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What better time to outline how I unstuck a stuck Apple Watch band.
One thing about Apple is that the company engineers things to a really tight tolerance, and sometimes that can work against customers. Little gaps and crevices fill in with dirt and grease and other random schmoo.
In order to remove a stuck band safety, it's useful to know how it's held in place.
To release a band, you press this pill-shaped button on the bottom of the Apple Watch. Note I'm pointing at it here with a metal tool. I wouldn't use this to press the button in case it scratched the case.
This presses down a little dimple on the strap, allowing it to slide out.
Two things can prevent this from happening:
The button can get stuck
The dimple on the band can get stuck
Here I am pressing the band release button with a plastic pry tool from my iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit. If you don't have one of those, then you can use a toothpick or something similar.
Sometimes pressing methodically back and forth along the button will free it.
But not this time.
Time to unleash my secret weapon when it comes to repair -- isopropyl alcohol (which I call IPA for short). I use this for all sorts of things, from cleaning circuit boards to freeing Apple Watch bands. You could use warm water, but in my experience IPA is a lot more effective.
Some people worry that it might damage things, but I've been using IPA for 30 years without any problems. Use it sparingly, don't soak the watch in it, and you'll be fine (but if you are worried, use warm water).
Note: Don't use lubricants like WD-40 as that will stink up your band! IPA evaporates without leaving a residue.
Oh, and the other secret weapon is Q-Tips (called cotton buds here). Yes, they do have uses beyond sticking them in your ears (don't stick them in your ears!).
I pour a little IPA into the cap of the bottle, dip the Q-Tip in, and apply a little around the band release button.
I also apply a little to the edge of the band. IPA creeps into gaps really well and will free up stuck parts.
Next up, press the button and work the band.
It might be necessary to apply IPA a few times.
And finally, success!
This end of the strap was really stuck in place, but by taking my time I was able to remove it without damaging anything. I then used a little IPA on a Q-Tip to clean the end of the band and the slot it fitted into, and everything was working perfectly.