Why not turn on my Apple Watch? What do you do

Quick answer

If your Apple Watch does not turn on, it may be dead or have charging problems. You can stick to a setting like Battery Reserve or Theater Mode, both of which create the appearance of a black screen. Eventually, you may be forced to restart the device.

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Why not turn on my Apple Watch?

An Apple Watch Series 7 rests on a black mat with an inactive screen.

Caitlin Simino / Android Authority

Before you give up, there are several possible reasons why your Apple Watch might not turn on. If any of the following issues do not apply to you, it may be time to pick up your device for a checkup at the Apple Store.

The battery of the device is exhausted

The most obvious reason your Apple Watch doesn’t turn on is because the battery runs out. Without the juice, it’s just a glorious bracelet. Fortunately, this is the easiest solution to fix. In Series 7, it only takes 45 minutes to charge from 0-80%.

Your charger is not working properly

If you leave your watch to charge and return to a device that has not yet turned on, your charger may be the culprit. Suitable for replacement of faulty third-party chargers or even a worn-out charger from Apple. There is a possibility that the outlet you are plugging in is not supplying electricity.

Your Apple Watch is frozen

Apple Watch can sometimes freeze or get stuck on the black screen. Often, this is the result of an older version of watchOS or a complex app.

Your Apple Watch is in power reserve or theater mode

Of course, your watch actually has a chance to turn on but uses a setting that limits your usage. With the power reserve, you will not be able to access clock features outside of time and communicate with your watch and iPhone. If you do not press the side button, your device will seem to turn off. Similarly, theater mode turns off audio alerts and disables the device’s ‘screen wake up’ gesture.

How to restart your Apple Watch

A user holds the digital crown and side buttons on their Apple Watch Series 7 to force a reboot.

Caitlin Simino / Android Authority

If (fingers crossed) you encounter a minor problem, one of the solutions below will help you restart your Apple Watch. If your watch is completely shot, it may be time to replace it.

Charge your battery

When your device runs out of battery, you need to charge it. Insert your charging cable into a USB power adapter plugged into a USB port or power outlet. Then place the concave side of the charger on the back of your Apple Watch. You will feel that the magnet has lined up your device.

Evaluate your charger and outlet

When lightning strikes the screen, you know your device is charging. If this does not happen after a few moments, there may be a problem with your power supply. Check your outlet with an alternative device. Make sure your charging block and wires are plugged in and your watch is properly aligned. If the outlet works and both the charging pack and the device are clean of debris, you may need to replace your charging cable.

Reboot your device

If your device does not charge, simultaneously restart by forcing the digital crown and side buttons to press and hold. Do this for at least 10 seconds or until you see the Apple logo. Your device may be frozen and may need juice when it is powered up.

Additionally, make sure you are running the latest version of watchOS available. Regular software updates ensure battery usage efficiency and ensure that you are error free.

Disable power reserve and theater mode

Apple Watch 6 Theater Mode

Mark O’Neill / Android Authority

To disable the power reserve, press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears, then wait for your device to restart. You may need to charge the device. To disable theater mode, tap your display, swipe up to open the control center, and tap the theater mode icon (two masks).

Read more: The best Apple Watch charger you can buy


Can I charge my Apple Watch overnight?

Yes. According to Apple, charging the Apple Watch overnight is not harmful.

Can my Apple Watch charger charge my iPhone?

No, your first-party watch charger cannot charge your iPhone, although iPhones now support Qi wireless charging.

Why is my Apple Watch dying so fast?

The latest model should last about 18 hours on charge, but a number of factors may influence that estimate. Read our dedicated guide to increase your battery life by adjusting your settings.

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