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Common Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 problems and how to fix them

Whatever's the matter with your Galaxy Watch 5, this guide will help.

Published onMarch 7, 2024

A Galaxy Watch 5 Pro rests on picnic table displays its app library.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Samsung smartwatches are generally solid pieces of technology. The latest Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro are no exceptions. That said, smartwatches aren’t immune to problems or issues. If you’re facing an issue with your new smartwatch that you just can’t seem to fix, you’ve come to the right place. We outline the common Galaxy Watch 5 problems and a list of potential solutions to boot.

If you own Samsung’s latest and greatest, we also round up the most common Galaxy Watch 6 problems and their solutions.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 problems: Quick fixes

Usually, a simple reboot can resolve any issue with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5. That’s true with computers and phones, and it’s just as accurate for even the best smartwatches. Here are a few things you should consider before troubleshooting.

  • Before troubleshooting, forcibly reboot your watch.
    • To reboot your Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, press and hold the Home and Back keys on the right-hand side of your watch until the Samsung logo appears.
    • Rebooting your device before troubleshooting will either solve your issue or provide a clean slate on which to diagnose the issue.
  • Additionally, ensure your device’s battery is fully charged if possible.
    • This is especially important for diagnosing battery drain and updating problems.
  • Finally, if there’s a problem you just can’t seem to fix even after glossing through the help sections below, you may have to resort to resetting your watch to factory state.
    • To factory reset your watch: Open the Galaxy Wearable app > Watch settings > General > Reset > Reset.
    • If you’d like to back up your data before the reset, head to Account and backup in the Galaxy Wearable app > Back up and restore > Back up data. Select which settings and apps you want to save then tap Backup. Wait until the process is complete, then tap Done.

If you’re still facing any issues, read our more targeted list of solutions below.

Performance issues

Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 6
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

If your Galaxy Watch 5 is laggy, there are usually several possible reasons. It’s too early to call this watch hardware old, so it’s likely related to an app running in the background, a watch face problem, or a recent software update.

Potential solutions

  • If you suspect an app is causing the Galaxy Watch 5 lag, uninstall it. Removing apps you don’t use regularly to boost performance and save battery is generally a good idea.
  • Switch to a default Samsung Galaxy watch face if running a third-party face.
  • Check if any software updates are pending. Open the Settings menu > About Watch > Software to check if you’re running the latest version of Samsung’s software.
    • Importantly, waiting a few weeks before installing a new software package is a good idea. This ensures there aren’t any known problems with the software you’re inadvertently introducing.

If your Galaxy Watch 5 still struggles with performance issues, consider factory resetting the device.

Pairing and syncing issues

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Watch face
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Galaxy Watch 5 retains its predecessor’s Wear OS chops so you can expect a similar pairing experience. This process could not be simpler or faster if you have a Samsung smartphone. You’ll need to jump through a few hoops if you have another Android phone.

Before your can pair your watch to your phone, you’ll need the Galaxy Wearable app and the Galaxy Watch 5 plugin add-on.

Potential solutions

  • If the Galaxy Wearable app fails to find your device, try the following.
    • Restart your phone’s Bluetooth radio by switching it off and then on again.
    • Still nothing? Restart the Galaxy Watch 5 and your phone.
    • Ensure that both devices are close together and within line of sight.
    • If you can, try pairing your watch with another phone.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 pairing workaround

Notably, not all phones can pair with the Galaxy Watch 5. If your device lacks Google Mobile Services, doesn’t have at least 1.5GB of RAM, or is running at least Android 8.0, you won’t be able to use your watch with your phone. However, pairing may fail on some devices even if your phone meets these criteria. There is a workaround in this case.

  1. Download the Samsung Health app, and log in with your Samsung credentials.
  2. In the app, tap the three-button menu, then Settings > Accessories.
  3. Find your Galaxy Watch 5 model, then tap Register on the next page.
  4. Follow the prompts, and you should be able to pair your watch with your phone.

Charging issues

samsung galaxy watch 5 pro charging
Andy Walker / Android Authority

It’s essential to keep your Galaxy Watch 5 charged and ready for whatever you throw at it. If you’re facing charging-related issues, look at our troubleshooting steps below.

