How to Fix Apple Watch Screen Not Responding

Is your Apple Watch screen not responding to touch?

Apple Watch is a great solution for staying connected while on the move. With its features such as cellular data and fitness tracking, it lessens the need for your phone all the time.

However, it can be frustrating if your Apple Watch screen is not responding to touch. 


Oftentimes, this issue is caused by improper configurations. Or your watch can simply be in water lock mode. Faulty hardware components can also cause your touchscreen to have this issue.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to fix your Apple Watch screen if it’s not responding to touch. 

Let’s get started!

1. Restart Your Apple Watch. 

As suggested by Apple, try restarting your Apple Watch if something isn’t working right. 

Restarting your Apple Watch should reload its system resources. This should resolve temporary bugs or errors that occurred during use. 


You can’t restart your Apple Watch if it’s connected to the charger.

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. First, press and hold the Side button of your Apple Watch until the sliders appear. 
  2. Drag the Power Off slider to the right until your display shuts off. 
  3. Wait for at least 10 seconds. 
  4. Hold the Side button again until the Apple logo appears. 
Restart Apple Watch

Once your Apple Watch has initialized, check if the screen works. 

2. Turn Off Water Lock.

Water Lock is a feature that prevents unwanted touches on your Apple Watch when you wear it in water. 

If your screen is not responding to touches, you may have mistakenly enabled water lock mode.

You can confirm this by looking for a droplet icon at the top of your display. 

Here’s how you can disable the feature: 

  1. Press and hold the Digital Crown on the side of your Apple Watch. 
  2. Wait for the prompt that says ‘Unlocked’. 
Apple Watch Water Mode

Your Apple Watch will play a series of tones. This should clear any water from the speaker grills. 

Try navigating the user interface to see if your Apple Watch’s touch screen works. 

Related: How to Fix Apple Watch Exercise Ring Not Working

3. Update Your Software. 

Software-related issues could also be the reason your screen is not responding. To rule this out, check if there are available updates for your Apple Watch. 

Follow the steps below to update your watch: 

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on the phone where your watch is connected. 
  2. Now, tap on My Watch in the bottom navigation bar. 
  3. Go to General > Software Update
  4. If there’s an available update download it and follow the prompts. 
apple watch screen not responding


Updating your Apple Watch can take several minutes to an hour depending on the situation.

Go back to your Apple Watch afterward and see if its touch screen works. 

4. Check Accessibility Settings. 

Accessibility settings let you change how your screen responds to touches. 

If your screen is unresponsive, it’s possible that the ‘hold duration’ feature might be enabled. This sets the duration of how long you need to touch the display before a touch is recognized. 

See the steps below to disable the feature: 

  1. First, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. 
  2. Tap on My Watch in the bottom navigation bar. 
  3. Go to Accessibility and tap on Touch Accommodation
  4. Look for Hold Duration and disable it. 
apple watch screen not responding

Once done, go back to your Apple Watch to check if the problem is solved. 

5. Clean Apple Watch Screen. 

Doing outdoor activities can put your Apple Watch in harsh conditions. 

In time, dirt and oils can accumulate in your watch’s display. This can prevent the touch screen from functioning properly. 

apple watch screen not responding

If your Apple Watch’s screen is not responding, give it some attention and clean it.

Using a microfiber cloth, gently wipe your Apple Watch’s screen until it is clear of smudges, dirt, and oils. 


Never use alcohol or other cleaning agents on your Apple Watch. This can damage or remove the oleophobic coating on your screen. 

6. Remove Screen Protector. 

If you are using a screen protector on your Apple Watch, it might be the culprit. 

Screen protectors are great for preventing scratches on your watch’s display. However, they can also affect the responsiveness of your Apple Watch’s touchscreen.

We recommend removing the screen protector from your Apple Watch.

Try putting it on again and ensure that it’s installed correctly. 

Make sure that there are no dirt or air bubbles between the protective film and your Apple Watch’s screen. 

7. Remove Gloves

During the cold season, you need to keep your body warm. One of the ways to do that is by wearing gloves. 

Unfortunately, your cozy gloves and Apple Watch won’t work together. 

If you are trying to interact with your watch with your gloves on, don’t expect it to recognize taps and swipes. 

Your Apple Watch uses a capacitive screen. This is made of conductive materials that respond to conductors, like your finger. 

Due to this, you’ll have to take off your gloves to navigate through your watch. 

Related: How to Fix Flashing Apple Logo on Apple Watch

8. Contact Apple. 

If none of the solutions above worked, it’s possible that the problem is hardware-related. 

We recommend that you bring your Apple Watch to the nearest Apple Store to have it checked. 

apple watch screen not responding

Depending on the assessment, your watch’s screen might need a replacement. 

Before bringing in your device, check if it’s still covered by warranty

If you’ve just purchased your Apple Watch, you have up to 14 days to ask for a refund or replacement unit


Only Apple products purchased directly from Apple are eligible for refund or replacement. 

That brings us to the end of our guide on how to fix your unresponsive Apple Watch screen. If you have questions, please leave a comment below, and we’ll do our best to answer them. 

If this guide helped you, don’t forget to share it! 


  • John Sixto

    John is a staff writer at Saint and comes from a SAP ABAP development background. He has a Bachelors in IT and has been writing since 2018, with over 500 posts published. He loves to build PCs and has a deep curiosity in understanding how different components and configurations work. John spends hundreds of hours at a time, researching and testing the software and apps, before he proceeds to write about it. LinkedIn X (Twitter) Website

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