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How to fix an Apple Watch that won’t turn on

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 and various other models come with features that help you track your fitness and well-being, keep an eye on your heart rate, log your sleeping patterns, and more. However, Apple Watches aren't perfect, and you may find that yours isn't working as intended.




10 minutes

What You Need

  • Your Apple Watch

  • Your connected iPhone

For example, what's a person to do if their Apple Watch won't turn on? It's not an ideal position to be in, but it can happen. In such a situation, there are actions you can take to fix the problem.

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 laying on the ground, showing the Modular Ultra watch face.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Why your Apple Watch isn't turning on

Dealing with a situation where your Apple Watch won't turn on can be really annoying, especially if you use it regularly for health monitoring. Before jumping to conclusions, it’s worth keeping in mind that there are a few reasons why your Apple Watch may not be powering up, and many of them can be fixed by trying some basic troubleshooting steps.

What are these reasons? The battery may be drained, your charger could be faulty, or there might be a software bug. In short, there are a number of possibilities why your Apple Watch isn't turning on.

Post-walk fitness data on the Apple Watch Series 9.
Apple Watch Series 9 Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

How to fix an Apple Watch that's not turning on

The good news? There are solutions to most problems. Here are some things you can try to fix your Apple Watch if it's not turning on.

Step 1: The most obvious reason your Apple Watch isn't turning on could be that its battery is completely drained. Therefore, as a first troubleshooting step, connect your Apple Watch to its charger and wait a few minutes. Sometimes, if the battery is entirely drained, the watch may take a moment before it shows any signs of charging. If possible, try a different power outlet or charger. Yes, sometimes it’s that your power outlet is broken.

Step 2: If your Apple Watch still doesn’t turn on, the problem might lie with your charging accessories. Start by inspecting the cable and adapters for any signs of wear or damage. Also, make sure to clean the back of your Apple Watch, as dirt might be preventing a connection. You can use a lint cloth to gently wipe the back of the watch. Using a third-party charging dock or charger for your Apple Watch, such as an iPhone 3-in-one charger, could also be causing issues. To troubleshoot, switch back to the original Apple Watch charging cable and see if that resolves the problem.

Step 3: If your Apple Watch isn't powering up, it might be due to a software problem. In that situation, you can attempt a forced restart. To do this, hold down both the side button and Digital Crown on your device for around 10 seconds. You should notice the Apple logo coming up on your device followed by the startup sequence.

Step 4: Finally, if your Apple Watch is not turning on, it may have a hardware issue. To confirm this, check the wearable device for any physical damage that might affect its ability to turn on. If you cannot see any physical damage, there may be a problem inside the device, such as water damage. In such a case, it is recommended to contact Apple support for assistance.

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Bryan M. Wolfe
Bryan M. Wolfe has over a decade of experience as a technology writer. He writes about mobile.
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