A small number of Apple Watch Series 5 and SE owners find that their devices are permanently stuck in power reserve mode. Affected devices appear to be powered on but have unresponsive screens and cannot restart. In other words, they are bricked up.
While the error is unusual, it can appear on any Apple Watch Series 5 or SE that is running watchOS 7.2 or 7.3. Fortunately, Apple has confirmed the problem and offered some fixes.
First, Apple fixed the bug in the watchOS 7.3.1 system update. Users with a working Apple Watch should install the new version immediately to prevent the power reserve from blocking. Make sure that your Apple Watch is synced with your iPhone or iPad and that they are both connected to the same WiFi network. Open the Watch app on your iPhone or iPad and go to General> Software update to download the patch.
Apple is also expanding the lifeline of unhappy souls with a brick-built Apple Watch Series 5 and SE. The Apple Watch SE is still under warranty and can be repaired, but the Apple Watch Series 5 is not (unless you have AppleCare). Fortunately, Apple has announced a free repair program to help users with an affected Apple Watch Series 5, even if the warranty has expired.
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The company is, however Asking users to verify their devices does not respond before sending them in for repair. Connect your Apple Watch to the charger you normally use and wait at least 30 minutes. If after this time your Apple Watch still cannot charge, it will be stuck in power reserve mode and needs to be repaired.
Hit it Apple’s support page to set up a free repair for your Apple Watch via email. Once they get it, Apple’s technicians will do another check to make sure your device is in power reserve mode and ready for repairs.