Apple offers free fixes for some Apple Watch Series 5 and SE

The latest software update for the Apple Watch has been released in the last few hours – all details here. But unlike other upgrades, watchOS 7.3.1 only appeared for a select group of watch models, especially the Series 5, first released in 2019, and last year’s surprising additional model, the Apple Watch SE, which appeared at the same time as Series 6.

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The limited presentation was because only the owners of the SE and Series 5 watches, and only what Apple calls a “very small number of customers”, were affected by the charging problem.

The mistake that caused this, although not widespread, is serious. In these cases, the Apple Watch would refuse to charge after entering Power Reserve mode, and a recent update is designed to fix this bug.

Of course, if your watch has already switched to Power Reserve mode and refused to return to normal service, then this update will not be used – although it is certainly advised for SE and Series 5 users whose watches have had problems so far.

Apple’s advice to affected users is to put the watch on the charger and leave it there to work for 30 minutes. If it recovers, happy days, though do do that update, ok?

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But if it doesn’t rejuvenate after that time, Apple has another solution, as revealed in a new support document.

This says you will need to contact Apple Support (here) and send Watch to Apple for repair. Apple sends a box to send them a watch. The watch will be tested first to see if it meets the requirements, but assuming the repair is then free.

You can make this fix online, by calling, or by chatting online.

If you’re as dependent on your Apple Watch as I am on yours, you’ll want it to start working again as soon as possible.


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