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Apple Watch not charging properly? Here’s how to fix this

An Apple Watch does not charge
Harry Guinness

Since the Apple Watch cannot be connected directly to the charger, charging issues can be difficult to resolve. Here’s what to do if your watch isn̵

7;t charging or is charging very slowly. (Unlike an iPhone, you don’t need toothpicks!)

What is normal charging for an Apple Watch?

The Apple Watch uses inductive wireless charging. This means that the electromagnets in the charger generate an electric current in the watch, which charges the battery. Yes, there is still a wire, but since you don’t have to plug it directly into a port, it counts as wireless. Inductive charging normally works when your watch is placed correctly, but it can be a bit more fussy than a regular charging cable as the connection between the device and charger isn’t that secure.

When the battery is fully charged, you get approximately 18 hours of battery life with all Apple Watches. Using features such as Bluetooth audio playback or exercise tracking (especially if you are following outdoor workouts with GPS) will drain the battery a lot faster. The battery also deteriorates over time. An Apple Watch that is a few years old doesn’t have as much charge as it did when it was new.

It takes 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours for your Apple Watch to be fully charged to 100%. It should charge to about 80% in less than 1.5 hours. If the battery is completely discharged, it may take up to 30 minutes to charge enough to turn on.

When your Apple Watch is charging, a green lightning bolt indicator will appear on the screen. If the lightning bolt is red, the battery is low and needs to be charged.

Charging Apple Watch Green Light Bolt
While charging, Apple Watch displays a green lightning bolt on the screen. Apple

If there is something else going on than the above when you charge your Apple Watch, there may be something wrong. Here’s how to check that everything is working properly.

Restart your watch

Turning something off and back on can fix many random, intermittent, no one-really-knows-what’s-wrong-here problems. And your Apple Watch is no exception. If it doesn’t charge properly but you still have enough battery to run, then restart it and see if that fixes the problem.

To do this, press and hold the side button until you see the Power menu.

side button indicated on Apple Watch
Khamosh pathak

Swipe the “Power off” slider to the right and let it turn off for a few minutes.

on / off button
Khamosh pathak

Turn it back on by pressing and holding the side button.

After it reboots completely, try charging it again and see if the problem is gone.

Check the connection between the Apple Watch and the charger

Apple Watch charges properly
Harry Guinness

Without a solid, physical charging port to knock a cable into, it’s a lot harder to tell if your Apple Watch is properly connected to the charger. To make sure it:

Clean both the charger and the back of your Apple Watch and wipe away any dust, sweat, or other debris. If you don’t do this regularly, you may be surprised at how much gunk can form.

Place your Apple Watch on its charger on a sturdy, stable surface (such as a table) with the cable at 90º to the band. (I have had trouble charging my Apple Watch when I leave it on a soft chair.). The magnets should automatically align everything, but this will put your watch in the best position for charging.

The green lightning bolt should appear immediately. If not, gently wiggle the charger from side to side, make sure it’s magnetically in place and leave it – it may take a while for charging to start. If your watch still won’t charge, there may be more to it.

Remove all plastic

In addition to checking the connection between your Apple Watch and the charger, make sure you have removed the plastic cover that comes with the charger. It can interfere with charging if left on.

I’m ashamed to admit how long it took me to realize it was there with my watch. (It took me about three weeks.)

Check the charging block and cable again

The charging pad is the easiest part of the charger to troubleshoot. If you haven’t already done so, make sure it is properly plugged into an electrical outlet and the charging cable is properly plugged into the USB port.

If everything is connected properly, try the block in a different outlet. Also try a different USB cable maybe with your phone so you can check if the block is working.

If the block seems to be working fine, try plugging the charging cable into the USB port on your computer or another charger. If you can borrow another Apple Watch, you can also check if it charges with your charger.

You should also visually inspect the block and cable. If there are black marks, burns, visible cracks or threads, or signs of melting plastic, stop using them immediately – you’ve figured out the problem. Contact Apple for a replacement.

Try your watch with a different charger

Apple Watch charging cable on Apple website
Unlike USB or Lightning cables, you probably don’t have a load of Apple Watch charging cables lying around.

Since the Apple Watch has its own proprietary charging cable, it’s not always possible to try a different charger – which is one of our recommendations for issues like this. If you’re using a charger from another manufacturer, check your Apple Watch with the included charger.

Alternatively, if you can borrow a friend or family member’s charger for a few minutes, try that.

If you followed the last two steps, during the elimination process, you should now have an idea whether the problem is with the charging pad, the charging cable, or the Apple Watch itself.

The charging block is easiest to replace: you probably already have a spare at home. If it is the cable, your best bet is to get the official Apple Watch magnetic charging cable. It’s $ 29, but you know it’s going to work.

Contact Apple Support

If your charger works and your Apple Watch still won’t charge even after thoroughly cleaning everything, the last step is to contact Apple Support. If you’ve recently purchased your watch or have AppleCare +, it should be covered by your support plan. Otherwise, battery service should cost you $ 79.

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