Apple Watch update stuck in preparation? Try These Fixes


It can be frustrating when your Apple Watch gets stuck preparing for update. When this happens, you cannot use your watch because the error message will not go away.

Fortunately, this can be a relatively easy problem to solve. This guide walks you through several troubleshooting steps on how to fix when your Apple Watch is stuck checking for an update.

Place Apple Watch on charger

Charging Apple Watch. Herby Jasmine/Gotechtor

Apple usually notifies users of an upcoming update and provides full documentation about the content of the update and the features it changed and added.

If the Apple Watch qualifies for an update (which not all models do at the same time), then Apple recommends placing the watch on the charger when updating watchOS.

Since some update installations are resource-intensive, the watch should have a charge level of at least 50%.

By placing it on the charger, no matter how fast the update consumes the battery, it will make sure to conserve the battery.

This is a good first attempt at fixing the problem, although it has little to do with a connection.

Keep watch and iPhone handy

When updating your Apple Watch, it’s best to have the iPhone and the Watch side by side when you do so.

In this way, the Watch application will have no problem downloading the update, preparing it and verifying that it is ready.

If the iPhone and Watch are separated from each other during the update process, communication issues may cause unnecessary delays.

To avoid such issues, we recommend that you ensure that both devices are nearby during the update process. You can even consider holding them in your hands next to each other.

Toggle Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections

The Apple Watch must have a consistent internet connection during an update in order to transfer update files to the device and install them, which requires an internet connection.

If the connection is spotty, weak, or unstable, an update upload is a bit risky as it could break, potentially to a place where there isn’t a good rollback mechanism in place.

Both the phone and the watch may have internet, but if the signal is questionable, the update may not trigger, seeing a bad connection as no connection.

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in Control Center
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in Control Center. Herby Jasmine/Gotechtor

In other words, the update requires ideal connection conditions to run. Most of the time, you can fix Wi-Fi issues by unplugging and reconnecting the modem or router, or switching the phone’s connection to Wi-Fi.

You can do this by accessing the Settings app on your iPhone and locating the Wireless section. From there, just flip the Wi-Fi switch to the off position.

Also, since the problem could be the pairing between the phone and the watch, it is useful to turn off the Bluetooth as well. the Bluetooth the option is located just under the Wi-Fi possibility in the Settings.

Then restart your iPhone. Once it restarts, go to Settings again, and turn both Bluetooth and Wireless go back on.

This will establish a connection to both and most likely allow the watch to perform the necessary update.

Re-pair the Apple Watch with the phone

Sometimes a random memory bug can cause these issues in your phone’s or watch’s operating system, which you can fix by unpairing the two devices.

Once the two are unpaired, the watch returns to its original factory state. This should release any potential bugs floating around in memory files. Before unlinking, be sure to remove your cards from Apple Pay.

So we’ve put together a helpful guide on how to unpair an Apple Watch step by step.

Once you’ve unpaired your watch, set it up again as if you were doing it for the first time. Updates will apply automatically as long as your watch has a valid internet connection.

It is possible that when trying to pair again, your iPhone does not automatically detect your watch. In this case, you will have to fix it manually by following the steps below.

  • In the All Watches part of the Watch app, press the Pair a new watch option.
  • Selection of Pair the watch manually The option will display on-screen instructions on how to pair the watch again.

For step-by-step instructions, here’s how to set up and pair your Apple Watch like new.

Make sure there is enough space

Updates can be quite large, although not all update files are retained after the fact. If your Apple Watch does not have enough space, it will fail to update to the latest version of watchOS.

In the Settingsunder the General tab, tab Use The section can help view all files and apps on the watch. You can delete watch apps you never use to free up space on your Apple Watch.

Reset Apple Watch

If you’ve tried everything and you’re still having trouble updating your watch, it might be time to reset your Apple Watch.

A factory reset returns the laptop to its original state, erasing all data and custom settings, including any credit or debit cards you added for Apple Pay.

Here’s how to reset your Apple Watch step by step. After the reset, pair your watch again and try a new update.


The problem of preparing the update can mainly be due to lack of space and a valid internet connection. Even if the connection is good, its reception on the iPhone may have problems at this time.

Resetting the connectivity of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functions, as well as ensuring that the watch has enough space for a qualified update usually supports these situations.

If these things don’t work, contacting Apple Support would be the next logical step for necessary assistance.


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