How to fix iOS widgets not working or refreshing on iPhone and iPad

Widgets on the iPhone and iPad Home Screen and Today View show helpful information at a glance. They cut or reduce the need to open the app. Weather, Stocks, Maps, and most other widgets must frequently refresh to give you the latest, correct, up-to-date information.

However, if Apple and third-party app widgets are not working, loading, updating, or refreshing on your iPhone or iPad, here’s what you should do to fix these issues.

Two iPhone images showing iOS widgets on the Home Screen and Today View

Operating systems that support widgets

Widgets in Today View (accessed by swiping right on the first Home Screen or Lock Screen) has been on iPhone and iPad since iOS 8, released in 2014.

Starting with iOS 14, released in 2020, you can also place widgets on the iPhone Home Screen (except the Dock).

Related: How to find, add, and remove Home Screen widgets on iPhone

18 solutions to fix widgets not working or refreshing on iPhone and iPad

Here’s how to fix widget problems in iOS and iPadOS:

Ensure internet connectivity

Most widgets need Wi-Fi or Cellular data (5G, 4G, or 3G) to refresh their information. For example, you can only get the latest stock numbers, weather report, or new email in their respective widgets if they can fetch new data with the help of internet connectivity.

Visit any webpage in Safari or play a YouTube video to see if you’re connected to the internet or not. In case you aren’t, fix Wi-Fi and Cellular data issues.

Restart your iPhone

In many cases, the widgets may not refresh due to minor, temporary glitches that can be easily addressed by switching off your iPhone and switching it back on.

Edit the widget

You have to edit some kinds of widgets after adding them to the Home Screen for relevant information to be displayed on it. Here’s how to do that. We’re using the example of the weather widget.

  1. Press the widget on the Home Screen and tap Edit Widget.
  2. Tap Location and select the right city. Note: You will see the cities here only if you had added them in the Weather app.
Edit Widget preferences on iPhone

This is also true for third-party widgets apps like Widgetsmith. Until you edit the added widget, you may not see any useful information, and the widget may just occupy the space showing a black or white area.

Check relevant widget permissions

Let us assume you use weather, maps, or reminders widget that relies on your location to refresh and show the correct data. If that app isn’t permitted to access your location or if you have turned off location, then the widget would naturally fail to work. Here’s how to fix that:

  1. Open the iPhone or iPad Settings app and scroll to the bottom.
  2. From here, tap the app name whose widget isn’t working.
  3. Tap Location and make sure the app is permitted to use the location. For that, select While Using the App or Always.
  4. In addition to location, make sure other relevant and necessary permissions are given to the app.
Check app's permission settings if its widget is not working on iPhone and iPad

Note: In case you don’t see the Location toggle in step 3, go to iPhone Settings > Privacy > Location Services and make sure it’s on. Next, tap the app name and allow it to access the location.

Enable Background App Refresh

Apps and their widget can fetch new content in the background when Background App Refresh is enabled. If you had turned it off to save battery, here’s how to enable it again to ensure the widgets update with the latest information on time:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh.
  2. Tap Background App Refresh and make sure it’s set to Wi-Fi & Cellular Data.
  3. Optional: Go back, and you can turn off Background App Refresh for unnecessary apps. Doing so will help save some battery.
Enable Background App Refresh for Wi-Fi and Cellular to ensure widgets refresh and update correctly on iPhone

Update the app whose widget isn’t working

Many times the widgets may not work due to a bug in the app. For example, if a third-party widget doesn’t refresh or work properly, go to the App Store and update the app. Doing so should make the widget work properly.

Disable Low Power Mode

In Low Power Mode, several activities like Background App Refresh, Mail fetch, and such are limited to conserve battery. If the relevant widgets aren’t updating with new information, go to iPhone Settings > Battery and turn off Low Power Mode.

Turn off Low Data Mode

With Low Data Mode, available for both Wi-Fi and Cellular, your iPhone uses less data on that particular network. If you’re on a limited plan, this may help but also create some annoyances like widgets failing to work properly.

To address this, go to iPhone Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options > Data Mode and turn off Low Data Mode. If you use two SIM cards, make sure to select a line to see the Low Data Mode toggle.

