My Apple Watch Won’t Turn On! Here’s The Real Fix.

Your Apple Watch isn’t turning on and you don’t know why. You’re pressing and holding the Side button, but nothing is happening! In this article, I’ll explain why your Apple Watch won’t turn on and show you how to fix this problem for good.

Hard Reset Your Apple Watch

The first thing to do when your Apple Watch won’t turn on is perform a hard reset. Simultaneously press and hold the Digital Crown and the Side button for about 10-15 seconds. When the Apple logo appears on your Apple Watch, release both buttons. Your Apple Watch will turn back on shortly after.

Note: Sometimes, you may have to hold both buttons for 20 seconds or longer!

perform hard reset your apple watch

If the hard reset fixed your Apple Watch, here’s why: its software crashed, making the display appear black. In fact, your Apple Watch was on the entire time!

Make Sure Power Reserve Isn’t Turned On

When new people get their first Apple Watch, they’ll sometimes put it in Power Reserve mode and think that their Apple Watch isn’t turning on. When I first got my Apple Watch, I was toying around with this feature and thought the same thing!

Power Reserve is a feature that extends your Apple Watch’s battery life by disabling all of its other features except for the current time. You’ll know Power Reserve is turned on if it looks like the image below:

apple watch in power reserve mode

If your Apple Watch is in Power Reserve mode, press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo appear on the screen. When your Apple Watch reboots, it’ll no longer be in Power Reserve mode.

Turn Off VoiceOver and Screen Curtain

One of the more obscure features on your Apple Watch is Screen Curtain, which turns off the screen of your Apple Watch even when your Apple Watch is turned on. When Screen Curtain is turned on, you’ll only able to navigate your Apple Watch using VoiceOver.

To turn off Screen Curtain, open the Watch app on your iPhone and tap General -> Accessibility -> VoiceOver. Then, turn off the switch next to Screen Curtain. You’ll know the switch is off when it’s positioned to the left.

turn off screen curtain on apple watch

Screen Curtain only turns on when VoiceOver is turned on. If you don’t use or need VoiceOver, I’d recommend turning it off as well to prevent Screen Curtain from turning on again.

To turn off VoiceOver, go back to the Watch app on your iPhone and tap General -> Accessibility -> VoiceOver. Then, turn off switch next to VoiceOver at the top of the screen.

turn off voiceover apple watch

Inspect Your Apple Watch Charging Cable

When your Apple Watch won’t turn on, try charging it with a few different magnetic charging cables and a few different chargers (your computer’s USB port, a wall charger, etc.). If you notice that your Apple Watch isn’t charging with one specific charging cable or charger, then there’s a problem with that cable or charger, not your Apple Watch.

If there’s an issue with your Apple Watch’s magnetic charging cable, you may be able to get it replaced for free if your Apple Watch is covered by AppleCare+. Take it into your local Apple Store and see if they’ll replace it for you.

If none of your charging cables or chargers are working, take a look at my article on what to do when your Apple Watch won’t charge.

Potential Hardware Problems

If your Apple Watch still isn’t turning on, there may be a hardware issue causing the problem. A lot of the time, Apple Watches stop turning on after being dropped or exposed to water.

But I Thought My Apple Watch Was Waterproof?

Your Apple Watch is water-resistant, not totally waterproof. Although AppleCare+ covers up to two incidents of accidental damage, it might not cover water damage. It’s not explicitly clear what types of accidental damage AppleCare covers for the Apple Watch, but warranties for iPhones do not cover water damage.

Repair Options

If you believe there’s a hardware problem with your Apple Watch, set up an appointment at your local Apple Store and have them take a look at it.

Your Apple Watch Is Turning On!

Your Apple Watch has turned back on and you can start using it again. Next time your Apple Watch won’t turn on,  you’ll know exactly how to fix the problem. Feel free to leave any other comments you have about your Apple Watch in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading,
David L.

About Author

David Lynch is an expert on cell phones, cell phone plans, and other tech. After using a flip phone into his early 20s, he learned the ropes about iPhones and Androids from a former Apple employee. Today, his articles and videos are read and viewed by millions, and he has been cited by major publications including Reader's Digest, Wired, CMSWire, Consumers Advocate, and more.

