Apple watchOS 2 update failing or frozen? Here's the fix!

If you're having trouble installing the watchOS 2 update on your Apple Watch, here's how you can get it going!

watchOS 2 really rounds out the functionality of your Apple Watch but before you can use it you need to download and install it. If you're having trouble either getting it onto your iPhone or, getting it from your iPhone to your Apple Watch, or completing the update on your Watch, never fear. We're here to help!

1. iOS 9 first

watchOS is designed to work with iOS 9. Make sure you've updated your iPhone to iOS 9 before attempting to update your Apple Watch. Once you've completed the iOS 9 update, then launch the Watch app from your iPhones Home screen, go to General > Software Update, and start downloading watchOS 2.

If that works, great! If not, keep reading!

2. Charged and charging

The Wi-Fi radio on your Apple Watch has to be opened up full throttle to transfer over watchOS 2. That means it needs to be both charged to 50% and on its charger so it doesn't dip below that level or come anywhere close to running out of juice while the update is underway.

If that helps, fantastic! If not, on to the next step!

3. Cycle iPhone

If you're having trouble getting watchOS 2 from your iPhone to your Apple Watch, there could be something flaky with your connection. So, try toggling the connection on and off using AirPlane mode. (You can toggle Bluetooth or Wi-Fi separately if you'd rather not do both together.)

  1. Swipe up from the bottom bezel to bring up Control Center.
  2. Tap the Airplane button to turn on Airplane mode. (Or the Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth buttons.)
  3. Wait a few seconds.
  4. Tap the Airplane button to turn off Airplane mode. (Or the Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth buttons.)

You also try a hard reset if you really want to scare things into working again.

  1. Press and hold down both the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time.
  2. Keep them held down until you see an Apple logo.
  3. Let go.

Once that's done, if the transfer happens, outstanding. If not, it's time for the Watch!

4. Cycle Apple Watch

Just like the iPhone, the Apple Watch can develop a poor connection. You can give it a kick by toggling AirPlane mode on your Apple Watch, or giving it a reboot as well.

You can toggle AirPlane mode on your Apple Watch:

  1. Swipe up on the clock face
  2. Swipe all the way left for the Settings Glance.
  3. Tap the Airplane button to turn on Airplane mode.
  4. Wait a few seconds.
  5. Tap the Airplane button to turn off Airplane mode.

You can also hard reset instead:

  1. Press and hold down both the Digital Crown and the side button at the same time.
  2. Keep them held down until you see an Apple logo.
  3. Let go.

Make sure you return your Apple Watch to the charger when you're done. If that works, then the cliche's are once again proven right. If not, there's a couple more things to try.

5. Re-pair

This is a pain, but sometimes starting fresh is the only option. You can un-pair your Apple Watch on the iPhone:

  1. Launch the Apple Watch app from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Apple Watch.
  3. Tap Unpair Apple Watch.
  4. Tap Unpair [Your] Apple Watch to confirm.

You can also un-pair right on the Apple Watch:

  1. Press the Digital Crown to switch to the app launcher.
  2. Tap on the Settings app.
  3. Tap on General
  4. Tap on Reset all the way at the bottom.
  5. Tap on Erase all contents and settings.
  6. Enter your Passcode to confirm.

Once that's done, you'll be able to repair your iPhone with your Apple Watch and hopefully finish your update.

6. Go to Apple

Sometimes hardware or software picks update time to fail. If that's the case and you live close to an Apple retail store. If you don't live close to an Apple Store, give 1-800-MY-APPLE a call instead.

7. Your tips?

If you've found another way to get your update working, let me know in the comments. If one of these methods worked, let me know that too!