Potential solutions

  • Check if your charging brick is fully functional, connected to the wall, and the switch is on.
  • Be sure to use the official charging cable that comes with your watch.
  • If your watch still fails to charge, force reboot it.
  • Still nothing? Contact Samsung. You might have a defective device.
  • Is your Galaxy Watch 5 slow to charge? Check that you’re using a Samsung branded charger and can push at least 10W to devices.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro charging solutions

If you purchased a Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, you’ve probably noticed its most annoying aspect while trying to top up its battery. Thanks to the new D-buckle strap design, the watch can no longer sit flat on a surface or flush on its charging cradle unless you undo the band. There are a few practical workarounds to this.

  • You can slide the end of the band out of the clasp, allowing the watch to sit flat on a surface. However, this isn’t really a solution, as you’ll have to do this every time you charge your watch.
  • Alternatively, placing the watch on its side and allowing the charging cradle’s magnetic pull to keep it in place works well for us.
  • We’ve also seen users online hang the charging dock or cradle at the end of a table or shelf, which allows the watch strap to dangle freely.
  • In reality, we find that the D-buckle strap isn’t comfortable. Consider a more bendable strap that’ll allow the watch to sit flush on its charger.

Notably, if you don’t own a USB-C charging brick, the Galaxy Watch 5 series will happily use the Galaxy Watch 4‘s USB-A-ended charging cradle.

Updating and software issues

samsung galaxy watch 5 pro update installation screen
Andy Walker / Android Authority

Installing updates is an important chore for any smart device owner. Samsung offers lengthy support for its smartwatches and issues regular updates to patch any issues, fix bugs, and introduce new features. That means it’s pretty important to understand and rectify any issues relating to failed updates.

  • Before troubleshooting, check if your smartwatch has the latest software version.
    • Open the Settings menu > About Watch > Software.
    • Notably, not all regions receive updates simultaneously. If your area hasn’t yet received the latest update version, give it a week or two for Samsung to make it available.
    • In any case, we recommend checking for updates once again. Head to Settings > Software update.

Potential solutions

  • If your watch returns a failure message, you could have an internet issue, or your watch may have a problem connecting to your local Wi-Fi network.
    • To ensure this isn’t a problem, open Settings on your watch > Connections > Wi-Fi. Remove your network details from the watch by hitting Forget. Input your Wi-Fi network’s details once more.
  • If your internet connection is not an issue, and you can connect to other services, try pushing an update to your watch through the Galaxy Wearable app on your phone.
    • Open the app, then head to Watch settings > Watch software update.
  • While updating your Galaxy Watch, you may also encounter a “server has reached the daily download limit” error. Although this is more prevalent on the Galaxy Watch 4, you may run into it on the Galaxy Watch 5.
    • There’s no known solution for this problem, but we recommend updating your device at another time.
  • If a recent update seemingly introduced a new problem — perhaps your battery is draining faster than ever, or some apps and features no longer function correctly — consider factory resetting your device.
    • Generally, you may experience slightly higher battery usage after an update. We only recommend this nuclear option if your watch becomes borderline unusable.

LTE connection issues

samsung galaxy watch 5 pro connectivity
Andy Walker / Android Authority

Samsung’s 2022 smartwatches feature optional LTE support, allowing users to place and receive calls without their phone. However, you may run into an issue or two while setting up this feature or trying to use it.

Potential solutions

  • Some users have reported that while they can receive calls, they can’t make calls without their phone in range.
    • In this case, calling your service provider is a good idea. Your watch may not be provisioned to place calls on their network.

Battery issues

A user reviews the battery life remaining on her Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

For all its positives, Wear OS devices still lag behind the pack regarding battery endurance. Sure, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro’s much larger battery largely solves this issue, but you may occasionally run into some battery drain problems. Here’s how to fix them.

Potential solutions

  • Check if you have the latest update installed. Generally, Samsung issues updates to address battery consumption problems.
  • Alternatively, an update can also cause battery issues. Be sure to visit Samsung’s forums, Twitter, and Reddit to verify if other users are experiencing an issue with a newly minted update.
  • If an update is causing battery drain problems beyond just a few days, many have found a complete reset to be the best course of action.
  • Remember, however, that battery drain will often spike temporarily after a major update. This is pretty normal, so don’t do anything drastic when the issue may solve itself.

Other solutions

  • In some instances, Google Assistant’s voice activation was found to drain the Galaxy Watch 4’s battery. Switching this off may improve your battery life on the Galaxy Watch 5.
    • Open Settings on your watch > Google > Assistant. Toggle off “Hey Google” to disable the hot word activation.

