Help! My Apple Watch Won’t Turn On! It’s Showing a Black Screen

A question from Jamie: I turned my Apple Watch off last night after it had a full charge, and now it won’t turn on. Just a black screen with the Apple logo. I tried doing a reset a few times and it’ll reset, but it still comes back with a black screen and logo. Does anyone know what might be going on with it? It’s literally been worn for one week now. No damage or anything done to it yet.

For whatever reasons your Apple Watch won’t turn on, try some of the methods shared below.

Check the Battery & Charging Cable

apple-watch-cables

This is the first thing that you should do. Checking the charger will let you know whether the battery is dying or something else is not working properly. Get started by plugging your Apple Watch to a charging stand and wait for it to charge. If hours have passed by and nothing is showing up, then observe the charging cable.

If you want to charge your Apple Watch via a computer, be sure to use a USB 2.0 or 3.0 port or else it won’t work. Also, the desktop or laptop has to be on and awake while the charging is in session.

Note: Don’t connect the USB to an external computer part such as a keyboard. Some keyboards have an additional port but don’t use that. The cable has to be plugged directly into the computer.

Apple Watch will not turn on after hours of charging

Ellayna Oliver asked a question

Sorry for the stupid question, does this mean it’s completely dead or what am I doing wrong? And it has charged when it has the read lightening bolt before. I’ve tried turning it on and it won’t even turn on.

Mine was dead for a few days, so I go to put it on the charger and it doesn’t come on and it’s super hot when put on the charger for like 10 minutes. I tried to hard reset it and it flashed the Apple Watch sign and then wouldn’t turn on. Has anyone had this issue before?

Michael Rosenfeld

Its dead. You need to charge it before it will turn back on. Maybe something is wrong with your charger or something

Melissa Day

I had this issue and it was my charger I had to buy a new one. My charger was brand new and it didn’t work still so I bought one off amazon and it started charging right away

Niq Niq

If your watch was dead for a couple of days, 10 mins isn’t long enough to get any kind of reliable charge.

Emc Matlock

Is your Apple Watch on Power Reserve?

Users are often mistaken their watch for a dead device when it’s just in Power Reserve mode. That’s entirely understandable because this feature disables everything. It will even stop the connection between your Apple Watch and your iPhone.

When Power Reserve is enabled, you will see a red bolt icon with the time next to it. Power Reserve allows you to continue to tell time while saving battery. As a result, it forces all other functionality to shut down.

To disable Power Reserve mode on your Apple Watch, you have to press and hold the side button till the Apple logo display on the screen.

Apple Watch Black Screen of Death

apple-watch-black-screen

Sometimes this happens where your Apple Watch is showing the “Black Screen of Death.” The device displays a black screen and nothing else.

Try pressing and holding both Digital Crown and side button for about 10 seconds until the Apple logo shows up. This is force restart, and it helps to fix static black screen problem on your Apple Watch.

Apple Watch died after swimming

Jennifer Pagonis

I have a 4 (bought maybe a month ago) and went swimming, and the Apple flashed across the screen a few times, then turned off. So when I got out of the water (which I was able to stand easily and it was maybe you to my waist – I’m 5’3) and now it won’t turn on. When I attach it to the charger, it keeps flashing the Apple. Then when I disconnected it from the charger, nothing. What’s happening most importantly, this is going to ruin my streak of 3 months of closed rings.

It sounds like the water resistance failed. Water lock prevents the water ‘tapping’ the screen. If you bought the watch from new. Take it to the retailer for support or contact Apple support. If it is a second hand watch then still contact Apple and see what they recommend. This is all I can advise as the watch is an enclosed unit. I have had 3 in the past 5 years and the past 2 I have swum with, no issues what so ever.

Dave Hoe

Yes take it back! I’ve swam with mine many times without water lock on, all that does is lock the screen from going wonky in the water.

Stacy Taggs

Apple Watch won’t turn on after software update

Merle Tippy

Update 10/2/2020 20:40 CDT:

Haven’t done anything to the watch since Tuesday, tried to turn it on after work this evening and it seems to be working normal.

