Apple Watch Swiping Left Right Up or Down Not Working – The Real Fix

Recently, my Apple Watch series 4 was not responding to any swiping (swipes) up, down, left or right on any of my watch faces. In fact, I was unable to force touch the watch face to change the watch face. The only way I could change it was from my iPhone.

Apples Fix (Did not work)

According to an “approved” solution, you should:

  • Update your watch and/or phone

    • This makes sense but this is a big step that could cause other issues, like other applications not working because of an update.
  • Clean and Dry watch

    • Sure, makes sense, but if the watch was that dirty, you would not be searching for swiping not working. You would be searching for, “My watch is covered in dirt, please help” 🙂
  • Unpair and pair your watch

    • Once again, this is a quite extreme tactic. When you unpair your watch, the watch gets completely erased and lose all data if it was not backed up. When you pair it, you have to go through the entire process of setting up things and transferring data. Transferring data can take hours.
  • Reset (normally)

    • OK, this should not be at the bottom of the solutions, since it is the least intrusive. Issue with this suggestion is that by holding down the side button (not the crown), to power down you have to swipe left to right. This is not possible since the problem is, you cannot swipe.

The Real Fix

I will spare you the boredom. You do need to reset, but since you cannot do a normal “soft reset” where things gently shutdown. You have to do a hard shutdown.

To do this, you have to hold the crown and the side button for 10 seconds. Here are Apples instructions


Searching the web and using Apples discussions can possibly get you into a lot of trouble. Even if they are “Apple Recommended” as the above one is mentioned.

About Daniel Fredrick

Technology enthusiast, Programmer, Network Engineer CCIE# 17094

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