Are your calls getting a ‘call failed’ error on your Apple Watch making you unable to receive incoming or outgoing phone calls?
Calls failing have always been one of Apple’s more prevalent problems, this pesky error seems to keep coming back and again despite numerous iOS updates over the decades. It’s been six years since the Apple Watch was released, yet we are still encountering this issue.
A lot of things could be the reason for getting a call failed error, perhaps even your iPhone is where the problem lies. We’ve also previously written a similar guide on how to fix call failed on iPhone just to make sure you can fix the problem across all your devices. The extensive fixes for your iPhone should all be in the link posted above.
To keep this list short, we’ll only be listing fixes that you can do on your Apple Watch. We’ll also include a couple of quick and easy fixes for the iPhone which we believe are worth being reemphasized.
Let’s get right to it!
- 1. Restart Your Devices.
- 2. Toggle Airplane Mode On and Off.
- 3. Disable Do Not Disturb.
- 4. Unpair and Re-pair your Apple Watch with your iPhone.
- 5. Unpair and Re-pair your Earbuds with your Apple Watch.
- 6. Unlock Your iPhone and Call Through the Apple Watch.
- 7. Unlock the Apple Watch Using Your iPhone.
- 8. Disable your Bluetooth Connection.
- 9. Disable your Wi-Fi Connection.
- 10. Update the OS Your Apple Watch to the Latest Build.
- 11. Reset the Apple Watch to Factory Defaults.
1. Restart Your Devices.
Software problems and bugs are very common in all sorts of devices, and sometimes a quick restart is all it takes to get your system back running.
The subsequent methods in this post focus more on configuring your iPhone and Apple Watch settings which often can take more steps and physical work. Let’s avoid that by first, restarting your iPhone and Apple Watch.
Here’s a series of quick steps to restart your iPhone:
- First, hold the power button on your device for several seconds.
- Next, a red slider should appear to power off.
- And then, swipe it to the right and wait for 20 seconds.
- Lastly, turn your phone on again by holding the power button.
After that, you can follow these steps to restart your Apple Watch:
- Go ahead and press the button on the right side of your watch. Hold down on the button until a power off slider appears.
- Next, drag the slider to power off.
- Finally, wait for 20 seconds and turn your Apple Watch again by holding on the same right button.
Now try making or receiving a call through your Apple Watch! Hopefully, this simple fix has solved your problem.
2. Toggle Airplane Mode On and Off.
The ‘Airplane Mode’ technique is arguably the most conventional and popular solution that most phone users use when their phone has similar network problems like this.
Turning on your ‘Airplane Mode’ will immediately cut your phone’s cellular and Wi-Fi connections.
This step will basically shut down your phone’s radio connections and reset them when you disable ‘Airplane Mode’ again. This makes it so that your phone refreshes your network connections, often enough this fixes the problem most of the time.
Here’s how you can toggle your ‘Airplane Mode’ on and off on your iPhone:
- Go ahead and swipe up on your screen to access your Control Center.
- Next, tap the Airplane icon by the upper-left corner to turn it on.
- Lastly, after several seconds, tap on the Airplane mode icon again to turn it off. Make sure that Airplane mode is off, which is indicated by the presence of a signal bar at the top left side of your screen.
After that, follow these steps to toggle ‘Airplane Mode’ on your Apple Watch:
- Firstly, swipe up on your Apple Watch for the Control Center.
- Next, tap the Airplane icon, it should turn orange to indicate that Airplane Mode is enabled.
- Finally, tap the Airplane icon again to start connecting back to your cellular and Wi-Fi network.
3. Disable Do Not Disturb.
‘Do Not Disturb’ is a great feature when you’re busy and just don’t want to be bothered by any incoming calls or notifications.
This process works with your phone filtering all incoming alerts and disabling their corresponding alert operations like ringing your phone, vibrating, and turning on the screen.
When we’re busy with work, we often enable this feature but forget to turn it back off when we’re done. Although ‘Do Not Disturb’ isn’t supposed to block calls, unconnected things like this are often what’s causing your problem.
To turn off your ‘Do Not Disturb’ status on your iPhone, follow these steps:
- Go ahead and open up your Settings.
- Next, go to Do Not Disturb and toggle it off.