Update 9/29/2020 18:00 CDT:

A senior advisor called me. After an hour of going through the same things I had already done they said they can put it in for repair. Since I’m out of warranty, if it is software they will repair it free of charge, but if it is hardware they estimate it will cost $235. I have to give them my credit card up front to start the process. I asked if they can look at it and cancel if it is hardware but repair if it is software. She put me on hold for a while and said they cannot do that. I told her I can get a brand new series 3 for $199, why would I pay $235 to fix this one? This is aggravating, but I told her to go ahead. I am absolutely certain this is a software issue with ios7.

Original post 9/29/2020 10:30 CDT:

So I posted the other day that I was having problems with my series 3 restarting after updating to WatchOS 7. I updated to WatchOS 7.0.1 last Thursday evening, my watch restarted 2 or 3 times on Friday. I had no problems with restarts over the weekend or on Monday.

That brings me to this morning, I wake up and my screen won’t come on. I press the side button and it doesn’t turn on, I press and hold the side button and Digital Crown to force a restart. Still nothing on the screen. I check Bluetooth in settings on my iPhone 8 and see that the watch is connected. I swipe right on the phone and see the watch battery is at 100% in the battery widget. Check the Fitness app on the phone and the watch is tracking activity, 142 calories, 6 minutes exercise and 5 hours stand, all about on par for a normal workday. After about 4.5 hours I check the battery in the widget on my phone and notice I’m in the red. It’s been on the charger an hour now, the widget shows it is charging, but it has hardly raised the meter at all.

I chatted with support this morning, they had me go through the same things I had already done to confirm the problem. On the second forced restart I did see the Apple logo briefly, but nothing since. They are supposed to have a senior advisor call me when I get off work.

Bottom line, if you have a series 3 and haven’t updated to watchOS 7, I would wait a while longer.

Leave a Comment

  1. Thank you. I was starting to freak out, I have only had my watch for 35 days and it went black on me and didn’t want to work. I tried the To turn off Power Reserve, all you have to do is press and hold the side button till the Apple logo display on the screen.” and it WORKED!!!!! Thank you!!!!

    Reply
  2. This still did NOT fix my problem. It still won’t go from the black screen. Tried everything so I’m not real happy seeing how I’ve had it for less then a month….

    Reply
  3. Same thing just happened to me. Was working fine a minute ago and it was fully charged. Now I have a black screen and the reboot option did not work for me. Very disappointed.

    Reply
  4. Mine is not working either. I put it on the charger and the apple logo goes on and off as if it turning on and off itself. It doesnt even go to the clock face. None of the solutions work for me.

    Reply
    • Hello Shawn,

      Sorry to hear that. Can you describe to me what went wrong with your device. Did you do anything technical with the Watch before this happen?

      Reply
    • I have the same issue. I experimented with android for about a year( biggest mistake ever). When I switched back a few weeks ago I pulled my Apple Watch out of my bedside table and put it on the charger and the Apple logo instantly came up, then I noticed that after about 7 seconds the screen went black for about a second and then the Apple logo came back up and the cycle repeated. I have bet found anything that has worked. Anyone know anything I can try?

      Reply
  5. Just had the same thing happen to me. The hard reset work. But then I was thinking…. WHY? There are lots of posts on how to fix it but not many on why this happens or that Apple recognizes it as a problem and is working on a solution

    Reply
    • I agree, I had to bring my watch back to the Apple Store because nothing I tried fixed the issue, they “sent” the watch out for repair and then a week later same thing again, but no clear explanation on why this is happening. So once again I have go to the store again. VERY frustrating

      Reply
  6. I want to thank you for your post. The tip on holding both Digital Crown and side button for about 10 seconds until the Apple logo shows up – worked for me.

    Thank you again

    Reply
  7. Yeey !!! Thank you so much for these tips !! I had that problem with the black screen and for a moment I clearly thought it will be dead for forever.

    Reply
  8. Thank You!
    My watch was only 5 days old and was having the black screen issue. Your post helped better than Apple Support!

    Reply
  9. My Apple Watch died after 2 months. I put on charger with no results. On 2nd day, I again put on charger and screen appeared with what looks like diagram of charging cord displayed with green lightning bolt. I had never seen this displayed before. It is now working, but I will keep my appointment with Genius Bar just in case

    Reply
  10. My watch went black and wouldn’t charge. I tried all of Apple’s instructions to no avail. My friend had the same happen to hers. She told me to impair my watch and start over. It’s working fine now.

