How to fix a sticky Digital Crown on your Apple Watch

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited December 2016
Through regular daily use, the rotating Digital Crown on the Apple Watch can collect dirt, debris and general gunk underneath, making it feel sticky to turn or press. Thankfully, Apple recommends a simple and quick fix that should return it to normal.




As a wearable device, it's easy for dust, hand lotion, soap, and other common elements to come into contact with the Apple Watch. If it collects around the Digital Crown, its performance can be reduced.

But because the Apple Watch is waterproof for Series 2, and water resistant for Series 1 and the first-generation models, all of Apple's wrist-worn devices can be quickly cleaned in the sink.

Apple recommends powering off and holding the Digital Crown under lightly running, warm, fresh water from a faucet for just 10 to 15 seconds. Simply rotate and press the Digital Crown as the water runs to help push out any substances that have collected underneath.

There's no need to use any cleaning products, like soap, when repairing the digital crown -- just water should do the trick. After completed, it's recommended to wipe the device with a non-abrasive, lint-free cleaning cloth.

If you have a water-resistant Apple Watch band, like the silicone sport option, or woven nylon, you can even leave the band on during cleaning --?or leave the watch secured on your wrist. However, if you use your watch with a leather band, Apple recommends removing it from the device before cleaning, in order to prevent water damage.

For more, see how the Digital Crown can allow you to discreetly check the time in a dark environment, like inside a movie theater, with Apple Watch Series 2. And see AppleInsider's ongoing helpful tips and guides to get the most out of your Apple products, apps and services.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    I push the crown a few times a day, but can't remember the last time I turned it.

    I also didn't realize until a few months ago when the series 1 and 2 were introduced that my year-old Apple Watch wasn't waterproof. Don't let it know, though! It's been sprayed, sprinkled, dripped, showered, and submerged on many occasions while I was none the wiser - with no signs of water intrusion.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 11
    After a cup of soda got spilled on my arm and consequently on my Apple Watch, the crown wouldn't turn or press. Before taking it in for repairs, I took a chance and did exactly what it said above: I stuck it under a running water faucet. The crown now works fine. Whenever it gets a little stuck, I do it again.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 11
    I see Apple has updated its page on cleaning. Not long ago, it warned users against splashing it with water, which I thought was interesting since the CEO boasted it was his expensive rubber ducky.
  • Reply 4 of 11
    I'm sorry, but there would be no way in heck that I would do this to my watch, Series 1 or 2.  I'm very surprised that AppleInsider would publish such an article. 

    Here's a safer option <and one I do myself>:

    1.  Take off the watch.
    2.  Use a wet paper towel or rag and gently wipe off the crown.
    3.  Turn the crown to make sure it isn't still sticky.
    4.  Put the watch back on.

    Problem solved.
  • Reply 5 of 11
    Have problem not with the crown but with the side button sticking. A quick wash seems to fix that problem too. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 11
    technotechno Posts: 661member
    I have been very nervous about using this method on my series 1 watch. I guess I will try since my crown and button stick every once in a while.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    I wore my Apple Watch Sport (original) in the shower literally every single day for more than a year, and never had the slightest problem. I'd slip it off, wash it with a little soap, rinse it under a very strong shower head, and put it back on. I wore it to the beach on multiple occasions, went in the ocean, etc. Likewise with my Series 2 Sport. I've never had the crown or any button stick, and I've never had any problems. Incredible build quality. It's just kinda sad that Apple under-promised on that aspect. I'm shocked how many people just assume they can't even get them near water.
    redgeminipa
  • Reply 8 of 11
    danuff said:
    I'm sorry, but there would be no way in heck that I would do this to my watch, Series 1 or 2.  I'm very surprised that AppleInsider would publish such an article. 

    Here's a safer option <and one I do myself>:

    1.  Take off the watch.
    2.  Use a wet paper towel or rag and gently wipe off the crown.
    3.  Turn the crown to make sure it isn't still sticky.
    4.  Put the watch back on.

    Problem solved.
    You're paranoid. I've done everything while wearing mine except for showering and swimming. Mine gets wet daily, at least by washing my hands and even doing dishes. Zero issues in almost the year I've had it so far.
    danuff
  • Reply 9 of 11
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,463member
    Just curious why if the instructions say power off the image shows the power on, I assume that's a Mk. II so no need to power off?
  • Reply 10 of 11
    gordygordy Posts: 951member
    Wore my series 2 in the ocean last week without issues.
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