Apple Watch Battery Replacement
By Andrew Optimus Goldheart • Difficulty: Difficult

Got a dead or swollen battery in your Apple Watch? Use this guide to replace it.

Note: If your battery is swollen, take appropriate precautions.

Power off the Apple Watch
Apply heat
  • Prepare an iOpener (or grab a hair dryer or heat gun) and heat the face of the watch until it's slightly too hot to touch.
  • Leave the iOpener on the watch for at least a minute to fully heat the screen and soften the adhesive holding it to the case.
  • You may need to reheat the iOpener, or move it around on the screen as sections cool, to heat the screen enough to pry it off.
Observe all warnings
  • Because the gap between the screen and watch body is so thin, a sharp blade is required to separate the two. Read the following warnings carefully before proceeding.
  • Protect your fingers by keeping them completely clear of the knife. If in doubt, protect your free hand with a heavy glove, such as a leather shop glove or gardening glove.
  • Be careful not to apply too much pressure, as this might cause the knife to slip and cut you, or damage the watch.
  • Wear eye protection. The knife or glass may break, sending pieces flying.
Pry up the screen
  • Using a curved blade minimizes the chance of scratching the case or cracking the glass. Only pry with the curved section of the blade, and not the tip or flat section.
  • Place the curved section of the blade in the gap between the glass and case on the lower edge of the watch face, and press firmly straight down into the gap.
  • Be very careful to maintain complete control over the knife—once the gap opens, if you're pressing too hard on the knife it may slip in and cut the battery.
  • This should wedge the gap open and cause the glass to lift slightly up from the case.
  • When the glass has lifted, gently rotate the knife down, opening the gap more by pushing the glass up.
Step 5
  • Once you've opened the gap enough, insert the tip of an opening pick under the glass.
  • Slide the pick along the bottom edge to separate adhesive holding the screen to the case.
  • Be careful not to insert the opening pick too far. Only about 1/8" ( about 3 mm) is necessary, any deeper and you may damage cables.
Step 6
  • Roll the opening pick up the side of the button side of the watch, gently pushing in to separate the adhesive and widening the gap as you go.
  • Remember not to push the pick in too far—it's easier to avoid this by rolling the pick, rather than dragging a tip along.
Step 7
  • Work the pick around the top right corner, and roll it along the top edge of the screen.
Step 8
  • Continue working the pick around the perimeter of the screen, rolling down along the left side to cut the last of the adhesive.
  • Leave the pick in place to keep the adhesive from resealing the screen in place.
Step 9
  • While holding the first pick in place, use a second to check that all of the adhesive is separated around the entire perimeter of the screen.
Step 10
  • There are two cables connecting the screen to the inside of the watch, near the top left corner. Be careful when prying or you may damage these cables.
  • Pry slightly up on the right side of the screen, to free it from any remaining adhesive.
  • Pry up on the left to free it as well—but do not attempt to remove the screen as it is still held in place by two cables.
Step 11
  • If you can see the top layer of your Force Touch sensor among the display adhesive, it means the two layers of the sensor separated and you're going to need to replace or repair it.
  • iFixit screen and battery repair kits come with a replacement Force Touch sensor, so if you got one of those, don't fret.
  • The top layer of the sensor may be adhered to the back of the screen—if so, push it back down and separate it.
Step 12
  • Lift the screen up and shift it to the left, minding the display data and digitizer cables.
Step 13
  • Place the watch on an elevated surface, at least 1/2" or 1 cm tall—a small box or the edge of a book will work great. This will allow the screen to hang down vertically and give better access to the battery.
  • Be careful not to bump the screen or strain the cables while you work.
Step 14
  • Use scissors to cut one of your opening picks to about the width of the battery. Try not to leave any sharp corners.
  • Insert the modified pick between the right side of the battery and the case.
  • Use constant, steady pressure to slowly pry the battery up, separating it from the adhesive securing it to the system board.
  • Be careful not to deform or puncture the battery.
  • On the larger (42 mm) models, it's possible to accidentally pry at the system board underneath the battery. Insert the pick only far enough to get underneath the battery, not the system board.
  • If needed, apply a little high concentration isopropyl alcohol (90% or greater) around and under the battery to help weaken the adhesive.
  • Do not attempt to remove the battery as it is still connected.
Step 15
  • Rotate the battery counterclockwise to expose its connector.
Step 16
  • Hold the battery up and out of the way, to expose the battery cable connector.
  • Use a plastic opening tool, prying against the bottom of the case to separate the battery cable connector from the watch's battery cable.
  • Remove the battery from the watch.
  • If the battery is visibly dented or deformed, it should be replaced. For best results, replace with a new battery whenever it is removed.

Continue from Step 17 of the Force Touch Sensor guide to re-seal your watch and complete your repair.