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Larry
10 months ago

My Apple Watch was working fine no problems always came on always work I took it off and put it up for a year and a half now when I put it on the charger it will not come on the Apple sign shows up and then it goes blank

D c
10 months ago

I just got my Apple Watch SE in the mail and it won’t turn on. I tried charging it and holding down both buttons for an extended time and still get nothing, any suggestions?

Why oh why
1 year ago

Hi I have an Apple Watch series 3. I went swimming with it as I have done many times in the past and this time when I shut it off later that night it won’t turn back on, when I try to to reset it (holding the wheel and button) the apple logo comes on the screen and then nothing happens. It doesn’t turn on. What can I do for that?? Pls let me know

RJv
10 months ago
Reply to  Why oh why

Any luck? A similar situation here.

FELLIPE DE LIMA SILVA
1 year ago

thanks man

Tracey Palmer
1 year ago

Thank you. I’ve only had mine for a couple months and wasn’t sure what to do. I purchased mine from a private seller.

Carder
1 year ago

Hi David my apple watch is not turning on when I hold both of the buttons i wont give me the apple logo is just gives me a black screen

Kurt Fletcher
1 year ago

Hi David,
I have followed the directions and my Series 4 has been on the black screen with the Apple Logo for near 2hrs.
Do you have any solutions?

Zurna Fields
1 year ago

Thank you thank you oh this was so easy I’ve been trying for three days to wake my watch up touching the two buttons at the same time woke my watch right up thank you thank you

Mike Walsh
1 year ago

“watch” not “phone” in my second post of course.

(Edit doesn’t work) If the admin could amend that post and delete this one, it would be great.

Mike Walsh
1 year ago

“After time spent” in my post.

This is a polite way of saying that I have no idea when and why the watch turns itself on again. It has taken on occasion about 15 mins of fiddling around. Sometimes it seems to only work when I just click on the crown or click on the side-button after long minutes of trying crown+side button or side button only.

Turning it off on the other hand (with Crown+side button) seems to always take 15 secs.

Mike Walsh
1 year ago

IPhone shows Apple Watch battery is at 100%. Software Update in the watch app says the Watch is locked. Bluetooth in the iPhone shows the watch is connected. The screen stays dark.
Crown+side button will turn the watch off (iPhone no longer shows it alongside the Phone’s battery level). After time spent either pressing the side button or the crown+side button the battery shows 100% on the iPhone again. But the screen during the entire process stays dark.
Would a Re-set in the watch app help?

Murali
1 year ago

My Apple Watch 3 is stuck on the “Reset” screen. If I press Cancel, it goes to the Apple logo screen and the Reset option comes up again. If I press Reset, it begins to reset. The circular bars appear on the rim and quickly complete a circle, followed by the Apple logo. Then, the bars reappear and start sweeping the face slowly. This time, when the bars reach 4 O’clock position, it goes back to the reset option screen. The problem started after I accidentally pressed the crown and side button numerous times while attempting to remove my sport… Read more »

Iris
1 year ago

If my watch feels hot and I never see the Apple logo, could it be the battery? I also tried pressing the button for more than 30 seconds. Please help!

Amanda gradu
1 year ago

My Apple Watch hasn’t been charged for a minute. I put it on the charger and it still hasn’t turned on.

Larry
10 months ago
Reply to  Amanda gradu

Apple Watch people or company should tell Apple owners that if you turn your watch off and don’t use it for over a year or two, Your Apple Watch won’t start back up. The apple sign will show on your watch and then go blank

Hannah
10 months ago
Reply to  Larry

Is there no way to fix this?

John P Pierce­ Jr
1 year ago

I do a walking workout where I usually walk 3-4 miles. Today I walked 4.13 miles. Closed the workout
and by the time I got home my watch said I walked 10.1 miles

clarence hearne
1 year ago

my apple watch still want come on unless it on the charger

Editor
Colin Boyd
1 year ago

Hi Clarence, that sounds like it could be a hardware issue. I’d recommend reaching out to Apple Support directly to find out what your repair options are. If you go to the Apple Store, make sure to bring your iPhone, Apple Watch, and Apple Watch charger with you for the diagnosis. Sorry we couldn’t be of more help, best of luck getting this issue resolved!

