If your Apple Watch won’t show anything but the Apple logo, it is probably stuck in a boot loop. Though I cannot guarantee success, there are a few things you could try to rescue your Apple Watch.
Force Reboot your Apple Watch
A watch that shows the Apple logo and flickers repeatedly is likely rebooting itself constantly, a problem commonly referred to as “boot loop.” You can try to break this boot loop with a hard reset, which can be initiated in the same way regardless of which Apple Watch model you own.
To force your Apple Watch to restart, press and hold the Digital Crown and the side button for at least 10 seconds until you see evidence of your hard reset on display. Usually, this can be easily spotted because your watch screen will immediately turn black. However, it might be hard to figure out if you are already stuck in a boot loop.
When you are sure your watch has been hard reset, give it 30 to 45 seconds to start up. You will probably know pretty soon if this has worked since you either have broken the cycle or are still stuck in it.
If it doesn’t work, try it a few times. If this works, you can safely move on to the “Preventing Your Watch Getting Stuck Again” step below, because this may only be a temporary fix.
Try to play a sound in the Find My App
There are reports of users successfully using the “Find My” app to play a sound on the Watch. This seems unlikely to work if your watch is flickering, then restarting. However, it is probably worth a shot if it is just displaying a constant Apple logo.
Find My app on your iPhone, then tap on the Devices tab at the bottom. Next, locate your Apple Watch in the list of devices, select it, then tap on “Play Sound.” This is designed to help find your watch if you lose it; it is a feature Apple has since added to other products, such as MacBooks and AirPods.
Try this a few times if you don’t see any success; if it does work, move on to the next step for a more permanent fix.
Prevent Your Watch From Getting Stuck Again.
The first thing you can do is to try and update your watch software. Launch the Watch setting app, then navigate to General > Software Update. If you own more than one, make sure that the problematic watch is selected first. This can be done using the “All Watches” button in the app’s top-left corner. If a software bug causes the problem, updating might fix it.
The next thing you can do is fully erase your watch to an “as new” state, then pair it again. When you do this, all your data on your watch will be erased. You will not lose health or workout data provided by your watch.
When you are ready to erase your Apple Watch, launch the Watch app on your iPhone, head to General > Reset, and choose the “Erase Apple Watch Content and Settings” option. Or do this on the watch by visiting Settings > General > Reset. You will have to insert your Apple ID password to remove Find My from your watch, and then it will be reset to an “as new” state.
You’ll be asked to restore your watch from a backup when you turn it on to pair it. Therefore, selecting the “Do Not Restore from Backup” option is probably a good idea to further eliminate the chance of the issues.
If Nothing Works,
Apple includes a diagnostic port hidden under one of the strap connectors on Watch models. However, you will require a third-party accessory called the iBus; it may not be compatible with the latest models beyond the Series 6. In addition, getting it to work might take more effort than it’s worth, as Apple doesn’t support software restoration at home for the Apple Watch. If you cannot get your device to respond to the steps above, you should either consult Apple about repairing the Watch or try fixing it yourself.
Repairing or Replacing Your Apple Watch
If your watch is still covered by the AppleCare+ warranty or some consumer law that states Apple must repair or replace it, defects will be taken care of for free. The exception is evident damage to the watch caused by you, for example, a dent in the chassis, or it could be a cracked screen.
The problem can be due to the failing battery that can no longer hold enough power to start the watch properly. Or, it could be because of liquid damage caused by water ingress. All the problems will be evaluated by Apple case-by-case.
If none of the steps mentioned above have worked, it is probably time to consult Apple about a repair. You can consult Apple by making an appointment with Apple Support or an authorized service partner. Note: Apple Watch repairs often require a few weeks to complete as they are not serviced in-store. Apple won’t charge you for simply looking at the watch; they will notify you of any fees you may incur before proceeding with the work.
Repairs can prove to be expensive, depending on the amount of work that must be done. Also, depending on your Apple Watch’s age, you should consider replacing it with a new model rather than sink the money into service or battery replacements because all Apple Watch models will eventually stop receiving updates and service coverage from Apple.
Could you try a DIY fix?
The Apple Watch is a complex device, so DIY repairs should not be taken lightly. However, if you wish, you can find your model on the iFixit Apple Watch hub to get an idea of what is involved in fixing the watch.
Regular fixes, for example, replacing the battery, will be much simpler than others. However, the biggest challenge might be figuring out what is wrong with the Watch. You will then have to find the parts you might need, or you might have to salvage them from dead units on a reseller website such as eBay.
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