FIX: Apple Watch Swipe Up Not Working [Easy Solutions] (2023)

Your Apple Watch is a useful smartwatch for health and on-the-go-related activities. Like your iPhone, it has an interactive touchscreen where you can make gestures, such as swiping up and down. However, some users have experienced Apple Watch swipe up not working.

Apple Watch Swipe Up Not Working

The “Apple Watch won’t swipe up” problem can be caused by device bugs, outdated watchOS, physical damage on the screen, and more. This guide will show you what to do when your Apple Watch won’t swipe down or up.

Read on to learn more.


Table of Contents

How to Fix Apple Watch Swipe Up Not Working

Here are some troubleshooting steps that you can try to fix the Apple Watch swipe up not working issue. Remember to review each fix and check which helped you the most with your Apple Watch.


Method #1: Clean the Screen of Your Apple Watch

The first thing you can try to solve the Apple Watch won’t swipe up problem is cleaning the screen of your smartwatch. If you’re using it as an everyday watch, chances are it’s full of dirt, debris, sweat, and other residues that can ruin its touchscreen performance.

However, you must first remove its screen protector to clean the bare touchscreen surface. Avoid using aggressive cleaning agents, like detergents and soaps. Also, remember to use a non-abrasive cloth to prevent unnecessary scratches on the screen.

After cleaning the screen, try making basic swiping gestures and check if the issue is fixed.


Method #2: Restart Your Apple Watch

One quick fix to common Apple Watch bugs is by restarting your Apple Watch. This is also effective once you’re experiencing unresponsive apps and the Apple watch swipe up not working issue.

To restart your Apple Watch, follow these steps:

  1. With your Apple Watch switched on, press and hold the Side button to show all Power options.
  2. Tap the Power button on the watch screen and swipe the Power Off slider to turn it off.
  3. Wait one minute and press the Side button until the Apple logo shows on the screen.
  4. Check if the swipe up gesture now works on your Apple Watch.


Method #3: Unpair and Pair Back Your Apple Watch

Another way to fix bugs and glitches on your Apple Watch is by unpairing your Apple Watch and pairing it back to your iPhone. This resets all apps and processes on your watch, which might be causing touchscreen issues.

To unpair your Apple Watch from your iPhone, follow the steps below:

  1. Place your Apple Watch close to your iPhone.
  2. Open the Watch app on your iPhone and tap the My Watch tab.
  3. Select All Watches and tap the small (i) button next to the watch you want to unpair.
  4. Choose Unpair Apple Watch and enter the password for your Apple ID.
  5. Once unpaired, you may see the Start Pairing notification on your Apple Watch.

To pair back your Apple Watch to your iPhone, proceed to these steps:

  1. With your Apple Watch placed near your iPhone, wait for the Use your iPhone to set up this Apple Watch notification on your phone. Tap Continue.

Note: If this notification doesn’t show up, open the Watch app and go to All Watches > Pair New Watch.

  1. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish re-pairing your Apple Watch.

If automatic pairing fails, we have an article which explains how to manually pair the devices. It even goes into finding the ‘i; icon on your Apple watch.


Method #4: Toggle the System Haptics Feature Off and On

The haptics feature on your Apple Watch is an interactive feature that helps in its notification system. However, some users have solved the Apple Watch swipe up not working by toggling this option off and back on. It’s a must-try solution that won’t harm your smartwatch.

To toggle the System Haptics feature on your Apple Watch, do the following:

  1. Press the digital crown on your Apple Watch and open the Settings app.
  2. Select Sound & Haptics and set the System Haptics to Off.
  3. After a few seconds, switch it back on and try swiping up on the screen.
  4. Check if the issue is solved.

For more information on haptics, please read our article: What is “System Haptics”?


Method #5: Update the Software of Your Apple Watch

Installing the latest software updates for your Apple Watch integrates the newest features for your device and applies bug fixes to issues in the current version, which may include Apple Watch won’t swipe down.

To update your Apple Watch via Settings, follow the steps below:

  1. Turn on your Apple Watch and connect it to a stable wireless connection.
  2. Go to Settings > General and choose Software Update.
  3. Once an update is available, tap Install and wait for it to be installed on your device.

You can also update your Apple Watch through the Watch app on your iPhone. To do this, proceed to these steps:

  1. With your Apple Watch paired to your iPhone, open the Watch app and tap My Watch.
  2. Choose General and select Software Update.
  3. Select Install Now on the latest watchOS update and wait for it to be fully installed on your Apple Watch.


Method #6: Factory Reset Your Apple Watch

If all fixes above didn’t work, you could try factory resetting your Apple Watch. This effectively resets all settings and configurations to their defaults, which might solve the Apple Watch swipe up not working problem.

However, this deletes all content on your Apple Watch, including saved passwords and installed apps. So, ensure your important data is backed up before proceeding to the steps below.

To factory reset your Apple Watch via Settings, proceed to these steps:

  1. Open Settings and choose General.
  2. Tap Reset and select Erase All Content and Settings. You may be prompted to enter the passcode for your Apple Watch to confirm.
  3. Wait for the reset process to finish.
  4. Once done, pair your Apple Watch back to your iPhone and set it up.
  5. See if all touchscreen gestures now work normally.


Final Thoughts

One of the essential touchscreen gestures on your Apple Watch is swiping up and down. This allows you to change settings on the Control Center, see your notifications, and more. However, some Apple Watch users have encountered the “Apple Watch won’t swipe up” issue.

Hopefully, this guide helps you to fix your Apple Watch when you can’t swipe up or down on its watch screen. If these fixes weren’t effective, contact Apple Watch Support for more help.