‘Ghost Touch’ on Apple Watch? Turns Out There’s a Simple Fix

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In February, an internal Apple memo acknowledged a touch-related issue that was reportedly affecting some Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 models and told Authorized Service Providers to standby for more information and a possible software update rather than replacing any impacted Apple Watch models.

Now, it turns out that this “Ghost Touch” problem may have been more widespread than Apple initially believed. However, the good news is that it appears Apple has mostly resolved the issue in a software update, leaving a straightforward fix for anyone who is still experiencing seemingly random interactions even when they’re not touching their wearables.

The initial memo indicated that “some customers may report their Apple Watch Series 9 or Apple Watch Ultra 2 is experiencing false touches on the display,” which could activate complications, open apps without being prompted, or simply cause the screen to “jump erratically.”

This “Ghost Touch” issue not only causes erratic behavior but also significantly hampers the usability of the Apple Watch. Unintentional phone calls and difficulty entering the device’s passcode are just a few of the challenges users might face.

At the time, support reps were told to advise customers to wait for a software fix, which came a few weeks later in watchOS 10.4. The release notes for that version specifically mentioned the fix, stating that it “resolves an issue that causes some users to experience false touches on the display.”

Nevertheless, some folks are still reporting the “Ghost Touch” problem, and it’s expanded beyond the two latest Apple Watch models to also impact the Apple Watch Series 7, Series 8, and first-generation Apple Watch Ultra.

Apple has officially acknowledged the more widespread nature of the issue, but it’s also telling repair providers not to fret as there’s a simple fix: Force restart the Apple Watch.

The latest information comes from an X/Twitter update by Stella – Fudge, who reported the initial memo back in February.

To force-restart an Apple Watch, hold down the side button and the Digital Crown simultaneously for about 10 seconds until the Apple logo appears and the Watch restarts.

That’s the same fix that commonly resolves “Ghost Touch” issues on the iPhone, so it’s not surprising that it would also work with the Apple Watch. However, it’s notable that Apple is calling for a full Force Restart, suggesting that merely powering the Apple Watch down normally by holding the side button and tapping the power off button isn’t enough.

However, the actual fix is likely a combination of Apple’s changes in watchOS 10.4 and the Force Restart procedure. Apple support providers have also been told to advise customers to ensure that their Apple Watches are running the latest version of watchOS, but otherwise, not to replace any watches for this issue. Presumably, if a Force Restart doesn’t resolve it, Apple will need to come up with another solution in watchOS 10.5.

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