    Reply
  11. Thanks this helped!!! Went blank and the force reset did the trick. Thank you – this is the first time this has happened and I have had this since 12/2015.

    Reply
  12. Thank you for this fix! When my Apple Watch went black, I went to the Apple site for guidance. They said hold the side button until the Apple appeared. No luck. Found your site and you recommended holding both buttons. Voila! It worked.

    Reply
  13. THANK YOU! Holding both the digital crown and side button at the same time for about 10 seconds until the Apple logo shows up worked for me. It has over 49% battery left so I don’t know why it went black but I’m glad it’s back. THANKS!

    Reply
  14. It seems this is a common problem. I’ve had my watch for about a month and now it’s the SECOND time this happens and NOW I CANNOT get it to turn back on!!! this is annoying. For what I invested in this watch?? For a little more I, could’ve gotten a Movado or Bulova. Watches Ive had over 20 years with no problem.

    Reply
  15. OMG. Thank you so much. I had my watch for around a month now and it went black in the middle of the day. Thought that i broke it and was flipping out. Thanks so much.

    Reply
  16. Very scary when it happens… just don’t panic. And make sure you press both buttons and firmly hold them both down for a minimum of ten seconds.

    Reply
  17. My watch seas working fine this morining then all of a sudden stopped. I thought maybe didn’t charge all the way so put it on charger still nothing bought new charger tried the hard reboot nothing. Don’t know what to do

    Reply
    • I’ve only had mine for about 3months and it stopped working and will not turn back on. I’ve bought a new charger and tried it and it still won’t work.

      Reply
  18. Thank you!! I have had my watch for almost a year and was in a panic when the screen went black! Holding both buttons down worked great! Hopefully it won’t happen again

    Reply
  19. Thank you SO much, John! OMG I spent an hour on the Apple site and got nowhere. I tried all the steps the suggested, but my watch was still black. The site said i needed to send it to them but first I needed to type in the serial number. I tried 5 times to put the number in, which was correct all long, but each time I was informed that it was incorrect! Total frustration!!! I went searching for help & miraculously, you were there! The site was not clear that both buttons needed to be depressed simultaneously! You made it clear & it worked! You saved me from being w/o my watch for weeks!!! Thanks!

    Reply
  20. I’ve tried all of the above steps with no luck. Is there something else I can do to get my apple watch back up and running. I tried holding both buttons for 10 plus seconds with no luck. Any other suggestions?
    Thanks

    Reply
  21. Thank you. The two button rule worked. Thought I wasted $800 with taxes and extended care. 4 watches in two months later, I found your post.

    Reply
  22. Hi, my Iwatch get black display. I restart with two buttons ,apear the logo apple but the display still black. The voice over talking,but without display. How i can fix to see all icons again,to have back in normal operation?

    Reply
  23. I just bought mine, sealed and still in the box brand new ( but bought second hand) I cannot turn it on, but it appears to be charging. Is this normal and how long should it take to be able to power on?

    Reply
  24. Problem is the Black Screen. Hard reset won’t work for me. Any other suggestions? If I missed them on this forum I’m sorry.
    thank you

    Reply
  25. I misplaced mine, and found it in the car about 4-5 days later in 90+ weather. I plugged it in to charge, and it’s been doing so for the past 3 days. Still hasn’t turned on. All I get is the image of a charger and green lightning symbol when I plug it in, if I press the crown and or the other button I get the same thing, but the Lightning symbol is red..nothing seems to work and I’m beginning to think that my watch is fried.

    Reply
  26. when your screen blacks out its called screen curtain press the digitsal crown multiple times repeatedly until your watch displays the apple logo and thensays “screen curtain off” and voila your watch will have its normal display back up and running !

    Reply
  27. Hi!! I’ve only got my Apple Watch Series 2 for les than a month and it went black with more than 60% charge. I tried all of the tips and solutions listed above but it still won’t work! I’M DESPERATE!!! PLEASE HELP!!!

    Reply
  28. Please help!
    I have mine almost a year, last night it fell on the floor, I charged as always during the but on the morning only black face
    Won’t restart ???

