How To Fix Apple Watch Won’t Swipe Up or Not Working in 2024?

| Updated on March 27, 2024

The Apple Watch has one of the top user interfaces for smartwatches. Its smart features are unparalleled, as are its fluidity and usability. However, the watch uses touches and swipes to move around its user interface. But occasionally, the Apple Watch won’t swipe up or down as designed. 

Apple watch ultra

You can access the flashlight, theater mode, internet connection, and many other features by swiping up your Apple Watch to reach the Control Center. However, it is regrettable if Apple Watch won’t swipe up and you can’t access these tools and features.

Earlier users who upgraded their watches to watchOS 8.5.1 were primarily affected by the issue. The problem may also be brought on by factors like a non-responsive program, an incompatible or improperly installed screen protector, or a buildup of dust or dirt. 

Fortunately, all of the aforementioned reasons are simple to address. So let’s examine the remedies and fix the issue of the Apple watch swipe-up not working.

Key Takeaways:

  • For several reasons, including the water lock option, a defective screen protector, wet or sticky hands, and obstruction by gloves, Apple Watch won’t swipe up or down.
  • When a system bug is the root of the issue, restarting the Watch is an effective remedy. 
  • Users can access online help from Apple for problems relating to the watch.

Why Won’t My Apple Watch Swipe Up?

Swipe up gesture

When using your watch, swipe-up and swipe-down errors can be annoying. The swipe up and down issue could be caused by a number of factors, including: 

  • You unknowingly have the water lock setting set due to a watch software bug or update problem. 
  • Using your device while wearing gloves. 
  • Dripping or sticky palms. 
  • The sensitivity feature is being negatively impacted by a tough screen protector. 

Checking each of the potential causes until you identify the specific one that is affecting your watch is the best method to identify your swiping issue.

How to Fix the Apple Watch Won’t Swipe Up Issue?

You must touch the smartwatch in order for it to react when you swipe. Gloves may impede touch if you are donning them. You should therefore think about removing them. Following that, you can attempt swiping slowly. A lot of users have found this technique to be useful. 

Similarly, if your fingertips are wet or dry, the watch might not react to touch correctly and result in a problem. As a result, you must wash, dry, and attempt to swipe once more. You should clean your watch as well in case dirt or dust interferes with the touch reaction.

If the above fixes don’t work to resolve your problem of the Apple watch not swiping up, try the other techniques listed below. Here are all the solutions you can try to get your smartwatch to swipe up: 

Take the Screen Protector Off

Remove screen protector

It’s also possible that the watch screen protector you added is to blame for the issue. Screen covers typically serve to safeguard the watch’s display. However, the incompatible screen covers can make your watch’s touchscreen less responsive. 

Additionally, if the screen protector is applied improperly, the touch reaction may be slowed down or stopped altogether. Therefore, you might think about removing the screen cover from the watch and trying to swipe it up.

Change Your Watch Face

A particular watch face may occasionally be the source of the issue. While it may seem unimportant, some watch faces may interfere with swipe motions, preventing your watch from registering a touch. 

Change the watch face.

Reboot the Apple Watch as usual 

Bugs and technical issues can also lead to the watch’s unresponsive swipe. Restarting your gadget, such as a phone, watch, etc., fixes a variety of minor issues. Additionally, it can assist with the motion problem. 

On WatchOS 8 and earlier: 

  • Disconnect the watch from the charger. The watch cannot be restarted while charging. 
  • Press the side icon once. 
Press the side icon
  • Release it when the watch’s Power Off option shows. 
Power off option
  • To turn the power off, swipe. 
  • You must maintain pressing the side button after the watch has been turned off until the Apple logo appears.

On WatchOS 9:

  • Press the side button repeatedly after removing the watch from charging. 
  • When a menu of choices appears on the watch’s display, let go of it. 
  • Now, press the Power icon located in the watch’s upper-right corner. 
  • Select Turn Off by swiping. 
  • You must continue pushing the side button after turning off the watch until the logo appears.

Push Your Apple Watch to Restart

It’s time to forcibly restart your Watch if you are still experiencing problems after doing so. By doing this, all secondary processes will be stopped, and any small software hiccups will disappear from your watch. It applies when the watch experiences a swipe issue, pauses, or stops responding. 

For 8 to 10 seconds, simultaneously press the side trigger and digital crown. Release the buttons once the logo shows on your watch.

Restart the watch

Set System Haptics Off and Turn It On

Sounds and haptics settings

The System Haptics option can be disabled and then enabled again to fix this issue, according to numerous users in various communities. We also advise you to give this approach a shot and see if it works for you. 

