Updating your Apple Watch’s WatchOs to the latest version updates your watch’s security and improves the user experience by fixing issues with previous versions and adding new features. While the process is as easy as tapping the update button, issues may arise during the process, such as the Apple Watch update being stuck on estimating time remaining. It’s quite common.
So how do you fix it?
You can try turning on Airplane Mode on both the phone and the watch, restarting the watch and deleting the watch update file, clearing some storage space, or changing the Wi-Fi. If these steps don’t work, try resetting the network settings.
As you can see, there is nothing complicated when fixing the problem. However, each of these fixes has its steps to follow. Read on to learn more about these methods and how they work.
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How to Fix Apple Watch Update Stuck on Estimating Time Remaining
Updating your watch OS is crucial in ensuring you get the latest upgrades, as they contain multiple fixes to some previously discovered bugs and security features that can improve your Apple Watch experience.
As anyone who has updated their device at least once would tell you, the process is quite straightforward. All you need is to navigate through the settings until you get to the software update and tap on it. At times, it’s set to Automatic Download, which saves you time.
As simple as it is, it does, at times, fail. The download or install might fail, or the Apple Watch update might get stuck on ‘Estimating Time Remaining.’ It’s something that happened to multiple Apple Watch users.
When the watch update feature gets stuck on ‘Estimating Time Remaining,’ typically this means there was;
- An issue with the Internet connection,
- A problem with the watch’s storage, or
- A software bug
All these issues can make the process take longer than necessary, so you may want to try a few fixes before abandoning the update altogether.
1) Confirm You Have Enough Storage
But before you start, ensure you have enough storage space for the update. The watch update might be stuck as it tries to write or read data.
To ensure you have enough storage;
- Navigate to Settings and tap General.
- Scroll down.
- Tap on Storage to check your Usage.
Normally you want to ensure you have 200MB available. If not, you might want to uninstall some apps to create the space.
2) Put Your Apple Watch and iPhone on Airplane Mode
Start by refreshing the internet connection entirely to force the update to download completely by turning the connection, and what better way to do this than turning on the Airplane mode? If your Apple Watch is running on watchOS 6 or later, you don’t need to put your iPhone on plane mode as it can download the update directly.
Here are the steps for turning one airplane mode on your Apple Watch:
- You can swap up and open the quick menu, scroll down and tap the airplane icon, or
- Press the Digital Crown to open the menu, scroll to the settings app, scroll up, and tap airplane mode. Toggle the button to turn it on and wait at least 60 seconds before turning it off.
If you have an Apple Watch running on WatchOS 5 or lower, put your iPhone on plane mode and keep it there for at least five minutes. The good thing is you can turn your watch on and off airplane mode when you do the same to your iPhone.
Here are the steps to turning on airplane mode using your iPhone:
- First, set up your Apple Watch to activate or turn off the plane mode when you do so on your iPhone. For this, open the Watch App on your phone with the My Watch tab selected, scroll down to General and tap on Airplane Mode. Toggle the button on Mirror iPhone.
- With that done, it’s time to turn on airplane mode on your iPhone. Swipe down from the top-right corner of your phone’s screen to open the control center. Tap on the airplane icon, then waits for at least a minute before turning it off again.
Once you’ve done this, check the status of your Apple Watch update status. Hopefully, it will show some progress. If not, move to the second fix.
3) Change Your Wi-Fi Connection
Changing your Wi-Fi connection can also fix poor communication with the download servers if the first step fails.
The trick is to switch on your watch’s Airplane mode and connect it to a different Wi-Fi network. You might want to find a more reliable high-speed Wi-Fi for this.
Remember, if you have an Apple Watch running on watchOS 6 or later, you only have to change the Wi-Fi for the watch alone.
To change your Wi-Fi network:
- Swipe up to open the watch quick menu
- Scroll down to the Wi-Fi icon and long-press it to get to the Wi-Fi settings.
- You can also get here by pressing the digital crown, opening the settings app, and tapping on Wi-Fi, and you will get to the Wi-Fi settings.
- Scroll down to choose the Wi-Fi you need to connect to.
If you need your iPhone for the Apple Watch update, you have to ensure you’re connected to the same network.
- Swipe the screen down to access the quick menu.
- Long press the Wi-Fi icon to open the settings.
- You can also do this by opening settings on the app screen and tapping into Wi-Fi.
- Choose your iPhone’s network from the list of options.
Once you’ve done this, check the status of your Apple Watch update again. If it’s still stuck on ‘Estimating Time Remaining,’ try the third and final fix.
4) Restart Your Apple Watch
If your watch still doesn’t update, you may have to restart it. Typically, we would normally advise against this, but the update hasn’t started when the Apple Watch is stuck on ‘Estimating Time Remaining.’ This step will halt the process and refresh it once the device restarts.
To restart the watch:
Press the side button until the power off option appears on the screen.
Tap on Power Off and wait for a few seconds before restarting your watch by pressing the side button again.
Once this is done, check the update status to see if it’s finally downloading. You might have to repeat the steps until your watch can update. If nothing is happening yet, try the next fix.
5) Delete the Old Software Update Files
If your Apple Watch still doesn’t update, you might have to delete the old software update files and try downloading a new one.
To do this on your iPhone:
- Go to the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and select the My Watch tab.
- Tap General, then choose Usage.
- Scroll down to the other section and tap on Software Update.
- Tap Delete and the Update files will be deleted.
It’s the same steps on the Apple Watch, but you start by opening the Settings app > General > Usage > Update files and tap Delete.
Once you’ve done this, go back to the iPhone or the Apple Watch and restart the Download & Install process as you did at the beginning. If the status is not changing, there is one more play card.
6) Reset the Network Settings
If your Apple Watch still doesn’t update, you might have to reset the iPhone’s network settings or your Apple Watch if it downloads the update independently.
- To reset the network setting on your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Reset and tap on Reset Network Settings.
- On your Apple Watch, go to the settings app and choose General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.
Once you’ve done this, try downloading the WatchOS update again and check if it’s working by going to the Settings app on your watch.
Hopefully, one of these fixes was able to help you get your Apple Watch to update. If none of them work, it might be a good idea to contact Apple support to see if they can help you troubleshoot the issue.