'Why won't my Apple Watch turn on?': How to fix an Apple Watch that won't turn on or respond


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  • Don’t panic if your Apple Watch won’t turn on; there are several reasons why your Watch might not turn on, and most of them are easy to fix.
  • A drained battery is a common reason for an Apple Watch not to turn on; make sure you try a different charging cable and charger before assuming the issue is the Watch itself.
  • Various settings can make an Apple Watch appear dead or frozen, when in reality the Watch is doing exactly what it is supposed to.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

An Apple Watch that won’t turn on is about as useful as a pen with no ink, the difference being that the smartwatch probably cost you $200 or more. 

But don’t worry — there are many reasons why an Apple Watch screen might not be turning on, and most of them have a simple fix. 

Here we’ll go through four of the most common reasons an Apple Watch won’t turn on, and how to fix the problems. If none of these work, then you likely have a hardware issue that you won’t be able to fix yourself, but that might be covered by your warranty. 

So even if none of these fixes get your Apple Watch turned on again, don’t toss the thing out. Bring it to the Apple Store for a professional inspection.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

Apple Watch Series 4 (From $399 at Best Buy)

SEE ALSO: The best smartwatches you can buy

Check the battery, and check your Apple Watch charger

One common reason an Apple Watch won’t turn on is simply that the battery is dead. Connect the Watch to its charger, and if that doesn’t work, make sure you try a different charging cable and charger to see if your charger is faulty.

If your Apple Watch is still unresponsive after you try to power it with several different chargers, then move on to the next solution.

Perform a force restart

Your Apple Watch may be frozen. Forcing it to restart can unfreeze the operating system and get things working again.

Press and hold the two buttons (the larger, circular Digital Crown and the smaller oblong Side Button) simultaneously for 10 to 15 seconds. 

After the Apple logo appears, release the buttons and wait another few seconds. When the watch turns back on, it should work smoothly again.

Read more: How to turn your Apple Watch on and off, or force-restart it for troubleshooting

Turn off Power Reserve mode

Your Apple Watch has a Power Reserve setting that, as the name implies, saves power. In this mode, only the time will display, and the watch will not unlock. 

To exit this mode, press and hold the Side Button (thinner, oblong) for about 7 to 10 seconds. When the Apple logo appears, the watch is rebooting into its regular mode.

Turn off the Screen Curtain

The Screen Curtain mode keeps your Apple Watch’s face darkened even when it’s operating normally, only allowing interaction via voice.

To turn off the Screen Curtain, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, then go to the General tab. From there, tap “Accessibility,” then go to “VoiceOver.” Finally, toggle Screen Curtain off (the button will be on the left).

The Apple Watch should work normally again.

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

  • How to turn your Apple Watch on and off, and force-restart it for troubleshooting

  • How to update your Apple Watch to get the device’s latest features and software fixes

  • How to make a FaceTime audio call on your Apple Watch

  • How to lock and unlock your Apple Watch in a few different ways