Reducing battery consumption

If battery life is a top priority and you don’t mind nerfing your smartwatch, you can eke out a little more battery life by switching off or tweaking the following features.

  • Disable always-on display. The screen is often the biggest battery hog, so ensuring that it’s switched off will give you plenty of spare juice.
    • Open Settings > Display > toggle off Always On Display
  • Disable Raise wrist to wake. This feature can sometimes light up your watch erroneously.
    • Open Settings > Display > toggle off Raise wrist to wake.
    • Instead, toggle on Touch screen to wake.
  • Decrease the screen timeout duration. Realistically, we still feel 15 seconds is too long to have your smartwatch screen stay lit, but it’s the lowest available value for now.
    • Open Settings > Display > Screen timeout > set it to 15 seconds.
  • Disable GPS and location when not in use. You don’t need your watch connection to location services when you don’t need it.
    • Swipe down from the top of your watch’s home screen > toggle off Location on the Quick panel.
    • Alternatively, open Settings > Location > toggle off Location.
  • Disable continuous heart rate and stress monitoring. Toggling off this feature will make the Galaxy Watch 5 a less useful heart rate monitoring watch. It might be worth taking the battery hit to leave these features on.
    • Open Samsung Health > Settings > Heart Rate and Stress > select Every 10 mins while still.
  • Uninstall apps you’re not using. Apps running in the background that you don’t actively use are just sapping resources and battery life.
    • Swipe up from the bottom of your watch’s home screen to access the apps list. Tap and hold the app you wish to uninstall. Tap Uninstall to confirm.
  • Disable notifications for the apps you don’t need. Your Galaxy Watch 5 will ping your wrist on each notification it receives. Reducing this number to the essential apps will reduce your battery usage.
    • This is more easily managed via the Galaxy Wearable app on your phone.
    • Open the app > Watch settings > Notifications > toggle off apps under the Most recent on phone or watch section.
  • Activate Flight mode. Flight mode disables all radios, so it’s a good way to reduce battery consumption without killing any other features.
    • Swipe down from the top of your watch’s home screen > toggle on Flight Mode on the Quick panel.
    • Alternatively, open Settings > Connections > toggle on Flight Mode.
    • Using Flight mode overnight is a good idea to save battery for the following day. Switch it back on when you wake up.
  • If all else fails, activate Power saving mode. If you’re really tight on power, activate Power saving mode until you get to a power source.
    • Open Settings > Battery > toggle on Power saving.
    • Reduce power consumption even further by toggling on Watch only mode. This will disable all smart features on your watch.

Screen issues

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro in black titanium color metal strap on wrist showing red watch face
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

The Galaxy Watch series has always worn some of the best displays in the business, but this doesn’t mean they never experience any issues.

Potential solutions

  • If you’ve installed a third-party watch face and your screen no longer recognizes touches, reboot your watch. Once it boots up, change the watch face to a stock Samsung face using your Galaxy Wearable app.
    • Open the app > Watch face > select a new watch face.
  • Alternatively, your display may simply not respond to touches, even with a default Samsung watch face installed.
    • In this case, reboot your watch once more.
    • If the problem continues, contact Samsung support. Your issue may be related to faulty hardware.
  • If you’ve noticed that your watch responds to taps even if you aren’t touching the screen, it could also be a hardware problem. Contact Samsung support if your device is still under warranty.
  • If you have an issue related to raise to wake functionality on the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, software version AWB1 released in February 2023 provides a fix. Be sure to update your device to this version.
  • Your watch’s screen may be displaying horizontal or vertical lines. This is usually indicative of an impending hardware failure. If your device is still covered by its warranty, contact Samsung.
  • Details of your clock face may still be visible even if you switch screens. This image retention is common; changing watch faces or disabling the always on display mode fixes the problem.

Watch face problems

  • You may occasionally run into a “problem connecting to the network” issue while trying to download a watch face via the Galaxy Wearable app.
    • At present, there’s no known fix for this issue. We were unable to reproduce it. However, consider trying another Wi-Fi network or your phone’s data connection if it’s available.
    • You could also reset your Galaxy Watch 5 if it’s new, although the problem doesn’t seem to be related to the watch.
    • Consider uninstalling and deleting any data associated with the Galaxy Wearable app before reinstalling it on your phone.

App issues

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 in silver color with metal bracelet in hand showing apps closeup
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

Sometimes, the problem you face on the Galaxy Watch 5 may not be related to the watch. You might run into a problem with an app you’ve installed. Here are a few common issues and their known fixes.

