11 Best Ways to Fix Apple Watch Swipe Up Not Working (watchOS 10 Updated)

Are you trying to open the new widgets on your Apple Watch with a swipe up gesture and your Watch refuses to swipe up when you need it most? Don’t worry; you’re not alone.

In this guide, I will walk you through the potential reasons behind this error and provide you with clear, step-by-step instructions to effectively resolve the Apple Watch Won’t Swipe Up issue. By the end of this article, you’ll have your Apple Watch swiping smoothly and efficiently.

Ready to fix this annoying issue? Let’s get to it.

Why Can’t I Swipe Up on My Apple Watch?

The Apple Watch Won’t Swipe Up issue can occur due to several reasons and it’s important to identify the issue to resolve the issue.

Here are the different causes of the error:

  • Software Glitches: Occasionally, software bugs can disrupt normal functioning, for example, The user experience on the first watchOS 10 beta was terrible at least for me, as the swipe up isn’t working.
  • Water Lock Mode: If your Apple Watch is in Water Lock mode, swiping up will not work to prevent accidental interactions while swimming.
  • Low Power Mode: If your Apple Watch is on low power mode, you won’t be able to do some basic stuff including swipe up.
  • Physical Obstructions: Sometimes, dust, debris, or a cracked screen can hinder touch sensitivity.
  • Sleep Mode: If your Apple Watch is on Sleep Mode, you won’t be able to do anything including swipe up, the same can be said for some other Focus Modes.
  • School Time: If your Apple Watch is managed by your parents with School Time activated, then you cannot do much with your watch.
  • Screen Sensitivity: Ensure that the screen sensitivity is appropriately configured in the watch settings.

Now you are aware of a number of reasons behind the error, let’s take a look at the troubleshooting methods.

1. Restart Your Apple Watch

A simple restart can often resolve minor glitches, like gestures not working. Sometimes, these issues can arise due to cached data or temporary software hiccups. A soft reset, also known as a simple restart, can work wonders in clearing out these obstacles and restoring your watch’s functionality. You can follow these steps to restart your Apple Watch:

Fix Apple Watch Swipe Up Not Working
  1. Press and hold the side button until you see the Power Off menu on your Apple Watch display.
  2. Drag the slider to turn off your Apple Watch.
  3. Once your watch is turned off, Press and hold the side button again until the Apple logo appears, indicating that your watch is restarting.
  4. Now enter the passcode to unlock the watch if asked, and try to swipe up.

2. Check Water Lock Mode

Apple Watch’s Water Lock Mode is a valuable feature designed to protect your device during water-related activities such as swimming, scuba diving, and others. If you enabled the Water Lock Mode mistakenly or you recently used the Water Lock mode and forgot to turn it off, it can cause the swipe up gesture to malfunction.

This is particularly relevant for users on watchOS 9 or older versions, where it affects the Control Center, or on watchOS 10 or newer, where it impacts the widgets section. You can follow these steps to turn off the Water Lock Mode on your Apple Watch:

Fix Apple Watch Swipe Up Not Working
  1. Press and hold the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch for a few seconds to deactivate the Water Lock Mode.
  2. You will see the Water Ejecting animation on the screen, Once you see the clock, you can perform the swipe up gesture.

3. Charge Your Apple Watch

If your Apple Watch’s battery is critically low, then the watch will automatically switch to the Low Power Mode which will disable certain functions. It will also turn off the Always On Display and some other sensors, so you may encounter with the issue where Swipe Up is not working.

If you want to turn off the Low Power Mode then you can do it manually, but the best solution is, you need to charge your Apple Watch so it will not enter the Low Power Mode. One thing to keep in mind is, if your Apple Watch has 50% or more battery, the Low Power Mode will automatically get deactivated.

Fix Apple Watch Swipe Up Not Working

When your Apple Watch’s battery reaches a critically low level, it will automatically enter Low Power Mode as a measure to conserve energy. It will also turn off the Always On Display and some other sensors, so you may encounter with the issue where Swipe Up is not working. Additionally, Low Power Mode turns off features like the Always On Display and some sensors, which can lead to the swipe-up issue.

how to enable low power mode on apple watch

To resolve this problem, you have two options:

  1. Manually Turn Off Low Power Mode:
    • Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
    • Scroll down and select Battery.
    • Toggle off the Low Power Mode option.
  2. Charge Your Apple Watch:
    • Connect your Apple Watch to the charger.
    • Ensure it charges for at least 50% or higher.

It’s worth noting that if your Apple Watch’s battery level is at 50% or higher, Low Power Mode will automatically deactivate. Therefore, keeping your watch charged regularly is a proactive way to prevent the swipe-up issue and ensure your watch operates at its full potential.

4. Turn Off School Time

School Time mode is a feature that allows parents or guardians to manage and restrict certain features on their child’s Apple Watch during school hours. This mode can limit access to distractions and ensure your focus during class. If you want to access the widgets section on your Apple Watch running on watchOS 10 for an important reason, then you need to deactivate the School Time Mode, by following the below steps.

