Top 10 Ways to Fix Apple Watch Swipe Up Not Working

The Apple Watch has one of the best UIs on a smartwatch. The fluidity and ease of use along with its smart features are unmatched. But navigating around the UI on the Apple Watch relies on taps and swipes. You can swipe around on the watch face to get to different menus. However, at times, the Apple Watch swipe up gesture may not work as intended.

If you are facing this problem, you may not be able to access the control center on your Apple Watch. Don’t worry, though, as there are simple fixes to help you if your Apple Watch won’t swipe up. Let’s get straight to the fixes

1. Force Restart the Apple Watch

A lot of times, the solution to most mundane problems is a simple reboot or reset. Press and hold the side button of the Apple Watch along with the digital crown simultaneously for 10 seconds. Release the buttons when you see the Apple logo. Your Apple Watch will now restart.

Note that you’re just rebooting your watch by doing this and it will not wipe your data. Check if the swipe up functionality is now working. If not, proceed with the following methods.

2. Try Controlling the Apple Watch Using Your iPhone

Apple introduced the ability to control your Apple Watch using your iPhone with iOS 16 and watchOS 9. Via this method, you can mirror your Apple Watch’s screen onto your iPhone and perform various actions on it. So, to check if the issue is with the display on your Apple Watch, try controlling your Apple Watch via your iPhone.

apple watch mirrored on iPhone

If you’re able to swipe up, it means something is wrong with your Apple Watch’s display. If your Apple Watch won’t swipe up even after this, you’ll have to try the other fixes mentioned after this.

3. Swipe Up Carefully From the Edge of the Screen

Apple’s gestures — be it on the iPhone or the Apple Watch — work only on the edge of the display. So, if you’re trying to perform the swipe-up gesture off-axis or a little to the top or bottom, it won’t work.

If your Apple Watch won’t swipe up or down, try swiping slowly from the edge of the screen. Since the Apple Watch has curved edges, it may take a few tries but you should be able to figure it out.

4. Remove Any Screen Protector or Case

The Apple Watch is an expensive accessory. So, it makes sense to protect it with an Apple Watch case or even a screen protector. However, a lot of times, using a screen protector or a case can turn out to be counter-intuitive.

A thick screen protector or case can prevent the Apple Watch swipe up gesture since it hinders the touch input.

Apple Watch Ultra screen protectors

So, if can’t swipe up on Apple Watch, it could be due to something that seems as harmless as a screen protector. Get rid of it and try swiping up.

5. Wipe Off Water or Dirt From the Screen

Water is the biggest enemy of touch screens. If you’ve ever worn your Apple Watch for a swim, you would know that it’s impossible to use the touch screen when you’re underwater. Similarly, if there are water droplets on the screen or you’re out in the rain, your Apple Watch won’t swipe up.

The best way to address this issue would be to take a microfiber cloth or a dry towel and wipe the display dry. Ideally, you should also dry your hands before using the screen.

6. Try a Different Watch Face

Most Apple Watch faces have multiple complications for various uses. These complications can occupy the bottom of the screen, preventing you from swiping up.

watch face on Apple Watch

Try changing your Apple Watch face by holding down on the existing one. Then, swipe to the left or right to select a watch face of your choice. Try swiping up on the new watch face.

7. Update to the Latest Version of watchOS

If your Apple Watch becomes unresponsive from time to time, it could be that you’re running an older, buggy version of watchOS. Update to the latest version of watchOS and the new software should give you enhanced stability. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch. Navigate to the General tab.

Apple Watch Settings app

Step 2: Tap on Software Update.

Software update option

Step 3: If an update is available, it would be displayed on this screen.

Software update on Apple Watch

Hit the update button and let your Apple Watch restart. Once done, check if the Apple Watch swipe up gesture is working.

8. Replace the Screen if Damaged

The display on the Apple Watch is made of glass and hence, quite fragile. If you happen to damage the display by accident, you will not be able to select any of the options on the screen.

So, if your display is shattered or badly scratched, we suggest contacting Apple for a replacement.

9. Factory Reset the Apple Watch

If there’s an issue with the software and there’s no update available, your best option is to factory reset the Apple Watch. This will erase all your data on the Watch so make sure you take a backup before proceeding. Here’s how you can factory reset your Apple Watch.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch. Navigate to the General tab.

Apple Watch Settings app

Step 2: Scroll down to find the Reset button. Tap on it.

Apple Watch Reset

Step 3: Then, choose the ‘Erase All Content and Settings’ option. This will reset your Apple Watch back to factory settings.

Apple Watch Factory reset

10. Contact Apple Support

If none of the above solutions seem to help you with your Apple Watch not swiping up (or down for that matter), it’s time to take your watch to Apple. There could be a hardware defect in the display that’s preventing your touch inputs from being registered.

Head over to the closest Apple Store and the certified technicians should be able to help you resolve the problem.

FAQs for Apple Watch Swipe Up Not Working

1. Can I access the Control Center on my Apple Watch without swiping up?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to access the Control Center on your Apple Watch without swiping up from the bottom. You can, however, control your Apple Watch via your iPhone and perform the gesture.

2. Can I replace my Apple Watch screen?

If you take your watch to Apple, they will tell you that the screen cannot be replaced. However, if you’re confident about repairing your Apple Watch yourself, you can pick up a screen from a marketplace of your choice and attempt the repair by yourself.

Swipe Your Problems Away

When you use an Apple Watch daily, you would need to access the Control Center for various toggles and settings. And if the Apple Watch swipe is not working, this becomes a difficult task. Don’t worry though, as these solutions should positively help you overcome the issue.

Last updated on 07 February, 2023

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