Apple Watch Unable To Verify Update? WatchOS 8.7.1 Stuck?
Last updated on October 24th, 2022 at 06:42 pmPosted in Errors and Issues by Patricia on October 14, 2022
Are you getting the Apple Watch unable to verify update error? Does this happen when you try to update Series 3 to watchOS 8.7.1? iOS informs that you are not connected to the Internet, but that’s obviously not the case!
Apple Watch Unable To Update?
This issue has been reported by Susan on our watchOS 8.7.1 review page:
“No matter what I do, the 8.7.1 stays in “downloading to watch” I can’t get it to complete.”
and confirmed by:
“…the phone scans for a long while saying “Checking for update” and then says it’s preparing to install 8.7.1. It never finishes!”
“I have a new Series 3. Trying to get it started. iPhone has been trying to download watchOS 8.7.1 for two days now. Wi-Fi is good, no drop outs.”
“Same problem here. Running iOS 16.0.2. Apple Watch Series 3 factory reset, currently has Watch OS 6.3. I cannot install 8.7.1. Seems to be in a boot loop during download/install process.”
“Every time I update it says “unable to verify update because you’re not connected to the internet” I’m connected to the internet and cellular data is off. Please help.”
How To Fix Apple Watch Unable To Verify Update
We’ve found many other similar reports on the web and also a few fixes confirmed by users:
(Update 3, October 24)
1. Update To iOS 16.1
Apple has finally fixed this issue in iOS 16.1! Update your iPhone to the most recent release and watchOS 8.7.1 update will work on your Apple Watch 3!
Thanks for confirming this fix Robb, Armando and all others!
(Update 2, October 24)
Apparently, the only way to fix this issue is to bring your watch to an Apple Store and ask for a manual update to watchOS 8.7.1.
Tip: Apple will release iOS 15.7.1 and iOS 16.1 today. Do update and let us know if it helps. Else, the only option remains to bring or mail your device to an Apple Store.
(Update 1, October 17)
1. Deplete Apple Watch Battery
A troubleshooting attempt that hasn’t been mentioned before, implies depleting the Apple Watch battery completely:
- You can do this by keeping the screen turned ON until the device shuts down.
- Then wait an additional 48 – 72 hours without connecting the Series 3 to the charger. This will allow the battery to dry out completely and some setting on the watch that prevent the update from completing might reset.
- Try to update again to watchOS 8.7.1 after you’re sure that the battery is completely dead!
Fact: This fix was apparently suggested by Apple Support and shared by a Reddit user. Please confirm if Apple Watch is able to verify update after trying this fix!
2. Downgrade To iOS 15.7
Users that have contacted Apple support, have been instructed to use an iOS 15.x running iPhone to be able to complete the watchOS 8.7.1 update. Apparently, a bug in iOS 16 is bricking the upgrade. You can try the following:
- Downgrade iPhone to iOS 15.7. (Yes, it’s still signed and a step-by-step guide is available here.)
- Update Apple Watch 3 to watchOS 8.7.1.
- Update iPhone back to iOS 16.0.3.
Fact: This fix hasn’t been confirmed! Please use it at your own risk, share your feedback in the comments and let us know if you had success.
Thanks Harrya Harrya for sharing these fixes:
3. Change Language & Region
Apparently, changing the country and language will allow your Watch to verify the update:
- Open the Watch app and browse the My Watch tab.
- Tap on General -> Language & Region.
- Change Region to United Kingdom, or some other country. This is a game of trial and error until you select a country that works. (Some have confirmed Afghanistan).
- Also Add a new Language and set it as your preferred languages. If you’re on English US, switch for English UK or anything similar. (A language that’s confirmed to work is Portuguese.)
Tip: Now, retry to update to watchOS 8.7.1. Does it work?
4. Turn Off Cellular Data On iPhone & Reboot Devices
A Reddit user has confirmed that watchOS 8.7.1 has been verified and installed on the Apple Watch 3 after disabling Cellular data on iPhone and rebooting both devices!
Please try the same and let us know if Apple Watch unable to verify update still pops up?
5. Reinstall Watch App On iPhone
Another way to fix the stuck on ‘Paused’ watchOS update requires you to remove the Watch app from the paired iPhone and reinstall it:
- Open Watch app and tap on All Watches.
- Tap the ‘i’ icon, available next to your watch’s name and go for Unpair Apple Watch.
- Delete Watch app from iPhone.
- Reinstall it from the App Store (direct link).
Tip: Now, re-pair Apple Watch to iPhone again and the watchOS 8.7.1 update should start loading.
Did you manage to fix Apple Watch 3 unable to update watchOS 8.7.1? Do you have a better solution or other problems to report? Share your feedback in the comments!
Related: Apple Watch 5 freezing after watchOS 9 update? Here is how to fix it!
I have successfully upgraded an Apple S3 watch that was previously failing by upgrading my iPhoneX to ios 15.7.1. After that the upgrade went smoothly without issue (but took 2 hours).
Thanks for the feedback. Glad that it turned out successful.
A week was too long, smashed it up
Ups, sorry to hear this.
Same issue. iPhone 11 on 16.1 trying to pair with Apple Watch 3.
Keeps reloading the update, never gets past that.
Sorry to hear that this is still a problem. Try to deplete the battery on the watch completely and check out the other fixes mentioned in this article.
i have the same problem, i am so frustrated now. Apple Store is far from us. And its been a week since my Iwatch cannot be pair,after this update.. Please inform us for any update.
Sorry to hear this. Read the comments of this article and follow tips that worked for others. Something has to work for you too.
None of these methods worked nor did it help to take the Watch to an IStore I was there today they are just as defeated and couldn’t help but tell me it’s a general Apple Watch 3 issue.
My 2 phone Apple 7 and 12 Pro Max ( IOS 15.7 & 16.1) don’t work :( it’s so frustrating sitting with a useless watch
There is an iOS 15.7.1 update for iPhone 7. Try to update it and it might help with the Series 3 update too.
I’ve updated and tried with my Apple 7 no luck just will keep trying I guess
Thanks for this page Patricia
Have the same issue when upgrade to WatchOS8.7.1, keeps on preparing the updating… for one week. Cannot believe this problem happened in Apple products, very very disappointed…
Sorry to hear this. What iOS version is your iPhone running?
So, I finally book an appointment at Apple Store last week. They sent my watch out. Just got it back today. It has been updated to 8.7.1. I asked the guy at Genius Bar why this issue can’t be fixed. He said most likely it has something to do with storage. Even if we reset the watch, still not enough storage for the update. 8.7.1 is most likely the last update watch 3 will get. If you are not able to update at home, you need to go to Apple Store to get it updated.
Thank for the feedback and for the clarifications. We really appreciate it.
I’m having this same issue with my Series 5 watch. iPhone 12pro with 16.2 trying to update to OS 9.2 during pairing I’ve tried everything on other sites when it was still paired but wouldn’t update, then I did the unpair/pair fix and that killed the watch since it needs to update to pair and it doesn’t update. I’ll try to deplete the battery 1st then try the other fixes recommended.
Sorry to hear this. Waiting for your follow up. Hope you’ll be able to fix it!