Can’t install watchOS 6 on Apple Watch? Here’s the Fix

While great for devices, updates can be stressful; especially when some issues hinder downloading or installation. Don't let anything stall your fun, fix watchOS 6 unable to install update error in a jiffy.

Every year when Apple launches a software update, a lot of changes occur in your devices, some subtle and some not so much. These big or small changes make the Apple Product smarter, sharper, friendlier, and fun. watchOS update is no different, which is why it is unfortunate when you face an issue while upgrading to watchOS 6.

Starting from ways to fix watchOS6 unable to install update error to any other issue, below is a handy troubleshooting guide that will probably resolve most problems. Facing an issue during the update is quite common, as several factors play an essential role in the process.

If even one of these factors goes haywire, your update can be inevitably affected. So, don’t let anything stop you from upgrading to watchOS 6, follow these tips for a smooth and seamless update.

How to Fix ‘Unable To Install WatchOS 6’ Error on Apple Watch

You might see a message stating ‘Unable to Install Update,’ while the installation is running. This could be probably due to improper update download. To fix the issue, you need to delete the half-installed update and re-download. Here’s how this can be done:

Step #1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.

Step #2. Here, scroll down to select General  Usage → Software Update.

Step #3. Tap on Delete and then again select Delete to confirm the action.

Step #4. Once done, go to the Watch app → Software Update to download the update again.

This time around, your update should happen as smoothly as melted butter spreading on hot bread. If this is not your main issue, then we have also compiled some of the best hacks and tricks that could surely resolve any update installation-related issue.

Best Troubleshooting Tips: When You Can’t install watchOS 6 on Apple Watch

Quick Access:

#1. Is your Apple Watch Model Compatible With watchOS 6?

Apple Watch Series 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, offer support for watchOS 6, only the 1st generation, i.e., Series 0 is not privy to the update. Though, the update set for Series 1 and 2 will take some time and probably will release later this year. So, some users might have to wait longer than others.

Additionally, watchOS 6 compatibility also depends on iOS running on the paired iPhone. The phone should be running on iOS 13, which means iPhone 6s or later. Check the complete list of iOS 13 compatible iPhones here.

#2. Check Internet Connection

Well, the speed of your installation depends heavily on your internet speed. While iOS 13 now allows over 200 MB file download limit, prefer using a steadier Wi-Fi connection for the update. As under a weak or unsteady network, the update might take more time to download and to install.

Check out your iPhone’s Wi-Fi and your Apple’s watch Wi-Fi, to ensure that internet connectivity is not the reason behind the issue watchOS update won’t install or update.

#3. Battery Status

Another given hack, if the battery of your iPhone or Apple Watch is not at least 50% or above, the update might not happen. The best way to do so is you plug in both the devices and ensure both devices have enough juice. In fact, if you own a wireless charger that can handle both the tools, then nothing like it.

#4. Issue Connecting Apple Watch to the iPhone

While the Apple Watch is pretty independent on its own, it still relies on the paired iPhone for a few things, including updating to watchOS 6. The first step while troubleshooting the connection is to check the Bluetooth connection. If that isn’t the issue, then your update iPhone to iOS 13 could have caused some connectivity issues between the two devices.

We have already covered an in-depth guide on the subject, check it out to resolve any connectivity issue you might be facing. If these handy tricks could not solve the problem, then your watchOS update won’t install or update due to some server issues from Apple’s end.

#5. Check Apple Servers

At times, especially during an update is being released, Apple servers are choked. This could lead to congestion as well as an outage on Apple’s end. To ensure that the tech giant isn’t the culprit behind you can’t install watchOS 6 on Apple Watch, check out Apple’s official “System Status” support page.

Apple reports a list of recent outages and updates on the page. The status is updated in real-time, informing if the issue is resolved or not. For instance, the image below shows that the App Store has been facing some issues recently, which has been now resolved.

Check System Status on Apple Official Support Page

In case you see an outage issue that might relate to your watch update, then all you need to do is wait. Apple will fix the problem and update the status. Try updating after that, if it is still not working, then it’s time to use some force.

#6. Force Restart Watch App on iPhone

At times, just closing and reopening an app might not solve the issue; you might have to force quit an app and restart it. This basically resets the app settings and smooths out any temporary glitch causing the problem. The steps to force quit may differ from device to device:

  • Devices without Home button – Swipe up from the bottom of the screen; a list of opened apps will be shown. Select the Watch app and swipe up again.
  • Devices using Home button – Double press the Home Button. Select the Watch app from the app switcher menu and swipe up.

Though not necessary, it is advisable to force restarts/reboot Apple Watch before reopening the Watch app. This ensures that the watch also has fresher settings.

#7. Unpair and Pair Apple Watch with iPhone 

This might be the neatest trick of all, as when you pair the watch again, the process should automatically load the latest watchOS update. To unpair open the Watch app My Watch tab i Unpair Apple Watch. For a more detailed tutorial over unpairing, check out our dedicated post on the topic.

Reboot both your watch and iPhone before pairing to clear off the caches. Now pair the devices back; this re-sync shall rectify the issue of watchOS update won’t install or update. Note when unpairing iPhone will back-up most of the data. However, your watch will be removed from Find My iPhone, and Activation Lock will be disconnected.

That’s all for now!!

What is life without some troubles, after all, they make the taste of success and happiness sweeter. While life may not come with a troubleshooting guide, you are never far away from one that solves your problems related to the Apple ecosystem. That’s right, I am talking about myself and my colleagues at iGeeksblogs. Don’t forget to download our iOS app or follow our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts for more such insights, hacks, tips, and tricks.

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In case we have missed anything, or your issue still continues, feel free to contact us in the comment section below. I bid adieu for now, with a promise to see you soon.