Many problems that crop up on Apple devices are fixable with software updates, but some are more serious. That appears to be the case with a “blank screen issue” affecting certain Apple Watch Series 6 units. Last week, Apple announced a service program for all affected devices, which were manufactured between April 2021 and September 2021.
Apple Watch blank screen service program
According to Apple, the screens on a limited number of 40mm Apple Watch Series 6 devices have gone blank permanently. The company didn’t explain why this happens or what exactly it plans to do to fix the problem. The good news is that Apple will fix your Apple Watch Series 6 for free if it’s eligible for the new service program.
In order to determine whether or not your device is eligible, you will need the serial number. Of course, if the screen is blank, you clearly can’t check your watch. Instead, you can find the serial number of your watch by opening the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, moving to the My Watch tab, and heading to General > About. On this page, you should see either a Serial Number or an IMEI (if you have an Apple Watch GPS + Cellular model).
You can also find the serial number on the case of your Apple Watch. On Apple Watch Series 6, remove the band and look inside the band slot to find it.
How to prepare your Apple Watch for service
If your Apple Watch Series 6 is eligible for the program, you have a few options. If you live by any Apple Store, you can make an appointment there. You can also visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider. If traveling to a brick-and-mortar store isn’t an option, you can get in touch with Apple Support and arrange mail-in service with the Apple Repair Center. Just follow the steps on this page to get your watch ready for service.
There are some big caveats. First of all, this program doesn’t extend the standard warranty coverage of your Apple Watch. Furthermore, the program only covers Apple Watch Series 6 for two years after the retail sale of the unit. Apple launched the Apple Watch Series 6 on September 18th, 2020, so that date is approaching for early adopters. That said, the issue is only said to affect units manufactured between April and September of 2021.
In related news, Apple also launched a Self Service Repair Store this week. The store sells parts and tools that customers can buy and rent to repair iPhones at home. For now, the store is only available in the US, but Apple plans to expand into Europe later this year. The store will start stocking parts for Mac computers in the coming months as well.
More Apple Watch coverage: For more wearable news, visit our Apple Watch Series 8 guide.