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Apple Watch Won’t Turn On or Respond? (Easy Fixes!)

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Fact checked and reviewed

Writer, Apple

Over the last decade, Farhad has gained hands-on experience with smartphones, laptops, accessories, wearables, printers, etc. If he's not writing, you can bet he's trying to keep up with the latest technology. He oversees coverage of iPhone, iOS, and Apple Watch for Gotechtor.

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It can be frustrating when your Apple Watch won’t turn on or respond for no apparent reason. If this happens, you may wonder what’s the problem and how to fix it.

There are different reasons why an Apple Watch won’t turn on or respond to touch or notifications. The good news is there are usually simple DIY solutions to fix the problem.

This article explains why your Apple Watch won’t turn on and how to fix this problem and get your Apple Watch to work again.

See also: How to fix Apple Watch microphone not working

Why My Apple Watch Won’t Turn On?

A battery issue is the most common reason your Apple Watch won’t turn on. Other issues like software bugs and damaged chargers can also cause your Apple Watch not to turn on.

How to Fix an Apple Watch That Won’t Turn On

If your Apple Watch won’t turn on, you need to force restart your watch: press and hold both the Side button and Digital Crown for around 10 seconds, until you see the Apple logo.

If that doesn’t fix the problem, don’t worry. We’ve got more troubleshooting fixes to get your Apple Watch working again.

  1. Charge Your Apple Watch
  2. Force Restart Your Apple Watch
  3. Turn Off Screen Curtain
  4. Check Power Reserve
  5. Contact Apple Support

Keen in mind these fixes may also work if your Apple Watch is stuck on the Apple logo.

1. Charge Your Apple Watch

Your Apple Watch won’t turn on or respond due to a low or fully drained battery. Put your Apple Watch on its charger, plug it in and check if the charging process begins.

Apple Watch charging
Apple Watch charging. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

Let it charge for at least 30 minutes. Once it’s fully charged, try to restart it.

If your Apple Watch doesn’t turn on after some time, the charging cable or the socket may be broken, defective, or damaged. Replace your charger and check if the problem is solved. 

2. Force Restart Your Apple Watch

Minor issues and glitches may prevent Apple Watch from turning on.

Force restarting solves many problems and refreshes all processes, even if your Apple Watch cannot restart normally. To force restart your Apple Watch:

  1. Press and hold the Digital Crown and Side button.
  2. Keep doing it until you see the Apple logo.
  3. Release the buttons.

If you see the Apple logo, your Apple Watch problem is fixed, and you can comfortably use it. Also, your data and settings won’t be erased. 

3. Turn Off Screen Curtain 

Apple has a feature called Screen Curtain that allows you to use VoiceOver on your Apple Watch even when your Apple Watch is turned off.

This feature may become problematic and cause the Apple Watch not to turn on. You should check and turn it off to fix your Apple Watch that won’t turn on. 

Next, try to power on your Apple Watch

1. First, open the Watch app on your iPhone.

2. Then, tap on Accessibility.

Apple Watch Accessibility
Go to Accessiblity. Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

3. Choose VoiceOver.

Apple Watch Voice Over
Tap on VoiceOver. Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

4. After that, check if the Screen Curtain is on or off. Make sure you turn it off.

Apple Watch Turn-Screen Curtain-off
Disable Screen Curtain. Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

4. Check Power Reserve

Power Reserve mode on Apple Watch allows you to use your watch when the battery is too low.

Apple Watch Power Reserve
Check Power Reserve. Screenshot: Farhad Pashaei/Gotechtor

When this feature is activated, time is the only thing displayed; none of the other features work, and you can’t unlock your Apple Watch.

Make sure this feature is off. To turn off Power Reserve, press and hold the Side button for at least 10 seconds until you see the Apple logo.

Your Apple Watch will reboot, and Power Reserve will be off. 

5. Contact Apple Support

If none of the above-mentioned solutions worked, hardware issues might prevent your Apple Watch from turning on or responding.

If this is the case, it’s time to contact Apple Support or take your Apple Watch to the nearest Apple Store and let them fix the problem for you. 

Final Thoughts on Apple Watch that Won’t Turn On

An Apple Watch that won’t turn on or respond can be terrifying! Luckily these troubleshooting tips should help you power back on your Apple Watch.

You should ensure that the charger, cable, and socket are all in good working order.

Force restarting your Apple Watch may solve the problem. Sometimes the problem is too simple to notice, and you only need to turn off “Power Reserve” or “Screen Curtain.”

Let me know if this helped fix your Apple Watch that won’t turn on. If you found success doing something else, leave me a comment below!

Writer, Apple

Over the last decade, Farhad has gained hands-on experience with smartphones, laptops, accessories, wearables, printers, etc. If he's not writing, you can bet he's trying to keep up with the latest technology. He oversees coverage of iPhone, iOS, and Apple Watch for Gotechtor.

Farhad Pashaei

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