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Apple Watch won't swipe up or down? Here's how to fix it

Get back to stress-free swipes in no time.
By

Published onMarch 18, 2024

The touchscreen on an Apple Watch is the key to its navigation. Once the device is turned on, there’s little more frustrating than an unresponsive display. Follow our tips below to fix an Apple Watch that won’t swipe up or down. Fortunately, the issue is a common Apple Watch problem with a simple solution.

QUICK ANSWER

If your Apple Watch won't swipe up or down, the most common solution is to restart your device.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to fix an Apple Watch that won’t swipe up or down

A user restarts their Apple Watch.

When your smartwatch is working correctly, a swipe up should access your smart stack, while swiping down brings up your notifications. If your Apple Watch won’t swipe or down, try the following fixes:

  • Restart your Apple Watch: If your device won’t respond to either action, often a simple restart will be the fix.
    • Press and hold the side button of your Apple Watch until sliders appear.
    • Tap the power icon, then tap and drag the Power Button to the right.
    • Turn your device back on by holding down the side button until the Apple logo appears.
  • Force restart your Apple Watch: If you can’t turn your Apple Watch off, try to force restart the device.
    • Hold down your side button and the Digital Crown simultaneously until the Apple logo appears.
  • Restart your paired iPhone: Sometimes, restarting your paired iPhone as well can remediate Apple Watch issues.

    • Press and hold the side button and volume button, then tap and drag the power icon to the right.
    • Turn your iPhone back on by holding down the top or side button until the Apple logo appears.
A user disables Water Lock on their Apple Watch to restore the ability to swipe up and down.
  • Update your Apple Watch: Software updates often provide solutions to existing bugs that may be keeping your Apple Watch from swiping up or down.
    • Open the Apple Watch app on your paired iPhone.
    • From the My Watch tab, tap General, then tap Software Update
    • If an update is available, tap Download and Install.
  • Clean your device: Wipe down your touchscreen and remove any screen protectors.
    • Using a nonabrasive, lint-free cloth, wipe down your Apple Watch screen. Lightly dampen the cloth with water if needed.
    • Remove any added screen protection that may be impeding touchscreen responsiveness.
  • Disable Water Lock: When Water Lock is turned on, the Apple Watch will not respond to swipes up or down.
    • Press and hold the Digital Crown to unlock your screen.

FAQs

You can access your Apple Watch control center pressing the back button from the lock screen or watch face.