Samsung Galaxy Watch not turning on or shows a black screen? How-To Fix

Samsung’s Galaxy Watch is a top smart and fitness watch, rivaling the best Apple Watch. A high price means it has a lot to prove. So, when your Samsung Galaxy Watch suddenly doesn’t turn on, gets stuck on a black screen, and is unresponsive to your taps, it’s really frustrating!

The 472mAh battery capacity of the 46mm Galaxy Watch 3 and the 340 mAh battery capacity on the Galaxy Watch 2 suggests that the battery capacity on the Samsung Galaxy watches is solid and might not be the main reason for your watch not turning on.

Related Reading:

Thinking of replacing your watch’s battery? It’s likely not necessary Samsung Galaxy back side

The chances are that there is an easier fix for this issue with your Galaxy Watch than replacing the battery.

In our experience with smartwatches, we often find that this problem happens when a faulty connection problem is related to the charging cradle.

In this article, we look at some of the main issues that might lead to your Samsung Galaxy watch not turning on and provide you with some helpful tips that save you time and dollars.

Start with the charging dock for your Galaxy Watch 

  1. The first thing you can do is to leave your Galaxy Watch on the charger overnight and charge it to 100%. The charge time for the watch depends upon the watch’s condition and the charger’s condition. There is a chance that your watch has completely drained its battery. Samsung Galaxy charge to 100%
  1. If you have already tried charging the watch overnight and had no success, there is a chance that the outlet that you regularly use is not operating. We suggest that when you charge your watch overnight, make sure to use an alternate outlet or power source that you know works correctly. 
  1. Inspect the Samsung Wireless charger cable. If you see any signs of fraying, it may suggest that the charging cable has run its course, and you need a new Samsung Charging wireless cable. If getting a replacement isn’t possible, use electrical tape or Sugru over the fraying portion and try charging. Damaged charging cable
  1. And the obvious? Are you using the right wireless charger? In our household, we use different smartwatches, and most of these chargers look the same. Flip your charger over and make sure that you use the right charger to charge your Galaxy watch. Old Galaxy Watch Active chargers may not be able to charge your newer Samsung Galaxy watches. Samsung Galaxy Watch Wireless charging cable

Galaxy Watch not turning on due to faulty charging

  1. Start charging your watch using the wireless charger and let it sit on the cradle for a couple of hours. 
  1. After an hour or two, if you don’t see the charging indicator show up on your watch’s display, Press the Power button on your watch while leaving it on the charger. Does your watch turn on to show the power indicator? If it does, then let the charging process continue till the watch is fully charged.
  2. After an hour or two of charging, if your Galaxy watch does not show charging status when the Power button is pressed but appears warm to touch, it may mean that your Galaxy watch is too hot (thermal shutdown mode.) Your watch cannot charge until it cools down. Remove the watch and wait till it cools off and then place it on the charger. Runaway apps can cause the watch to enter into thermal shutdown mode.
     
  3. Verify nothing is between charger and device, i.e., no dust, tape, etc. We have seen many instances where there is accumulated dust or debris on the charger, or the back of your smartwatch has collected dust from use. Use a clean piece of cloth to clean out any dirt from the charger and the back of the watch, and then try charging.

    Samsung Galaxy Watch not turning on
    Clean the charger surface and the back of the watch gently to remove any dirt or debris
  1. Try changing the charger’s power source, i.e., move to wall outlet from laptop. When charging via PC or laptop, the device must be ON and not on sleep mode. You can verify that the charger is getting power by using the USB head on another device or outlet.

If you notice that your watch is charging but charging very slowly, then it may be time to get a replacement charging cradle for your Galaxy Watch. 

Additional tip: With normal use of the watch, the side buttons on the watch can also accumulate dirt or debris over a period of time. If you notice that the side buttons aren’t working or require multiple attempts, clean them with some rubbing alcohol. 

Generally, put a little rubbing alcohol on your finger and rub around the buttons, push them repeatedly, in an attempt to try and loosen anything that’s built up and preventing them from depressing properly.

What does the Charger LED light mean?

If your charger has a LED light and it shows different color lights, here is how you can interpret this.

  • Red: Charging
  • Green: Fully charged
  • Red > Green > Orange: Standby mode
  • Orange: Connected to a low-power adaptor

This is true with third-party chargers as well. It is best to use the Samsung-approved charger for your Galaxy watches.

Samsung Galaxy Watch shows a black screen and is unresponsive Turn Samsung Galaxy off while charging

If your notice that your watch is charging ok, but the screen turns black and unresponsive, it is definitely not the charging circuitry or battery causing this issue.

  • To confirm this, you need to open up the Galaxy Wear app on your phone.
  • Go to the app’s Home page and look at the battery information at the top of the screen. 

If the battery percentage is greater than 20 – 25% and your watch shows a black screen or is not responsive to the touch, a soft reset helps fix this issue.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Black Screen
Reset Watch on the charger by pressing and holding the power button
  1. Press and hold the Power button on the watch while it is charging
  2. You see the ‘Power Off’ button show up on the Options screen
  3. Tap on “Power Off”
  4. Once the watch is powered off, press and hold the Power button until the Samsung Galaxy logo appears, then release the button.
  5. This softest process should help fix the unresponsive issue on your watch.

The other way to achieve this is doing it using the long-press method.

  • While your Galaxy watch is charging, hold down the power button and keep it pressed.
  • After about 5-10 seconds, it’ll reboot automatically, and your watch should work normally.

Power Saving Mode and Charging

Sometimes you may have to leave the watch on its charger overnight or more before you can attempt at re-starting it. 

This is especially true if your watch was already in power-saving mode before it lost all the charge. 

Some users have suggested that when the wireless charger for the watch is not showing signs of charging, you can try the Wireless Power share on the back of your Galaxy S20+ phone or another Galaxy phone with wireless power share and give it a try.Use Samsung Wireless Power share to charge the watch

If your watch shows the charging indicator when getting power via the Wireless Power share of your phone, use the power button on the watch to soft reset the watch.

If the battery is extremely low, as in this case, the watch display may remain blank for up to 5 minutes before a low battery image appears. It may take 15 minutes to 2 hours before the device can be powered up using the normal wireless charger.

Ideally, to avoid these unresponsive issues on your Galaxy watch, make sure not to allow the device to drain out its charge completely. 

Galaxy Watch Charging but keeps blinking

Some users had the issue where their watch screen was unresponsive even to the power button. There was no way of finding out if the watch was getting into reset/ reboot mode.

Other users found that when they put the watch on the charger, it charges, but the watch screen keeps on blinking.

If this happens to you, you can use the ‘Reset’ feature from the app on your phone and reset the Samsung Galaxy Watch.

There’s a good chance that even though your watch’s screen is not turning on, it is still connected to your phone via the Bluetooth connection.

  1. Open the Galaxy Wearable app on your Phone
  2. Tap on GeneralReset Samsung Galaxy Watch from phone
  3. And then choose Reset.Samsung Galaxy Watch not responsive

We recommend that your first back up the data on your watch before you do the Reset.

You can also manually reset the Galaxy Watch using the buttons on the watch and enter reboot mode.

  1. Press the Home key until Rebooting displays on the watch’s bottom.
  2. Immediately press the Home key repeatedly until you see the REBOOT MODE menu on your watch’s screen.
  3. Press the Home key multiple times until you select Recovery. Samsung Galaxy smartwatch REBOOT MODE
  4. Press and hold the Home key and keep holding it until you see Rebooting at the bottom of the watch face.

Final thoughts

We hope you could fix this annoying problem of your Galaxy Watch not turning on or becoming unresponsive.

If you have tried all the steps and also tried charging the watch with a new charger and have not found success, you may need to reach out to Samsung’s experienced technicians and have them look at your device.

Your Galaxy Watch may need a new battery. If you prefer to replace the battery on your own (not recommended for novice users), you can follow the steps provided by iFixit after buying a suitable replacement battery.

Please let us know if you have any questions or if some additional tips and tricks worked for you. 

I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products and have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. In my day job, I advise fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health&fitness-tech evolution and keep a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch or Fossil Gen 5 LTE and keep a close eye on my HRV and other recovery metrics.

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