unable to check for updates and getting the same error, then you can escalate the problem to Apple Support for further assistance and official recommendations.

Please keep posted for more comprehensive iOS tutorials and troubleshooting guides on this site. Or you can check out this YouTube channel to view more comprehensive tutorial and troubleshooting videos including recent iOS devices.

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