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Apple Watch users report a phantom issue: what to do if you’re affected

  • Apple Watch 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 users are affected by a ‘phantom glitch’
  • Apple doesn’t have an official solution, but suggests that forcing a restart may resolve the issue.

Halloween came early for many Apple Watch users who were left struggling with a “ghost touch” issue.

The issue causes the watch screen to act as if it is being tapped or swiped even when no one is touching it.

According to an internal memo sent to Apple authorized vendors, this can cause the watch to make calls and even prevent the user from entering their password.

Apple says it is aware of the issue and is investigating it, but has not provided further details about what could be causing it.

If you are affected, there is no need to call an exorcist, as a simple force restart seems to fix the problem.

Apple Watch users are being haunted by ‘ghost touches’ as a glitch causes the smartwatch’s screen to register taps and swipes when no one is using it (stock image)

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The internal note, seen by MacRumorsstates: “Some customers may report that their Apple Watch Series 9 or Apple Watch Ultra 2 is experiencing false touches on its screen.”

The memo further notes that customers may describe this problem as “phantom” touches.

The bug causes the screen to register taps and swipes without any input, causing the screen to “jump erratically.”

Since the watch constantly records inputs, the actual user cannot control the screen and may not even be able to unlock their device.

Apple did not provide any additional information on how many users were affected by the issue.

However, it is quite unusual for Apple to announce that it is investigating an issue that suggests it could be quite widespread.

The flaw affects the Apple Watch 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 (pictured) and can cause the watch to make phone calls and prevent users from entering their password.

On social media, several commenters reported that they had experienced this problem.

“My series 9 went crazy last night, I had to reboot to type my password,” wrote one commenter on X, formerly Twitter.

Another wrote: “My Ultra 2 watch has crazy “ghost touches” several times, forcing me to do a hard reset.”

While another added that they had been affected by the issue several times, but assumed it was caused by the “double tap gesture being activated by accident.”

On X, formerly Twitter, several Apple Watch users reported experiencing the ghost touch issue, which required a force restart to resolve.

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Both the Apple Watch 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 were released in September 2023 and run on watchOS.

The problem could be due to a hardware or software failure, but Apple has not provided any further information about the cause.

The memo sent to Apple suppliers advises technicians not to repair models affected by the problem while the origin is investigated.

However, the memo also asks technicians to instruct customers to force restart their Apple Watch if they experience ghost touches.

To do this, press and hold the Digital Crown and the side button at the same time for at least ten seconds.

Once the Apple logo appears on the screen you can release the digital crown and the device will reboot.

It’s important to note that this is not Apple’s official solution, but several commenters on the original MacRumors post say it worked for them.

Apple also suggests that keeping the device updated with the latest version of watchOS could also help with the issue.

MailOnline has contacted Apple for additional information.

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