Can You Replace Battery In Apple Watch Series 1

by Barbara Wilson

The Apple Watch Series 1, launched in 2016, was Apple’s second iteration of its smartwatch line. Over time, as with any battery-operated device, the battery life can diminish, necessitating a replacement. This article will provide a detailed, point-by-point guide on replacing the battery in an Apple Watch Series 1.


The Apple Watch Series 1 is a popular device among tech enthusiasts and fitness aficionados. However, like any electronic device, its battery can degrade over time. Replacing the battery can extend the life of your watch and ensure it continues to function optimally. In this article, we will cover the feasibility, steps, tools required, and alternatives for replacing the battery in an Apple Watch Series 1.


Understanding the Apple Watch Series 1 Battery

1. Battery Specifications

Type: Lithium-ion


Capacity: 205 mAh (38mm), 246 mAh (42mm)


Voltage: 3.8 V

Lifecycle: Approximately 1,000 charge cycles

2. Battery Lifespan

Average Lifespan: 2-3 years depending on usage

Symptoms of a Degrading Battery: Reduced battery life, unexpected shutdowns, slower performance

Preparation for Battery Replacement

1. Assessing the Need for Replacement

Before diving into the replacement process, it’s crucial to determine if your battery genuinely needs replacing. Symptoms indicating a failing battery include:

Rapid Drain: The battery depletes significantly faster than it used to.

Inconsistent Charging: The watch charges irregularly or not at all.

Overheating: The device heats up excessively during use or charging.

Swollen Battery: Physical bulging can indicate a swollen battery.

2. Backup Your Apple Watch

Before performing any repair, it’s essential to back up your Apple Watch to avoid data loss. You can do this via your iPhone:

Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.

Go to My Watch > General > Backup.

Ensure your data is backed up to iCloud or your preferred backup method.

3. Gather Necessary Tools

Replacing the battery in an Apple Watch Series 1 requires specific tools. Here is a list:

Precision Screwdriver Set: Essential for handling small screws.

Plastic Opening Tools: To safely pry open the device.

Tweezers: For handling small components.

Adhesive Strips: For resealing the device after battery replacement.

iFixit Opening Picks: These help in prying open the screen without damage.

Heat Gun or Hair Dryer: To soften the adhesive holding the screen.

Step-by-Step Battery Replacement Process

1. Power Off the Apple Watch

Ensure the watch is powered off before beginning any repair work to avoid electrical shorts and ensure safety.

2. Heat the Screen

Use a heat gun or hair dryer to gently heat the edges of the screen. This softens the adhesive, making it easier to remove the screen.

Heat the screen for about 1-2 minutes until it is warm to the touch.

3. Opening the Apple Watch

Use an iFixit opening pick to carefully pry up the screen. Start at the side of the screen and work your way around to avoid damaging the display.

Gently lift the screen but do not fully detach it as it is still connected by a ribbon cable.

4. Disconnect the Screen

Use tweezers to carefully disconnect the ribbon cable connecting the screen to the watch’s main body. This is a delicate process, so proceed with caution.

5. Remove the Old Battery

Locate the battery. It will be secured with a small amount of adhesive.

Use a plastic opening tool to gently pry the battery out. Be careful not to puncture or bend the battery as it can be hazardous.

6. Insert the New Battery

Align the new battery in the same orientation as the old one.

Press it gently into place, ensuring it connects properly with the device.

7. Reconnect the Screen

Carefully reconnect the ribbon cable to the main body of the watch.

Align the screen and press it down gently to resecure it.

8. Reseal the Device

Use new adhesive strips to reseal the screen to the body of the watch. Ensure the adhesive is properly aligned and the screen is firmly pressed down.

Heat the edges slightly again to ensure the adhesive bonds properly.

Post-Replacement Steps

1. Power On and Test

Power on the Apple Watch to ensure it functions correctly.

Check for proper screen functionality and battery charging.

2. Monitor Battery Performance

Observe the battery performance over the next few days to ensure the new battery is functioning optimally.

3. Dispose of the Old Battery Properly

Recycle the old battery following local regulations. Do not dispose of it in regular trash as it can be hazardous.

See Also: What Can The Apple Watch Series 2 Do

Alternatives to DIY Battery Replacement

1. Apple Service Center

Pros: Professional service, guaranteed repair, use of original parts.

Cons: Higher cost, potential downtime without the watch.

2. Authorized Service Providers

Pros: Professional repair, often quicker than Apple service centers.

Cons: Can still be costly, varying quality of service.

3. Third-Party Repair Services

Pros: Often cheaper, quick turnaround time.

Cons: Risk of using non-genuine parts, potential warranty issues.

Preventive Measures for Battery Longevity

1. Proper Charging Practices

Avoid overcharging by removing the watch from the charger once it reaches 100%.

Use the official Apple charger to avoid potential damage from third-party chargers.

2. Regular Software Updates

Keep your Apple Watch updated with the latest software to ensure optimal performance and battery management.

3. Moderate Use of Power-Intensive Features

Limit the use of features like GPS, fitness tracking, and continuous heart rate monitoring if not needed.

4. Store in a Cool, Dry Place

Avoid exposing the watch to extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, as it can affect battery performance.


Replacing the battery in an Apple Watch Series 1 can extend the life of your device and restore its functionality. While it requires precision and care, the process can be manageable with the right tools and instructions. However, if you’re not confident in your ability to perform the replacement, professional repair services are a viable alternative. Following preventive measures can also help prolong your watch’s battery life, ensuring it remains a reliable companion for your daily activities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I replace the battery in my Apple Watch Series 1 myself?

Yes, you can replace the battery yourself if you have the necessary tools and follow the proper steps. However, it’s a delicate process that requires precision.

2. How much does it cost to replace the battery at an Apple service center?

The cost can vary, but it typically ranges from $79 to $99, plus any applicable taxes and shipping fees.

3. How long does the replacement process take at an Apple service center?

The process usually takes about 3-5 business days, but it can vary depending on the service center’s workload.

4. Will replacing the battery void my warranty?

If your Apple Watch is still under warranty or AppleCare, performing a DIY battery replacement may void the warranty. It’s recommended to check with Apple before proceeding.

5. What should I do with the old battery?

The old battery should be recycled properly according to local regulations. Many electronic stores and recycling centers accept used batteries.

6. How can I maximize the battery life of my Apple Watch?

To maximize battery life, avoid overcharging, keep the watch updated with the latest software, limit the use of power-intensive features, and store it in a cool, dry place.

7. Can I use third-party batteries for replacement?

While third-party batteries may be cheaper, they can vary in quality and may not perform as well as original Apple batteries. Using non-genuine parts can also void any remaining warranty.

8. Is it safe to replace the battery on my own?

Replacing the battery involves handling delicate components and can be risky if not done correctly. It’s safe if you follow instructions carefully and use the right tools, but professional assistance is recommended if you’re unsure.

9. What are the signs that my Apple Watch battery needs replacement?

Signs include rapid battery drain, inconsistent charging, overheating, and physical bulging of the battery.

10. Are there any software updates that can improve battery performance?

Yes, Apple regularly releases software updates that can include improvements to battery performance and management. Keeping your watch updated is recommended.


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