Links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.
Why won't my Apple Watch turn on? Here's why (and what to do)
Among smartwatches, an Apple Watch’s battery life is notoriously short. But before you can drain it, you’ll need to turn the device on. If you find yourself facing a stubbornly black screen, read below to learn why your Apple Watch won’t turn on and what you can do about it.
If your Apple Watch doesn't turn on, it might be dead or facing issues charging. You could also be stuck on a setting such as Battery reserve or Theater mode, both of which create the appearance of a black screen. Finally, you may need to force the device to restart.
JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS
Why won’t my Apple Watch turn on?
Before you give up, there are a few fixable reasons your Apple Watch may not be turning on. If none of the problems below apply to you, it could be time to take your device in for a checkup at an Apple store.
The device is out of battery
Your charger isn’t working properly
If you left your watch to charge up and came back to a device that still won’t turn on, your charger may be the culprit. Faulty third-party chargers or even a worn-out one from Apple are worth replacing. There is also the possibility that the outlet you are plugging into isn’t supplying power.
Your Apple Watch is frozen
Apple Watches can sometimes freeze or get stuck on a black screen. Often, this is the result of an outdated version of watchOS or a glitchy app.
Your Apple Watch is in Power Reserve or Theater Mode
There is also a chance your watch is actually on but using a setting that limits your use. In Power Reserve, you can’t access watch features beyond the time, and your watch and iPhone can’t communicate. Unless you press the side button, your device will appear to be off. Similarly, Theater Mode turns off audio alerts and disables the device’s ‘raise to wake screen’ gesture.
How to get your Apple Watch to turn on again
If (fingers crossed) you’re facing a minor issue, one of the solutions below will likely help you get your Apple Watch turned back on. If your watch is completely shot, it may just be time to replace it.
Charge your battery
If your device’s battery is dead, you need to charge it. Insert your charging cable into a USB port, or USB power adapter plugged into a power outlet. Then place the back of your Apple Watch against the concave side of the charger. You will feel magnets align your device in place.
Assess your charger and outlet
You will know your device is charging when a lightning bolt appears on the screen. If this does not occur after a few moments, you may have an issue with your power supply. Check your outlet with an alternative device. Confirm that your charging block and cable are plugged in and your watch is aligned correctly. If the outlet is working and both the charging pack and device are clear of debris, you may need to replace your charging cable.
Reboot your device
If your device doesn’t charge, force a restart by simultaneously pressing and holding the Digital Crown and side button. Do this for at least 10 seconds or until you see the Apple logo. Your device may have frozen and could require juice once it powers up.
Additionally, make sure you are running the latest version of watchOS available. Regular software updates ensure battery use efficiency and make sure you are free of bugs.
Disable Power Reserve and Theater Mode
To disable Power Reserve, press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears, then wait for your device to restart. You will likely also 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 chargers you can buy
Yes. According to Apple, it is not damaging to charge the Apple Watch overnight.