The latest software update for Apple Watch has been released in the last hours – full details hereBut unlike other updates, watchOS 7.3.1 only appeared for a select group of Watch models, most notably Series 5, first released in 2019, and last year’s surprise additional model, Apple Watch SE, which appeared at the same time. with Series 6.
The limited rollout was because only owners of SE and Series 5 Watches, and only what Apple calls “a very small number of customers,” suffered from a charging problem.
The bug that caused this, while not widespread, is serious. In these cases, the Apple Watch refused to charge after going into Power Reserve mode, and the recent update aimed to fix this bug.
If your watch has already gone into Power Reserve mode and refuses to return to normal service, that update is of course no use – although it is definitely recommended for SE and Series 5 users whose watches have the problem so far experienced.
Apple’s advice to affected users is that they should place the Watch on the charger and leave it there for 30 minutes to do its job. If it recovers, happy days, but then update the pronto, okay?
But if it doesn’t rejuvenate after that time, Apple has a different solution, as revealed in a new support document
It says here to contact Apple Support (here) and send the watch to Apple for repair. Apple will send you a box so you can ship the Watch to them. The watch will be examined first to verify eligibility, but assuming it is, the repair is free.
You can set up this repair online, by phone or online chat.
If you depend on your Apple Watch as much as I depend on mine, you want it back up and running as soon as possible.