15 Annoying Apple Watch Problems & How to Fix Them (A Beginner’s Guide)

Apple has sold more than 9 millions of their smartwatches during Q4, according to an estimate from Canalys. With it comes a few bugs here and there that might have put users into frustration.

We all know that the Apple Watch, both Series 1 and 2 still have room for improvements. Be it the software side of thing or even hardware. Many useful features such as sleep tracker still haven’t built as a native functionality. Things as small as apps aren’t still working properly for many Apple Watch owners.

In this post, we try to break down as many problems that can occur on the Apple Watch as we can and hopefully provide you with helpful advice on how to fix them.

Before we dive into the resolutions, let’s take a look at the infographic below.


Apple Watch showing Black Screen

Any smartphones or watches will have its up and down time, the Apple Watch is no exception. If all you see on your wrist is a black screen, chances are the watch is either turned off or ran out of battery.

The first thing you should do is press and hold the side button. This is called rebooting. If it gets on, awesome!

If that doesn’t work, try pressing and holding the side button and the digital crown for ten seconds. This will be addressed as a hard reset. If your Apple Watch is turned back on it was probably low on battery and if it doesn’t, it has run out of battery. Time for a quick charge.

Showing red lightning bolt next to the time in green


If this is what you see on your watch, it’s telling you that your watch is in low battery. You will not be able to access main features and the only option you’re left with is to charge the watch. Power Reserve mode is designed to save battery so that the watch can work for an extended period.

As evident from your Watch’s size, it does not contain a very large battery, and thus, conservation is necessary. To switch it to normal mode, reboot it.

To reboot your Apple Watch: Press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo.

Unresponsive Screen

When there are too many actions being process on the watch at once, it can completely stop working altogether. This will lead to either your Apple Watch shutting down or showing unresponsiveness.

If the watch gets powered off, just press the side button to turn it back on. If the screen doesn’t respond to you, just reboot it as we did earlier. If you want to look more into this problem, we have a dedicated post for that here.

Apple Watch stuck on Boot Loop

Boot loop mostly happen when you try to upgrade your watch to a newer watchOS firmware. We hardly experience such issue but it does happen to some users.

To get out of a boot loop, start with holding down both Digital Crown and side button until you see the Apple logo. Sometimes, it will take several tries until you can nail it. Unpairing the watch also worked for several people as well. You can always re-pair them.

Stock applications not working

Native applications are apps that were built right into your iPhone (now they gets synced to your Apple Watch). These type of apps suppose to “just works.” However, they sometimes can crash instantly upon launch.

There are multiple ways to fix app crashing issues on the Apple Watch. You can start off with some basic stuff such as restarting the watch or hard resetting it.

If none of that works, take a look below.

How to Fix Native Apps Not Opening on Apple Watch

  1. Quickly make a backup of the iPhone through iCloud
  2. Create an iTunes Encrypted Backup
  3. Launch the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and erase all contents
  4. Reset your iPhone back to its factory Settings. You can do that via iTunes or right on your device. I found that doing it directly on your iPhone work the best. So, go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings
  5. Connect your phone to the computer and restore from backup using iTunes

Since both devices are now back to its factory settings, set them up and pair your iPhone with your Apple Watch again.

The Weird Method

  1. Connect both Apple Watch and iPhone to its charger
  2. Open the Music app on your iPhone and play a song from there
  3. Identify the apps that won’t open in watchOS 2 then go to the Watch app
  4. There should be an option that says Show App on Apple Watch, turn it Off and back On

This one was provided by Apple Support and not sure how playing music on your phone would contribute to the fix, but it seems like a viable option.

Keynote App Keeps Crashing

The Keynote application on your watch will allow you to quickly control keynote presentations right on your wrist. It makes changing slides more convenient without having to walk back and forth repeatedly over to your Mac.

Just like any other apps, sometimes it might not function as it usually does. A lot of people have reported crashing issues on their Keynote app.

What to Do When Keynote Keeps Crashing?

  1. On your iPhone, go to the Watch app
  2. On the My Watch page, scroll down until you see Keynote app, and tap on it
  3. Toggle Show App on Apple Watch to Off
  4. Wait a few mins and re-enable it

Update #1: The latest version of Keynote app will automatically resolve this issue. If you haven’t get the update, do so now from the App Store.

Instagram Not Working

Instagram can be distracting at times, but it provides a convenient way to look through your IG’s feed, like other people photos, and check your activity app.

When you install Instagram on your Apple Watch, don’t expect it to work right away. Errors like this should show up.

Shared by a user from the Apple forum.

To fix this issue:

  1. Log out of Instagram on your iPhone
  2. Remove the app
  3. Re-install it from the App Store
  4. Log back into your account

Yeah, I know! Enough said.

