Apple has announced a new repair program for users with Apple Watch Series 5 or Apple Watch SE not charging after being put in Power Reserve mode. Apple will repair impacted Apple Watch models free of charge.
Earlier today, watchOS 7.3.1 was released as a fix for both aforementioned Apple Watch models, as they were exhibiting issues with not charging after being put in Power Reserve. The issue has been noticed on watchOS 7.2 and watchOS 7.3 only on these specific models.
If your Apple Watch Series 5 or SE is stuck in Power Reserve, contact Apple
If you had not put your Apple Watch Series 5 or SE in Power Reserve mode, you should have been able to upgrade to watchOS 7.3.1 easily. However, as Apple Watch needs to be in normal operating condition to connect to iPhone and install a software update, users who had already been in Power Reserve mode are unable to get watchOS 7.3.1 for the fix.
For such users, Apple has announced the free repair program, as per a new support article on its website. The article explains how you can check if your Apple Watch has this problem. If it is stuck in Power Reserve, place it on its charger for at least 30 minutes.
To check if your Apple Watch is affected by this issue, place your watch on the charger that you normally use, then wait at least 30 minutes.
If it still does not charge, it is likely affected by the Apple Watch Power Reserve bug. Contact Apple and you can set up a mail-in repair.
If your Apple Watch still won’t charge, contact Apple Support to set up a mail-in repair free of charge. Your watch will be examined before service to verify that it’s eligible for free repair.
This is a strange issue, similar to the recent charging issue fix for 2016/2017 MacBook Pros released via macOS Big Sur 11.2.1. Apple released an issue for charging for those MacBook Pro models too, but for those systems that are already impacted by the non-charging issue, the company is offering a free battery replacement program since those Macs cannot install the software update.