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Complications not updating on Galaxy Watch 4/5 (FIX)

complications not updating galaxy watch

Since the first Tizen Galaxy Watch was introduced, complications (watch face widgets) became an irreplaceable snippet of at-a-glance information. Of course, it’s still a thing on Wear OS-powered Galaxy Watch 4 and 5 series. Sadly, some users report that complications are not updating on the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 5 for no apparent reason. We have some solutions to suggest below but encourage you to recommend yours in the comments.

Why aren’t my steps updating on my Samsung watch?

If your steps, heart rate, or other complications are not updating on your Galaxy Watch watch face, restart your watch, switch to an alternative watch face (preferably one of the first-party options), check permissions, or update the Galaxy Watch.

If that doesn’t help, consider resetting your device to factory settings and setting it up again.

1. Restart your Galaxy Watch

The first thing you can do is just switch to a neighboring watch face and then get back to the one you prefer. That should reset complications.

If that did nothing, you need to restart your Galaxy Watch. In my experience, besides the significant improvements to the battery life, OneUI Watch 4.5 (on top of Wear OS 3.5) brought a bit more fluidity to my Galaxy Watch 4, and the lags in animations seldom appear. However, this doesn’t mean that all users share the same experience. And a quick reboot usually fixes these problems. Of course, don’t be surprised when you run into a 20-second-long mega lag once the watch boots. It’s nothing unusual.

To restart your Galaxy Watch, swipe from the top to bring the Quick Access menu. Tap on the Power icon and then tap Turn off. After that, press and hold on to the power button to turn on your Galaxy Watch.complications not updating galaxy watch

2. Change to another watch face

The next thing you can do is change the current watch face. There’s an abundance of Wear OS apps that allow users to download customizable third-party watch faces. You can usually change the colors of different elements, tweak complications, and much more. Some apps even allow you to create your own custom watch face.

Still, if it’s essential for you to get important information at a glimpse, without needing to dig deep into Galaxy Watch menus, your best bet is first-party watch faces. Complications are working the best on Samsung-made watch faces. Also, Always On Display with third-party watch faces has been sketchy from the get-go and complications are still not updating as they do on first-party options. Not as quickly and reliably, at least. Sadly, complications are not updating on the Galaxy Watch AOD even on stock watch face options for some.

So, we recommend switching to one of the preinstalled watchfaces. To change the watch face on your Galaxy Watch, either tap and hold on to it and swipe left to see available watch faces or use the Galaxy Wearable app on your phone. If the complications (or one in particular) still won’t update, check the App permissions in System Settings.

3. Check permissions

If you absolutely want to use some slick third-party watch face, you’ll need to grant it permission to access various on-device data. Most reports claim that the heart rate complication, in particular, is not refreshing on third-party watch faces. Especially if you set your watch to measure heart rate continuously. To fix this, you should ensure that the watch face has access to Receive Complication data.

Here’s how to check permissions for watch faces on your Galaxy Watch 4 o Galaxy Watch 5:

  1. Swipe down from the top to expand the Quick Access menu.
  2. Tap on the Gear icon to open Settings.
  3. Choose Apps.
  4. Select Permissions.
  5. Open the watch face from the list of installed apps. Or the companion app that provides the watch face that’s currently used.
  6. Tap Receive complication data.
  7. Choose Allow.complications not updating galaxy watch
  8. Alternatively, you can navigate to Settings > Privacy > Permission manager > Additional permissions > Receive complication data > and grant access to the watch face.

4. Update your Galaxy Watch

Considering the recent issues with Galaxy Watches getting bricked left and right after updates, it’s tricky recommending updating. However, this isn’t the case for all users and, although not quite frequent as we would like them (monthly updates, maybe?), Galaxy Watch updates usually fix problems instead of creating them. The first stable OneUI Watch 4.5 broke complications on third-party watch faces but the issues were resolved with the subsequent updates.

You can check for available updates on your Galaxy Watch 4 or Galaxy Watch 5 in Settings > Software update. But, in order to download and install updates, you’ll need to use Galaxy Wearable on your Android. Just connect via Bluetooth and open the Watch settings. Tap Watch software update and download the latest update. Once downloaded, confirm that the app can push the update to your Galaxy Watch.

As a side note, if your Galaxy Watch got bricked and won’t turn on, we suggest immediately contacting Samsung support and taking your watch to the official service. There’s no way to fix it on your own.

5. Reset your watch to factory settings

Finally, you can try resetting your Galaxy Watch to factory settings and setting it up. This should be your last resort but considering that you’ll need to set up everything. Luckily, you can use Galaxy Wearable to back up all your data to Samsung Cloud. We highly suggest this.

Here’s how to reset your Galaxy Watch to factory settings:

  1. Connect your Galaxy Watch with your Android phone via Bluetooth. The remote wireless connection (over Wi-Fi) won’t cut it here.
  2. Open the Galaxy Wearable app on your phone.
  3. Choose Watch Settings.
  4. Tap Accounts and Backup and then select Back up data.complications not updating galaxy watch
  5. Go back and tap General.
  6. Select Reset.
  7. Tap Reset and wait for the procedure to complete.
  8. Once your watch reboots, follow the instructions to pair it with your smartphone and set it up anew.

With that said, we can conclude this article. Thank you for reading what was, hopefully, a helpful article. Do you have any alternative solutions to recommend? Tell us in the comments section below.

Picture of Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Managing editor at Mobile Internist. @lemmingspain My fascination with mobile technology, particularly Android and iOS, began years ago and continues today. I'm captivated by the constant evolution in the smartphone industry and its impact on our daily lives, always anticipating the next big innovation. That’s the main reason why I found myself writing instructive content on the subject for users who are not as familiar with all the bells and whistles.
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