Apple Watch Won’t Force Restart – Problems and Solutions

Apple Watches have all kinds of great features for you to enjoy, but sometimes, they run into problems. This is hardly unique, as hardware or software issues can limit the functionality of any Apple product, or any electronic device, for that matter.

If you’re having difficulties with your Apple Watch, then a trusted go-to can be a force restart. It’s a way of refreshing the processes on your watch that are running in the background, particularly if software issues have slowed it down. But what can you do if your Apple Watch won’t force restart? It’s a unique problem, and in this article, we’ll talk about what might be causing it and what you can do to fix it.

Apple Watch Won’t Force Restart

Why Might Your Apple Watch be Unable to Force Restart?

We’ll start by saying that a software malfunction is the more likely cause of this problem than a hardware one. A hardware issue that’s not allowing the device to force restart is not inconceivable, though.

There are four main reasons why your Apple Watch won’t force restart. The first is that it has frozen, and is therefore completely unresponsive. The next is that it is in Power Reserve mode. It could be that it has run out of battery life and isn’t charging. The last reason would be something to do with the watch’s hardware. Let’s go over what to do about each of these situations in turn.

Do a Hard Reset of Your Apple Watch if it Won’t Force Restart

Just because your Apple Watch will not do a force restart, that doesn’t necessarily mean that a hard reset won’t work for it. It is sometimes that hard reset that galvanizes it back into action.

To do one, you’ll have to press and hold the Side button at the same time as the Digital Crown. The Digital Crown functions the same as a Home button would on earlier versions of the iPhone. The Apple logo should appear in the center of the watch’s display, at which time you can let go of the buttons. The watch should now boot back up by itself, and hopefully, it will be fully operational again.

Logo for Apple Watch that Won’t Force Restart

If you didn’t have any luck with that fix, read on.

Check if Power Reserve Mode is On

Power Reserve mode is useful with Apple Watches and Apple products in general. It exists to conserve battery life for your device if it’s running low. In the case of the Apple Watch, when it is enabled, almost all functionality will be suspended. You’ll be able to see what time it is, and that’s about it.

To get the watch out of Power Reserve mode, you must press and hold your Side button until you see the Apple logo show up on the center of the watch’s display. After you release the Side button, the device will boot back up. Keep in mind, though, that you can only do this if your watch has enough battery life left.

If it doesn’t, then you will have to recharge it in order for this trick to work. Assuming that there is nothing else wrong with your device, it’s easy to figure out when it needs a charge. Just look for the little red lightning bolt icon in the upper left-hand corner of the display.

Your Apple Watch May Not Force Restart Because It Won’t Recharge

Your Apple Watch should have come with a magnetic charger, assuming that you got it new. It’s not a lot of use without the charger, so even if you bought yours used from someone, you should always insist on getting that charger along with it.

Charger for Apple Watch that Won’t Force Restart

You might encounter a scenario where the watch won’t force restart. You’re pretty sure that’s because it needs to be charged because you see the lightning bolt icon on the display. However, when you put it on the magnetic charger, it doesn’t seem to be charging.

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The reason for this could be due to either hardware or software. If the problem is one of software, then it won’t be anything that’s visible to the naked eye. It could also be something to do with the charging cable, the charger itself, or the magnetic back of the Apple Watch. If any one of those elements isn’t functioning correctly, then the watch isn’t going to charge like it normally would.

Magnetic Back of Apple Watch that Won’t Force Restart

Your Apple Won’t Force Restart, and You Think It’s a Hardware Problem

Let’s say that you suspect that the problem with your Apple Watch not force restarting has to do with hardware. You can get a better assessment of this by looking over the device itself, and also the various paraphernalia that comes with it.

If the watch’s face is cracked or you know that it got rained on or entirely immersed in water or another liquid at some point, then it’s highly likely that’s what’s causing the issue. If it won’t charge, and you can see that the charging cable is frayed, then that’s probably the culprit. Maybe you’ve got a pet that’s been chewing on it. There might be visible damage to the charger, or something might have happened to the magnetic back of the watch.

Broken Apple Watch Won’t Force Restart

Take Your Apple Watch to Get Repaired

There isn’t likely anything that you can do about damage to the watch itself. Even if you fancy yourself an electronics expert, you probably don’t have the replacement parts needed to fix the watch. You’ll need to take it in to an Apple Store with a Genius Bar so the employees can look it over and determine what is wrong with it. It might be a relatively easy fix, or it may need some new components.

In either case, if the device is still under the factory or extended warranty, then it should not cost you anything to get it repaired. If it is no longer under warranty, then you’ll have to see how much the price is to fix it.

If it is not the watch itself that is to blame for the inability to force restart, and it’s the charger or the charging cable instead, then you might be able to order a replacement through Amazon or a similar online marketplace and save yourself a trip to the Apple Store. If it turns out that the watch needs repairs, though, it’s best to take it to a Genius Bar rather than a third-party electronics store that claims they can fix it. You don’t know if the employees there have been properly trained when it comes to Apple devices, and you also don’t know that they have the Apple-issued components that the watch might need. Better to take it to the individuals who you know have the expertise and the parts that are sure to get it working again as it should be.

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