Apple Extends Free Repairs of First-Generation Apple Watches With Detached Back Covers

If you have a first-generation Apple Watch with a separated back cover, Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will repair it free of charge, according to an internal service policy obtained by MacRumors.

apple watch separated back cover

Apple Watch with separated back cover via Reddit user PoorSpanaway

Apple recently extended the service policy's coverage period to up to three years after the original purchase date. If you bought an Apple Watch in April 2015, for example, it is eligible for a free repair until April 2018.

Apple has determined that under certain conditions on some Apple Watch (1st generation) devices the back cover may separate from the watch case. Apple will service eligible devices free of charge. Apple will authorize coverage for three (3) years from the date of purchase.

The service policy has been in effect since last year and applies to any first-generation Apple Watch, including Sport, Edition, and Hermès models, even if the device's limited one-year warranty or extended AppleCare coverage has elapsed.

Affected customers can call an Apple Store and schedule a Genius Bar appointment, or visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider, to initiate the repair process. Or, customers can call Apple Support to arrange shipment of the damaged Apple Watch to an Apple Repair Center in a postage paid box.

Apple advises customers inquiring about a refund for a previous Apple Watch back cover repair to contact Apple Support.

Several users have shared pictures of their first-generation Apple Watch with the back cover falling off on the Apple Support Communities, MacRumors discussion forums, Twitter, and elsewhere on the web. In many cases, the back cover detaches when the Apple Watch is removed from its magnetic charger.

Daring Fireball's John Gruber, for example, shared a picture of his wife's stainless steel Apple Watch with a detached back cover last October. He said the Apple Watch, purchased in May 2015, was providing erratic workout readings before coming apart after it was taken off of its magnetic charger.

While many customers report that Apple repaired their Apple Watch free of charge, some have been forced to pay out of pocket. Since the service policy has not been publicly announced, some Apple support representatives may be unaware of its existence. Escalating your request to a senior advisor may help.

Apple appears to have fixed the issue with its newer Series 1 and Series 2 models, perhaps by using a stronger adhesive.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

OldSchoolMacGuy Avatar
50 months ago
Not at all surprising that they'll take care of it. Apple almost always covers issues like this, even long out of warranty.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
laurim Avatar
50 months ago
Why would they use better glue if you are gonna buy it anyways?
Nice attempt at snark. Because excellent customer service is a major reason we stay loyal.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DaveOP Avatar
50 months ago
Why would they use better glue if you are gonna buy it anyways?
To save themselves money on these repairs?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nvmls Avatar
50 months ago
Why would they use better glue if you are gonna buy it anyways?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GrumpyMom Avatar
50 months ago
Now THAT is the Apple I want to see more of and buy products from! NOT the Apple that initially swept the so-called Touch disease under the rug until they were called out on it.

BTW, I've been swimming with my Nike Series 2 Sport. It's awesome! I think by the end of summer I'm going to have back the fit figure I lost to middle age and donuts. :p
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarlJ Avatar
50 months ago
Same experience here. Had an out of warranty iPhone with an intermittent home button. It was replaced on the spot.

Had a friend accidentally drop his older iPhone 5 into a toilet, which caused it to fail. He went to an Apple store, explained what happened, and the phone was replaced on the spot.
Two months after AppleCare+ ran out on my iPad Air, I accidentally smashed the screen. Took it in, said, "well, this is totally my fault, and my coverage has expired, so what are my options?" - they replaced it for the cost it would have been had it still been under AppleCare+, $50. I like Apple's service.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

tracking disabled ios 14 5

Analytics Suggest 96% of Users Leave App Tracking Disabled in iOS 14.5

Friday May 7, 2021 1:51 am PDT by
An early look at an ongoing analysis of Apple's App Tracking Transparency suggests that the vast majority of iPhone users are leaving app tracking disabled since the feature went live on April 26 with the release of iOS 14.5. According to the latest data from analytics firm Flurry, just 4% of iPhone users in the U.S. have actively chosen to opt into app tracking after updating their device...
macbook colors 3d black bezels