    Reply
  29. I placed mine on charge, then shut it completely off when it was done. The next day I go to turn it on, no apple logo, no power on, but it was warm when I placed it on the charger. I have tried all listed above, nothing. My watch is totally dead. My watch is over a year old and has worked great until this weekend. My phone also does not see my watch so it is something more serious I am thinking than a simple reboot. Bummer

    Reply
  30. Mine died over the weekend, nothing listed above has brought it back to life. I’ve had it for over a year and it has worked great until this weekend. It gets warm when on the charger, but my iPhone does see it and the screen is totally blank.

    Reply
  31. Hi my watch was off charge for 2 weeks while away on holidays, thought best to leave it off charge while away as I didn’t take the watch. Now Black screen then when I put it on charge I get the cord with the lighting bolt in either red o green depending if its on charge or not, I’ve done the press and hold both it took many goes but got the apple logo up but then nothing. Any ideas?

    Reply
  32. ok, my iwatch has black certain i can not fix it i try everything power is good but blur-toot is off, siri is off and i try everything i was told, no result can you help me

    Reply
  33. So this is happening to my apple watch now. this is an on-going issue? My watch is out of warranty (of course) and they want $200 to fix it. I feel completely swindled.

    Reply
      • I tried to charge the watch and it simply stays on the screen with the cord and green lightning bolt. Nothing happens from there no matter how long I charge it. I’ve tried resetting the watch by holding one or both buttons down for more than 10 seconds and still nothing.

        Reply
    • Hi Noreen, I have the same problem as you and I feel swindled as well. They want me to pay 395aud for the replacement. I want to complain about this but don’t know where to go. It did not work after the warranty has expired! The reason I purchased this watch is because I thought it will last me years considering its expensive. Plus, most of my devices are Apple. How did you go about yours?

      P.S. Hey, Apple! Not happy about this! I think you’re disgraceful for forcing us to replace our watch.

      Reply
  34. Had the same issue. Yesterday working fine, this morning I waked up and my watch was dead (I just charged yesterday), tried everything. I called apple support, they will send me a box to send it back to them to check.
    I don’t even have 6 months with it. Hopefully they fix it or replace it for free. No really willing to pay 200 for something wasn’t my fault.

    Any luck someone with the repairing process?

    Reply
  35. apple watch 2 is dead exactly after one year on the same date i purchased, it died, black screen and it’s warm while charging it for 3 hours and “thinking “it’s charging but it is dead. checked the power outlet (iphone7) and works on iphone and magnetic charger don’t know but as long as the watch is warm .. anyway they f**** alot late time. this is the first time after 6 years i consider changin’ everything.

    Reply
    • Buddy same thing happened to my apple watch series 2. It was on charger and when I lift it up, it did not turned on and first thing I noticed it was warn and even the charger too. Nothing worked! and warranty expired 2 months ago that mean mine is dead after 14 months.

      Reply
  36. I recently purchased an Apple Watch 2 second hand…they said it had never been worn. I believe that to be true, it’s in perfect condition. I’ve charged on two different chargers and it still will not turn on. I’ve held the two side buttons down for 10+ seconds and I’ve also hit the round button consecutive times. What else can I do to turn the watch on? When it’s been on the charger for several hours it gets pretty hot.

    Reply
    • Same is happening to me right now! This is the second one I get. First one Apple replaced it because the battery lasted 2-4 hours then die

      Reply
  37. Mybwatch will not charge and has a black screen! It was fine yesterday! I’ve tried everything you suggested and what Apple suggested! Help

    Reply
  38. So my iwatch went into power save mode on its on for about two weeks and wouldn’t allow me to do a hard restart or allow me to charge it. Now I have had it charging to 3 days and I now have the charging cord image with a red bolt screen. Still not allowing me to restart it. My phone is unpaired with the watch since it’s not working. I have only owned this watch for 3 months. Can someone please give me some advice, I can repair it since it won’t turn off. It won’t allow me to restart it so I’m confused!

    Reply
    • Any answers? This am I tried to reset it with the 2 crowns it showed the Apple sign for a second then turned off. Followed with a green charge cord I’ve never seen when charging then following that the screen returned to s black state and has become unresponsive exactly 1 year old tomorrow. Lol disgusting it’s like the hoax them so you go buy a new one. Big to you Apple

      Reply
  39. My watch is barely 4 days old.. the battery died one day… And it didn’t turn back on.. I tried the force touch and did everything.. it’s been charging for 4 hours but still black screen… I’m even getting a notification on my phone to pair my watch.. but I’m not able to… Please can anyone help??

