Home / iPhone / ‘Ghost touches’ are haunting some Apple Watch users – here’s what to do if you’re affected

‘Ghost touches’ are haunting some Apple Watch users – here’s what to do if you’re affected

Apple Watch Ultra 2

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Halloween is coming early to some Apple Watch users, as a strange “ghost touch” glitch is causing watches to make calls, swipe screens, and even prevent wearers from entering their password — all without the screen being touched. 

In a recent memo to authorized Apple retail locations, the company explained that some customers using the Apple Watch Series 9 or Apple Watch Ultra 2 were experiencing false touches on their display. This issue, the memo noted, causes the screen to jump or behave erratically without any input from the wearer. Since the screen is receiving random inputs, this could lead to inconveniences like mis-tapped screens, embarrassing situations such as accidentally placed calls, or even users being locked out of their watches entirely because they can’t enter their password.

Also: The best Apple Watches

The memo, first reported by MacRumors, goes on to instruct technicians not to attempt any repairs until the company investigates. Until then, simply doing a hard reset, or holding the crown and side button at the same time for 10 seconds until the Apple logo goes away, seems to temporarily fix things.

As a reminder, if you’re having issues with being unable to enter your watch password, you can set your watch to automatically unlock when you use Face ID on a paired iPhone.

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Apple Watch Series 9 were just released last September and quickly gained reputations as the best smartwatches on the market. Shortly after debut though, problems with the display flickering began to arise, followed by a legal battle and temporary ban on sale of the devices.

Also: The best Apple Watch Ultra straps

Apple hasn’t said how many users are affected, but given that it released a memo to retailers, it’s likely to be fairly widespread. It’s also not clear whether this is a hardware or a software issue, but given that it just popped up all of a sudden, it’s most likely the latter, which could hopefully be fixed with a WatchOS update.


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