Apple will repair non-charging Apple Watch 5, SE units for free

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Apple will offer free repairs for Watch units that don't charge.

The Apple Watch is arguably the most popular smartwatch on the market today. Although it has seen increased competition in recent years from Samsung and Fitbit, there’s no doubt that the iOS watch reigns supreme. That, of course, doesn’t mean it never runs into problems.

Recently, a number of users found that their Apple Watch wouldn’t charge after getting stuck in Power Reserve mode. This is obviously a problem since it essentially renders the device useless in that state.

Now, Apple has announced that it will provide free repairs for Watch units affected by the issue. It also released a watchOS update (version 7.3.1) on Monday that could fix the problem for some users. Still, it’s good to know that you won’t need to pay to fix your watch if the software update doesn’t do the trick.

Software Fix

Obviously, the easiest way to fix a malfunctioning device is to do a software update when a patch is available. That’s what Apple Watch users can look forward to with the latest version of watchOS—hopefully.

The charging issue is known to affect both the Apple Watch Series 5 and SE. Moreover, it only occurs when the watch is in Power Reserve mode. For those who aren’t familiar, Power Reserve allows you to see the time on your watch while preserving its battery life. This is possible because the watch isn’t communicating with your phone, 9to5Mac reports.

On Monday, the watchOS 7.3.1 update was released in hopes of fixing the issue in the easiest way possible. On its official support page, Apple says that the update “prevents this issue from happening to other Apple Watch Series 5 or Apple Watch SE devices.”

Repair Eligible

The fact that Apple has already announced that it will offer free repairs means there is at least a chance the software fix won’t be adequate. It’s likely that some Apple Watch owners will need to send their device in to have it repaired. Moreover, Watch owners who are already experiencing the problem will need to send their device in for a repair.

In its support document, Apple says, “Your watch will be examined before service to verify that it’s eligible for free repair.”

In all likelihood, any device that is experiencing the charging issue will qualify for a free repair. That’s true unless there is also something else wrong with the watch. For instance, if it has water damage or a cracked screen, Apple may choose not to repair it. That won’t be an issue for most consumers, but it is worth noting nonetheless.

In the meantime, Apple Watch 5 and SE owners should install the watchOS 7.3.1 update as soon as possible. This will help ensure your device is operating at its best.

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