Apple will be doing a visual mechanical inspection of the Apple Watch, like with the rest of its products, when customers bring in a damaged device for repair. But what will be covered under your warranty exactly? And what issues will Apple be looking for to determine what is eligible for repair under or out of warranty? Head below for all the details…

With its standard warranty, Apple includes “one year of hardware repair coverage” and 90 days of support over the phone or online complimentary out of the box (or two years for the Apple Watch Edition), but it also offers extended coverage and “up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage” for those that pay to upgrade to AppleCare+. When you bring in your device for service, this is how Apple will determine what’s covered:


Eligible for service under warranty:

  • Debris under the display glass or pixel anomalies
  • Back cover repairs only when no evidence of prying
  • Condensation in the heart rate sensor windows

Any of the above issues, regardless of accidental damage, will get you a replacement unit.


Problems eligible for out of warranty service (which means you’ll likely have to pay depending on the type of damage):

  • A cracked or missing digital crown cap
  • Extreme abrasion/puncture holes/damage to buttons or crown
  • Chips or cracks in glass exposing internals
  • Back cover with evidence of prying or enclosure damage
  • Bent or split enclosures
  • Missing or remove band release mechanisms
  • Cracks in the back cover


Damage ineligible for service includes:

  • A disassembled unit or missing parts
  • Catastrophic damage (destroyed or in multiple pieces)
  • Counterfeit or third-party parts and unauthorized modifications (after market or non-Apple parts)

Devices brought in for service with any of these issues will be returned to the user and not serviced by Apple, although catastrophic damage might be covered on AppleCare+, depending on if Apple determines the damage is covered under the extended warranty’s accidental damage coverage. We previously reported that Apple has a more secure, stringent return process for the expensive Apple Watch Edition models.

It’s possible Apple won’t service or exchange units in-store, as authorized service providers at the very least are currently instructed to mail-in the damaged device.

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About the Author

Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.