One of the handiest features of the Apple Watch is the ability to access Control Center using the swipe up gesture. This is useful especially when you’re on the move and need to change some settings on your Apple Watch quickly, such as disabling or enabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, accessing the flashlight and more. So, it gets annoying when the Apple Watch swipe up gesture is not working.
Several reports said that the issue of the Apple Watch swipe up gesture not working began with watchOS 8.5.1 The issue also affected swiping down to get notifications for some. It was supposedly fixed in watchOS 9. However, if this still happens with your Apple Watch, don’t despair, because I have some troubleshooting tips that should get it working again.
How To Fix Can’t Swipe Up or Down on Apple Watch
1. Restart or Force Re-Start Your Apple Watch
The first thing to do, of course, is to restart your Apple Watch. More often than not, this will resolve any misbehaviors your Watch is troubling you with. To restart your Apple Watch, follow these steps.
- Press and hold the side button.
- Tap the Power icon.
- Drag the Power Off slider to the left.
- After your Apple Watch turns off, wait a few seconds then press the side button again to restart your Apple Watch.
Alternatively, you may opt to force reboot your Apple Watch if you don’t want to do the normal restart procedures. To do this, simply press and hold the Digital Crown and side button together. Release them when the Apple logo appears.
2. Unpair and Re-Pair Your Apple Watch with Your iPhone
If restarting or force restarting your Apple Watch did not resolve the swipe up issue, you can unpair it with your iPhone and then pair it again.
Hopefully, this will fix your issue of the Apple Watch swipe up gesture not working. If not, try the next tip.
3. Change Watch Face to Fix Apple Watch Swipe Up Not Working Issue
This may sound like a long shot, but hey, there’s no harm in trying. Who knows, changing your Apple Watch face might actually resolve the swipe up issue. So, to change the Apple Watch face, simply swipe left or right on your current watch face. Then try swiping up and see if it works.
4. Turn Off System Haptics
In case you’re not aware, your Apple Watch has an option in Settings called Sounds & Haptics. Although unexplained, some users have reported that turning this off, then back on again, sometimes restores the swipe up gesture on Apple Watch. You can try and see if it will work for your Apple Watch.
Time needed: 1 minute
Follow these steps to turn off and on System Haptics on your Apple Watch.
- Go to Settings > Sounds & Haptics.
- Toggle off System Haptics, then wait for a few seconds.
- Toggle on System Haptics, then try swiping up.
5. Remove Your Apple Watch’s Screen Protector
If you’re using a screen protector on your Apple Watch, this could be causing an issue with swiping up. Unfortunately, it may cost you to remove and then possibly get a new screen protector, it’s still worth giving it a try, especially if it solves the issue.
6. It’s Time to Give Your Apple Watch a Touch-Up
If you’re like me and don’t really bother to wipe clean your Apple Watch, it might be time for you to do so. Since all models of Apple Watch are water-resistant, it won’t hurt to give it a quick wash. Be sure to remove the Apple Watch band before washing it though. Pay attention to residues on the side of the Digital Crown and side buttons since these residues could affect the various functions of your Apple Watch.
Other Things That You Can Do to Fix Apple Watch Swipe Up Not Working
Other things you can try include checking the display of your Apple Watch for minor cracks. Some users also tried performing the swipe up gesture at a slower pace. Since that actually worked for them, it’s definitely worth a shot.
If all of the above troubleshooting tips still won’t solve the issue, there’s one more thing that you can try before bringing your Apple Watch to the nearest Apple Store service center. That is to factory reset the device. Make sure to back up your Apple Watch before resetting it, since you will lose all your previous data. Follow the steps below to reset your Apple Watch.
- Go to Settings on your Apple Watch.
- Tap General > Reset.
- Select Erase All Content and Settings.
- Confirm and follow the on-screen instructions to proceed with the reset.