    Reply
  40. I tried all of these tricks and nothing worked. I charged it last night so there is no excuse. I have had it for exactly 10 days!! I am pissed!!!!!

    Reply
  41. I tried all of these tricks and nothing worked. I charged it last night so there is no excuse. I have had it for exactly 10 days!! I am pissed!!!!!

    Reply
  42. My Apple Watch seams to be working but the screen is black no mater what I do. The 10 second hold doesn’t work for me how do I fix this?

    Reply
  43. I feel y’all’s pain, but I am MORE than frustrated! I received my watch from Apple.com yesterday, took it to the local Apple store today to pair it with my phone and learn a bit about it. It worked for several HOURS and then I got the black screen of death. Less than a DAY! It is going back to the local store in the morning!

    Reply
  44. I have the 3 series and I seen in needed an update so I did it. Once completed the screen went black and the hard reset won’t work. I made an appointment with Apple, they tried hard reset and nothing. They said because warranty is up I need to send it in for them to do a reset and it will cost me $249.00. UMMMMM NO!!!!

    Reply
  45. Don’t buy apple watch 5, lasts about a year then battery goes and then watch goes blank and doesn’t reset. A $430.00 paper weight.

    Reply
  46. I saw my watch with D time on D right side and D red lighting on D left side. Got scared that it was broken already so I watch youtube and Found out how to force restart it and then the apple logo appeared and I was happy seeing that my watch was working again. I charge it and suddenly D next morning it was just black screen until now for 5 days it was still on black screen. Tried everything charge it and still not working and force start still not working I dont know what to do now. Any suggestion Pls.

    Reply
  47. series 3 charges, even responds to buttons yet has black screen. reset did all apple suggestions. Screen stays black .

    Reply
  48. did update watch started to flicker then in two days went black. watch charges functions yet you cant see anything. Screen is black but works and speaks, tell time.

    Reply
  49. I’m having the same issue also though it’s fully charged which I can tell from my phone it’s a disappointing piece of device. Had the screen replaced by “experienced techs” and still nothing even after the last update, I can hear the time, weather alert and shit like that but can’t see anything on the screen, been banging my head with this …no other avenues. I’m starting to think maybe having an iDevice is not really beneficial anymore, not to mention the cost!

    Reply
  50. This needs to be a class action lawsuit. They must be purposely killing these lower models to force people to upgrade. This isn’t the first time Apple has been caught doing something like this.

    Reply
  51. Fear not, i just fixed the same issue with my Series 3. You for some reason have voice over turned on. Tit can be turned off from the paired iPhone, Or you can let the battery on the watch go almost dead ( into battery saver mode) hold the crown and bar until the apple logo comes on. When that resets it will ask for the passcode, enter it then the watch will tell you, you are in voice over, press the crown 3 times to turn off. NOTE: it may take a few tries to get the passcode to stay lit until the code is entered. Hope it works for you.

    Reply
  52. My I watch start vibrating then a speckled color background appeared. I can’t do nothing with it. How to I get my Iwatch to work again.

    Thanks,
    Jennifer

    Reply
  53. My apple watch is not turning on, it’s black with white light on. i tried doing what u suggested of pressing the crown and side buttons but the result is the same plsease help

    Reply
  54. Hello, need help, I didn’t wear my watch for a few days, now I can’t get it to turn on. I put it on the charger and nothing happens. I press the big button, the Apple comes on and then disappears. It’s a series 4. Thank you for any assistance.

    Reply
  55. hi i have an apple watch and it will show the apple logo then go off again i have tryed resetting it but no such luck any one help me please

    Reply
  56. Sorry for typing errors. Here is the corrected copy:

    I replaced the battery and touch force sensor on my Apple S1 watch. When I powered it up initially everything was fine, then later as I was securing the screen a full screen of hazy snow filled the screen, after which the screen went dead. I have tried everything to restore it to no avail. It is also not connecting to my iPhone. The only sign if life is when I press the main button on the side repeatedly I get a vibration followed by a tone. Any suggestions for resolving the problem would be appreciated.

    Reply

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