By | December 17, 2023
Apple Watch Series 9 Problems: 4 Common Problems and How to Fix Them |  Digital trends

Apple Watch Series 9 Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Apple Watch is one of the most popular smartwatches on the market today, and this year we have the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2.

While they look exactly like their predecessors and don’t have any exciting new health sensors, this year’s Apple Watches have some fun new features. For example, Double Tap is a new gesture that lets you perform certain actions on the Apple Watch with one hand, and the new S9 chip allows Siri to perform localized requests rather than relying on a data connection.

But even the Apple Watch isn’t perfect. You may encounter some problems from time to time. If that’s you right now, we’ve got some tips to get you back on track. Here are some common Apple Watch Series 9 problems and how to fix them.

Double Tap doesn’t work

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The Double Tap feature is one of the best new features in the new Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2. This new gesture lets you do things like answer calls, turn off the alarm, reply to messages, and more. To do the double-tap gesture, simply press your index finger and thumb together twice.

No additional configuration is required to enable Double Tap on Apple Watch Series 9 or Apple Watch Ultra 2 (these are the only compatible models at this time). So anyone with the new Apple Watches should be able to access Double Tap right away. But if it doesn’t work for you, there could be several reasons for that.

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First, you need to make sure your Apple Watch is on watchOS 10.1, as this software version enables the feature. You can also make sure Double Tap wasn’t turned off by mistake by going to Settings > Gestures and make sure Double Tap is on.

Another thing to note is that Double Tap is not available when the Apple Watch is in Low Power Mode or Sleep Focus is active. It also doesn’t work when the screen is idle (wrist down), and some accessibility features can disable it.

Finally, Double Tap isn’t available at all on Apple Watches set up for a family member — it only works for your own Apple Watch Series 9 or Ultra 2 and if it’s on your wrist and unlocked.

Watch face complications do not appear

Nike Globe dial Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

One of the best things about an Apple Watch is the watch face. While some of the watch faces offered in watchOS are simple or animated, others can be much more informative with your choice of app complications. With Complications, you can see bits of data like the current temperature, date, upcoming calendar events, when the sun sets, and more.

However, sometimes you may encounter blips where the complication you’ve selected simply doesn’t show up or doesn’t work properly. For example, many people complained that Apple’s Weather app did not load properly for a while. There are a few different ways to fix this.

First, you want to make sure everything is up to date. This includes the version of watchOS you’re running, as well as making sure the app itself is also up to date. If that doesn’t work, try restarting your Apple Watch by turning it off and on again.

Apple Watch Series 9 (left) and Apple Watch Series 8 Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

If the typical steps don’t work, try replacing the malfunctioning complication with something else, make sure one loads on the watch face, and then switch back to the original complication you’re trying to get to work.

A common problem with the weather complication not working was that it was set to “current location”, which seemed to cause problems with some users. If so, try setting the location to a specific city instead of the current location and see if that works.

And if all else fails, you can try resetting the Apple Watch, but make sure you’ve backed up your data first.

Bad battery life

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Apple Watch Ultra and Ultra 2 have exceptional battery life, with a single charge lasting approximately 36 hours. However, the regular Apple Watch Series 9 doesn’t have that long of a battery life, as it still only gets about a full day of use before you need to juice it up again. But you might think your battery should last longer than it actually does. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do.

The best solution to extend the battery life of your Apple Watch Series 9 (or older) is to enable Low Power Mode. In this mode, the amount of current used is reduced, extending the life of the battery. Of course, you’ll have to make some compromises — Low Power Mode will turn off the always-on display, Double Tap, Time in Daylight, heart rate notifications, background heart rate and blood oxygen readings, and reminder to start exercising.

Another important step to ensure you maximize battery life is to make sure you’re running the latest version of watchOS.

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Since the Apple Watch Series 5, Apple has added an always-on display to every Apple Watch (except the SE). Of course, the display always uses power, so you can reduce this by turning off the always-on display if you don’t need it. Combining that with turning off raise to wake (tap screen to wake instead) can extend battery life even further.

By default, Background App Refresh is on and controls background access to data you’ve given certain apps to read. This is a good option to turn off if you don’t need it, and you can do that by going to Watch app on your iPhone, select Generalwill Background app update, and turn it off completely or for specific apps. The apps you’ve selected for watch face complications will continue to run even if the Background App Refresh setting is turned off.

If none of these have worked, you can use the last resort option and reset your Apple Watch. Again, make sure your data is backed up first before nuking it.

A flickering display

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Some users have reported issues with screen flickering on the Apple Watch Series 9. This issue involves screen brightness flickering or “pulsing” on affected models with always-on display enabled. Although most of the affected models are Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, older models are not immune. The common denominator is watchOS 10.

If you are experiencing this issue, Apple has notified service providers do not fix affected screens. Instead, Apple has said to keep the watchOS software updated.

But if you want a temporary solution right now, Apple says you can turn off the always-on display for now. Another issue arose where some complications, such as the activity rings, could temporarily turn pink. There is no known workaround for this problem other than waiting it out.

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