Some Apple Watch Series 3 owners dealing with crashes after watchOS 7 update

Posted:
in Apple Watch
Some owners of the Apple Watch Series 3 have complained about the update to watchOS 7 causing crashes and shutdowns, in what could be early teething issues for the operating system.

The Apple Watch Series 3.
The Apple Watch Series 3.


The launch of a new operating system or a milestone version update usually brings with it some initial problems, which are usually fixed in initial patches and updates post-launch. For watchOS 7, it seems that the Apple Watch Series 3 is suffering the lion's share of issues.

In a thread in Apple's support forums, a group of Series 3 owners are griping about stability issues with watchOS 7 on their devices, endured since the update's installation. Common complaints include unprompted crashes and reboots, as well as battery drainage problems.

One user on September 18 reported by 9to5Mac said their Apple Watch "shut itself down at least 3 times, locked itself while on my wrist 4 times, failed to load complications on multiple faces," and disconnected from the iPhone at least twice, all in one day. The same user also observed the battery capacity was down to 50% capacity after around 8 hours, far lower than the usual 80% level they previously saw.

Other users mention being forced to reset the Apple Watch to get watchOS to install, repeated restarts and slow complication reloads following reboots. Some also reported delays in weather updates and a need to re-enter their passcode while they are still wearing the Apple Watch.

In a few cases, users had taken the step of clearing the Apple Watch to a factory reset before updating, due to having a limited amount of storage capacity remaining on their devices, but the problems still surfaced.

The events are also seemingly limited to the model of Apple Watch without age being a factor. One user claimed they had bought the Series 3 only one month ago, making it an Apple Watch with minimal wear or usage, and it too was enduring supposed battery drain issues.

The release of watchOS 7.01 on September 24 doesn't appear to have fixed any of the issues for those affected by it. Apple is also currently beta-testing an update for watchOS 7.1, but it is more probable that a smaller incremental update will be released first specifically to fix bugs.

It is unclear if Apple is aware of the Apple Watch Series 3 issues with watchOS 7, but given the number of complaints on the thread, including 649 people clicking the "I have this question too" button, it is probable that the company knows about them.

This particular incident is only slightly above the rate of other battery-draining and crashing issues experienced by a small percentage users in the first few weeks after a big operating system update. In previous similar issues, either waiting out indexing or a clean reinstall of the operating system in question generally fixes the problem, but at present, neither of those solutions appear to work to solve the problem reliably.

AppleInsider is not able to reproduce the problem.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    Mine has been fine. Odds are a third party app ot two are  glitching. 
    edited September 2020 lkrupp
  • Reply 2 of 38
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,611member
    It won't even install on my wife's Series 3. Says she doesn't have enough space even though she doesn't have any images or third-party apps installed.
    MplsP
  • Reply 3 of 38
    My Series 5 had a problem with Pay after the 7.0.1 install but multiple hard reboots finally fixed it. Otherwise my main first impression of watchOS 7 is that it’s noticeably faster than watchOS 6 ever was.

    Waiting til late October for my Apple dealer to receive their shipment of Series 6 Apple watches so I can get my BLUE Series 6 for a little less money than list.
  • Reply 4 of 38
    I have looked down at my series 3 twice to just see the Apple logo as it is rebooting. Haven’t noticed it since the latest update to 7.0.1, but that hasn’t been installed for too long. 
  • Reply 5 of 38
    andywarmstrongandywarmstrong Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    I couldn't update either of my family's Apple Series 3s due to the lack of memory, but I found that it worked to do a factory reset and then perform the update. I am seeing worse battery performance, and yesterday my watch crashed twice while just sitting idle on my wrist. I hope they manage to resolve these issues.
    lkrupp
  • Reply 6 of 38
    good here. i’m really surprised at how watchOS made my S4 faster. especially switching apps
  • Reply 7 of 38
    No crashes however for the last two years every time there is an update I have to unpair and re pair the watch. Now it’s so bad my son who is 11 we have to do the same thing because otherwise not enough memory to do the upgrade.
  • Reply 8 of 38
    I couldn't update either of my family's Apple Series 3s due to the lack of memory, but I found that it worked to do a factory reset and then perform the update. I am seeing worse battery performance, and yesterday my watch crashed twice while just sitting idle on my wrist. I hope they manage to resolve these issues.
    I couldn't update either of my family's Apple Series 3s due to the lack of memory, but I found that it worked to do a factory reset and then perform the update. I am seeing worse battery performance, and yesterday my watch crashed twice while just sitting idle on my wrist. I hope they manage to resolve these issues.
    I couldn't update either of my family's Apple Series 3s due to the lack of memory, but I found that it worked to do a factory reset and then perform the update. I am seeing worse battery performance, and yesterday my watch crashed twice while just sitting idle on my wrist. I hope they manage to resolve these issues.
    Un pair and re pair, seems to even be fine if you restore from backup when you re pair. Had this problem for two years now because I have a lot of data, even my son has it now with almost nothing on his phone. 
  • Reply 9 of 38
    sgordon said:
    I couldn't update either of my family's Apple Series 3s due to the lack of memory, but I found that it worked to do a factory reset and then perform the update. I am seeing worse battery performance, and yesterday my watch crashed twice while just sitting idle on my wrist. I hope they manage to resolve these issues.
    Un pair and re pair, seems to even be fine if you restore from backup when you re pair. Had this problem for two years now because I have a lot of data, even my son has it now with almost nothing on his phone. 
    Not necessary (for me).  My S3 (bought on day one of release) also could not install watchOS 7 due to not enough memory.  I did not even have any songs or such on it, but a half-dozen photos (not sure how they got there), but basically nothing.  

