Every year after the latest version of watchOS launches, I spend about a week digging through the Apple Watch's App Store to see if I can find great apps for my smartwatch. This inevitably leads to me trying to install 30 apps at a time, which can cause… minor issues with app installation.
While I don't imagine most of you will install 30 apps in one go, if you are having app install problems, here are a few tricks you can try.
How do apps install on my Apple Watch?
By default, Apple Watch apps install automatically to your Apple Watch whenever you download a compatible iPhone app that has a watch companion. If you've disabled this setting, however, you'll be able to find all available apps to install to your Apple Watch by doing the following:
If you don't have any Apple Watch apps but want to find new ones, you can always browse the Apple Watch App Store.
No apps are showing in Available Apps
If you know you've downloaded an iPhone app that has a watch component but it's not showing up under the "Available Apps" banner, chances are you have Automatic App Install turned off and your iPhone didn't initially recognize that these apps were Apple Watch compatible. As such, your iPhone may need a reboot to properly sync its app collection.
Once you've rebooted your iPhone, re-open the Watch app on your smartphone and check the Available Apps section once more.
I've tapped install, but my apps are forever spinning
There can be a few options for why your apps don't seem to be installing to your Apple Watch — here are a few I've come across in my app testing time.
Option 1: You're installing too many apps at once
If you, like me, tried to install thirty apps at once, this is a fairly common UI result on the Watch app's side — normally, the Watch app shows you a circular progress bar when installing specific apps, but when you try to add too many at once, that process happens in the background. Your apps are still getting installed, but you won't see a progress bar on the individual apps until your queue gets more manageable.
Option 2: Check your Apple Watch's connection
In the past, I've seen the "endless spin" phenomenon because the Apple Watch wasn't actually connected to Bluetooth (and thus, your iPhone). If you're seeing this, check your Bluetooth connection on both the iPhone and Apple Watch via their respective Control Center interfaces to make sure there's a connection.
If toggling Bluetooth on and off didn't work, you may want to try force quitting the Watch app on your iPhone.
Option 3: Restart your iPhone and/or Apple Watch
Other Watch app troubleshooting questions?
Let me know below in the comments!