Published on: 02.12.2023 | updated on: 07.02.2024
Apple Watch is renowned worldwide for its performance and quality, but that does not make it an exception to technical glitches every now and then. One of the most commonly occurring issues is that of a nonworking touch screen. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common reasons behind the Apple Watch touch screen not working and how to fix it.
This article will take you through the common Apple Watch touch screen issues such as cracked screen, force touch screen not working, and touch screen disabled after replacement. We’ll also talk about the solutions to fix your watch's touch screen, such as force restart and screen replacement.
Your Apple Watch touch screen may not work due to software glitches or hardware issues such as damage from impacts, water exposure, or a malfunctioning display component.
To fix an Apple Watch touch screen that's not working, try force restarting the watch by holding the Side button and Digital Crown simultaneously, and if that fails, unpair and re-pair the watch with your iPhone.
Listed below are some reasons why your Apple Watch touch screen may not be working and what to do about it;
● Dirt, debris, or moisture may have gotten under the screen and is interfering with touch sensitivity.
● There could be an issue with the digitizer underneath the glass.
● A software or hardware glitch may be preventing the touch screen from properly registering input.
● First, try cleaning the screen thoroughly with a soft, dry cloth to remove any dirt or oil.
● Make sure your Apple Watch software is up to date by pairing it with your iPhone.
● Force restart your Apple Watch by holding down the side button and crown for 10+ seconds.
● Contact Apple Support if restarting and cleaning don't resolve the issue.
● Do not expose the Apple Watch to excessive dirt or moisture.
● Consider using a screen protector to prevent scratching and damage to the digitizer.
● Update to the latest Apple Watch software whenever available.
● Avoid excessive/abnormal force on the screen that could damage the internals.
Here are some reasons why your Apple Watch touch screen may not be working after swimming and what to do about it;
● Exposing Apple Watch to moisture or water without properly sealing or drying.
● Pool or ocean water chemicals may interfere with touch screen sensitivity.
● Water pressure at deeper swim depths could overcome water resistance seals.
● Rinse watch thoroughly in fresh water to remove chemical residues.
● Dry the watch completely, especially along the edges and port covers.
● Try force rebooting the Apple Watch.
● Visit an Apple technician if the watch does not work still.
● Ensure the Apple Watch model is rated for appropriate swim depth.
● Keep Apple Watch water seals clean and monitor for damage.
● Turn on Water Lock mode to clear watch fluid and eject water.
Here is what to do if your Apple Watch touch screen is not working after it cracked;
● Cracks can damage the digitizer underneath the glass.
● Shattered glass can interfere with and disconnect touch screen controller cables.
● Carefully inspect and remove any loose glass shards without cutting cables.
● Check display connector cables for any visible breaks or damage.
● Most cracked screen fixes require professional repair or full display replacement.
● Apply a protective screen film or cover to help prevent crack damage.
● Use a case or bumper when engaging in sports or activities with impact risk.
Here are some reasons why your Apple Watch touch screen may not be working after battery replacement;
● Battery connectors may have been improperly seated during replacement.
● touch screen connectors could have been accidentally disconnected.
● Re-inspect and firmly reseat the battery and display cable connections.
● Try force rebooting the Apple Watch after reconnecting the cables.
● Replace the battery with an authentic Apple Watch battery.
● Have an experienced service technician handle the battery replacement.
Here is what to do if the Apple Watch touch screen is not working after screen replacement;
● Display cables may have been damaged or disconnected during the repair.
● New screen glass or components are incompatible or defective.
● Screen calibration was not properly performed after the replacement.
● Examine and securely reattach all display-related cables.
● Try recalibrating the touch screen settings after reconnecting the screen.
● Visit an Apple technician if the issue is still not fixed.
● Have an experienced Apple technician handle any screen replacements
● Closely follow screen replacement procedures and reassembly guides
● Only install replacement screens from reputable sellers for compatibility
Here is what to do if the Apple Watch Force touch is not working after screen replacement;
● The new screen may not have force touch functionality enabled.
● Force touch calibration was not performed after the screen install.
● The Digitizer cable for force touch may have been damaged or disconnected.
● Ensure the replacement screen supports force touch and calibrate after installation.
● Inspect and reseat the force touch digitizer cable connection.
● Order a screen with confirmed force touch capability.
● Have an Apple-certified technician handle the screen replacement.
● Perform force touch calibration after any screen installation.
Here is what to do if your Apple Watch touch screen may not be working after dropping;
● The impact can break display glass and sever digitizer connections.