    What I did was simply to restart it (not factory reset, not unpair/re-pair) and after the 2nd restart there was enough memory free.  It seems each reset does a sort of garbage collection and frees up memory.  The first restart frees up a bunch, then the 2nd restart frees up more.  Even if you're very close but not quite what it says you need, try the update.  It worked for me for 7.0.1 when it said I needed 2GB but only had 1.9GB free.

    Both for watchOS 7.0 and 7.0.1 I got the "not enough storage" and a double restart fixed it both times.  No loss of data, no having to redo Apple Pay cards, nothing.  

    Just TWO restarts (a restart being when you hold crown button and side button at the same time until you see the Apple logo).  
    edited September 2020 roundaboutnowrazorpit
  • Reply 10 of 38
    Did the whole unpair, pair, factory reset dance with my series 3 and absolutely regret having watchos 7 installed on it. Battery life is way worse, and the watch is often slower. I guess it's really pushing the limit of limited available memory. Also haptic feedback is much softer somehow.
  • Reply 11 of 38
    Installed overnight and tried using apple pay the next day.  No luck.  Now started looking and noticed constantly rebooting.  Closed all apps on the watch and rebooted.  Seemed better.  Next 7.01 autoinstalled overnight and I was right back where I started.  Closed all apps and rebooted. At first was stilll probematic but working so far today.  Only apps that were open were apple apps.
  • Reply 12 of 38
    mazda 3s said:
    It won't even install on my wife's Series 3. Says she doesn't have enough space even though she doesn't have any images or third-party apps installed.

    Did she download music?   It shows in the watch app under General / About.
    JFC_PA
  • Reply 13 of 38
    mazda 3s said:
    It won't even install on my wife's Series 3. Says she doesn't have enough space even though she doesn't have any images or third-party apps installed.
    Look at my post above about doing a double-restart on the AW3.
  • Reply 14 of 38
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,611member
    mazda 3s said:
    It won't even install on my wife's Series 3. Says she doesn't have enough space even though she doesn't have any images or third-party apps installed.

    Did she download music?   It shows in the watch app under General / About.
    Nope. She only uses it for fitness tracking and notifications. No other apps installed.
  • Reply 15 of 38
    A restart solved the installation “no space” issue with a relatively new Apple series 3 watch. My watch has also randomly rebooted three times.
    roundaboutnow
  • Reply 16 of 38
    which watch face is that on the left, with the fluorescent hands? Been trying to find that in the gallery, without success.
  • Reply 17 of 38
    I had the "not enough space" issue when I tried to update the last 6.x watchOS on my S3 a couple of weeks ago. I had deleted all apps/music, etc, but it still wouldn't update. I ended up unpairing and setting up as new to get the 6.x update installed. I wish I thought of simply re-starting like others here have suggested, but setting up as new was fairly easy. Once I successfully installed 6.x, I made sure to turn off syncing as much as possible* and only have a few extra apps installed to try to avoid having this happening again.

    The 7.0 and subsequent 7.0.1 updates installed without issue (perhaps having a fresh 6.x install helped). I haven't observed any performance or battery problems.

    *One thing I noticed in the 7.0 update was that under Photo Syncing, Selected Photo Album now allows "None" as an option. Previously, "None" wasn't an option, and I had to do a workaround by selecting an Album with nothing in it.

    Because of memory limitation, I now strongly recommend not syncing Photos/Podcasts/Music on an S3 (GPS only-not cellular).
  • Reply 18 of 38

    michelb76 said:
    Did the whole unpair, pair, factory reset dance with my series 3 and absolutely regret having watchos 7 installed on it. Battery life is way worse, and the watch is often slower. I guess it's really pushing the limit of limited available memory. Also haptic feedback is much softer somehow.
    The default haptic setting (which you would have after a reset) is not the strongest setting. Did you go into Settings and set haptic to the strongest setting? 
  • Reply 19 of 38
    xsmixsmi Posts: 138member
    I’ve had one crash while using CarPlay. However, I’ve had quite a few instances of it locking while on my wrist. And it was odd that it was also losing my activity that BGSU data. 
  • Reply 20 of 38
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,679member
    mazda 3s said:
    mazda 3s said:
    It won't even install on my wife's Series 3. Says she doesn't have enough space even though she doesn't have any images or third-party apps installed.

    Did she download music?   It shows in the watch app under General / About.
    Nope. She only uses it for fitness tracking and notifications. No other apps installed.
    I have the same problem - I’m still back at version 6.2.1 because it can’t update due to ‘inadequate memory’ even though I have nothing extra installed. I don’t really care about the new features, so I’m content with what I have. Reading this it’s all the more reason not to upgrade. 
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