Fix Apple Watch Swipe Up Not Working
  1. Check if School Time Mode is Activated:
    • You will see a simple analog clock with a Yellow color accent when Scholl Time is enabled.
    • To Turn it off, you need to press and hold the Digital Crown.
  2. Communicate with Your Parents:
    • If you’re unable to disable School Time mode on your own, it’s essential to communicate with your parents or guardians and explain the issue you’re facing. They can adjust the settings accordingly to restore the swipe-up gesture and other functionalities.

5. Control Your Apple Watch from Your iPhone

With watchOS 9, Apple introduced a whole new way of controlling the watch from an iPhone (running on iOS 16 or later). If your iPhone and Watch is on the newest software, then you can try controlling the watch from your phone and try whether swipe up gesture works from your iPhone’s screen.

Fix Apple Watch Swipe Up Not Working
  1. Open Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Find Accessibility settings.
  3. Tap the Apple Watch Mirroring option.
  4. Turn the toggle on for Apple Watch Mirroring, once done you will see your watch’s screen on your iPhone.
  5. Now perform the swipe up gesture.
  6. That’s it.

By using this method, you can conveniently troubleshoot and test the swipe-up gesture directly from your iPhone’s screen. If you find that the gesture works seamlessly from your iPhone but not from your watch. It means it is a display-related problem, you can try out the other troubleshooting methods.

6. Swipe Up Carefully from the Edge of the Screen

Precision is the key to Apple’s Touch Gestures. If you’ve been using an iPhone for some time, you’re likely aware that these gestures work best when executed from the edge of the screen. The same principle holds true for the Apple Watch. If you’re encountering issues with the swipe-up gesture, it’s crucial to ensure that your movements are careful and precise, originating from the edge of the screen.

Fix Apple Watch Swipe Up Not Working

Make sure you’re swiping up directly from the edge of the Apple Watch screen. Avoid swiping too far up or down or swiping from the middle of the screen, as this may not register as a valid swipe-up gesture.

If you own Apple Watch Series 7 or Series 8 which has rounded edges, make sure you perform the gesture from the very edge of the screen, not the bezels.

7. Check for Damaged Screen Protectors or Tempered Glass

If you’ve been using a screen protector or any other accessories to safeguard the delicate screen of your Apple Watch, it’s important to note that such add-ons can sometimes interfere with touch sensitivity and gestures. If you are facing Apple Watch Swipe Up Not Working issue, then I suggest you remove any of these accessories.

Fix Apple Watch Swipe Up Not Working

Carefully peel off any screen protectors or accessories that you’ve applied to your Apple Watch’s screen. These additional layers can sometimes disrupt touch interactions and hinder the responsiveness of gestures like swiping.

Once done, gently clean the Apple Watch’s display with a clean microfiber cloth. Once all is done, you can try performing the gesture.

8. Update to the Latest Software Version

Apple Watch is all set to receive a major software upgrade, watchOS 10, anytime soon. Staying up to date with the latest software updates is crucial for maintaining the optimal performance of your Apple Watch. Apple periodically releases software updates, and installing them not only enhances the user experience but also introduces new functionalities and addresses issues like the ‘Why Can’t I Swipe Up on my Apple Watch’ problem. Follow these steps to update the watch.

how to install watchos 10 developer beta
  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap General > Software Update.
  3. Once you see a new update is available, select the Download and Install option.
  4. That’s it.

Make sure that your Apple Watch is charged at least 50% and connected to the magnetic charging.

9. Reset the Watch

If you’ve exhausted all the previous methods and the swipe-up issue on your Apple Watch persists, it may be time to consider a hard reset. A hard reset, also known as a factory reset, will erase all data and settings on your Apple Watch, so be sure to back up any important data before proceeding. Here’s how you can perform a reset on your Apple Watch.

Fix Apple Watch Swipe Up Not Working
  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Navigate to My Watch.
  3. Select General and then Reset.
  4. Choose Erase All Content and Settings.

10. Check for Physical Damages

Another crucial aspect to consider when troubleshooting the unresponsive swipe-up gesture on your Apple Watch is the physical condition of the device. Physical damage, such as cracks or scratches on the watch’s screen, can significantly impact touch sensitivity and overall functionality.

If you find that your Apple Watch’s screen is indeed damaged, you can visit your nearby Apple Store and replace the screen or you can also visit other Mobile repair stores.

11. Contact Apple Support

If the problem still persists and the Apple Watch Swipe Up is still not working, it’s a good time to consider contacting Apple Support. Apple provides robust customer support services to help resolve hardware and software issues.

You can contact Apple through the Apple Support Page on the website, call Apple Support, or visit your nearest Apple Store.

I hope this guide will help you fix “Apple Watch Swipe Up Not Working” issue, if you have any queries, leave a comment in the comment box. Also, share this article with your friends.

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By Haneet Singh

Haneet is a passionate tech writer and a consumer. He loves tinkering with new wearable devices. Haneet is covering smartphones at YTECHB. For tips, you can connect Haneet at haneetsingh@outlook.com

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