Can’t answer calls on your Apple Watch? Here’s a fix

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One of the big features of the Apple Watch is the ability to answer calls from your wrist. This feature is dependent on a connection with your cell phone, and sometimes things can go wrong.

Some people have reported issues with being unable to either receive or make calls on their Apple Watch. This is a huge issue, as making calls is one of the primary features of the device.

How to fix issues making and receiving calls on the Apple Watch

This problem stems from an issue with the connection between your iPhone and Apple Watch. The standard Apple Support procedure for this bug is to perform a factory reset on the phone– but we don’t want to do that! There are a couple less intrusive things you can try to fix the issue.

iPhone restart

1. Turn off the Apple Watch– to do this simply hold the side button until the Power Off slider appears, and then turn off the device

2. Pull out your iPhone and close every app that is open on the device. (double click the home button and then swipe each app up to close it.

3. Turn your Apple Watch back on– simply hold the side button.

4. Force restart your iPhone– hold the home button and the sleep/wake button on the side of the device.

5. Once both devices fully operational, just wait for them to connect to each other.

This should reset the connection between the devices and allow for you to make and receive calls on your Apple Watch.

Be gentle with your watch

Some users have found there isn’t a bug here at all, and you simply have to change how you’re using the device.

Apparently the screen that comes up when receiving a call is very sensitive to taps vs. force touches. Some users have reported that the issue went away as soon as they started being more gentile with the device and making sure to avoid force touching the screen.

Take the official route

Unfortunately, If nothing else works you might just have to go with what Apple recommends. It’s a simple procedure, but still frustrating due to lost data and settings.

1. Open the Apple Watch app and tap My Watch

2. Tap General — Reset

3. Tap “Erase all Content and Settings” and confirm

This should reset everything on the device and allow you to make and return calls again. Unfortunately you’ll also have to reset all of your settings on the watch.


Many bugs are squashed in software updates, so always make sure to accept any new software updates that Apple pushed to your devices. Some beta users of iOS 9 report that any issues with making calls on the Apple Watch have vanished– so make sure to upgrade once it comes out later this year.


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About the Author
Michelle, author at Mach Machines. A tech lover and an insatiable latte drinker. Michelle blogs about improving the personal computing experience.
  1. Lisa Reply

    I did the first suggestion & now I can answer my phone. I also just tapped the green answer button instead of holding it down. Many thanks for your help. The closest Apple Store is 3 hours from me & you saved me from a long drive.
    Lisa H.

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