Next, here are the steps to turn off ‘Do Not Disturb’ on your Apple Watch:
- Firstly, swipe up from your Apple Watch to access your Control Panel.
- Next, locate the ‘Do Not Disturb’ button by looking for the crescent moon icon and tap on it to activate or deactivate the feature.
Lastly, here’s an added bonus to allow your iPhone and Apple Watch to simultaneously activate ‘Do Not Disturb’ when toggled on either device:
- On your iPhone, go ahead and open the Apple Watch app.
- Next, scroll down to and tap on General.
- Then, tap on Do Not Disturb.
- Toggle Mirror iPhone on which is indicated when the button turns green.
After turning off this feature, calls and notifications should no longer be filtered by your phone.
4. Unpair and Re-pair your Apple Watch with your iPhone.
Pairing between your iPhone with your Apple Watch isn’t always a successful process, especially if you have restarted one or the other recently. Like all other things, this too can encounter bugs and glitches from the software and hardware.
Unpairing and re-pairing your devices with each other will make your devices pair again like new!
Here are the steps to Unpair Apple Watch and iPhone:
- First off, hold your Apple Watch and iPhone next to each other.
- Second, take your iPhone and open your Apple Watch app.
- Go ahead and open the My Watch tab. Your watch should appear near the top of the screen, tap on it.
- Now, press on the Info button next to the watch you want to unpair.
- Tap on the Unpair Apple Watch option.
- You might be asked if you want to keep or remove your plan. For this case since we will be pairing your devices again, keep your plan.
- Press Confirm to fully unpair your Apple Watch. Enter your Apple ID and password if you are asked.
- Now restart the Apple Watch and iPhone.
- Upon restart, re-pair the watch and phone to check if the bug has been removed.
Next, we will be re-pairing your Apple Watch and iPhone:
- After your devices have been restarted, open the Apple Watch app.
- Tap on Start Pairing.
- Your iPhone’s camera should be activated as well as your Apple Watch. Hold your Apple Watch underneath your iPhone’s camera and make sure that the watch fits in the square viewfinder.
- Your iPhone and Apple Watch should already be paired by now. Proceed to enter your preferences and you’re good to go.
After this method both your devices should be paired and working just like the first time, you bought your Apple Watch! Try to make a call and see if the error persists. If it does, try the next methods listed below.
5. Unpair and Re-pair your Earbuds with Your Apple Watch.
Your Apple Watch can’t play most media sounds off of its own speakers, which is why the device is often combined with a set of earbuds.
Like your iPhone and Apple Watch, the connection between your Bluetooth earpiece and watch can also malfunction. This is why resetting their pairing can make the devices work again, just like new!
Here’s how you can unpair and re-pair your earbuds and Apple Watch:
- Go ahead and open Settings in your Apple Watch.
- Next, tap on Bluetooth.
- A list of Bluetooth devices should be on your screen, tap on the info icon next to your earbuds.
- Press on Forget Device.
- Try to make a call with your Apple Watch and see if the call failed error persists.
- Finally, re-pair the earbuds with your watch by following Steps 1 and 2. Tap on your Bluetooth device to re-pair.
6. Unlock Your iPhone and Call Through the Apple Watch.
Another bug that has appeared time and again despite the many iOS updates is that your watch will fail to make a call when your iPhone’s screen is locked or off.
Listed below are the fast and easy steps to make a call while your is iPhone unlocked:
- Unlock your iPhone with your PIN or preferred method.
- Make a call through your Apple Watch and see if the error persists, consecutively try to make a call through your iPhone as well.
- If this works then you can try to lock your iPhone and call using your Apple Watch again to see if the error is completely gone.
This simple fix seems almost too easy to work but, funnily enough, rudimentary things like this are often the solution. If the problem still occurs, you can try doing the next method below.
7. Unlock the Apple Watch Using Your iPhone.
Another quick-fix that is available is to configure your settings to allow your iPhone to unlock your Apple Watch.
Instead of unlocking both gadgets separately, giving your iPhone access to unlock your Apple Watch can work as an initial signal to make sure that both devices are communicating correctly. This will in turn, additionally, help clear and fix random bugs that are interfering with the connection of your devices.
- First, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
- tap on Passcode.
- Next, enable the Unlock with iPhone option.