Sharon Johnson
1 year ago

Impressed the buttons as directed. The apple sign comes up but the watch still doesn’t’t come all the way on. The apple sign comes on every so and off like its trying to reboot but it not being successful.

Editor
Colin Boyd
1 year ago
Reply to  Sharon Johnson

Hi Sharon, that sounds like it might be a hardware problem. I’d recommend going directly to an Apple technician to try to get this error diagnosed. Sorry we couldn’t be of more help, best of luck!

Kathy Baker
1 year ago

Nothing has worked! Apple symbol shows , goes dark then a lacy circular design appears with a tiny apply inside. Printed around this design are the words “38MM aluminum case designed by apple in California”. When on the charger, it shows watch is completely charges.

Editor
Colin Boyd
1 year ago
Reply to  Kathy Baker

This sounds like it could be a hardware malfunction. Can you think of any recent occasions where your Apple Watch might have been damaged before this problem arose?

Amy
1 year ago
Reply to  Kathy Baker

I have the same issue. Were you able to fix your iWatch?

Judy. Rice
2 years ago

I’m still having trouble getting out of power saver

Richard Cooke
2 years ago

Thanks for the tip , i I had to hold the buttons down for a while , but it turned back on .?

Liam Shotwell
2 years ago
Reply to  Richard Cooke

It does tend to take a while. I’m glad this was helpful for you! ?

Kel York
2 years ago

Thanks David. My Apple 6 watch would not turn on. Your hard-set suggestion worked a treat.

Zach Hackbarth
2 years ago

None of these helped. I even took my watch in and they put a new battery in and said everything looked perfect so he has no idea what the problem is. It just won’t turn in.

Lauryn McIntyre
2 years ago

my apple watch still won’t turn on and i lost it last year and just found it

Deborah
2 years ago

Mine will show apple logo for a few moments and then off it goes again!

Olabiyi Samuel
1 year ago
Reply to  Deborah

Mine too. How did you fix it eventually? Pls help.

Lee
1 year ago
Reply to  Deborah

I have the same problem, was this ever resolved for you?

Conor
2 years ago

my watch is completely dead won’t turn on did everything that was suggested still dead not sure what next steps are any suggestions

Liam Shotwell
2 years ago
Reply to  Conor

If you’ve tried all the steps in this article and your watch is still unresponsive, you should reach out to Apple for a replacement watch.

Anonymous
2 years ago

My Apple Watch shows a red power bolt with green time ive tried multiple chargers and holding down the side buttons but it still won’t work what do I do

Karen
2 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

My Apple Watch only shows the red power bolt and green time How do I fix this please

Ann
1 year ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Same; were you all able to fix it?

dark.18
1 year ago
Reply to  Ann

How did you get it fixed? I’ve been getting this issue for 2 days already and my watch is no longer covered by warranty.

Dhwanit Kailash
2 years ago

Thanks David Thank you so much for helping me with my Apple Watch

Brian
2 years ago

Thank you so much!

Monica
2 years ago

I’ve tried everything and I can’t get my series 1 to do anything

Carla
2 years ago
Reply to  Monica

Did you get it going ?

Blanca Montano
2 years ago
Reply to  Monica

Same… just happened to me 🙁

Monica
2 years ago

Why can’t I gey watch to charge or turn on

Monica
2 years ago

My apple watch series 1 will not charge or come on now what?

Dee
2 years ago

my Apple Watch series 1 stopped coming on or charging. We changed the battery & it will only show the Apple logo during a reset but will never come on. Tested charging cord & it is working. Please help. I haven’t used it in almost 2 years other than a day here or there but need to use it for my health condition now. Thanks in advance. We even got another battery from the seller but still doing the same thing with the second new battery

Jade
2 years ago
Reply to  Dee

this crazy and weird at the same time because i am having the same problem. Mine is series one and today i just decided to bring it back out after like a year because i need it tomorrow to work out for basic training. /: it’s a black screen and it won’t charge or turn on.

nasim
2 years ago
Reply to  Dee

I have the exactly the same problem! the funny thing is I chatted with apple support today and told me to buy a new one!!!

Gamble
2 years ago

My Apple Watch series 4 won’t turn back on and is looping with the Apple logo. How can I get my watch back on? Thanks so much in advance.

