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Announced September 9th, 2014, this device is Apple's first foray into smart wearables. iFixit's repair manuals are applicable to Apple Watch (steel) and Apple Watch Sport (aluminum).

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Replacement Digitizer touch fix true?

Hi, if you've cracked you apple watch and wanted to replace the glass screen and done some research you would notice those cheap digitizers they sell on amazon and eBay. Most of us know those work but the touch does not respond. I've read from multiple people recently that if you upgrade or reset the firmware or something it could fix this problem? I bought an Apple Watch that had a faulty battery but when i replaced that i realized the touch isn't working and upon further inspection suspect that the screen has been altered since it wasn't flushed with it. Just wondering if there is any hope.

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If you replace the digitiser and LCD together (as one unit), you will not have any issues with touch.

The touch will not work if you replace the digitiser/glass alone. There is an IC paired to the LCD which is programmed in factory. The digitisers sold on eBay, etc, have unprogrammed chips, and are sold before being paired to an LCD, so they will not work. These parts are not supposed to be sold separately, they are either stolen and resold by employees, or excess stock sold by the factory (which they shouldn't be selling).

As far as I know, there is no known way to program this chip with an LCD outside of the factories in which they are paired, you just have to buy a full LCD and glass screen assembly. Very similar to the situation with touch IC reprogramming with iPhones and reading the programming from SMC ICs on MacBooks, Apple don't want 3rd parties to be able to reprogram their parts, they want to make things difficult :(

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Hi @reecee ,

Interesting that this supplier is stating that the part is categorized as S+ Makes you wonder.

Thanks for the input.


@jayeff I think suppliers like that are just reselling the part they get, not being aware the touch won't work unless programmed. They are just being told it's a new original part, and they resell it as that.

I ordered a few of these from 2 of my suppliers when they were first available, being assured they were original . They were definitely original, but neither of my suppliers were sure why the touch was not working for us. They then stopped selling just the digitizers after other customers reported the same issues, and explained there was a programmable IC causing the problem. They just sell the full assembly now.

I have heard it can be programmed through the diagnostic port in the Apple watch, but only Apple will be able to do this, not 3rd parties.


@reecee ,

Thanks for the extra info.



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Here is a link to the Ifixit guide for an Apple Watch screen replacement. It is handy as it shows how to gain access to the LCD screen and the digitizer flex cable connectors, so that you can check to see if the digitizer is connected properly.

Hopefully this is of some help


See the answer below for more information regarding the digitizer and possible problems.

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Thanks for your help, but i've also heard that if you buy and replace new digitizers they will be sterile. Something to do with the IC chip as the LCD and digitizers are coded together. Is this something you know of?


Hi @fixme ,

I do not know, perhaps @benjamen50 , @theimedic or @refectio will know.


I haven't worked on the Apple Watch so I couldn't say with any certainty.


Ok, I am super late to the party. The problem with the Apple Watch is the cost of parts. No one will pay that much when they can just go get a new one for another $50 and the price will not go down


Just buy an iCloud locked watch and replace the screens. I baught 5 iCloud locked watches and 2 out of the 5 had no touch. So it will be a hit or miss rather it will work and have touch. But a good percentage it will:) screw just replacing the digitizer. Same with a series 2. I’ve done it all and tried everything there is and know a lot. I cannot explain why one would have touch and not the other. I’ve tried different watches on that one screen too so but it’s not impossible to save your cracked watch. I promise. One time I even changed out a series 2 and it worked and had touch but wouldn’t pair. So had to put the old screen on to pair then put the new one on n was good to go:) hope this helps.


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