Apple aware of a 'ghost touch' issue plaguing newer Watch models — no fix just yet

A screenshot from the Apple Store site that shows the Apple Watch Ultra 2 unavailable for purchase
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Cupertino company is reportedly investigating a "ghost touches" bug on the latest Apple Watch Models, the Apple Watch 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2. In this glitch, taps and swipes register on the device despite the display not being touched.

The false touches issue may cause the screen on the affected Apple Watch models to "jump erratically", start phone calls unintentionally or even prevent users from entering the device's passcode. Some users have reported concerns about their devices being hacked due to the unsettling nature of the issue. 

According to an internal memo shared with Apple Authorized Service Providers and obtained by MacRumors, Apple is allegedly "aware" of the issue and is currently "investigating" it. The memo further suggests that Apple Service Providers have been told to refrain from providing replacement watches for the issue. 

No clear fix in sight

Apple Watch Series 9

(Image credit: Future)

"Some customers may report their Apple Watch Series 9 or Apple Watch Ultra 2 is experiencing false touches on their display," the memo says, noting that it does not appear to be affecting older versions of the smartwatch. However, some user reports of the issue date back to 2020, so we're not entirely sure how widespread the issue actually is. 

That being said, recent Reddit threads have cultivated multiple user responses and explicitly mentioned the current Apple Watch models. So, if you're experiencing these problems on your new Apple Watch, you're definitely not alone. 

While it's not clear what may be causing this issue or when Apple will roll out a permanent fix (if it can be fixed with a software update), Apple's memo suggests force restarting any affected watch and having up-to-date software may ease the problem to an extent. 

Reddit users and comments under the MacRumors article also suggest a reboot or a hard reset could also help the problem, even if it's just a temporary fix. However, we will keep you informed if we receive any official updates from Apple. 

Lucy Scotting
Staff Writer

Lucy Scotting is a digital content writer for Tom’s Guide in Australia, primarily covering NBN and internet-related news. Lucy started her career writing for HR and staffing industry publications, with articles covering emerging tech, business and finance. In her spare time, Lucy can be found watching sci-fi movies, working on her dystopian fiction novel or hanging out with her dog, Fletcher.