PSA | Some Apple Watches with Blank Screens Are Eligible for Free Repairs

Apple Watch Credit: David Peperkamp / Shutterstock
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Apple has announced a free repair program for Apple Watch owners who have suddenly found themselves staring at a blank screen through no fault of their own.

According to a recent Apple Support article, a small number of 40mm Apple Watch Series 6 devices have an issue that could cause the screen to go blank permanently.

Apple has determined that the screen on a very small percentage of 40mm Apple Watch Series 6 devices may go blank permanently. Affected devices were manufactured between April 2021 to September 2021.

This specific problem only applies to the Series 6 model released in 2020. It also appears to be exclusive to the smaller 40mm version — and only those units manufactured during the six months before the Apple Watch Series 7 made its debut.

If you have one of these Apple Watch Series 6 models, you can check your serial number on Apple’s website to see if it’s eligible for free repairs. You can find the serial number in the Settings app on your Apple Watch, but that’s not helpful if your screen has gone blank, so here’s how to do it from your iPhone:

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  1. On your iPhone, open the Watch app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap About.
  4. Note the Serial Number field.
  5. You can also copy this to your clipboard by long-pressing on the number and tapping Copy.

Checking your Apple Watch serial number from the iPhone also makes it easier to copy and paste it directly into the field on Apple’s website, rather than having to punch it in by hand. Thanks to Apple’s Universal Clipboard feature, you can even copy it on your iPhone and paste it into Safari on your Mac.

How to Get Your Apple Watch’s Blank Screen Serviced

Note that Apple doesn’t appear to be offering these repairs proactively — the document says it’s only for folks whose “Apple Series 6 has exhibited this issue.”

In other words, even if your serial number shows your device is eligible for a repair, Apple likely won’t service it if the screen is working fine. Of course, you’ll still want to keep an eye on it if the serial number shows it’s affected, as it may simply be a matter of time before the screen goes blank.

Since every Apple Watch comes with a one-year warranty, most affected models are likely still under warranty for at least another couple of months. However, this repair program covers this specific repair for two years from the original retail sale, although it doesn’t otherwise extend the standard warranty — only the screen issue is covered.

Of course, customers who purchased AppleCare+ for their Apple Watch Series 6 will already have two years of coverage, including two incidents of accidental damage from handling. So, this repair program is primarily aimed at those who relied on the standard warranty coverage instead.

If your Apple Watch is affected and eligible, you can make an appointment with the Genius Bar at your local Apple Retail Store or take it to an Apple Authorized Service Provider if you have one nearby. Otherwise, you can contact Apple Support to arrange to send it in for service.

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