Apple Watch Unable To Verify Update? WatchOS 8.7.1 Stuck?

apple watch unable to verify update

Apple Watch unable to verify update

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:

  • Mary:

    “…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!”

  • Cameron:

    “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.”

  • Adam:

    “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.”

  • Harrya:

    “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

change Apple Watch region and language

    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!