Next, go to the first Settings app screen, tap Wi-Fi > (i) next to your Wi-Fi network, and make sure Low Data Mode is off.

Turn off Low Data Mode in iPhone Settings to fix widgets not working issue

Update your iPhone or iPad

Suppose third-party or built-in widgets like Batteries, Weather, Stocks, News, Music, Notes, Reminders, App Store, Smart Stack, Calendar, Clock, Contacts, Files, Find My, Fitness, Game Center, Mail, Maps, Photos, Podcasts, Screen Time, Shortcuts, Siri Suggestions, Sleep, Tips, or TV aren’t working. In that case, the best solution is to update your iPhone or iPad.

To do that, go to Settings > General > Software Update and get the latest version of iOS or iPadOS that has most likely fixed the bug due to which widgets do not work or refresh.

Remove and add the widget again

If the widget continues to not work as expected, follow these steps to remove it and add it again to the iOS Home Screen:

  1. Press the widget and tap Remove Widget > Remove.
  2. Restart your iPhone.
  3. Add the widget once again by pressing any empty area on the Home Screen > plus icon > select the app > select widget size > Add Widget.
Remove and add widget again to iPhone Home Screen

Once you do this, the widget should work properly. And in case it doesn’t show the correct info, make sure you edit it with the right option (explained above).

Delete the app and reinstall it

In some cases, the widgets may continue to stay stagnant and refuse to work unless you delete the main app and reinstall it. You can start by offloading the said app, and if that doesn’t work, delete it entirely and reinstall it.

Temporarily change the device region or language

You can give this little hack a shot if widgets are still not working, refreshing, and showing the right data.

Go to Settings > General > Language & Region > iPhone Language and choose a different language that you know. For example, instead of English (US), try selecting English (UK) or English (India). You can also go with something entirely different like French or Spanish if you know these. After this, go to the iPhone Home Screen and see if the widgets work in a few seconds or not.

If not, you back to Settings > General > Language & Region > Region and select a different region. Again, go to the Home Screen and see if this region change has forced the widget to refresh and work or not.

Language and Region settings on iPhone

Once you have an answer, follow the same steps and set your correct language and region as before.

Tap the widget to refresh it

Most widgets are designed to offer you information right on the Home Screen. However, in some cases, you might have to tap the widget so that it can refresh and then display the latest relevant information inside the app.

This phenomenon mostly happens with third-party widgets.

Unlock your iPhone to fix blurred widgets

Some widgets like Screen Time, Contacts, or that of a bank app may not show any data in the Today View when the iPhone is locked. This is by design to prevent sensitive data from being visible on the Lock Screen. As of iOS 15, there isn’t a toggle in iPhone settings to give you a choice to show information on such widgets even when the device is locked.

Widgets not working on iPhone Lock screen
I swiped right on my iPhone Lock Screen to access the Today View. You can see that the big Screen Time widget and the Contacts widget have blurred the information. Once I unlock my iPhone with Face ID (or Touch ID), these widgets will become active.

Switch to actual, individual widgets instead of Smart Stack and Widget Stack

Are you using the Smart Stack widget or your custom Widget Stack and relying on it to automatically show you the appropriate information? In an ideal world, there is nothing wrong with this approach. But if due to bugs or any other conflicting issues, these smart widgets aren’t showing the right information, remove them and instead switch to the relevant individual widgets. Surely, this will take up a lot of space on the Home Screen pages, but you can put a few important ones on the Home Screen and the rest in Today View.

Use fewer widgets

If your Home Screen pages are loaded with dozens of widgets, consider reducing the number by getting rid of unnecessary or less important ones.

Reset all settings

Finally, if nothing helps, go ahead and reset all settings. This will almost certainly fix the ongoing widgets problem without affecting your photos, videos, apps, app data, and other personal stuff.

Reset All Settings iPhone

Contact the app developer or Apple Support

This is how you can fix the issue of widgets not working, updating, or refreshing on your iPhone or iPad.

In rare cases, if the problem continues and your widget issues have not been solved, please get in touch with the app developer and inform them of the problem or ask for help.

If all widgets don’t work or some specific widgets of built-in Apple apps don’t work, you can chat with Apple Support to get more answers.

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