- Then, restart your iPhone and Apple Watch.
- Make sure to leave your Apple Watch alone. Don’t unlock it before anything else. When the restart is finished, unlock the Apple Watch with your iPhone and then try to make a call from your Apple Watch.
Try to make a call now and see if the problem still occurs. If this doesn’t fix your issue, try the last few methods below.
8. Disable Your Bluetooth Connection.
Your Apple Watch uses both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to connect and communicate with your iPhone. Since your devices are connected with two different services simultaneously, turning on only one service at a time can potentially help streamline the back and forth of data being sent.
In this method, we will first be disabling your Bluetooth connection so make sure your Wi-Fi is on for both your Apple Watch and iPhone.
Listed below are the steps to disabling your Bluetooth connection:
- Go ahead and open the Control Center of either your iPhone or Apple Watch. Disabling either of the two will be sufficient for this method.
- Now, tap on Bluetooth to disable it.
- With your iPhone and Apple Watch connected via Wi-Fi, try to make a call to see if the error continues to persist.
- As a bonus step, you can try and turn your Wi-Fi router off and on to reset your network connection.
If your devices were already connected via Wi-Fi, then you can try to connect them via Bluetooth. If the issue is still prevalent, the next method will show you how to disable your Wi-Fi connection.
9. Disable Your Wi-Fi Connection.
Since your Apple Watch and iPhone communicate via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, turning off one or the other is a simple solution to make your device communicate through one channel of radio waves.
In this method, we will now disable your Wi-Fi connection so make sure your Bluetooth is connecting both your Apple Watch and iPhone.
Here’re the steps to disabling your Wi-Fi connection:
- First, open the Control Center of either your iPhone or Apple Watch. Disabling either of the two will be sufficient for this method.
- Now, tap on Wi-Fi to disable it.
- With your iPhone and Apple Watch connected via Bluetooth, try to make a call to see if the issue is finally fixed.
10. Update the OS Your Apple Watch to the Latest Build.
The watchOS of your Apple Watch is regularly updated to receive the newest features and bug fixes. If your watchOS is outdated, errors like this are only one of many to come. So make sure your hardware is always up to date!
Updating your watchOS can involve downloading a lot of data. Hence, make sure your Apple Watch is charged with at least 50 percent battery life as well as connected to a stable Wi-Fi connection. Depending on the speed of your internet, this can take a couple of minutes to possibly an hour.
Here’s how you can go about the update process:
- Go ahead and open the Settings of your Apple Watch.
- Then, tap on General.
- Now, press Software Update and if an update is available, just follow the prompts on your screen to start downloading.
- Your Apple Watch should be done restarting after your watchOS update, try to make a call and see if the issue is resolved.
Make sure both your iPhone and Apple Watch are up to date on their operating systems. Here’s how you can update your iPhone iOS to make sure both your devices are using the latest software.
11. Reset the Apple Watch to Factory Defaults.
Finally, if all the above methods did not work for you then your biggest chance is to factory reset your Apple Watch back to its default state. This is probably due to a corrupted watchOS in your watch that’s causing these problems.
However, before you do this step you can always make sure to get your Apple Watch checked for hardware defects at any Apple Store if you feel uncomfortable with reformatting your watch. But if you’re up to it, reformatting your watch isn’t as complicated as your iPhone or laptop.
So here’s how to get started:
- First, unpair your Apple Watch from your iPhone.
- Next, open your Apple Watch’s Settings.
- Then, tap on General.
- Navigate and tap on Reset.
- After that, tap on Erase All Content and Settings. A prompt might appear regarding your data plan and since we plan on reconnecting your watch back to your iPhone, simply keep the data plan.
- Confirm to Erase All.
- Quickly restart your Apple Watch and iPhone.
- Finally, re-pair the devices and try to make a call.
If this final method did not work for you then perhaps a hardware error is what’s causing your call to fail. This is beyond any kind of software support and we would like to encourage you to head to a nearby Apple Store and request to have your Apple Watch examined.
It’s also worth checking if you qualify for any warranty coverage for your device, which will help discount the service costs.
Now that you have reached the end of this article, we hope that this post helped provide solutions that helped fix your ‘call failed on Apple Watch’ issue. If you have other questions related to this article, please feel free to leave a comment below.
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