The Apple Watch is approaching a year old and even with a number of software updates there are Apple watch problems that continue to frustrate owners.
Here are common Apple Watch problems and how to fix many of the problems without going to Apple for help.
Small, but annoying problems are common with the first generation of a new device. For most users these Apple Watch problems are not a major issue, but some of these can break the Apple Watch experience for a small group of users and it may require sending the Apple Watch back to Apple for a replacement.
The Apple Watch went on sale in April 2015 and since that time Apple delivered several WatchOS updates designed to fix problems and bugs that can prevent owners from using the Apple Watch or form using all the features.
At this point there are not widespread Apple Watch problems to the level of iPhone 4 antenna problems or iPhone 6 bending complaints, but these issues and bugs are ones that you can fix or at least work around.
Apple Watch Problems
With that in mind here are the Apple Watch problems you need to know about and what you can do about some of these issues and problems.
You may see these Apple Watch problems pop up on the 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch models. In most cases the Apple watch issues impact the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sport alike, but there are some issues linked directly to the more expensive Apple Watch modes.
Here’s how to fix common Apple Watch problems on your own.
Fix Apple Watch Bluetooth Problems
Some users complain that the Apple Watch Bluetooth connection to the iPhone is not consistent. This is not a problem on our Apple Watch review units, but if it does impact your Apple Watch you can fix this with a quick toggle on your iPhone.
Turning Bluetooth off and then back on on your iPhone should solve this problem. If you continue to have this problem, you should attempt to re-pair the Apple Watch with your iPhone.
You should also make sure that your Apple Watch software is up to date and your iPhone software is up to date.
How to Fix Apple Watch No iPhone Connection Problems
Another issue that you may run into after using Airplane mode or turning your Apple Watch back on is a no iPhone connection error.
If that happens there are some things you can try to solve the problem on your own. The first step is to restart the iPhone by holding the side button and then sliding to power off.
You should also restart your iPhone so that it is set coming back online to look for the Apple Watch fresh. Hold the iPhone power button until you see the option to turn it off.
If that does not work you may need to jump to the last section of this guide to fix stubborn Apple Watch problems.
Fix Bad Apple Watch Battery Life
Overall the Apple Watch battery life is better than advertised lasting a full day in our tests, but there are some complaints form users who are experiencing bad Apple Watch battery life. Here are several solutions to fix bad Apple Watch battery life problems.
- Limit notifications – Notifications light up the screen push the Taptic feedback and cause you to use the watch. Limit useless notifications and your battery life will improve. Limit these in the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
- Use Bluetooth – When you are not connected to the phone by Bluetooth the phone resorts to WiFi which is not as power friendly.
- Turn off heart rate monitoring – Go to Apple Watch app -> Workout -> Power Saving Mode -> On. This will stop using the hear rate sensor during workouts to help the Apple Watch battery last longer.
- Reboot – Restart your Apple Watch. This simple solution can fix a lot of problems.
If all else fails you can turn on the Power Reserve mode to make the Apple Watch battery life last longer. Hold the side button and swipe left to right on Power Reserve.
You can open the Apple Watch app -> General -> Usage and scroll down to the bottom of the Apple Watch to see the battery usage and standby times. If these are the same then there is a problem with your Apple Watch and you may need to remove a problem app or start from scratch. You can also see your Power Reserve time on this page.
How to Fix Bad iPhone Battery Life With Apple Watch
Another common problem is bad iPhone battery life when connected to the Apple Watch. This is more common than complaints about Apple Watch battery life.
Noticed my iPhone's battery was abnormally low, especially for barely having used it today. So now we know why. pic.twitter.com/9sJuPrpH0Q
— Ryan Block (@ryan) April 26, 2015
When this happens you will see the Apple Watch app listed as one of the highest users of power and your Usage and Standby time will show as the same, similar to the image above.
If this happens you need to restart the iPhone and the Apple Watch and wait for them to reconnect. This should fix the problem for most users. If this does not solve that issue, you will need to pair the Apple Watch with your iPhone again.
If this issue continues, make sure your iPhone and Apple WatchOS software are up to date.
How to Fix Apple Watch Scratches
The Stainless Steel Apple Watch scratches pretty easily along the sides of the metal case. This isn’t from abuse or rough treatment. Instead this is due to the softness of the Stainless Steel.
Reports on Twitter, Instagram and Reddit detailed the scratches shortly after the Apple Watch release. The good news is that this is one Apple Watch problem that you can fix on your own for less than $10. Watch the video above and check out our walkthrough to fix Apple Watch scratches.
Apple Watch Problems for Users with Tattoos
Some users with wrist tattoos cannot use the Apple Watch to the fullest. The ink prevents the on-wrist detection for some users with dark wrist tattoos. This is not an issue with all wrist tattoos and this issue does not mean the Apple Watch cannot work on darker skin.
If you experience this problem, you can go to the Apple Watch app -> General -> Wrist Detection Off. This will remove the on body detection so that notifications come through, but this will not allow the Apple Watch to use Apple Pay.
How to Fix Slow Apple Watch Performance
One of the complaints about the Apple Watch performance is that it can slow down when you load a lot of apps on it. If you go to the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, you can limit the apps installed on your Apple Watch and this may fix the problem.
Go to the Apple Watch app -> Scroll down -> tap on an app you don’t use -> Tap on the toggle to turn off Show on Apple Watch. This will uninstall the app.
This will not fix apps loading information slowly on the phone, but does help in some cases with general slowdowns. Apple WatchOS updates have helped with the overall performance of the Apple Watch, so once again make sure you update.
How to Fix Apple Watch Charging Problems
If your Apple Watch does not charge when it is on the charger there is most likely not a problem with your charger or the hardware of your watch, but you will need to take steps to fix this problem. On the Apple Support Forums there are several complaints about the Apple Watch not charging. If this happens to you, try the following steps which Apple walked one of the users through.
“Turn off the watch (hold side button (while not on charge) and then swipe to power off like iPhone)
Then Reset the watch
- Hold the Digital crown and the side button and the same time until you see the apple logo
- Put on charger and see if it charges.
If this does not work do the following:
- reboot iPhone
- go to apple watch app
- in the apple watch app go to > general > reset > erase all content and settings
- wait for watch to erase and reboot to language screen
- Set up the watch until you see the app bubbles”
If these steps fail, make sure all of the packaging is off of the Apple Watch and the Apple Watch charger. If that fails you likely need to contact Apple for a replacement.
How to Fix Apple Watch Digital Crown Problems
If the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch does not control the watch like you would expect or is difficult to turn you may need to clean it.
Apple recommends taking the watch bands off, turning the Apple Watch off and then run warm water over the Digital Crown for 10 to 15 seconds.
After this is complete allow the watch to dry, turn it back on and see if your issue is resolved. If not you may need to contact Apple for support.
How to Fix Stubborn Apple Watch Problems
Sometimes you will run into an Apple Watch problem that won’t go away. You can use the following process to unpair your Apple Watch and iPhone and start over. As part of this process the Apple Watch will backup and you will be able to restore that backup if you want to get back to where you were.
- On your iPhone open the Watch app.
- Tap on My Watch and tap Apple Watch.
- Tap Unpair Apple Watch.
- Next, tap to confirm and if you have Activation Lock on, enter your Apple ID password to turn it off.
This will trigger a new backup, which may take a little while. Keep the iPhone and Apple Watch close until this is done. After it completes the Apple Watch will restart and you can point your iPhone at it to start the pairing process again.