Potential solutions

  • Google Assistant doesn’t arrive ready to go when you boot up your Galaxy Watch 5. You have to update it and activate it.
    • Ensure Assistant is installed on your phone. Then, open the Google Play Store on your watch, tap on My Apps > select Assistant > Update. Next, follow the prompts to activate it.
    • If you run into a problem during the process or can’t get Assistant to fire, consider uninstalling the app from your watch and phone. Then, reinstall the app on both, and log in to both with the Google account you intend to use. This should fix the problem.
  • Some users have highlighted issues with Spotify on their watches.
    • If you can’t download or play music from your watch, check if you’ve reached Spotify’s device download limit.
    • Try removing downloaded songs from one of your devices, then try to download tracks on your watch once again.

Fitness tracking and GPS issues

A Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro user follows an uploaded .GPX route.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

If your watch is tracking phantom steps or not following your run correctly, you may be able to remedy these problems relatively quickly.

Potential solutions

  • Is the green light at the back of your watch flashing even when it’s not on your arm?
    • Rest the watch side-down to ensure it doesn’t react to any reflections on a surface. This should force the watch to shut down the sensor.
    • You can also toggle off continuous heart rate monitoring.
      • Open Samsung Health > Settings > Heart Rate > select Every 10 mins while still.
  • Some users have noted that the Galaxy Watch 5’s GPS performance isn’t the best. While we didn’t have any particular issues, you can improve the accuracy by following a few steps.
    • Open Settings on your watch > Location > toggle on Improve accuracy. This will let your watch use cellular networks (if you have an LTE watch) and Wi-Fi networks to boost the accuracy of your location tracking.
    • If this doesn’t improve things, you may have to wait for Samsung to issue an update. A more recent patch did address GPS performance, so it’s clear that Samsung is aware of the issue.

Payment service issues

A Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro displays a Samsung Pay prompt screen.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Forgetting your wallet at home is no longer a problem when you have a credit card with a screen strapped to your arm. The Galaxy Watch 5, like its predecessor, can also make payments using Samsung Pay or Google Wallet. However, you may face a few issues with these apps.

Potential solutions

  • If payments previously worked on your watch but no longer does, here are a few quick, general fixes.
    • You will need NFC activated to complete payments.
      • Swipe down from the top of your watch’s home screen > toggle on NFC from the Quick panel.
      • Alternatively, open Settings > Connections > NFC > toggle on NFC.
    • Is the card you have on your watch still active? If it has passed its expiration date, you’ll need to apply for a new card at your bank.
    • Try a different payment app.
      • Select your default payments app by opening Settings > Connections > NFC > Payments > select your preferred payment app.

Band issues

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro D Buckle
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Plenty of official and third-party band options exist across the two Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 models. However, if the band you purchased the watch with has a defect of some kind, you should contact Samsung. In the US, Samsung’s wearables are covered by a one-year warranty.

If you want to spruce up your wearable, browse our list of the best Samsung Galaxy 5 watch bands. Alternatively, hit up the button below for more band options.

One UI 5 Watch issues

One UI 5.0 on Galaxy Watch 5 and 6 plus Wear OS 3.5 on Pixel Watch
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

The latest software version started rolling out to the Galaxy Watch 5 at the end of August 2023. One UI 5 Watch, while introducing some new features, is seemingly introducing some unforeseen issues, too.

Here’s a roundup of the common problems related to One UI 5 Watch on the Galaxy Watch 5.

Battery drain is more noticeable

We have a dedicated battery section above, but it’s worth reiterating that any time you install a major OS update, there’ll likely be a spike in overall battery drain. If your Galaxy Watch 5 continues to slurp battery life two weeks after installing One UI 5 Watch, consider reviewing the steps in our battery section.

Sleep tracking is inaccurate

Several users are highlighting inaccurate sleep tracking data presented by their newly updated watches. Again, it’s unclear what caused the problem, but there are a few practical steps you could take to remedy the problem.

  • Ensure you wear your watch snugly but not too tight on your wrist when in bed. Too loose or too tight will result in sketchy sleep tracking data.
  • If you believe One UI 5 Watch really is the issue, the only thing you can do is wait for Samsung to address the problem. We’ve seen several Reddit and Samsung forums users complain about unreliable deep sleep tracking, so at least you’re not alone.

What Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 problems have you come across? Be sure to let us know in the comments below. We’ll do our best to help.