How to fix Apple Watch 7 stuck on black screen after watchOS 8.3 update

This post highlights potential solutions to a post-watchOS update issue on the Apple Watch series 7 in which the watch suddenly gets stuck on black screen following the recent software update installation. Read on to learn how to deal with the Apple Watch 7 stuck on black screen after watchOS 8.3 update.

Apple Watch 7 Black Screen of Death

Apple is highly recognized for its hefty beautiful smartwatch series. In fact, a new Apple Watch series embedded with additional features is released every year.

The latest Apple Watch model available to-date is the Apple Watch series 7. Deemed among the best smartwatches in the market nowadays, the Apple Watch 7 highlights the ECG scan and blood oxygen levels among its key features.

But despite the premium look and solid structure, the Apple Watch Series 7 also has its own set of bugs.

That said, dealing with unexpected errors and adverse behaviors from your new Apple Watch 7 is very likely.  

One of the common issues faced by many Apple Watch users is on black screen of death (BSOD). This is when the watch doesn’t render anything other than a black display.

Possible Causes

There are many possible reasons as to why a smartwatch gets stuck on black screen. Contrary to what many people believe, the black screen of death problem isn’t always due to hardware damage. 

In fact, many cases of black screen issues in smartphones and other smartwatches have been found to be triggered by software-related errors including errant apps, data corruption, software bugs and malware. 

A device can also be stuck on black screen when it runs out of battery. Thus, black screen of death is also tied to battery draining and charging problems.

In the case where the black screen of death occurs following a software update, a software bug is more likely to blame. 

Thus, ruling out software-related factors before rushing to a service center is highly recommended.

To give you some input, I’ve mapped out a few potential solutions that you can use when troubleshooting a similar issue on your Apple Watch 7.

Troubleshooting: Apple Watch 7 stuck on black screen after watchOS 8 update

The following solutions are only applicable if your Apple Watch 7 is not broken or damaged. Given that the problem instigated from a software update, there’s a higher chance that it’s software-related. 

To eliminate common factors that likely cause post-update black screen of death issues in iOS smartphones and smartwatches, performing the following solutions can help.

Before you begin, make sure that your Apple Watch and its paired iPhone are near each other. If your Apple Watch is still visible and/or connected to your iPhone, then that’s an indication that the watch is still on.

Once you’ve got everything set, you may go ahead and start ruling out every possible culprit.

Solution #1: Force restart your Apple Watch

If your Apple Watch was previously working fine and sufficiently charged before the update, then it’s possible that some apps have gone rogue from the recent update and that has prevented the watch from working properly and instead, it got stuck on black screen.

To clear out post-update software glitches like this, performing a forced restart will help.
  • Press and hold both the Side button and Digital Crown for at least 10 seconds.
  • Release both buttons when the Apple logo appears.

Loading up the Apple Watch home screen may take longer than usual so just wait patiently and see if the first tweak yields a positive outcome.

Performing a forced restart doesn’t affect any user data so you won’t lose important contents from your device.

Solution #2: Charge your Apple Watch and do a force restart while charging.

As mentioned earlier, a device may get stuck on black screen when the battery is totally drained. Some apps might have gone rogue from the recent watchOS update and such atypical app behavior has resulted in massive power drain. Thus, your Apple Watch suddenly died, not turning on and stuck on black screen. 

To clear this out, let your Apple Watch charge for about 30 minutes. Also make sure that it’s properly charging.

Considering that the watch is charging and already has obtained sufficient power, do a force restart while the watch continues to charge.

This tweak is recommended to forcibly end any rogue apps and services that might have inflicted massive power drain and prevented the watch from booting. Just follow the above steps to force restart your Apple Watch 7 and see if that fixes the problem.

Solution #3: Use your iPhone to access and manage your Apple Watch settings.

New Apple Watch series do have a built-in feature called screen curtain. When enabled, Screen Curtain turns the screen off so you will not see anything on the watch display. The only thing you can use on your watch while in this state is listening to VoiceOver.

To make sure this isn’t the underlying cause of the problem, access and manage your Apple Watch settings through its paired iPhone with these steps:

  • Open the iOS Watch app on  your iPhone.
  • On the Watch app main screen, tap the My Watch tab at the bottom left corner. Also don’t forget to check and ensure that your Apple Watch 7 is selected.
  • On the succeeding menu, tap Accessibility.
  • Select VoiceOver and then tap Screen Curtain.
  • Finally, turn off the Screen Curtain toggle to disable the feature.

Once you’re done altering the Apple Watch settings, restart both your iPhone and Apple Watch and then see if that solves the problem.

Is your Apple Watch 7 no longer stuck on black screen?

If you find success from the aforementioned solutions and you finally get your Apple Watch back to work properly again, try to eliminate possible culprits that might put your watch back into the same state. 

Among the measures you can do is to update third-party apps on your Apple Watch. Keeping apps up-to-date is highly recommended to ensure that all apps meet the new system requirements and likewise to evade potential system conflicts.

You can update your Apple Watch apps directly from its paired iPhone or through the  Apple Watch App Store.

Is your Apple Watch on Power Reserve Mode?

If Power reserve mode is enabled, your Apple Watch may appear like it’s dead as all features, access and internal processes are disabled. As a result, the Apple Watch is unable to unlock and doesn’t connect or respond with its paired iPhone. What you can see is the bold red blot icon next to the 24-clock on the watch.

To exit Power saving mode, just force restart the Apple Watch. After rebooting, it will return to its normal state.

Seek More Help

If none of the given solutions works and your Apple Watch remains stuck on black screen, your next option is to escalate the problem to Apple Support for further assistance and recommendations. Reporting post-update issues like this one is imperative to let Apple know that such a problem exists and immediately they can address it by working and rolling out the needed fix patch.

Repair Options

Not all black screen issues that transpire from a software update are attributed to a system bug. This is likely the case if your Apple Watch was accidentally dropped or got wet prior to updating and then after the update the black screen occurs. 

To rule out hardware-related issues like a defective apple watch screen from the underlying cause, you can take your watch to an Apple-authorized service center and have it scrutinized by a technician. 

Please keep posted for more comprehensive iOS tutorials and troubleshooting guides on this site. Or you can check out this YouTube channel to view more comprehensive tutorial and troubleshooting videos including recent iOS devices.

You Might Also Want To Read: