Is your Samsung Galaxy watch suddenly stuck on a black screen and won’t turn on when you tap the display or press the buttons? Sadly, you are not alone.
Samsung’s Galaxy Watch is a top smart and fitness watch, rivaling the best Apple Watch.
So, it’s really frustrating when your Samsung Galaxy Watch suddenly doesn’t turn on, gets stuck on a black screen, and is unresponsive to your taps! A high price means it has a lot to prove.
The 590-mAh battery capacity of the Watch 5 Pro, 284mAh (S) / 410mAh (L) of the Watch 5 models, 247mAh (S) / 361mAh (L) of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 models, and the 340mAh of the Galaxy Watch 3 and Galaxy Active Watch 2 suggest that the battery capacity on Samsung’s Galaxy watches is solid and might not be the main reason for your watch not turning on.
Before troubleshooting, ensure your watch and the Wearable app run their latest versions. Outdated firmware and software can cause these issues!
- How to backup and factory reset your Samsung Galaxy Watch
- How to turn off your Samsung Galaxy Watch display while charging
- Top 14 Samsung Galaxy Watch Apps for your new watch in 2021
- 19 tips and tricks for your new Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
- 1 Try a forced restart (reboot) if you can hear sounds or feel the watch vibrate
- 2 Thinking of replacing your watch’s battery? It’s likely not necessary
- 3 Start with the charging dock for your Galaxy Watch
- 4 Galaxy Watch not turning on due to faulty charging
- 5 Samsung Galaxy Watch shows a black screen and is unresponsive
- 6 Galaxy Watch charging but keeps blinking?
- 7 Final thoughts
Try a forced restart (reboot) if you can hear sounds or feel the watch vibrate
If you feel your watch vibrate or hear it make some sounds, that’s good news and means that your watch is on. However, the screen is not turning on.
So let’s force the watch to reboot. Press and hold both side buttons on the watch until the screen displays “Rebooting…”
You don’t need to dock the watch on its charger to reboot it.
How to force reboot your Samsung watch
- Press and hold both buttons on your watch, and don’t let go of those buttons until you see the Samsung logo and the words “Rebooting…” on your watch’s screen. This usually takes 10-20 seconds.
- Once rebooting appears on the screen, release the buttons and wait for the watch to restart.
- If you can’t press a button in, make sure there’s nothing stuck or blocking it by cleaning the button(s) and then try to force a restart again.
Another option is to place the watch on its charger and repeat the steps for a forced restart. Remember to hold both buttons for 10-20 seconds or more.
You may need to repeat these steps several times before your watch’s screen turns on. So if it failed on your first attempt, try a couple more times.
Thinking of replacing your watch’s battery? It’s likely not necessary
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.
This article looks at some of the main issues that might lead to your Samsung Galaxy watch not turning on and provides helpful tips that save you time and dollars.
Start with the charging dock for your Galaxy Watch
- 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.
- 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, use an alternate outlet or power source that you know works correctly.
- 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.
- And the obvious? Are you using the correct wireless charger? In our household, we use different smartwatches, and most of these chargers look the same. Flip your charger over and use the right charger to charge your Galaxy watch. Old Galaxy Watch Active chargers may not charge your newer Samsung Galaxy watches.
Galaxy Watch not turning on due to faulty charging
- Start charging your watch using the wireless charger that came with your watch and let it sit on the cradle for a couple of hours.
- After an hour or two, if you don’t see the charging indicator 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, let the charging process continue until the watch is fully charged.
- Hold down the Power button while the watch is on the charger and wait for the watch to power on or respond.
- 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, wait until it cools off, and then place it on the charger. Runaway apps can cause the watch to enter into thermal shutdown mode.
- Verify nothing is between the charger and the 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.
- Try changing the charger’s power source, i.e., move to a wall outlet from the laptop. When charging via PC or laptop, the device must be ON and not in sleep mode. You can verify that the charger gets power by using the USB head on another device or outlet.
- Drain your watch’s battery entirely by leaving it uncharged for several days or more. Then, place it on the charging dock, wait an hour or so, and press the Power button briefly. See if it shows that it’s charging now.
If you notice that your watch is charging very slowly, it may be time to get a replacement charging cradle for your Galaxy Watch.
Check for stuck buttons and clean.
With everyday use of the watch, the side buttons on the watch can also accumulate dirt or debris over time.
If you notice that the side buttons aren’t working or require multiple attempts, clean them with a microfiber cloth and, if needed, some rubbing alcohol.
Generally, put a little rubbing alcohol on your finger and rub around the buttons, push them repeatedly to try and loosen anything that’s built up and prevent them from depressing properly.
What does the charger’s LED light mean?
If your charger has an LED light and shows different color lights, you can interpret this as:
- 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
If your notice that your watch is charging ok, but the screen turns black and unresponsive, it is not the charging circuitry or battery causing this issue.
- You need to open the Galaxy Wear app on your phone to confirm this.
- 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.
- Press and hold the Power button on the watch while it is charging
- You see the ‘Power Off’ button show up on the Options screen
- Tap on “Power Off”
- Once the watch is powered off, press and hold the Power button until the Samsung Galaxy logo appears, then release the button.
- 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 until your watch shows that it’s rebooting.
- After about 5-10 seconds, it’ll reboot automatically, and your watch should work normally.
- If it doesn’t show that the watch is rebooting, press and hold the Power and Back buttons simultaneously until you see a message that it’s rebooting.
Power Saving Mode and charging
Sometimes you may have to leave the watch on its charger overnight or more before you can attempt to restart it.
This is especially true if your watch was already in power-saving mode before losing 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.
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 its charge completely.
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 it charges when they put the watch on the charger, but the watch screen keeps 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 Bluetooth connection.
Proceed with caution when resetting. This should be the last thing you try because it disconnects the watch from the app and your phone.
We recommend that your first back up the data on your watch before you do the Reset if you can.
- Open the Galaxy Wearable app on your paired phone.
- Tap Watch settings, and then tap Account and Backup.
- Tap Backup data.
- Any Music you saved on your watch is not backed up.
- Backups include app data and app settings, your watch faces and their settings, and any customized system settings.
How to reset your Samsung Galaxy Watch using the Wearable app
- Open the Galaxy Wearable app on your Phone.
- Some models also require you to tap Watch settings.
- Tap on General.
- And then choose Reset.
When you reset your watch, it returns the watch to its factory defaults. So all your personal information and any settings or personalized features are lost UNLESS you backed it up first.
If you don’t have access to the Wearable app or your watch doesn’t show up, you can also try to manually reset the Galaxy Watch using the buttons on the watch and enter reboot mode. This might jump-start your watch to show its screen!
- Press the Home key until Rebooting displays on the watch’s bottom.
- Immediately press the Home key repeatedly until you see the REBOOT MODE menu on your watch’s screen.
- Press the Home key multiple times until you select Recovery.
- Press and hold the Home key and keep holding it until you see Rebooting at the bottom of the watch face.
- The Galaxy Watch 4 model shows an additional menu:
- Swipe down and select Wipe data/factory reset, then swipe right.
- Swipe down again to select Factory data reset, and swipe right again to execute the reset.
- Once the reset completes, swipe right to reboot the watch one more time.
Restore your Galaxy Watch’s data after a reset
If you need to factory reset your Samsung Watch, you can restore any data from your backup if you choose.
- Open the Galaxy Wearable app on your paired phone.
- Tap Watch settings, and then tap Account and Backup.
- Choose Restore data.
We hope you can 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 some additional tips and tricks that worked for you.