  • Navigate to the Watch settings
  • Select Music & Haptics next. 
  • Next, turn off the System Haptics setting. 
  • Wait a short while, then turn on the System Haptics again.

Update the Most Recent Version of WatchOS

It’s also conceivable that the problem has arisen as a result of an upcoming update for your watch. When updates are released, the developers fix different system hiccups and bug errors.

It is crucial to maintain your watch updated with the most recent information. Once you upgrade your watchOS, the problem with swipe-up might be fixed. 

  • Check the watch’s charge first. Consider charging it if the percentage is less than 50%. 
  • After that, connect your watch to the internet
  • Press the Digital Crown.
  • Select the Settings app once you reach the Home Screen. 
  • Select General and then select Software Update
  • If there are any updates available, click Update. Following that, continue as directed by your watch. 
General Software update

As an alternative, you can also upgrade your watch using your iPhone. It’s crucial to be aware that updating your watch to watchOS 8 or higher requires an iPhone 6s or later model. Additionally, they ought to be using iOS 15 or a later edition. 

Ensure that your iPhone and Watch are both completely charged or connect them to the appropriate chargers and carry out the following steps. 

  • Put your iPhone and Apple Watch together. 
  • Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  • Choose My Watch from the list of options at the foot of the screen. 
  • Then, pick General from the menu. 
  • Then select Software update. Lock the watch if prompted to do so. 
Select software update
  • Click on Download and Install. If your watch or iPhone’s password is requested, enter it.
download and install

Watch now displays a progress wheel as the upgrade is being applied. Depending on the internet connection, the process could take up to an hour, and your device will restart after the update is complete.

Deactivate the Water Lock Mode

Water Lock Mode

It’s important to note that your watch has a Water Lock function. When water splashes on the watch, it is intended to prevent unintended touches. 

Additionally, when the watch comes into contact with water, the feature is immediately activated. Swipes and touches are also blocked while the function is in use. Therefore, this trait may also be to blame for the problem we are discussing. 

The methods listed below can be used to disable the Water Lock mode. 

  • If your device runs watchOS 8 or an earlier version, you must first turn on the Digital Crown. Users of watchOS 9 must hit the Digital Crown instead of rotating it.
Turn off water lock mode
  • When the watch’s screen displays Enabled, you can release it. 

As the watch drains the water from its speaker, you will now hear several alarms. Once it’s finished, you can use your watch as normal. 

Reconnect the Apple Watch After a Reset 

The last-ditch attempt to fix the problem might be to reset and pair the watch with the iPhone. Consider leaving the backup when you reset the watch and setting it up as a fresh device. If you make the backup, the flaw that is causing the problem might remain and make it worse. Additionally, your connected iOS device will keep all of your data. 

  • Keep the watch and iPhone close together. 
  • Open the Apple Watch application on your iPhone. 
  • At the bottom of the page, click My Watch
  • Next, select General
  • Press the Reset button now.
Press the reset button
  • Select Erase Apple Watch Content and Settings. If you want to continue, tap the same selection once more. 
Erase watch content and settings
  • The Apple ID passcode must be entered when prompted. 
  • Select “Keep your plan” if the device you’re using has GPS and cellular capabilities. 

Pair your watch with the iPhone and then carry out the steps that appear after you choose the Pair New Watch option in the app.

Contact Apple Support 

Apple support

Take your watch to Apple if none of the aforementioned fixes seem to work for you and you can’t swipe up or down on your watch. Your touch inputs might not be recognized due to a hardware issue with the display. You can likely fix the issue with the assistance of the certified technicians at the nearby Store.

Final Words

When you run into issues with an unresponsive swipe up and down, the methods mentioned above can be of assistance. To continue taking advantage of your watch, use the option that works for you. 

If you’re still questioning why won’t my apple watch swipe up, then contact Apple Support or go to one of their stores for an expert answer.


HOW can I restart an unresponsive Apple Watch?

By pressing the side and Digital Crown buttons simultaneously and removing them
when you see the logo on the screen, you can restart an unresponsive watch.

Why can’t I swipe down on the red dot on my Apple Watch?

Unread alerts are indicated by a red dot on your watch; however, if you are unable to
swipe them, try restarting the device and see if that works. Force a reset and try it again if
the problem persists.

What should I do if force restarting does not work on my Apple Watch?

Ans: If your watch won’t resume on its own, charge it for a few hours and try again. In the
event that this is unsuccessful, set the watch on its charger and hit the side button until the
logo appears.

Chitra Joshi

Content Writer & Marketer

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