Prosser: Next MacBook Air Could Come in Colors Similar to iMac

Friday May 7, 2021 6:55 am PDT by
According to Apple leaker Jon Prosser, Apple's upcoming release of the MacBook Air will feature various colors, similar to the colors in the newly released 24-inch iMac. In the latest video of his YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser says the same source who accurately provided him information on the first Apple silicon iMac coming in colors has told him that he recently saw a prototype...
snapchat dark mode

Snapchat Rolls Out Dark Mode on iOS

Wednesday May 5, 2021 1:17 am PDT by
Nearly two years following the release of iOS and iPadOS 13, which included native, built-in, and systemwide dark mode, Snapchat, one of the world's most prominent social media networks, has finally rolled out a dark mode theme for iOS users. Snapchat began testing a dark mode theme of its app design late last year with a small group of iOS users. Now, Snapchat says that as of this week, it...
tile amazon sidewalk integration

Tile to Leverage Amazon Echo and Ring Devices to Better Compete With AirTags

Friday May 7, 2021 2:07 pm PDT by
Amazon today announced that it is teaming up with Tile to add Amazon Sidewalk integration to Tile's Bluetooth trackers. Amazon Sidewalk, for those unfamiliar, is a network of Amazon Bluetooth devices that's designed to improve the connectivity of devices like the Ring and Amazon Echo. Tile will now be joining Amazon Sidewalk, and through this integration, Amazon Echo and Ring devices will be ...
tile sticker e1570533758981

Tile CEO: 'We Welcome Competition From Apple, But We Think It Needs to Be Fair'

Tuesday May 4, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Just after Apple announced its AirTags, Tile CEO CJ Prober relayed his concerns about competing with Apple in the tracking space, and said that Tile would ask Congress to investigate Apple's business practices specific to Find My and item trackers. Prober this week did an interview with Bloomberg, where he further expanded on Tile's complaints about Apple and why he feels that Tile is...
airtag 1

AirTag Anti-Stalking Measures 'Just Aren't Sufficient' Says Washington Post Report

Wednesday May 5, 2021 6:03 pm PDT by
The safeguards that Apple built into AirTags to prevent them from being used to track someone "just aren't sufficient," The Washington Post's Geoffrey Fowler said today in a report investigating how AirTags can be used for covert stalking. Fowler planted an AirTag on himself and teamed up with a colleague to be pretend stalked, and he came to the conclusion that the AirTags are a "new means...
signal instagram ads3

Signal Shares the Instagram Ads Facebook Doesn't Want You to See

Wednesday May 5, 2021 1:29 am PDT by
Encrypted messaging app Signal has had a series of Instagram ads blocked from the social media platform, after it attempted to show users how much data the Facebook-owned company collects about them and how it's used to push targeted ads. In a blog post, Signal described how it generated the ads to show users why they were seeing them, simply by declaring upfront the information that the...
fortnite apple logo 2

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney Admits App Store's 30% Cut Is Similar to Consoles, Would Have Accepted Special Deal With Apple

Tuesday May 4, 2021 1:54 pm PDT by
Apple's legal battle with Epic Games is continuing on, and during the second day of the trial, Epic Games' CEO Tim Sweeney continued his testimony against Apple. Sweeney was grilled by Apple's lawyers, and made several points seemingly favorable to Apple. In addition to mentioning how he prefers Apple's iPhone and values Apple's privacy policies that he's aiming to dismantle, Sweeney...
iphone 12 preorder purple

Apple Begins Transition to Randomized Serial Numbers With Purple iPhone 12

Wednesday May 5, 2021 9:17 am PDT by
MacRumors previously reported about Apple's plan to switch to randomized serial numbers for future products starting in early 2021, and this transition has now started with the new purple iPhone 12 model in multiple countries. With assistance from Aaron Zollo, host of the YouTube channel ZolloTech, we can confirm that the purple iPhone 12 released last month has a new 10-character serial...
precision finding developer mode

AirTag Precision Finding Interface Includes Hidden 'Developer Mode'

Thursday May 6, 2021 1:32 am PDT by
A frustrated AirTag owner has inadvertently discovered the existence of a hidden "developer mode" in the on-screen interface that Find My displays when the Precision Finding feature is activated to help locate one of Apple's item trackers. Precision Finding is a feature that provides users with specific on-screen directions for finding a nearby AirTag. iPhones with a U1 chip, which includes ...