Fixing Apple Watch False Touch & Ghost Touch Issues

Apr 26, 2024 - Leave a Comment

Fix the false touch issue on Apple Watch

Some Apple Watch users have experienced a situation where their Apple Watch seems to respond to phantom touches, which some users have come to call ghost touches. These false touches can happen in a variety of different situations, from the Apple Watch simply being on your wrist and doing nothing out of the ordinary, to situations where you are wearing gloves or long sleeves, to when in a shower or washing dishes – where presumably some water contact on the screen registers as a false touch – and are even sometimes accompanied by the Apple Watch display being unresponsive to intentional touch as well.

If you’re experiencing ghost touches or false touches on Apple Watch, there are a few tricks you can try which may help to resolve or remedy the situation for you.

Fix 1: Update watchOS System Software

The first thing you should do is make sure your Apple Watch system software is up to date. Often software updates include bug fixes and corrections to known issues, and the ghost touch and false touch issue is one of those. In fact, resolving an issue with false touches was specifically mentioned in watchOS 10.4 release notes.

You can update your Apple Watch at any time by going to the paired iPhone’s Watch app > Watch > Settings > General > Software Update.

It’s important to note that some users (myself included) have found that false touch issues have not been fully resolved with watchOS 10.4, but that doesn’t mean that will be the case for you, nor does it mean that a future watchOS update will not fix the issue.

It’s good practice to keep your Apple Watch system software updated anyway.

Fix 2: Force Restart Apple Watch

Many users have found that if you force restart the Apple Watch, the false touch issue will fix itself, at least for a little while.

Force restarting Apple Watch has is the same on every Apple Watch model since the beginning of the device; hold down both buttons on the side of the Apple Watch concurrently until you see an  Apple logo appear on the screen.

How long this lasts for you may depend on a variety of conditions, or just pure randomness, but it does appear to help many users.

Fix 3: Try Locking Your Screen Down

If you have a particular situation that continuously activates ghost touches or false touches, use the Water Lock feature to lock the screen and prevent unintentional touches and ghost touches.

Water Lock can be accessed and enabled any time from the Control Center on Apple Watch, just look for the little water droplet icon and tap on that to enable it.

I personally encounter the false touch / ghost touch issue frequently enough on my own Apple Watch, either when wearing long sleaves or any type of gloves that extend into the wrist, during workouts, or near any type of liquid, that I’m now in the habit of using the Water Lock feature on a routine basis.

Do you experience false touches or ghost touches on your Apple Watch? Did updating system software fix the problem for you? What about force restarting the device? Do you use the water lock feature as a workaround too? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments.


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Posted by: Jamie Cuevas in Apple Watch, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

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