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It’s not fun when your Apple Watch won’t swipe up. When that happens, you cannot use the control center, change modes, or locate your iPhone.

Fortunately, this can be a relatively easy problem to fix. This guide walks you through several troubleshooting steps you can try to fix the problematic swipe-up gesture on your Apple Watch.

Why Will My Apple Watch Not Swipe Up?

Several reasons, like a software update, may explain why you cannot swipe up on Apple Watch. For instance, many Apple Watch users have reported that the issue started after they installed the watchOS 8.5.1 update.

Before we get into troubleshooting your Apple Watch gestures problems, we recommend cleaning the screen and edges, removing the screen protector, and swiping up gently.

How Can I Fix My Apple Watch Won’t Swipe Up?

If you are experiencing the same issue, this article will discuss various solutions you can use to fix the “Apple Watch won’t swipe up” problem.

1. Force Reboot the Apple Watch

Rebooting the Apple Watch may solve many minor issues, such as swiping up/down gestures. 

  1. Press and hold the Side Button.
  2. Slide the Power Off slider to turn off your Apple Watch. 
Turn off Apple Watch
Power Off Apple Watch. Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

3. Wait at least 5 minutes and press and hold the Side Button to turn on the Apple Watch. 

4. Let the Apple Watch boot and check if the problem has been solved or not.

2. Force Restart the Apple Watch

Many users reported force restarting the watch solved the problem with the swipe-up gesture not working.

  1. Press and hold the Digital Crown + Side Button simultaneously. 
  2. Keep doing it until you see the Apple logo on the screen.
  3. Release the buttons. 
  4. Wait for the Apple Watch to boot up completely. 
  5. Check if the problem has been solved.

3. Unpair and Re-Pair the Apple Watch

If the problem of swiping up the Apple Watch didn’t solve by restarting, you must try to unpair and repair your Apple Watch.

Unpairing your Apple Watch and re-pairing it may solve many issues. Remember, when you want to re-pair your Apple Watch, set it as a new watch, and don’t restore it from the backup.

  1. Open the Watch app.
  2. Choose General.
Apple Watch general menu
Apple Watch General menu. Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor
  1. Scroll down and tap on Reset.
Reset Apple Watch
Reset Apple Watch. Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor
  1. Choose Erase Apple Watch Content and Settings.
Select Erase Apple Watch Content and Settings. Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor
  1. Confirm the pop-up message.
Apple Watch Confirm Erase
Confirm reset. Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor
  1. Enter your Apple ID Password, and let the process finish.
Apple Watch Apple ID Password
Type in your Apple ID. Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor
  1. Pair your watch again and check if the problem persists. 

4. Change the Watch Face

Perhaps you’re wondering how changing the Apple Watch’s face relates to the swipe-up gesture not working. However, some users have reported success after changing the face of their Watch. So let’s give it a shot.

  1. Go to the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Choose Face Gallery (the tab in the bottom middle).
Apple Watch Face Gallery
Choose Face Gallery. Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor
  1. Choose one face from the gallery and tap Add to make it your current watch face. 
Add Apple Watch face
Select add to add new Apple Wach Face. Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor
  1. Swipe left or right on your Apple Watch to change the watch face.
  2. Check if the problem is solved. 

5. Check for watchOS Update

Apple published watchOS 8.6 for compatible Apple Watches. If you have a problem swiping up your Apple Watch, try to install the latest watchOS and update your Apple Watch. 

  1. Go to the Watch app.
  2. Choose General.
Apple watch general menu
Go to the Apple Watch General menu. Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor
  1. Tap on Software Update.
Apple Watch Software Update
Select Software Update. Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor
  1. Download and install the update. 

Do you have trouble updating your Apple Watch? Here’s what you need to do when your Apple Watch is unable to check for update.

6. Clean and Dry the Apple Watch

Sometimes, soaps, alcoholic hand sanitizers, chemicals, sharp materials, compressed air, cleaning tools, and external heat sources may damage your Apple Watch screen, and they must be avoided.

If you feel your Apple Watch Digital Crown is stuck and can’t move, there must be dirt or gunk on your watch.

Immediately start cleaning or drying your Apple Watch with a damp and clean cloth. Remove the band, the screen protector, or any other extra accessories, and clean all parts of your Apple Watch gently and carefully. 

Final Thoughts on Apple Watch That Won’t Swipe Up

Although many users have reported the problem that the Apple Watch won’t swipe up, Apple didn’t publish an official statement on this.

Users claimed this problem occurred after updating their Apple Watch to watchOS 8.5.1, and Apple Support Community didn’t say anything about the fix. watchOS 8.6 is now available, and it seems the problem has been solved after the update.

Updating your Apple Watch first is recommended to check if the problem is solved. If the issue persists, try other solutions mentioned above or contact Apple Support.

Let us know if this helped fix this problem. If you found success doing something else, leave me a comment down below!

Photo of author
Over the last decade, Farhad has gained hands-on experience with smartphones, laptops, accessories, wearables, printers, etc. If he's not writing, you can bet he's trying to keep up with the latest technology. He oversees coverage of iPhone, iOS, and Apple Watch for Gotechtor.

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