Apple Watch swipe up to open Control Center not working?

Control Center on Apple Watch

The Apple Watch Control Center, also known as the Control Panel, is a convenient feature that provides easy access to various settings for your smartwatch. You can easily access it by swiping it up on your watch screen.

However, sometimes things aren’t perfect, and technology can glitch. Some Apple Watch users they’ve noticed this feature was not working, and when using watchOS 9 and below, they have had some difficulty using the swipe-up option. 

Keep reading to learn how to fix the Apple Watch Control Center swipe-up function.

Suggested reading:

What is the Apple Watch Control Center?

apple watch control center
In the Apple Watch Control Center, you can see Silent Mode, Do Not Disturb, and Theater Mode turned on.

The Apple Watch Control Center is a feature on your smartwatch where you can easily access various watch settings and features.

In the Control Center, you can check your battery, silence your watch, turn on Focus, turn your Apple Watch into a flashlight, put your Apple Watch in airplane mode, turn on theater mode, and more.

How to open Apple Watch Control Center

low power mode indicator in Apple Watch Control Center

Opening your Apple Watch’s Control Center is very simple!

For watchOS 10 and above: Side button for control center watchOS 10 Apple Watch

  • Press the side button once–that’s it. This works when you’re on your watch face, home screen, inside an app, or reviewing your widgets and smart stack.
  • Close Control Center by pressing the side button again or pressing the Digital Crown.

For watchOS 9 and below: Apple Watch watchOS 9 and below swipe up control center

  • All you have to do is swipe up on your watch face to pull up the tab. You can also pull up the tab while in various Apple Watch apps by swiping up as well.
  • However, you cannot bring up the Control Center from your Apple Watch’s home screen. The home screen is the part of your Apple Watch that displays all the apps downloaded on your watch.
  • Instead, you must either press the digital crown to go back to your watch face or open an app. Once you do that, you can swipe up to open the Control Center.

How to open Control Center on Apple Watch watchOS 9 and below

  1. Go to your watch face and swipe up.
  2. When using apps, tap and hold the bottom of the screen, then swipe up.
  3. From your watch’s home screen, press the Digital Crown to go to the watch face or open an app, then open Control Center.

To close Control Center, swipe down from the top of the screen, or press the Digital Crown.

How to fix the Apple Watch Control Center not launching

Still can’t swipe up or use the side button to launch the control center? Try these tips:

Restart Apple Watch

Whenever you experience any glitch on any of your devices, your best bet is to restart your device. Most of the time, a restart typically resolves the matter.

So if you can’t swipe up to bring up the Control Center, first try restarting your Apple Watch.

  1. To restart your Apple Watch hold down the side button.
  2. Tap the power button in the top corner (watchOS 9+.)
  3. Slide the power off button. restart Apple Watch or power off using watchOS 9 and higher
  4. After powering off, press the side button until the Apple logo appears on the watch’s screen.

When restarting your Apple Watch, you should turn your device off for a minute or two and then turn it back on.

If that doesn’t work, you should try force restarting your Apple Watch.

Hard restart your Apple Watch (forced restart) Use buttons to force restart your Apple Watch

If a restart doesn’t work, try to force your Apple Watch to restart–called a hard restart.

Press and hold both the side button and the Digital Crown simultaneously and maintain this hold until the Apple Logo appears on your watch’s screen.

This process usually takes about 15 seconds but could be as long as 20 seconds (and maybe even more.)

Check for Software Update

Apple watch software update

For some users, this issue was a bug from an older version of iOS. So, if you are still experiencing this issue, your best bet is to check to see if your Apple Watch needs an update.

  1. To check on your Apple Watch, tap on the Settings app.
  2. Then scroll down to General and tap it. 
  3. Select Software Update. If an update is available, connect your watch to Wi-Fi for the fastest way to update your watch, then choose to update your watch.

You can also update your Apple Watch from your iPhone. Open your Watch app and click on General, then select Software Update. If an update is available, go ahead and proceed.

Use a different watch face Always on faces on apple watch

Sometimes, the problem is with your watch face, so try a different one and see if Control Center works.

How to change the watch face on your Apple Watch

  1. On your watch, press the Digital Crown to go to the watch face. Swipe left or right from edge to edge to see the watch faces you previously added. Stop when you get to the watch face that you want to use. 
    1. To add a new watch face, press and hold on your current face. Then swipe and choose the + button, and select a watch face. See all your watch faces on your Apple Watch or create a new one
  2. On your iPhone, go to the Watch app. Choose the My Watch tab and look under My Faces. Select one or tap the Face Gallery tab at the bottom to add new watch faces.

    iPhone watch app face gallery tab
    Find the Face Gallery tab at the bottom of your iPhone’s Watch app.

Unpair and re-pair Apple Watch

unpair apple watch iPhone

If you’re still having issues, you should try unpairing your Apple Watch from your iPhone and pairing it again. 

When you unpair your watch, Apple automatically takes a backup of all your watch’s data. Additionally, unpairing removes temporary and corrupted files and rebuilds the watch’s file system.

Your Apple Watch backups are also included when you back up your iPhone with iCloud or to your Mac or PC. If you store phone backups in iCloud, you can’t view the information in them.

  1. To unpair your Apple Watch, go to the Watch app and select All Watches
  2. Tap on the information icon next to your watch. apple watch info i button
  3. Then you click on Unpair Apple Watch. This back ups your watch data, erases and removes your watch from your iCloud account, and turns off Activation Lock.

After that, you’ll want to pair your Apple Watch with your iPhone again and restore from that recent backup. This typically does the trick!

If you have a standalone Apple Watch that’s managed by a family member, your watch backs up directly to your iCloud account when connected to power and a Wi-Fi network.

To check that your watch is backing up to iCloud, open the Settings app, go to your Apple ID > iCloud > iCloud Backups, then turn on iCloud Backups.

Reset Apple Watch

erase all content and settings on apple watch

If none of those solutions worked, then it is time for the last resort – resetting your Apple Watch.

If you choose to do this, keep in mind you lose all your Apple Watch’s information unless you do a backup. Backing up your iPhone also backs up your Apple Watch.

  • To reset your Apple Watch, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone or the Settings app on your Apple Watch. 
  • Open General and scroll down to the bottom to Reset. Tap that.
  • Click on Erase Apple Watch Content and Settings. reset options like reset sync data for Apple Watch in the Watch app on iPhone

A message confirms if you want to proceed, so tap Erase Apple Watch Content and Settings again. Then follow the on-screen introductions.

Afterward, you set up your Apple Watch like a new device or connect to your recent backup.

Final thoughts

The Control Center for the Apple Watch is such an essential feature, and if you can’t swipe up to bring it up or press the side button, there’s no other way to access it!

Typically when this issue occurs, it’s just a little software bug, and typically restarting your watch should do the trick! 


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