Apple Watch App stuck installing using TestFlight

Apple Watch on wrist

I recently updated my first Apple Watch App ‘Steps Tracker‘ to ensure compatibility with the new iPhone X. On completing the update a little bug reared it’s head which required a small change to the code base as well. Therefore, I wanted my group of beta testers in TestFlight to install the App before releasing the changes to the everyone who had my App downloaded. Strangely two testers contacted me to say that the Apple Watch App was stuck installing. One had waited for over 20 minutes with the App not successfully completing installation. Even restarts of the Apple Watch and the iPhone did not seem to get the installation to complete on the watch.

I’m not sure if this is a 11.1.2 bug with TestFlight or just a problem with testers who already have downloaded the full release version of the App from the App Store. However I did find a work around which seems to get the testers testing again.

Firstly ask them to delete the App off of the iPhone.

This is done by a tap and hold on the app’s icon on their home screen until all the iPhone’s app icons begin to jiggle. Then, they can tap the small “x” on the upper corner of the app.
Delete iPhone App from the home screen if the Apple Watch App is stuck installingThen confirm the deletion by tapping the Delete button on the confirmation message.
Confirm you want to delete the App if your Apple Watch App is stuck installing

Once the App has uninstalled from the Apple Watch (this is automatic but can take a couple of minutes), the user can launch the TestFlight App.

Installing the Beta App

TestFlight install beta AppShow App on Apple WatchTapping on the App’s icon will reveal the detail screen and an Install button. Tap this to get the iPhone App installed.

They should also see a greyed-out line at the bottom of the details screen saying: Show App on Apple Watch. They will not yet be able to tap this, but once the installation of the iPhone App has completed this line will no longer be greyed.


Once the Install button becomes open, the Show App line should now be usable. The tester will need to manually switch the Show App button to On with a tap. This should then start the installation on the Apple Watch.


The line will change to Installing on Apple Watch and then after a minute or so return to Show App on Apple Watch. Once the Installing wording has stopped displaying all should now be ready to test.


I’d be interested to know if anyone else has experienced this problem, if you have please leave a comment below. I’m not sure if it is caused by a user who already owns your App becoming a TestFlight tester, or a just a bug in iOS 11.1, perhaps I should file a Radar for the issue.





2 responses to “Apple Watch App stuck installing using TestFlight”

  1. Warren avatar

    I wish I saw this sooner. I just wasted a two days trying to track down why the WatchApp wouldn’t install. Why the user needs to enable install from TestFlight versus the iPhone’s watch app escapes me.

    Thanks Drew for posting this. Much appreciated!

  2. ปั้มไลค์ avatar

    Like!! Thank you for publishing this awesome article.

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