Taylor
2 years ago

i just got an apple watch from my dad and it only has the apple symbol when charging then i take it off the charger and nothing happens. its been charging for 3 hours. can i fix this

HollyAnn
2 years ago
Reply to  Taylor

That’s exactly what mine does. I can’t find a fix for it.

Robert Price
2 years ago
Reply to  Taylor

Any luck with fixing it? I am having the same issue? Thsnks

Naveen
2 years ago

My issue with apple watch 4 cellular started 4 days back immediately the power went off , i recharged with different connections like changing cable , via car port, via laptop and portable charger .Checked with pressing the two side buttons other than a red and green loop coming nothing happened -pls help

Brown
2 years ago
Reply to  Naveen

Hi. Did you get it fixed yet?

Ali
2 years ago

I got the orange circle ? with the I!

Erika
2 years ago

I have the Apple Watch series 1 and was working perfectly until yesterday that I did the software update and went off .. I can’t turn it on.. I have been trying all day n nothing… what happened?!.. can it be fixed?!

Monica
2 years ago
Reply to  Erika

Anyone know how to fix this problem mine won’t do anything

Karisa
2 years ago

Hello!
 
My apple watch is getting really hot while on the charger. I only leave it on there for a short amount of time. The watch has a black screen. It was working the other day when I went on a float trip. I was able to do as instructed when around water. I then shut it off and put it away to save what battery was left. The next morning it would not turn on. It won’t even show the lightning bolts when I have it on the charger and it is still getting really hot to the touch.

Justice
2 years ago
Reply to  Karisa

Hi! I am having the same problem. I dropped my watch in the water and ever since then it wont turn on or show the apple logo…My watch is the series 3. But i put it in rice and put it on the charger but it will not turn on. But it is really hot. I tried the reset where you hold the two side buttons but that did not work either. There is also a slight blue tint on all off the corners.

Mihai
2 years ago
Reply to  Justice

Yep, same problem as you? Did you find a fix?

Margie
2 years ago
Reply to  Mihai

Same problem as Justice, did you find a remedy? Or is it just dead?

cristine
2 years ago
Reply to  Margie

Same case ?

Phi
2 years ago
Reply to  Karisa

I have a series 3 watch. Went into a pool with my watch on for the first time (my watch has only touched water when I wash my hands or do the dishes). At first, the screen was black then went to the enter passcode screen, but every time i tried to enter my passcode it would delete the number I pressed, then it turned off and never came back on. Stuck my watch in rice for over 24 hours, nothing. Tried the steps above and still wont turn on. Tried charging it, it would get hot but never turn… Read more »

Lexi
2 years ago

Hi! Tonight, I was turning off my Apple watch to go to sleep (power reserve) and then i realised that i didnt do something so i tried to turn it back on and all i can see is the apple logo. when i pressed the two buttons down to turn it on the alert thing came on and i followed the instructions on apple but nothings working. i just got it today too! it was on for like three minutes and i put on the factory reset and nothing has happened still. ive tried plugging it in too. what should… Read more »

Liam Shotwell
2 years ago
Reply to  Lexi

Let it charge and see if it will turn on again after a while. If not, your model might be defective and you might want to take it back to the store to have it looked at. It’s very rare, but sometimes products ship with defects that weren’t caught at the factory. If it’s broken they will be more than willing to replace it.

Clydette
3 years ago

Concise,clear, easy to understand and it worked thank you! thank you! thank you!

Clydette
3 years ago

Great fix!!! Thank you!!!

Elder
3 years ago

It worked!!! Thank you

Mahendra kumar
3 years ago

My apple series 4 40mm is not turning on and not charging

Anonymous
4 years ago

I changed the screen to my series 1 I watch and it wont turn on

Anonymous
4 years ago

Thx for the tip now shes back in working order.

Anonymous
4 years ago

nice job you saved me headache and a road trip,friends. Thanks for taking the extras time it took to do this…….Awesome!

Anonymous
4 years ago

Thank you so much for this.

Anonymous
4 years ago

I did the hard reset for 20secs and still havent turned back on. Thank you though

Anonymous
4 years ago

Thank you for this! I thought I was going to have to drive 1.5 hours to the Apple store!

Anonymous
5 years ago

Thanks a lot!!!