4 Ways to Restart an Apple Watch That Won’t Turn On

Is your Apple Watch unresponsive and has a blank screen? Before you contact Apple Support try these 4 quick fixes to restart an Apple Watch

The Apple Watch is a highly reliable piece of technology, designed from the ground up to work consistently day in and day out.

But inevitably as watches get older problems can occur – although sometimes a blank screen and a frozen or unresponsive Apple Watch can sometimes be easily remedied with one of the following quick fixes.:

1. Check that the Apple Watch is in Power Reserve mode

When the Apple Watch has a low battery it may not respond to wrist movement and onscreen taps because it is in power reserve mode.

To wake your Apple Watch press the large side button – not the digital crown – for at least 1 second and you should see the time displayed in green.

Wake the Apple Watch with the side button
Press the large side button for at least 1 second to see if the watch is in Power Reserve mode

2. Wake the watch up from Power Reserve mode

Press the large side button – not the digital crown – and keep it pressed until the Apple logo appears. This can take up to 10 seconds.

Note: if you see a red lightning icon to the left of the time display you will need to recharge your Apple Watch immediately.

Apple Watch recharge needed
If you see the red icon next to the time you need to recharge your Apple Watch

3. Force the Apple Watch to restart

If you still have issues with a dead or unresponsive Apple Watch, you can force the device to restart. Simply press and hold the Digital Crown and side button together for at least 10 seconds until the Apple logo appears and the Watch restarts.

Note: forcing a restart does not erase your settings or data on the Apple Watch.

4. Turn off Screen Curtain and VoiceOver mode

If you restart your Apple Watch and see the Apple logo but then the screen goes dark again and you hear a description of what’s on the screen you may have accidentally entered the Screen Curtain accessibility mode.

To exit Screen Curtain, do the following:

  • Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone
  • Tap General > Accessibility > Voice Over
  • Switch Screen Curtain off and switch VoiceOver off


Note: This article was first published on our sister site Phone Cruncher. It is the first in a series of How To articles where we explain how you can fix common issues with popular electronics products.

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