How to Fix It When an Apple Watch Is Not Charging

6 Things to try to get your watch charging again

What to Know

  • Check charging disk, dock, and chord connections > look for physical damage > try a different outlet or new cables.
  • Reseat watch on charger > clean charger and watch with slightly damp washcloth > restart watch.

This article explains what might be preventing your Apple Watch from properly charging, and what you can do to fix it. The troubleshooting steps in this article apply to Series 3 and later Apple Watches.

How Do I Fix My Apple Watch That Won't Charge?

Your Apple watch can hold a charge that will keep it going for about 18 hours of use, and it can recharge to full capacity in about two hours. But if you're having issues with your Apple Watch not charging, those numbers don't matter. Any number of minor problems or something more serious could be the reason your watch won't charge.

If you've determined that your Apple Watch won't charge, walking through these troubleshooting steps might help.

  1. Check connections. It's imperative to check your connections if you're using a stand or charging dock that you put your Apple charging disk into and then rest your watch on the dock or stand because the watch needs to make a solid connection with the charging disk. If they're not making a solid connection, try removing the charging disk from the stand or dock and charging your Apple Watch separately.

    Also, make sure the cord between the power block and the charging disk is entirely and securely seated in the port on each end. If the cord isn't plugged in correctly on either end, it can break the charging connection.

  2. Check cords for damage. A frayed or damaged cord or charging disk could keep your watch from charging correctly. If the charging disk, charging block or charging cable are damaged in any way, it's best to replace them with original Apple equipment and try charging again.

  3. Try using a different outlet or different charger and cables. If the culprit is a bad outlet or a bad charging cable, using different ones could solve the problem.

  4. Try reseating the watch on the charger. Because Apple Watch charges magnetically, sometimes just moving the charger and watch around a little to reseat them more securely will fix the problem. So, give the charger a little twist on the bottom of the watch to see if you might get the charge to start.

  5. Clean charger and watch. Any dirt and debris that keeps your device from making a solid connection to the charger could cause it not to charge. Debris includes layers of sweat and lotion or makeup. Using a slightly damp washcloth, clean both the back of the Apple watch and the charging disk to remove any dirt or build-up that's present. If you have stubborn dirt, you can use a slightly damp alcohol pad with gentle pressure. Immediately dry the watch with a soft, dry cloth.

    Also, make sure you've removed the plastic used to protect both the watch and the charging disk during shipping. It's nice to keep those on when you start using your Watch because it keeps everything shiny and new, but it can provide enough interference for your watch not to charge correctly.

  6. Restart your Apple Watch, and then try charging again. If your watch still has power, try restarting it, which will do two things. First, it will clear out any software errors that might be causing your watch battery to deplete faster than it's charging. It will also clear out anything that could cause your battery charger to drop more quickly than it ordinarily would.

    If your Apple watch is unresponsive, you can force a restart by holding the side button and the digital crown until your watch powers off. Then wait a few minutes and press the side button to turn it back on again. Let it finish rebooting, and then try charging it again.

After trying each of these steps, put your Apple Watch back on the charger and then give it a few minutes to see if it begins charging. If your watch is completely dead, it could take a little time to build up enough power to show the green lightning bot charging icon on the screen.

Is My Apple Watch Charging?

The first problem that some people encounter is that they can't tell if their watch is charging. The easiest way to tell is to watch when you plug your Apple Watch up to a charging station. Once the watch connects to the charger, a green lightning bolt will appear on the screen for a few seconds to let you know the watch is charging. If you don't see this, your watch did not start charging, and you should follow the troubleshooting steps above.

If your Apple Watch displays a tiny red lightning bolt at the top of the screen while you're wearing it or if a red lightning bolt appears when you connect the watch to a charging station, then the battery on your watch is very low. If it happens while the watch is on the charger, then your charger isn't giving your watch any power.

Why Is My Apple Watch Not Charging?

If your Apple Watch won't charge, it could be a software or hardware problem or something entirely different. The most common reason people find their Apple Watch won't charge is an obstruction preventing the charger from connecting with the watch. It's also possible there is a software issue, and once that's cleared out, the watch will begin charging again.

Or the problem with your watch could be a defect, in which case you'll likely need to return the watch to Apple for a replacement or take it to a repair shop for a professional fix.

If Your Apple Watch Still Won't Charge

If you try these troubleshooting steps and your Apple Watch still won't charge, then it's time to reach out to a professional repair person for help. If your watch is covered under Apple Care or is still under warranty, then an Apple Store appointment might help you get your watch working again or provide a replacement. Otherwise, a local electronics repair shop will be your next best option.

  • How do I turn on an Apple Watch while charging?

    An Apple Watch is technically on while it's charging, but you can't use it normally. One way to use the Watch while charging is to set it to Nightstand Mode, which turns your watch into a bedside clock as it charges. To enable Nightstand Mode, open the Watch app on your paired iPhone and tap General > Nightstand Mode.

  • How do I charge an Apple Watch without a charger?

    The only way to charge an Apple Watch is with a magnetic charger. You can use the Apple magnetic charging cable or the Apple Watch magnetic charging dock, or opt for an Apple-approved portable charger that's been designed to charge Apple Watches.

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