Can’t Send or Receive iMessages

We wrote an article like this just to show you how to fix common problems with the iMessage feature on your Apple Watch. These issues include

  • unable to receive messages
  • iMessage stopped syncing
  • activation error

We recommend you checking it out.

Hey Siri Command Won’t Work

What’s the use of Siri when you can’t activate your personal assistant with its default “Hey Siri” command? This happened a lot to some users.

A quick disable / enable the Siri setting on your iPhone should resolve this problem. If it doesn’t, see this guide.

Can’t Check the Weather

I don’t know about you but checking the weather and current temperature from my Apple Watch is the most satisfying thing ever, especially on a sunny day. If the app has stopped working for you, there are a few ways to fix it.

  • Enable Location Services from the Settings app
  • Restart your Apple Watch
  • Connect to a reliable Wi-Fi network

Hope that help.

Workout app and Activity Sharing

Working out is a lot easier and better when we can track how much steps we walked, how much calories we’ve burned, and how our workout activity compared to our loved ones.

Both the Workout app and Activity sharing features allow you to share your data with others. If you have any trouble using it or getting it to operate properly on your Apple Watch, this article and this one could lend a hand to help.

The majority of the errors and problems that users encountered while using their Apple Watch are fixable and does not require you to take it to a repair store. For more troubleshooting topics like these, check out the list below.

Leave a Comment

  1. I brought a Apple Watch from a friend as it was not her cup of tea so too speak. We followed all the correct steps in removing the watch from her iCloud account etc. The watch is not showing anywhere in her iCloud account, however when I go to set up my phone to the apple Watch it says her Apple ID is still locked on there. We phoned apple they said we have done everything correct. apple said they will fix it however that was 11 days ago and we still have no fix just a lot of excuses from apple. Has anyone had this problem or know of s fix. Thanks

  2. Hi john

    Thanks for the help I have tried those steps, however still have the problem apple engineer’s still have no fix any other suggestions?

  3. The Apple Watch was purchased from a friend. We followed all the correct steps to remove it from her account Apple verified this,so now watch does not show up anywhere on her Apple ID. Now when I go to set up on my phone it shows activation lock is still on. My friend has tried but it doesn’t show on her Apple ID. Apple has tried also and been in constant contact with us both to try to sought. The case was given to a snr support person and he is trying to work with apple engineers. They have said this has happened some people. However they still don’t have a fix its now coming upto 3 weeks and they are not sure how to fix the issue. So I am trying to research the web to see if there is a solution.

  4. I have this same issue. Been over 48 hours now. The last update I have heard is that it is in Apples Security teams hands. They said it is happening more and more so they are looking into it across the board. I hope they don’t take 3 weeks on this one. I bought mine on eBay and the seller has been extremely helpful but its still frustrating. We’re both frustrated at this point because it is eating up our time….

  5. .I have new iwatch just only use 3 times and now when i tried to charge even change the adaptor still doesn’t charge 🙁 … only show the time and a red sign .. what will i do ? i try to reboot doesn’t do anything still same thing time and a red sign..please help

  6. I bought my Apple watch 15 months ago. Today it bricked and is in an endless reboot loop. They want $235 for me to send it in for repair. 3 months out of warranty. BEWARE.

    • Hey Mark,

      Sorry to hear that. Did you try to force restart it? Can you tell me your overall fixes that you’ve done?

  7. My Apple Watch back comes off when I try to remove it from the charger. I’m able to put it back on but it keeps happening and I’m afraid some wires will not go back correctly. Can you suggest anything?

  8. My Apple Watch is just a black screen I can’t force shut and reboot when I charge it it’s just the red sign
    I was going to bin it
    Have you any suggestions

  9. Watch 5 on cellular or wifi will not let me play a commercial radio station. It opens but won’t let me listen live. Phone is in streaming.

  10. I’m having an issue where I’m trying to enter my username and password for my office’s wifi and I having trouble with entering zeroes in the username field. Turning the bezel only gives me upper and lower case letter o’s. I can enter zeroes just fine in the password field.

  11. I did the hard reset after my Apple Watch 4 turned off at work but would not turn back on. The green lights on the back shut off and now it will not be turn on again. It is on a working charger. Please help

  12. I have Blink cameras. My iWatch used to ‘ding’ when camera was activated. It stoped today. Blink isn’t showing showing on iWatch.

  13. I have had a Watch original and now a watch 6. Both have the same problem. I have them quite tightly on my wrist–my skin is clearly bending in under it. But it still keeps thinking I have taken it off and requiring a password. This seems to happen randomly. I’ve cleaned the back, even shaved my wrist. Nothing seems to help. Any thoughts?

  14. Question? My Iphone keeps bugging me to set up Cellular on my iwatch. I don’t want to add a cellular plan to my iwatch. How can I make it stop reminding me to set up Cellular?


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