● Dropping can dislodge or damage display cables and connectors.
● Forces involved may break the touch screen controller or logic boards.
● Inspect display cable connections and reseat if loose
● Check for broken cables or connectors and replace them if damaged
● Repair or replace broken touch screen glass or other components
● Use a protective case or bumper to lessen impact forces
● Consider AppleCare+ for cheaper repair options after damage
Here is what you can do if your Apple Watch touch screen is not working with the screen protector;
● Screen protector thickness may interfere with digitizer sensitivity.
● Adhesive or air gaps around protector edges can affect touch.
● Remove the screen protector and test the touch screen for improvement.
● Apply a thinner protector or use the wet install method to eliminate gaps.
● Research screen protector thickness and compatibility before buying
● Carefully install a protector to avoid trapping air underneath
Although unusual, the following are some reasons why this might happen;
● The Digitizer cable could be damaged or disconnected from the controller.
● Impacts may have dislodged the bottom portion of the touch screen connectors.
● This may indicate liquid damage to the bottom portion of the components.
● Examine cables for damage and firmly reseat connections.
● Run a diagnostic test to check for faulty flex cables or digitizers.
● Repair liquid damage or replace damaged touch screen components.
● Protect the watch from excessive impacts, especially on edges.
● Avoid applying abnormal pressure directly to watch the face.
Here is why your Apple Watch might have stopped swiping up and what you can do about it;
● Dust, debris, or moisture trapped under screen-blocking swipes.
● Digitizer damage or disconnected cables preventing touch detection.
● Operating system or app glitch affecting touch screen functionality.
● Clean the watch screen thoroughly and restart to clear any software issues.
● Inspect the digitizer cable connection and reseat it if loose.
● Backup and restore watch software to factory default settings.
● Use a screen protector to prevent digitizer damage.
● Keep Apple Watch clean and dry to avoid hardware issues.
● Install updates promptly to get touch screen bug fixes.
Here is why your Apple Watch SE touch screen may not be working and what you can do about it;
● Impact or drop damage may have damaged the touch screen.
● Water exposure could have fried internal components.
● Maybe there is a hardware defect or component failure over time.
● Check display and digitizer cables for any disconnects.
● Set up service appointments for hardware diagnostic and repair.
● Protect the screen from cracks and impact damage.
● Avoid exposing the watch to moisture or high heat.
Here is why your Apple Watch Ultra touch screen may not be working and what you can do about it;
● Extremes of temperature or depth beyond specs could damage.
● Scratches or debris trapped under ruggedized screen.
● Drops or collisions may damage internal components.
● Run touch screen diagnostic mode to check for hardware issues.
● Take to Apple Store for inspection and professional repair.
● Follow depth/temperature guidelines for your model.
● Rinse and dry watch after exposure to saltwater or mud.
● Apply a screen protector and use a protective case for high-risk activities.
Yes, the Apple Watch screen is repairable by Apple or any reliable third-party service provider like Simply Fixable.
To unfreeze an Apple Watch screen, perform a forced restart by holding the Side button and Digital Crown for 10 seconds.
To reset an Apple Watch with a broken touch screen, you can unpair the watch from your iPhone, which will erase all the content and settings.
If a force restart doesn’t work on your Apple Watch, ensure it’s charged and try unpairing and re-pairing with your iPhone. If this doesn’t work, contact Apple support for help.
Follow these tips to prevent Apple Watch touch screen issues in the future:
While you can handle many of the Apple Watch touch screen issues on your own at home, some problems might not be resolved easily. In such cases, it’s recommended to get the watch repaired from a reliable and trustworthy repair store in your area.
Apple Watch is a reliable, durable gadget, but misuse or excessive damage can affect its touch screen. Therefore, it is recommended to protect your Apple Watch against drops and damage so that it continues to function perfectly. By following the guide above, you can hopefully resolve any minor issues that may arise with the touch screen.
Tech Writer | Photographer
LinkedIn: Madiha Khadim
Madi is a dynamic tech writer with a passion for simplifying complex concepts. Her expertise lies in creating clear and concise guides, blogs, manuals, and tutorials that empower users to navigate the technological landscape with ease. Throughout her career, Madi has worked with numerous leading tech companies, collaborating with engineers, developers, designers and marketers to create user manuals, FAQs, troubleshooting guides, and tech articles, on the websites such as "Technology Castle" and "Bilzimo". She can transform intricate technical jargon into user-friendly language, empowering users to understand and utilize products effectively.
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